|Module Title||THE CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF THE GDR|
|Seminars / Tutorials||3|
|Assessment||Exam||2 Hours 2 essays in 2 hours||60%|
|Continuous assessment||1 essay of 1,500-2,000 words (30%); 1 seminar presentation (10%)||40%|
The former East German State (the GDR), which was set up in the wake of World War Two was seen by many as the better of the two German systems. It was heralded as Germany's salvation from barbaric Nazism, and was to usher in a bright new socialist future for its population. However, forty years later it collapsed, a bankrupt, authoritarian regime which was rejected by its citizens in favour of unification with the west. This course will examine developments in the GDR through the study of a range of important literary texts produced by East German artists before the state's demise in 1989. Through close textual analysis, we will explore issues such as the relationship of the writer to the state and the nature of dissidence, the world of work and the problem of censorship in the East.
Students should feel that they have a good, detailed understanding of cultural and political life in the GDR. They should have further developed their skills as critical readers of literature, and those students who wish to go on with their studies should feel that they have a solid foundation for postgraduate work in the fields of GDR cultural studies.
** Recommended Text
Jurek Becker. (1975) Jakob der Luegner. Berlin: Aufbau
Hein, Christoph. (1985) Horns Ende. Berlin Aufbau
Wolf, Christa. (1973) Der geteilte Himmel. Munich, dtv