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GERMAN 3H03 New Europe:New Germ (In Engl) (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Iris Bruce


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 502

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24697

Office Hours: Wednesday 11:30-1:20; or by appointment

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/West and the united Germany through literature and film.  

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:
Available at Titles, the university bookstore.


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

Hensel, Jana. After the Wall (PublicAffairs)

Schlink, Bernhard. The Reader (Vintage)

Wolf, Christa. They Divided the Sky (Univ. of Ottawa Press)

Tawada, Yoko. The Bridegroom Was a Dog (New Directions)

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


Films will include Stephen Daldry, The Reader; Bernhard Wicki, The Bridge; Doris Doerrie, Happy birthday, Turk!, Dani Levy, Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker), Eytan Fox, Walk on Water, and Fatih Akin, In the Fade


Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Evaluations: (Due Dates)


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

Term paper (ca. 2000-2500 words) . . . . 25% (due March 26, 2019)

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

2 Quizzes out of 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20% (10% each; Jan. 22, Feb. 12 & March 5)

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:

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.


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:


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


January 8: Introduction

January 15: "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.

January 22: Quiz 1: Bernhard Schlink, The Reader & discussion

January 29: Stephen Daldry, film: The Reader

February 5: Bernhard Wicki, film: The Bridge & discussion

February 12: Quiz 2: Reading test on Hensel, After the Wall; Andreas Glaeser, "Why Germany Remains Divided" in New            Germany, 173-97. Rostock documentary: racism after unification

February 19: Mid-Term Recess; no classes (Feb. 17-24)

February 26: film: Arjouni, Happy birthday, Türke! & discussion of novel and film

March 5: Quiz 3: Reading test on Wolf, They Divided the Sky

March 12: Fatih Akin, film: In the Fade; John, “What is the Future of German Immigration Policy?” in New Germany, 43-48;  Lorenz, "Beyond Goethe: Perspectives on Post-Unification German Literature" in New Germany, 105-13.

March 19: Tawada, The Bridegroom Was a Dog & discussion

March 26: ESSAY IS DUE; Fox, film: Walk on Water & discussion; Freudenheim, “Confronting Memory and Museums,” New      Germany, 143-65.

April 2: Levy film: Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker) discussion; Broder, “Reshuffling the Deck: Democratization and                     Diversification of the Cultural Market,” in New Germany, 99-10


April 11-29: Final Examination Period

Other Course Information:

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?”