We will look at key texts by German and Austrian writers from about 1800 to 1914, looking at how writers positioned themselves in terms of nationhood and empire. German-speaking writers reacted to the Napoleonic wars and their aftermath, the French 1830 revolution, the uprisings of 1848, and the various conflicts that brought about the establishment of the Second Reich. They also responded to the nationalist movements in Poland and Hungary. In addition, writers in the Eastern parts of the Prussian/German and Austro-Hungarian states, or writers who set their stories in these locales, confront issues of nation-building and empire. We will see how sexual relations (literally and figuratively) came to represent political, class, and religious issues. We will read plays and prose by Kleist, Büchner, Stifter, Fontane, Kafka, Mann and others, including the play Frühlings Erwachen [Spring Awakening] by Wedekind. The class will watch a film of one of the plays and excerpts from the American musical Spring Awakening. Emphasis will be placed on student-led discussions and on speaking, reading, and writing in German. Taught in German.
War, Sex, Nation-Building, and Empire in 19th Century Germany and Austria
GRMN 3010 or GRMN 3070