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GERMAN 2CC3 Germany Thru Ages (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Iris Bruce


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 502

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24697

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30-12:30; Wednesday 2:30-3:30

Course Objectives:

Students will demonstrate a knowledge of historical and cultural personalities and events which have shaped German culture and society from the 19th until the 21st century.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:



Tales of the German Imagination from the Grimm Brothers to Ingeborg Bachmann, trans. Peter Wortsman (Penguin Classics)

Borchert, Wolfgang. The Man Outside

Hoffman, H. Struwwelpeter

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis

Tawada, Yoko. Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Kumar, Anant. Selections from Stories Without Borders/Uferlose Geschichten


FILMS may include: Metropolis, The Golem, Dr. Mabuse, Dr. Caligari, The Blue Angel, National socialist propaganda, such as Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will & Olympia; and films about WWII and the Holocaust, such as Germany, Pale Mother; Europa, Europa; or Schindler’s List, as well as a film by Turkish-German film maker Fatih Akin.


Method of Assessment:



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

Term paper (8-10pp) . . . . . . . . . . 25% (due Nov. 20; 2000-2500 words)

Final Exam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30%

2 Quizzes (out of 3) . . . . . . . . . . .20% (Sept. 11; Oct. 16; Nov. 9; 10% each)

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


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

I. Attendance at lectures and film screenings is mandatory.

II. Class participation includes: attendance, preparation of assigned materials, participation in class discussions. It is expected that students will have read the texts before they are discussed in class.                                                         

III. Late work will be penalized: there will be a reduction of 3% per day on essays handed in late without permission.

IV. Missed quizzes will receive a mark of “0” unless the instructor is notified before or immediately after and an explanation is provided.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

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.

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.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. 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:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

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.

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. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:






September 4: introduction:

September 7: Tales: Grimm, “The Singing Bone” “Hansel & Gretel,” “The Children of Hameln”

September 11: Quiz 1: Tales: E.T.A. Hoffmann, “The Sandman”

September 14: Tales: Hoffmann, “The Sandman; Chamisso, “Peter Schlemiehl”

September 18: Hoffman, Struwwelpeter

September 21: film: Dr. Caligari; Tales: Altenberg, “My Gmunden”

September 25: Tales: Mynona, “The Magic Egg& “A New Kind of Plaything”

September 28: Tales: Kafka, “In the Penal Colony”



October 2: Tales: Kaiser, “The Island of Eternal Life”

October 5: film: The Golem

October 9 & 12: NO Classes; Midterm Recess (Oct. 8-14)

October 16: Quiz 2: Kafka, The Metamorphosis

October 19: film: von Sternberg, The Blue Angel

October 23: discussion: The Metamorphosis and The Blue Angel

October 26: discussion: The Metamorphosis and The Blue Angel

October 30: Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph of the Will & Olympia



November 2: film: Germany, Pale Mother

November 6: discussion: Germany, Pale Mother

November 9: Quiz 3: Borchert, “The Man Outside”

November 13: Borchert stories: “The Crows Fly Home at Night,” “Rats do Sleep at Night,” “The Dandelion”

November 16: Tales: Celan, “Shadowlight”; “Todesfuge” (handout); Bachmann, “The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran”

November 20: ESSAY IS DUE; Anant Kumar, Stories Without Borders

November 23: film: Fatih Akin, The Edge of Heaven

November 27: Yoko Tawada, Memoirs of a Polar Bear

November 30: Anant Kumar, Stories Without Borders



December 4: Last Class; Review

Other Course Information:

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a tour of historical and cultural highlights in German society from the 19th to the 21st century, largely through the literary/artistic imagination and especially through the lens of fairy tales and contemporary films. Topics will include: the medieval and romantic heritage, feminism, nationalism, National Socialism and the Holocaust, resistance or non-resistance to authority, post-Holocaust East and West Germany, Germany after unification, the refugee crisis, multicultural film & fiction.