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The Racialized German Screen
GRST 332
Spring 2023
Section: 01  

In this course, we will examine filmic constructions of racial otherness in German cinema from early sound film until the present. The films in this course represent Asian, Jewish, Black, Native American, Romani, and Muslim characters. Some of these racialized character types are inextricably tied to Germany's history of war, migration, and asylum, including the post-WWII "war child," the West German guest worker, the former East German asylum seeker, and the twenty-first-century refugee. We will consider the parameters of national cinema, asking to what extent Germany's films can be seen as a projection screen for anxieties about racialized others, but also potentially fantasizing about cosmopolitan, multicultural Germany. While the majority of these productions are created by white German filmmakers, we witness a shift in more recent productions, where filmmakers of color step behind the camera to reclaim their narratives while employing their own strategies of representation. In addition to screening and analyzing films, we will read accompanying texts that will provide an aesthetic and cultural frame for interpretation.

Through careful film screenings, reading assignments, scaffolded analysis assignments, a presentation, and the creation of a final video essay, students will develop analytical skills in the viewing and interpretation of films and in writing original arguments about film history and cinema culture. Students will gain vocabulary for interpreting, analyzing, evaluating, and researching films in the context of the history that shaped and was shaped by them. No prior film studies knowledge is required, but the class discussions will take place entirely in German.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: GRST 213
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on FEB-09-2023
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