Module Identifier GEM0830  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Jane Wilkinson  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite Normally a 2,1 degree in German  
Co-Requisite Key Moments in German Culture 1: GEM0130, Key Moments in German Culture 2: GEM0230  
Mutually Exclusive GEM0930 Attitudes to Nature in Modern German Culture  
Course delivery Lecture   4 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   16 seminars  
  Workload Breakdown   (Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours.) Formal tuition: 20 hours; preparation specifically for classes: 40 hours; assessment (preparation and writing) 80 hours; private study: 160 hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Lead 2 seminars25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay75%
Supplementary Assessment Essay to be resubmitted if failed100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the key developments of German literature since 1990

2. demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates concerning these developments

3. articulate their own stance on these debates

4. demonstrate a critical understanding of the complex relationship between literature and society in contemporary Germany

5. demonstrate that they have acquired advanced skills as critical readers of culture

6. demonstrate that they have acquired sophisticated analytical skills

7. use secondary literature critically

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

9. demonstrate that they have a solid foundation for further postgraduate research


This module is designed to be an option module in the current MA in Twentieth Century German Cultural Studies, and from 2008-9 in the new MA in Modern European Cultural Studies scheme. It is intended to complement the sociolinguistic option modules already available and to offer students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of contemporary German society and culture through study of a range of literary texts.

Brief description

This module will examine a range of key literary texts produced by artists writing in German since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Through close textual analysis, students will explore the impact of the process of unification on German literature, examining how writers are tackling issues such as multiculturalism, the role of easterners in the new state and the continuing question of 'Vergangenheitsbewaltigung'. As well as an examination of such social issues, the course will explore aesthetic trends in contemporary German writing, looking, for example, at the tensions between the continuing importance of modernism, on the one hand, and the growing trend towards a 'Neue Lesbarkeit' on the other.


1. Reunification and Literature (1 hr lecture)
2. Ingo Schulze, Simple Storys (2 hr seminar)
3. Thomas Brussig, Helden wie wir, or Claudia Rusch, Meine freie deutsche Jugend (2 hr seminar)
4. 'Vergangenheitsbewaltigung' (1 hr lecture)
5. Peter Schneider, Vati (2 hr seminar)
6. Bernhard Schlink, Der Vorleser (2 hr seminar)
7. 'Migrantenliteratur' (1 hr lecture)
8. Rafik Schami, Die Sehnsucht der Schwalbe (2 hr seminar)
9. Osman Engin, Kanaken-Gandhi (2 hr seminar)
10. 'Neue Lesbarkeit' and 'Popliteratur' (1 hr lecture)
11. Christian Kracht, Faserland (2 hr seminar)
12. Judith Hermann, Sommerhaus spater (2 hr seminar)

Module Skills

Problem solving Selection of reading material, answering questions posed by written assessment, seminar work.  
Research skills Researching for essay and for seminars.  
Communication Participating in seminars and writing of essay will require students to express their ideas clearly, cogently and coherently.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent preparation for essay and seminars, independent research for essay and seminars.  
Team work This will apply in the seminars.  
Information Technology Students will be required to access bibliographical information and to submit word processed essays. (Indirectly assessed)  
Application of Number n/a  
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be expected to show an ability to manage their own time effectively and to engage in independent lines of research in preparing their essays. (Indirectly assessed)  
Subject Specific Skills Students will be required to read material in German in order to prepare for seminars and/or essays. (Indirectly assessed)  


This module is at CQFW Level 7