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GM2124 Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

GM2124 Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

Terms 1-2

Convenor: Dr Jon Hughes

Assessment:

Essay: 40%, 1,500-2000 words; Exam: 60%

Plus a formative piece of work, not counting towards the final mark.

Overview

Childhood and youth - the formative periods in our lives - are obviously crucial for individuals, society and culture. They are also contested and controversial concepts. Children and adolescents have long been the subject of social, familial and educational pressures against which they have often rebelled in an attempt to assert their individuality and develop their own identities. This course introduces students to a range of literary and cinematic responses to the lives of children and young people in the context of the German-speaking countries from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Drawing on a range of classic and recent texts and films, it explores the historical contexts of the theme and considers the social, political and ethical issues involved in the representation of young people and of institutions such as the school and the military.

NB: Set texts will be definitively confirmed via Moodle at the start of term - below a sample outline.

Term 1: Childhood, Adolescence and School

Drama: Frank Wedekind, Frühlings Erwachen / Spring Awakening

Novel: Hermann Hesse, Unterm Rad / Beneath the Wheel

Film: Das weiße Band / The White Ribbon (dir. Michael Haneke, 2009)

Term 2: Youth, Generational Conflict and the Transition to Adulthood

Novel: Erich Maria Remarque, Im Westen nichts Neues / All Quiet on the Western Front

Novel: Alina Bronsky, Scherbenpark / Broken Glass Park

Film: Goodbye Lenin!  (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003) 

  
 
 
 
 

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