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Why So Serious? German Earnestness and its Cultural Origin

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Instructor
Term
  • Autumn
Subject Code
GERMAN
Course Number
121
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Why So Serious? German Earnestness and its Cultural Origin

The stereotype of Germans having no sense of humor and being overly serious is a very persistent one. This course searches for the origins of this cultural stereotype and explores how this mentality manifests itself in modern German thought, literature, cinema, and popular culture. Do Germans find a particular joy in entertaining serious and depressive thoughts? Can we distinguish between different facets and styles of `genuinely German¿ seriousness? And finally, can we understand German culture better through an understanding of their genuine seriousness? Materials include works by: the brothers Grimm, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Murnau, Benn, Fassbinder, Bernhard, Adorno, Haneke. Taught in German. Prerequisite: Gerlang 1-3, or equivalent.