Professor Regina Karl

Stranger Bodies. The Shapes of German Literature and Culture

Are we built to be human? What language does our body speak? Can bodies be a cage? For decades, authors and filmmakers have dealt with the intricacies and benefits of the human body compared to other species. This course will explore a wide array of body talk in the German-speaking tradition: appearances of ghosts, robots, insects, and drag queens are just a few examples. Looking at these bodies, we will familiarize ourselves with major concepts in the study of literature and film. Readings include a mischievous hand in a short story by Franz Kafka, a poem about Friedrich Schiller´s skull by J. W. von Goethe, an angry old lady in Friedrich Dürrenmatt´s play “Der Besuch der alten Dame” and a haunting doppelgänger from the Nazi past in Christian Petzold´s film “Phoenix.” This class is designed for students with a solid grasp of basic German vocabulary and grammar who wish to expand their knowledge of the language and culture through reading, discussion, and writing.

Taught in German. Fulfills SAS core requirements AHp, WCd.

300-level German-language courses open to students who have either successfully completed German 232 or will be simultaneously enrolled in either German 231 or 232. May be repeated for credit.