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GERMAN 131: What is German Literature?

"What do the words "German" and "Germany" signify, and how have they changed since the first text in German was written down in the 8th century? What has it meant to read and write in German in the Middle Ages, the Early Modern period, 18th century Weimar, the Napoleonic Wars, Nazi Germany, or the GDR? How can ideas, stories, and poetry from the past be made meaningful for our understanding of our present? This course will approach these questions by giving a brief survey of the evolution, forms, genres, and periods of German literature. Students will read and discuss short literary masterpieces from the "Hildebrandslied" to the poetry of Bertolt Brecht. nThe course follows the chronology of German literature. The single sessions will focus on the ideas most characteristic for the period in question: What is "German"?; Courtly Love and Christian Culture; Reformation and Innovation; Enlightenment and Reason; The Notion of the "Classic"; Exploring Emotion; Nationhood and Revolution; The Aesthetics of Modernism; War and Exile; Division and Reunification. Taught in German.nPrerequisite: One year of German language at Stanford or equivalent.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

GERMAN 132: History and Politics of the Future in Germany, 1900-Present

The twentieth century brought profound changes to Germany, including two World Wars, changing borders, and the division between competing Cold War ideological blocs. At the same time, the necessity to build and reshape Germany also inspired politicians, writers, and filmmakers to think about how society could be made anew. The century especially ushered in a new era for thoughts about the future. Thinkers imagined new technologies, social structures, and political orders as they dreamed about a German future that could be different from its recent past. Furthermore, this period represented a golden age of German science fiction, as authors thought about what the future could and should be.nThis class considers the possibilities that Germans imagined for the future in the face of ambiguous promises of peace and warfare, democracy and totalitarianism, and capitalism and communism. Regardless of whether these hopes, dreams, and fears came to fruition, historical visions of the future illuminate the lives of Germans during the twentieth century.nThis course will use close readings of several types of primary sources, including films, television shows, short stories, political posters, art, and newspaper articles. We will consider what different thinkers anticipated as the possibilities for the development of the country and what they saw as the driving forces of change, such as mechanics and computers, political parties, and social movements. We will discuss which advancements they thought seemed likely and which seemed fantastical. Finally, this class will investigate how the future offered a space for dissident thinkers to articulate their frustrations with state and society.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Anderson, C. (PI)

GERMAN 133: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

We read and discuss selections from works by the key master thinkers who have exerted a lasting influence by debunking long-cherished beliefs. Do these authors uphold or repudiate Enlightenment notions of rationality, autonomy and progress? How do they assess the achievements of civilization? How do their works illuminate the workings of power in social and political contexts? Readings and discussion in German.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Bruckner, U. (PI)

GERMAN 175: CAPITALS: How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People (COMPLIT 100, DLCL 100, FRENCH 175, HISTORY 206E, ILAC 175, ITALIAN 175, URBANST 153)

This course takes students on a trip to major capital cities, at different moments in time: Renaissance Florence, Golden Age Madrid, Colonial Mexico City, Enlightenment and Romantic Paris, Existential and Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Roaring Berlin, Modernist Vienna, and bustling Buenos Aires. While exploring each place in a particular historical moment, we will also consider the relations between culture, power, and social life. How does the cultural life of a country intersect with the political activity of a capital? How do large cities shape our everyday experience, our aesthetic preferences, and our sense of history? Why do some cities become cultural capitals? Primary materials for this course will consist of literary, visual, sociological, and historical documents (in translation); authors we will read include Boccaccio, Dante, Sor Juana, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, Gogol, Irmgard Keun, Freud, and Borges. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

GERMAN 181: Philosophy and Literature (CLASSICS 42, COMPLIT 181, ENGLISH 81, FRENCH 181, ITALIAN 181, PHIL 81, SLAVIC 181)

What, if anything, does reading literature do for our lives? What can literature offer that other forms of writing cannot? Can fictions teach us anything? Can they make people more moral? Why do we take pleasure in tragic stories? This course introduces students to major problems at the intersection of philosophy and literature. It addresses key questions about the value of literature, philosophical puzzles about the nature of fiction and literary language, and ways that philosophy and literature interact. Readings span literature, film, and philosophical theories of art. Authors may include Sophocles, Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Proust, Woolf, Walton, Nietzsche, and Sartre. Students master close reading techniques and philosophical analysis, and write papers combining the two. This is the required gateway course for the Philosophy and Literature major tracks. Majors should register in their home department.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

