The GDR in Literary and Visual Culture
This seminar aims to examine the varied representations of the German Democratic Republic (1949 to 1990) in literature and visual culture. Looking at a range of textual and visual sources, we will engage critically with ways of understanding this “other” Germany and its distinctive ideology and history. We will investigate a range of stories, essays, poems, films, documentaries, and other sources to compare and contrast the various perspectives afforded by those media and genres. Students will become familiar with a range of aspects of cultural life in the GDR and the political frameworks in which they have been discussed and analyzed. After a critical reading of the assignments, they are expected to contribute to class discussions in an informed manner. Skills to be practiced include reading materials in German, familiarization with GDR-specific terminology, and developing a critical sensitivity to cultural context. Transferable skills encompass writing, presentation, discussion and independent study skills.
Instructor: Dr. Monika Hennemann (Wiesbaden)