Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
German-Speaking Refugees in Literature and Culture
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 10 hours (includes student presentations) (weeks 1-10)
Workload Breakdown Lecture and seminar attendance = 20 hours; - Lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) = 98 hours; - Essay research and writing = 40 hours; - Presentation preparation = 40 hours; - Independent film viewing = 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 ? 2,000-word essay  30%
Semester Assessment Student presentations  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. participate in social debates concerning the study of National Socialism, German-speaking refugees and history and memory in Germany and Austria
2. show understanding of the historical background of the region
3. show understanding of German and Austrian literature and culture from the 1930s to 2000
4. demonstrate skills in comparative analysis and to show familiarity with historical analysis and literary criticism
5. engage critically with a variety of scholarly material including monographs and specialised articles
6. present their findings in a logical, organised and scholarly fashion both orally - through debates and presentations - and in written form - through essays.


This course aims to familiarise students with questions of German, Austrian and European history and culture and its representation within literature and film from the 1930s to 1990s. It will give students a broad understanding of the most important aspects concerning German-speaking refugees from National Socialism in their historical, socio-economic and political context. It will explore the themes of National Socialism, exile, memory, gender and the changing nature of national identity. It will also give students a basic understanding of literary analysis and an understanding of different genres, i.e. the novel, the short story, the diary and the memoir (and film).

Brief description

The course studies the history, culture and literature of German-speaking refugees and their representation in 20th and 21st century Germany and Austria. Thematically, it will cover aspects such as national identity, exile, gender, memory and memorialisation.


This module is structured around the following topics:
1. National Socialism
2. History of German-speaking Refugees
3. Exile Literature
4. Gender and Exile
5. The Post-war Experience
6. Memory in Literature and Film

Weekly Classes
Week 1 - Historical and Contextual Overview of the National Socialist Period in Germany (lecture and seminar)
Week 2 - Culture in National Socialist Germany (lecture and seminar)
Week 3 - History of German-speaking refugees (lecture and seminar)
Week 4 - Exile Literature 1 - Anna Gmeyner, Manja (lecture and seminar)
Week 5 - Gender and Exile - Anna Gmeyner, Manja (lecture and seminar)
Week 6 - Exile Literature 2 - Hermynia Zur Muhlen, 'Wien, 12. Marz 1938' (lecture and seminar)
Week 7 - The Postwar Experience 1 - Hilde Spiel, Ruckkehr nach Wien (lecture and seminar)
Week 8 - The Postwar Experience 2 - Hilde Spiel, Ruckkehr nach Wien (lecture and seminar)
Week 9 - Memory 1 - The Kindertransport Experience: Ruth David, Kind unserer Zeit (lecture and seminar)
Week 10 Memory 2 and Revision - The Kindertransport Experience: Melissa Hacker (film): My Knees Were Jumping (lecture and seminar)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Students will develop oral communication in seminars and student presentations; written communication will be developed in assessments in English.
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 Students will use on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via e-learning system.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will acquire transferable skills such as the ability to create and deliver presentations; in-depth acquaintance with literature and history as academic subjects.
Problem solving Students will select appropriate reading material; developing evaluative analysis and critical skills and formulating a detailed argument.
Research skills Students will analyse literary and filmic representations in their political/historical contexts and synthesize information in an evaluative argument.
Subject Specific Skills Students will acquire German vocabulary; slang expressions; a variety of German language from different periods of history.
Team work Students will participate in debates and group presentations in seminars.

Reading List

General Text
A full bibliography within a dossier for the course will be supplied at the beginning of the module. Primo search
Essential Reading
Anna Gmeyner (2000) Manja Persona Verlag Primo search Hermynia Zur Mühlen (2002) Wien, 12. März 1938, in Hermynia Zur Mühlen, Nebenglück Peter Lang Primo search Hilde Spiel (2009) Rückkehr nach Wien Milena Primo search Melissa Hacker (2000) My Knees Were Jumping (film) Primo search Ruth David (1996) Kind unserer Zeit, dipa-Verlag Primo search
Recommended Text
Ailsa Wallace (2009) Hermynia Zur Mühlen: The Guises of Socialist Fiction Oxford University Press Primo search Alexander Stephan (1979) Die deutsche Exilliteratur 1933-1945 C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung Primo search Alexander Stephan (ed) (2005) Exile and Otherness. New Approaches to the Experience of the Nazi Refugees Peter Lang Primo search Andrea Hammel (2008) Everyday Life as Alternative Space in Exile Literature: the Novels of Anna Gmeyner, Selma Kahn, Hilde Spiel, Martina Wied and Hermynia Zur Mühlen Peter Lang Primo search Andrea Hammel/ Godela Weiss-Sussex (eds) (2009) ‘Not an Essence but a Positioning. German-Jewish Women Writers (1900-1938) Martin Meidenbauer Primo search Anthony Bushell (ed) (1996) Austria 1945-55: Studies in Political and Cultural Re-emergence University of Wales Press Primo search Anthony Grenville (2010) Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria in Britain.1933-1970 Vallentine Mitchell Primo search Marian Malet/ Anthony Grenville (2002) Changing Countries. The experience and achievements of German-speaking exiles from Hitler Libris Primo search Werner E. Mosse (ed) (1991) Second Chance. Two Centuries of German-speaking Refugees in the United Kingdom JCB Mohr Primo search Wolfgang Benz (2003) Geschichte des Dritten Reichs Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag Primo search Wolfgang Benz/ Claudia Curio/ Andrea Hammel (eds) (2003) Die Kindertransporte 1938/39 Fischer Taschenbuchverlag Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5