GERMAN 222: Myth and Modernity (COMPLIT 222A, GERMAN 322, JEWISHST 242G, JEWISHST 342)

Masters of German 20th- and 21st-Century literature and philosophy as they present aesthetic innovation and confront the challenges of modern technology, social alienation, manmade catastrophes, and imagine the future. Readings include Nietzsche, Freud, Rilke, Musil, Brecht, Kafka, Doeblin, Benjamin, Juenger, Arendt, Musil, Mann, Adorno, Celan, Grass, Bachmann, Bernhardt, Wolf, and Kluge. Taught in English. Note for German Studies grad students: GERMAN 322 will fulfill the grad core requirement since GERMAN 332 is not being offered this year. NOTE: Enrollment requires Professor Eshel's consent. Please contact him directly at eshel@stanford.edu and answer these 2 questions: "Why do you want to take this course?" and "What do you think you can add to the discussion?" Applications will be considered in the order in which they were received. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Eshel, A. (PI)

GLOBAL 30: Sufism: Past and Present (GLOBAL 230)

Sufism, often defined as `Islamic mysticism,¿ is essential for a deep understanding of the inner dimension of Islamic spirituality. This course offers a survey of the development of Sufism from its formation through the modern period. Students will be introduced to the fundamental ideas, practices, and institutions of Sufism. The course will familiarize students with an introductory understanding of Sufism in its historical context and will challenge students to engage critically with the academic debates on Sufism.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

GLOBAL 135: Around the World in Ten Films (FILMSTUD 135, FILMSTUD 335)

This is an introductory-level course about the cinema as a global language. We will undertake a comparative study of select historical and contemporary aspects of international cinema, and explore a range of themes pertaining to the social, cultural, and political diversity of the world. A cross-regional thematic emphasis and inter-textual methods of narrative and aesthetic analysis, will ground our discussion of films from Italy, Japan, United States, India, China, France, Brazil, Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Mexico, and a number of other countries. Particular emphasis will be placed on the multi-cultural character and the regional specificities of the cinema as a "universal language" and an inclusive "relational network."nnThere are no prerequisites for this class. It is open to all students; non-majors welcome.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Levi, P. (PI)

GLOBAL 139: History of Philosophy from Al-Kindi to Averroes (PHIL 101A)

The rise of Islam saw a flourishing of philosophical and scientific activity across Islamic civilizations from Central Asia to Spain. Between the 7th to 13th centuries, many of the major philosophers in the history of philosophy lived in the Muslim world and wrote in Arabic. They saw themselves, just as later philosophers in medieval Europe, as working in part in the same tradition as Plato and Aristotle. This course surveys this important chapter in the history of philosophy, examining the key philosophical problems, analyses, arguments and ideas developed by philosophers such as Al-Kindi, Al-Razi, Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Al-Ghazali and Averroes, as well as their views on the role and aims of philosophy itself. We will look closely at their writings (in English translation) on philosophical topics in mind, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Al-Witri, Z. (PI)

GLOBAL 145: Revolutionary Practices: Space and Public Discourse in Iran (CSRE 95I)

The course examines the mediums of public art that have been voices of social change, protest and expressions of community desire in Iran. It will offer a unique glimpse into Iran's contemporary art and visual culture through the investigation of public art practices such as graffiti and street art, as well as older traditions of oral storytelling such as Naghali and Iranian Coffeehouse Painting. Iranian case studies will be expanded in comparison with local and global examples, while students examine the infrastructural conditions of public art, such as civic, public, and private funding, relationships with local communities, and the life of these projects as they move in and out of the artworld. This encompassing view anchors a legacy of Iranian cultural contributions in larger trajectories of art history, contemporary art, and community arts practice. The class format is both lecture and art studio practice. Students will propose either new public art works or research to provoke their own ideas while engaging the ever-changing state of public discourse in these case studies.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Ebtekar, A. (PI)
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