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Literary Topics: Imagining Berlin


Although the "Berlin Republic" is more than twenty years old, journalistic assessments of the city emphasize its youthful energy and the start of a new era. Yet literary and filmic representations of Berlin offer a more variegated picture, one both celebratory and critical. This course aims to get beyond the official hype by looking at recent novels and films and how they: represent Berlin topography; call upon historical and ideological perspectives as well as individual and collective memory; depict everyday life and fantasies in a multicultural city; allude to historical and/or continued divisions between East and West. In the process students will encounter both concrete and imaginary conceptions of what one critic has called "the capital of the 20th century." All readings, class discussions, and essays will be in German.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies requirement.


German 250 or 260 or permission of the instructor.