German Exile Literature and Film
Instructor: Rachel Bachmann
First Summer Session 2007
Department of Germanic Studies, G364
Department of West European Studies, W406
FULFILLS A&H AND CSB REQUIREMENTS – BUT THE COURSE DOES NOT COUNT TOWARD THE CMCL MAJOR OR MINOR
In this course we will primarily discuss works by authors and filmmakers who were forced to go into exile during the Third Reich for political or religious reasons in order to avoid censorship, persecution, and, in most cases, death at the hands of the Nazis. The class will focus on a variety of genres, from novels to poetry, from dramas to short stories, from crime fiction to children’s books. The exiles whose work we tend to know best are those who came to our country – Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill, etc. – but this class will additionally expose students to those who escaped Germany for other destinations such as Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, Palestine, Great Britain, and South America.
We will address such questions as: How do we define exile literature and film? How are themes such as homesickness, criticism of the home country, the novelty of life in the host country, the experience of fleeing, and the economic and emotional hardships of exile depicted in the works? How receptive are the various host countries to the presence and works of the German exiles?
No knowledge of German is necessary for this course; all assignments and discussions will be in English. Class requirements will include careful reading and film viewing, active participation in class discussions, a reading/viewing journal, 2 reaction papers, and an exam.