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German 486/586: German Studies Seminar

Session II

The GDR: Cultural Representations in their Political Context

This seminar aims to examine the varied representations of the German Democratic Republic (1949 to 1990) in artistic endeavors with the aim to 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, songs, 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

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