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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2006 - 2007

Module Title German Culture and Society 1
Module Code GE190
School SALIS

Online Module Resources

Level 1 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims
  • To introduce you to ideas and movements that have played a decisive part in the evolution of modern Germany and the shaping of its cultural identity.
  • To practise basic techniques of textual analysis through discussion of short documentary and literary pieces representative of the ideas/periods covered.
  • To extend your reading skills and vocabulary in a variety of registers and text types in German

Learning Outcomes
  • You will have learnt of major cultural/intellectual contributions that Germany has made to European culture.
  • You will have acquired the skills to evaluate historical documents and set them in their context
  • You will have gained experience in the study of a specific foreign culture and will be able to use this to compare and contrast this culture with your own and with others you are studying.
  • You will have improved your German reading skills.

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 0
Tutorials 0
Laboratories 0
Seminars 0
Independent Learning Time 75

Total 75
Assume that a 5 credit module load represents approximately 75 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus

The module, linked over two semesters, will consist of two complementary parts: the first will be a lecture surveying, In English, developments in German culture and history since the 18th century.  It will not attempt continuous or comprehensive coverage but will offer insights into society and politics in Germany at selected points in its development:  the influence of the Reformation, the Enlightenment and Romantic eras; the rise of nationalism and the movement towards unification in 1871; Germany on the eve of World War I; Weimar democracy and its enemies; 1945 and ‘zero hour’. Integrated into the lecture will be discussion of representative documentary materials, which will be read in German.

This will be followed, in the second semester, with analysis of short stories or other literary extracts, in German, written in the German-speaking countries post 1945, illustrating political-cultural debates which have marked the development and consolidation of the new democracies, including the reunification of Germany and its aftermath.

Continuous Assessment40% Examination Weight60%
Indicative Reading List

Documentary and literary class materials & extracts.

M. Pasley (1982) Germany. A Companion to German Studies. London and New York: Methuen

K. Pinson (1966) Modern Germany. Its History and Civilization. New York: Macmillan

M. Fulbrook (1992) A Concise History of Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

M. Fulbrook (2002) History of Germany 1918-2000: the divided nation. Oxford:Blackwell



The historical survey will take the form of a lecture, but students will be expected to contribute to analysis of documentary texts through group work in class. The literary pieces discussed in the second semester will also require individual preparation outside the classes and joint discussion in plenary meetings.
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