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GM2124 Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

2018-9 Term 2 only

Convenor and tutor: Dr Jon Hughes


Formative assignment (0%) (commentary)

Essay 30%, 1,500-2000 words;

Examination (2 hours): 70% 


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 you 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.

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)

Indoctrination and Rebellion

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

Film: Die Brücke / The Bridge (dir. Bernhard Wicki, 1959)

Novel: Alina Bronsky, Scherbenpark / Broken Glass Park





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