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Part II

German language papers at Part II

GEC1 - Translation from and into German

GEC2 - German Text and Culture

German scheduled papers at Part II

The German scheduled papers at Part II are subject to revision with effect from Michaelmas 2022 when all of the papers will be integrated into a new numbering system. Papers GE8, GE11, GE12 and GE14 will be retained, but will have new numbers. Papers GE9, GE10, GE13 and GE15 will be permanently suspended and replaced by two new papers which will be numbered GE12 and GE13. Outlines of the new papers follow: more detailed information will be circulated to returning finalists by e-mail.

GE8 - German literature, thought, and history from 1700 to 1815 (including Goethe's works to 1832)

GE9 - German literature, thought and history from 1815 to 1914

GE10 - German literature, thought and history since 1910

GE11 - History of the German Language

GE12 - History and identity in Germany, 1750 to the present

GE13 - Aspects of German-speaking Europe since 1945

GE14 - German Literature, Thought and History in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods

GE15 - Modern German Cultures of Performance


From MT 2022 please note following paper changes

GE12 Revolutions and Disruptions in German Culture, 1830–1945

This paper takes in some of the most turbulent decades in the history of the German-speaking world, marked by a sequence of revolutionary movements and events, the dramatic rise and fall of Imperial and Republican systems. It is also a period of revolutions in a broader sense: the Industrial Revolution re-shaped the landscape of towns and cities; revolutions in science and thought disrupted earlier narratives which helped make sense of people’s lives; and in the cultural sphere, there was an ongoing tension between experiment upheaval and established concerns and forms (and the counter-revolutionary tendencies attached to these). The central motif of revolution and disruption will be explored in its political and historical sense and will also inform the paper on a conceptual level: individual modules engage variously with notions of aesthetic transformation, upheaval and perturbation. There is also an opportunity to explore how contemporary conceptual revolutions, e.g. with regard to gender and race, allow us to revisit this period and see it in a new light.
At the heart of the paper is an examination of the ways in which various literary genres (the novel, the Novelle, lyrical poetry) as well as the visual arts (including cinema) and the performing arts were reshaped by – and in their turn shaped – the socio-economic and political transformations that defined the period 1830 to 1945. Literary texts and other forms of cultural production were both indicators of and agents in the great social and intellectual crises of the age: the decomposition, set in motion by Freudian psychoanalysis, of the bourgeois conception of the self as a rational, self-determined entity; the re-negotiation of gender and sexual relations; colonial ambitions and anxieties; nationalism, racism, and genocide. GE12 investigates these crises through the prism of some of the most iconic as well as some lesser-known works of modern German culture.

GE13 Memory and Identity in German-speaking Europe since 1945

This paper encourages students to look in detail and holistically at what it means to be German, or a speaker of German, in Europe after 1945. Clearly it means different things to different people in different places at different times, and the picture has changed profoundly since the end of World War II. Issues from the past nonetheless remain, and in their focus on history, politics, literature, film, and thought, the modules for this paper examine both continuity and change.
The paper will begin with an introductory historical lecture that gives an overview of key moments and shifts have taken place in the German-speaking world from 1945 t
o the present day. Historical narrative itself, that is, the question of whose historical 'truth' may be told, is a thread running through this paper. This question is engaged with directly in relation to the historicising of specific events (the Herero and Namaqua genocide, the Holocaust) and different regimes (the Stasi and the legacy of communism); it is also explored through literature and poetry by asking, for example,how have poets responded to historical transformations, and what are the limitations of lyricism in exploring those parts of history that may be considered beyond representation? How can first-person autobiographical and autofictional texts allow 'other' subjects to be written into historical discourses?
The potential for different aesthetic forms (poetry, prose, and film) to reflect on the complex and shifting landscape of divided Germany and the Berlin Republic is another key concern of this paper. The capacity of the body to resist restrictive narratives of gender, 'race', sexuality, and nationhood is examined through literary texts; Berlin's role in enabling national spaces to be queered and decolonised is also explored through the medium of cinema.  

Latest News

Congratulations to Charlotte Lee

29 April 2022

The MMLL German Section would like to congratulate Dr Charlotte Lee, who has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for the academic year 2022-23.

New Part II papers in German to launch in Michaelmas 2022

19 April 2022

Part II papers in German will be revised and refreshed from Michaelmas 2022. You can read short outlines of the new papers and further details will be circulated to returning Part II students to inform their choices.

Cambridge Undergraduate Conference in German Studies

11 February 2022

'Optimism in the German-speaking world' 18th & 19th February 2022 With a keynote from Kübra Gümüşay Panel discussions: 'Building optimistic societies' 'Optimism in entertainment' 'Sensitive optimism: memorial work' 'Optimism in thought and literature' Careers panel with German studies graduates All German studies...

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