Module Identifier GE27010  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Jane Wilkinson  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite Eligibility for entry to Level 2 German  
Course delivery Lecture   8 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 seminars  
  Workload Breakdown   Formal tuition 14hrs; preparation specifically for classes 14hrs, including a group seminar presentation (not assessed); assessment (preparation&writing) 12hrs; examination 2hrs; private study 58hrs.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 2 questions70%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1500-2000 word essay (continuous assessment)30%
Supplementary Exam2/3 Hours 1 x 2-hour examination if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3-hour examination if no continuous assessment submitted.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. discuss and compare the treatment of Post-Reunification Germany in the work of three contemporary authors.

2. reflect critically on the influence of the phenomenon of 'Ostalgie' on Post-Reunification literature and the ways in which this phenomenon is reflected in the three novels.

3. identify the social problems facing former GDR citizens and analyse the depiction of these problems in contemporary literature.

4. demonstrate a critical understanding of the changes in the German sense of national identity since Reunification and identify the ways in which these changes are depicted in literature.

5. compare and contrast the authors' writing styles and consider the interplay between style and content.

6. express themselves clearly, coherently and in a logical fashion orally and in writing.


The introduction of this module will broaden the range of options available to Level 2 students of German. The module is designed to give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of German literature and their skills of literary analysis, which can be applied to other Level 2 and 3 modules in European Languages and other departments.

Brief description

Since 1990 numerous novels and short stories have been published in Germany which deal with the social, economic, cultural and political impacts of Reunification. Some of these, such as Ingo Schulze's 'Simple Stories' focus on the ways in which East Germans' lives changed in the years immediately following Reunification and on the ways in which normal citizens have reacted to the transformation of their society. Other young novelists such as Thomas Brussig and Jana Hensel look back to life as children and teenagers in the former German Democratic Republic and document with humour and a certain fondness life 'behind the wall.' Such novelists form an important part of the contemporary German literary landscape and their work constitutes a forum through which to reflect on the dramatic changes in recent German history. This module therefore aims to introduce students to Post-Reunification German literature through the study of these three authors.


1. Introduction: German Reunification and its impact on society and culture.
2. The literary landscape of pre- and post-Reunification Germany.
3. Everyday experiences of Reunification: Ingo Schulze's 'Simple Stories'.
4. 'Simple Stories' continued.
5. 'Ostalgic' Literature: Thomas Brussig's 'Am kurzen Ende der Sonnenallee'.
6. 'Sonnenallee' continued.
7. Reflections on an East German youth: Jana Hensel's 'Zonenkinder'.
8. 'Zonenkinder' continued.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Students will learn to work through problems of methodology which arise when analyzing and comparing contemporary literary texts.  
Research skills Students will be required to find, evaluate and use source materials (primary and secondary).  
Communication Students will be expected to communicate in seminars and to write at an appropriate level for assignments.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to observe the improvement in their own competence in analyzing, interpreting and comparing literary texts.  
Team work Students will be expected to work in groups during seminars and in their own time and will thus develop team skills in dividing up and organizing work.  
Information Technology Students will be expected to use the internet to access current articles and websites on Post-Reunification German society and literature. There will also be the opportunity to use programs such as PowerPoint in seminar presentations and written assignments will be word processed.  
Application of Number Not directly addressed in this module.  
Personal Development and Career planning Not directly addressed in this module.  
Subject Specific Skills Linguistic competence will be developed through reading primary and secondary literature in German. Students will learn new vocabulary specific to the topic of Reunification.  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Brussig, Thomas (2004.) Am k urzeren Ende der Sonnenallee /Thomas Brussig. 3596148472
Hensel, Jana Zonenkinder 3499235323
Schulze, Ingo (c1998.) Simple Storys :ein Roman aus der ostdeutschen Provinz /Ingo Schulze. 3827000513
** Essential Reading
Taberner, Stuart (2005) German Literature of the 1990s and Beyond: Normalisation and the Berlin Republic Camden House
** Recommended Text
Brockmann, Stephen. (1999.) Literature and German reunification /Stephen Brockmann. Cambridge University Press 0521660548
Costabile-Heming, Carol Anne (June 2001) Textual Responses to German Unification:Processing Historical and Social Change in Literature and Film 3110170221
Kane, Martin (Feb. 2003) Legacies and Identity:East and West German Literary Responses to Unification 3906769704
Taberner, Stuart (ed) (2004) German Literature in the Age of Globalization Birmingham University Press
** Recommended Background
Flockton, Chris and Kolinsky, Eva (1998) Recasting East Germany: Social Transformation after the GDR Frank Class
Jarausch, Konrad (1997.) After unity :reconfiguring German identities /edited by Konrad H. Jarausch. 1571810412
Jones, Alun. (1994 (1995 prin) The new Germany :a human geography /Alun Jones. 0471949329
Kolinsky, Eva (ed) (1998.) The Cambridge companion to modern German culture /edited by Eva Kolinsky and Wilfried van der Will. 0521568706
Parkes, K. Stuart (1997.) Understanding contemporary Germany /Stuart Parkes. 0415141249

** Recommended Text
Cooke, Paul (2003) German Life and Letters Performing 'Ostalgie': Leander Haussmann's 'Sonnenallee' 56, pp. 156-167.
** Recommended Background
Howard, Marc (1995) German Politics and Society An East German Ethnicity? Understanding the New Division of Unified Germany 13(4), pp. 49-70.


This module is at CQFW Level 5