WGSS 317
The New Woman in Weimar Culture
Last Offered Fall 2021
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed GERM 317
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

This course explores the figure of the New Woman, a professional, political, independent, and modern woman, that rises in Germany right at the end of World War I and thrives during the Weimar Republic. Acclaimed as the epitome of Weimar Modernity, the New Woman is nevertheless greeted with great ambivalence: whether a liberated and emancipated woman for some, or a dangerous and promiscuous woman loathed by others, she is perceived as threatening to the patriarchal order. A closer look at artworks by Otto Dix, Christian Schad, and Hannah Höch, films by Fritz Lang and Georg Wilhelm Pabst, poems by Gottfried Benn, Else Lasker-Schüler, and Kurt Tucholsky, novels by Erich Kästner, Vicky Baum, and Irmgard Keun, as well as plays by Frank Wedekind and Bertolt Brecht, will provide a more precise picture of the New Woman’s various incarnations, ranging from actresses (Marlene Dietrich), singers (Margo Lion and Claire Waldorf), and dancers (Anita Berber) to prostitutes, and suggest that the New Woman serves as the vessel of male anxieties and represents the contradictions of modernity. Taught in German.
The Class: Format: seminar; taught seminar style in German for the German students and as a tutorial in English for non German speaking students
Limit: 19
Expected: 8
Class#: 1652
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: papers and oral presentations
Prerequisites: for students taking the course in German: GERM 202 or the equivalent; for students taking the course in English: one college-level literature course
Enrollment Preferences: juniors and seniors, students with strong analytical skills and a vivid interest in literature, art, music, and films
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 317 Division II GERM 317 Division I
WS Notes: Students will submit multiple drafts of their papers. Focus is on argument and thesis statement, introduction and conclusion as well as literary analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary literature. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.

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