Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Eligibility for entry to Level 2 German

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 9 x 1-hour seminars
Workload Breakdown Lecture and seminar attendance - 14 hours; lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) - 36 hours; essay research and preparation - 25 hours; exam preparation - 25 hours.
Lecture 4 x 1-hour lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written exam  (2 essay questions, equally weighted)  60%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment  One 1,500-word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an ability to read in depth and critically assess literary and cinematic texts.
2. Demonstrate an ability to contextualise critical debates on the issues of outsiders in fiction.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of and engagement with the historical, cultural and political contexts and meanings of works of fiction and film.


The aim of this additional option module is to examine literary and cinematic depictions of key moments of German culture and history of the 18th to 20th century. Authors and film-makers have often used outsider characters to comment critically on a variety of topics, and hence narratives of outsiders prove to be both popular and significant in German literature and film. It is thus that the examination of rebel characters allows us to open new avenues of exploring contemporary views of political and social circumstances as well as their adherent narrative strategies. The objectives of this module are to provide students with critical reading skills, and to provide an overview over socio-political issues relevant in 18th to 20th century Germany

Brief description

This module focuses on three literary texts and one cinematic text that are set at key moments of 18th, 19th and 20th century German culture. All texts deal with several characters in German culture who are presented as social outsiders or even actively opposing the establishment. Hence the examination of these texts across such a wide time-span allows students to study both historical/social changes and development of the narrative feature of the 'outsider' character.

In alternating lectures and seminars students will engage in the analysis of the texts and their narrative strategies as well as the historical background to the stories. Students will be encouraged to consider the possibilities and function of the outsider character in German culture.


Week 1: Lecture 'Sturm und Drang' in 18th century Germany (1 hr)
Week 2: Seminar: Friedrich Schiller, 'Die Raeuber' (2 hrs)
Week 3: Lecture: The Napoleonic Age in Germany (1 hr)
Week 4: Seminar: Heinrich von Kleist, 'Michael Kohlhaas' (2 hrs)
Week 5: Lecture: Literary Resistance in the GDR (1 hr)
Week 6: Seminar: Ulrich Plentzdorf, 'Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.' (2 hrs)
Week 7: Lecture: Antiglobalisation in contemporary Germany (1 hr)
Week 8: Seminar: Hans Weingartner, 'Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei' (2 hrs)
Week 9: Summarizing lecture: Outsiders in German society (1 hr)
Week 10: Revision and concluding discussion (1 hr)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Possibly, evaluation of statistical data in the secondary reading.
Communication Oral communication developed in seminars; written communication developed in assessments and exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to assess their own progress week by week through their increased understanding of the issues raised and the skills developed.
Information Technology Use of on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via email and e-learning system.
Personal Development and Career planning Acquisition of transferable skills; in-depth acquaintance with literary / cultural studies as an academic subject.
Problem solving Selection of appropriate reading material; development of evaluative analysis and critical skills and formulation of detailed arguments; answering questions posed by written assessment; seminar work.
Research skills Preparation of written assessment; preparation for seminars; detailed analysis of literary texts and contexts.
Subject Specific Skills Acquisition of German linguistic skills and detailed analysis of literary and cinematic texts and wider cultural contexts.
Team work Debates and group presentations in seminars.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Kleist, Heinrich von Michael Kohlhaas Primo search Plenzdorf, Ulrich Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. Primo search Schiller, Friedrich Die Räuber Primo search
Recommended Consultation
Weingartner, Hans Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (Film) Primo search
Consult For Futher Information
Aurnhammer, Achim; Manger, Klaus; Strack, Friedrich (Eds.) (1990) Schiller und die höfische Welt Tübingen Primo search Bernhardt, Rüdiger Erläuterungen zu Ulrich Plenzdorf Die neuen Leiden des jungen W Primo search Doering, Sabine (1996) Heinrich von Kleist Stuttgart Primo search Dyer, D.G (1977) The Stories of Kleist New York Primo search Graham, Ilse (1974) Schiller's Drama. Talent and Integrity London Primo search Hinderer, Walter (ed.) (1979) Schillers Dramen. Neue Interpretationen Stuttgart Primo search Müller-Seidel, Walter (1990) 'Verschwörungen und Rebellionen in Schillers Dramen' (see Aurnhammer et al) Tübingen Primo search Reed, T.J (1991) Schiller. Past Masters. Oxford Primo search Stephens, Anthony Heinrich von Kleist. The Dramas and Stories Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5