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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GERM2060 Culture, Critique and Othering in the German-Speaking World

20 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Helen Finch

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20


GERM1010German Language Awareness and Skills

This module is mutually exclusive with

GERM2061Culture, Critique and Othering in the German-Speaking World

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores marginal, underexplored and emerging areas of German-speaking cultures from the late nineteenth century to the present day. It will examine in depth aspects of culture that have often been excluded from the German Studies canon, but which play a profoundly important role in German, Austrian and Swiss identity and discourse. These aspects may include race; gender; migration; transnationalism; sexuality; regional identity and culture; disability; Jewish culture; opposition and critique. This module partly responds to the ‘Why is my Curriculum White?’ initiative, and aims to diversify the curriculum. It also builds on GERM1080 in training students in research and independent learning skills essential for their Residence Abroad and Final Year Projects.This module is taught and assessed through German.


On completion of this module, students should be able:
To explore in depth one or more marginal aspects of the cultures of the German-speaking lands, usually including Germany, Austria and/or Switzerland, and examine the way in which it has contributed to identity and discourse.

To critically examine ‘dominant’ or ‘canonical’ aspects of German culture, and explore the ways in which these have been critiqued from below or from the margins.

To engage with theoretical explorations of cultural, national and identity formation.

To explore a wide range of cultural production that may include literature, film, television, music, visual culture, digital media and theatre

Learning outcomes
On completing this module students should be able to:

1. communicate effectively information, arguments and analysis in oral and written form
2. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of one or more marginal or emerging aspects of the literatures, cultures, linguistic contexts, history, politics, geography, social and economic structures of the German-speaking world
3. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of one or more key debates and critical approaches to German culture, nation and identity in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
4. offer critical evaluations of a variety of literary and audio-visual source material
5. devise their own research question for their essay based on an initial literature review, developing useful research skills in view to the FYP and important intercultural competences for residence abroad

Skills outcomes
Writing an independent research project in German.


The module will explore cultures that have often been excluded from the German Studies canon, but which play a profoundly important role in shaping identity and discourse in German-speaking cultures. Several main subject areas will be studied each year, which may include but will not be limited to:
- queer subcultures in twentieth century Germany
- Jewish-German culture before and after the Holocaust
- Austrian cultural critique of fascism and the rise of the FPÖ
- feminist cultures in the German Democratic Republic
- the German student movement in the 1960s
- transnational German cultures after the fall of the Berlin wall
- Black German culture

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for seminars
Work on Source Review
Work on long research essay
Work on formative assessments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students prepare one formative 750-word Source Review in S1

Students prepare a formative 1000-word literature review in S2.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,750 words70.00
Source Analysis1,000 words30.00
Literature Review1,000 words0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The formative literature review is compulsory and designed to prepare students for the self-designed essay question as well as for the Final Year Project.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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