"Multikulti Germany": Expressions of Germany's Cultural Diversity|
Spring 2019 not offered
GELT 234, COL 216|
That Germany is an ethnically and culturally homogenous country is a myth cultivated by the Nazis. Germany's position in the center of Europe has made its geographical and cultural identity fluid and the make-up of its population diverse at least since the Migration of Peoples (ca. 200-800 CE). Adding to the ethnic and cultural mix were influxes of Jews during the Middle Ages and later; the incursions of armies from all over Europe during the Thirty Years' War; the 17th-century immigration of French Hugenots to Prussia; the redrawing of borders after both world wars; marriages between black GIs and German women after World War II; and, during the labor shortage that followed World War II, the arrival of guest workers from southern and eastern Europe and Turkey, many of whom ended up staying. Refugees also came from Eastern Europe during the Soviet era and during the Bosnian War, and for some people not motivated by political or economic oppression, Germany has proved an attractive destination. In this course we will focus primarily on fiction and nonfiction works by recent immigrants or descendants of immigrants, all of whom write in German and have been translated into English. Among the topics we explore will be homesickness; interactions with the bureaucracy; use of and perspectives on language; questions of citizenship, assimilation, and integration; clashes of cultures; and encounters with xenophobia. We will also look at the particular experience of Afro-Germans.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)
Wladimir Kaminer, THE TRIP TO TRULALA
Yoko Tawada, WHERE EUROPE BEGINS
Olga Grjasnowa, ALL RUSSIANS LOVE BIRCH TREES
May Ayim, SHOWNG OUR COLORS
Emine Sevgi Özdamar, THE BRIDGE OF THE GOLDEN HORN
Sherko Fatah, THE DARK SHIP
selections from the online literary magazine WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS
selections from honors theses by past Wesleyan German majors
Films such as Fassbinder's FEAR EATS THE SOUL and THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN will be shown.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Leading class discussion; several book reviews and response papers; mid-term; final project
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and participation expected. Students who know German are encouraged to read some of the works in the original and/or to read works not yet translated and report on them to the class.