GERM 201
Reisefieber: Germans On the Road for Adventure, Wealth, Escape Fall 2019
Division I
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We will investigate potent myths of North America and Africa that fuelled German emigration and adventurism, and we will also look at inner-German travel stories. Our subjects are from diverse backgrounds and eras: Glikl, a Jewish businesswoman and mother of fourteen deals in pearls and gold in the seventeenth century, Johann Jacob Astor makes a fortune in the fur trade and real estate, in 1882, Hermann, a young worker exchanges his cramped life in an industrial slum for the Midwest, in 1909, a German worker travels to Cameroon to build a railway line through the jungle, in 1923, Martha, a young single woman, ships out from Bremerhaven to work in the United States, in the 1990s, Louise, a descendant of the famous Jacobs coffee company seeks out the cowboy lifestyle in the American West, in 1988, Freya, a GDR peace activist is deported to the West, the 2016 documentary Heymatloz chronicles the escape of 1,000 German-Jewish academics from Nazi Germany to Atatürk’s Turkey. We may also analyze films and tales about the potent myth of the “Wild West” and noble Indians, promoted by nineteenth-century bestselling author Karl May, and their afterlife in contemporary movies.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 8
Class#: 1343
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: three short oral presentations, midterm, and 10-page final project
Prerequisites: GERM 104 or see instructor
Enrollment Preferences: German majors
Materials/Lab Fee: reader packet
Distributions: Division I

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