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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Iris Bruce


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 502

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24697

Office Hours: Wednesday 10:30-12:20 or by appointment

Course Objectives:

Course Description:

In the heart of the “New Europe” lies a “New Germany,” united after almost a half-century of division. But how new, and how united, is this new Germany? Literature and film provide an insight into this fascinating world. The course examines events, ideas, forces, movements, and personalities that have shaped a new mentality in a multicultural landscape. Our textbook, A New Germany in a New Europe (2001), provides a focus for our discussions within the larger global context: “What can the new Germany look like as the center of the new Europe, a Europe without boundaries and border guards, with a common currency, with a new globalized culture?”

Course Objectives: The course will trace continuities and shifts in the self-definition of West/East and contemporary, multicultural Germany. Students will explore different angles of 20th century German cultural history. They will identify common themes and motifs and analyze diverging developments in East and West Germany through literature and film.  


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:
Available at Titles, the university bookstore.

Arjouni, Jakob. Happy birthday,Turk! (No Exit)

Becker, Jurek. Bronstein's Children. (Univ. of Chicago)

Hensel, Jana.  After the Wall (public affairs)

Özdamar, Emine. The Bridge of the Golden Horn (Serpent’s Tail)

Schlink, Bernhard. The Reader. (Vintage)

Rabinovici, Doron. Search for M. (Ariadne)

A New Germany in a New Europe. Eds. Todd Herzog & Sander Gilman. (Routledge)


Films will include Stephen Daldry, The Reader; Doris Doerrie, Happy birthday, Turk!, excerpt from Fritz Lang, M, and Fatih Akin, The Edge of Heaven & The Kebab Connection 

Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Evaluations: (Due Dates)


            Oral Presentation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15%

            Term paper (ca. 2000-2500 words) . . . 25%   (due March 21, 2014)

            Final Exam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30% (scheduled by Registrar’s Office)

            2 Quizzes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . .  20%   (10% each; Jan. 24 & March 7)

            Participation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 10%

The final exam will ask specific and detailed questions about the lectures, films, and your reading assignments. You will have to identify authors, characters, titles of texts and films, and answer questions about themes and cultural backgrounds relating to the course material. 

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service ( to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

Topics and Readings:


The discussion of certain texts/films may flow over to the following class.

January 8:  Introduction

January 10: "Introduction" by Sander Gilman in New Germany, 1-19;  Richard von Weizaecker, "Can Goethe Guide Us Through the Process of European Union?" in New Germany, 25-39; Lorenz, "Beyond Goethe: Perspectives on  Post-Unification German Literature" in New Germany, 105-13.

January 15: Schlink, The Reader

January 17:  film: The Reader

January 22: Schlink, The Reader

January 24:  Quiz 1: Reading Test on Becker, Bronstein's Children

January 29: Becker, Bronstein's Children

January 31:  Becker, Bronstein's Children

February 5: Hensel, After the Wall

February 7: Hensel, After the Wall

February 12: Andreas Glaeser, "Why Germany Remains Divided" in New Germany, 173-97.

February 14:  Özdamar, The Bridge of the Golden Horn

February 19:  NO Class; Midterm Recess (Feb. 17-22)

February 21:  NO Class: Midterm Recess (Feb. 17-22)

February 26: Özdamar, The Bridge of the Golden Horn

February 28:  film: Fatih Akin, “The Edge of Heaven

March 5: Özdamar & Fatih Akin, and "What is the Future of German Immigration Policy?" in New Germany,   43-48; Broder, "Reshuffling the Deck: Democratization  and Diversification of the Cultural Market" in New Germany, 99-104.

March 7:  Quiz 2: Reading test on Rabinovici, Search for M

March 12: Rabinovici, Search for M

March 14:  film excerpt: Fritz Lang, “M”

March 19: Rabinovici and “M”

March 21: ESSAY IS DUE; film: Happy birthday, Turke!

March 26: Arjouni, Happy birthday, Turke!

March 28: Arjouni, Happy birthday, Turke!

April 2:  Fatih Akin, The Kebab Connection


April 10-29:   Final Examination Period

Other Course Information:

Written Work and Late Submissions:

Late work will be penalized: there will be a reduction of 3% per day on essays handed in late without permission, and they will receive no extensive commentary.  


Late Assignment Policy: 

All essays are due either in class or electronically by the end of the day on the assigned date.