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Advanced Seminar in German Literature: Truth and Madness in German Literature, 1700 to 1830
GRST 301
Fall 2015
Section: 01  
This course may be repeated for credit.

What is real? What is true? And how can I know and access the real and the true? These perennial questions gained new urgency in the time period between 1700 and 1830, when a large number of long-held assumptions about society, culture, and the world in general were undergoing dramatic changes.

Adherents of the Enlightenment and subsequent intellectual movements have almost always fought their battles against the established order by insisting that they were pursuing reality over appearance and truth over falseness and madness. This strategy of positioning oneself on the side of truth and one's opponents on the side of lies and insanity is still employed in discourse today and is often difficult to combat in the interest of attaining a more nuanced understanding of reality.

In this seminar, we will look at some of the seminal literary texts of the period between the rise of the Enlightenment and the beginning of industrialized modernity to try to understand how truth and reality were strategically employed, why it seemed to make sense to contrast reality with madness, and what happened when the line between the real and the unreal, truth and lie, became blurred.

The course will combine close readings with investigations of the relationship between the texts and their historical contexts. It will apply the insights gained from analysis of the literature and history to contemporary concerns and debates. It will enable the participants to improve their written and spoken German and learn to make detailed and complex arguments.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: GRST217 OR GRST251S OR GRST252S
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUL-14-2024
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