Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Deutsche Literaturgeschichte: Von der Romantik bis zum Expressionismus

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit offers a general overview of the historical development of German literature from Romanticism (starting at the end of the 18th century) to the first decades of the 20th century. It is a chronological continuation of “Deutsche Literaturgeschichte I” (History of German Literature - Part I) and covers the 19th century epochs Romantik (romanticism), Biedermeier, Junges Deutschland (Young Germany), Poetischer Realismus (realism), and Naturalismus (naturalism), the literature of the turn of the century ("Die Literatur der Jahrhundertwende"), Expressionismus (expressionism), and the literature of the 1920s.

Representative works by authors from the various periods will be read and interpreted, taking into consideration as much as possible the intrinsic qualities and the social/historical contexts of the works, as well as their origin and impact. Most of the texts will be discussed during the sessions themselves to make sure that students understand the language used and to clarify any questions they may have concerning the respective author’s use of vocabulary, idioms and grammatical structures. Therefore, as in the case of “Deutsche Literaturgeschichte I”, while participants are introduced to the main movements, authors and works of German literature, the unit also serves to consolidate and enhance their skills in the German language itself. The texts will be read in the original German version, but during the lectures explanations will be given in both German and English.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this unit are to enable students to:
- point out and explain the characteristics of the various periods ("Epochen") in the history of German literature from romanticism to the 1920s;
- refer to works of literature and authors belonging to the various epochs to illustrate, both in writing and oral presentations, these characteristics (e.g. how and why, depending on historical and social developments, an author's or a group of authors' interest in certain topics developed at certain times, and/or how the literary works themselves influenced these developments; which genres/style were popular during particular periods and why these were preferred to others);
- at the same time understand more complex German texts and formulate his/her ideas correctly and convincingly in German.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- become familiar with the main epochs, the leading authors and major works of German literature up to and including the first decades of the 20th century;
- continue developing the skills of close reading of German texts and textual analysis and practice these skills in written and oral presentations;
- through the study of literature, develop knowledge of specific historical and social issues and their cultural meanings;
- comprehend more complex German texts and formulate his/her ideas correctly and convincingly in German.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify the main characteristics of different literary epochs and interpret them within the larger contexts of historical and social developments;
- assess various critical frameworks (e.g. national, historical, cultural and philosophical) through which literature can be read;
- approach and analyze literary texts through an enriched multi-cultural perspective;
- communicate better in written and spoken German.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Barbara Baumann and Brigitte Oberle, Deutsche Literatur in Epochen.
Students are encouraged to buy this book, which will serve them both as a course-book and a reference book even after they finish their studies.
Wolfgang Beutin a. O., Deutsche Literaturgeschichte von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart.
Nicholas Boyle, German Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford, 2008).
Henry and Mary Garland (ed.), The Oxford Companion to German Literature (excellent reference work for all major authors and works of German literature).
Eberhard Hermes, Deutsche Literatur: Epochen, Werke, Autoren (Ernst Klett Verlag).
Eva-Maria Kabisch, Literaturgeschichte – kurz gefasst, together with Christoph Wetzel, Literaturgeschichte – kurz gefasst (Textband) (both Ernst Klett Verlag).
Eda Sagarra and Peter Skrine, A Companion to German Literature (Oxford, 1997).
Horst Dieter Schlosser, dtv-Atlas zur deutschen Literatur: Tafeln und Texte.
Watanabe-O'Kelly (ed.), The Cambridge History of German Literature (Cambridge, 1997).

ADDITIONAL NOTES Study-Unit Title in English: History of German Literature: From Romanticism to Expressionism

Pre-requisite Qualifications: Advanced level or similar


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Katrin Dautel
Kathrin Schoedel

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.