German E371 Taught in English
(+ Honors section)/ Comparative Literature C301 (taught in English)
Imagining Disaster: Nazi Germany in Text and Image
Michel Chaouli, TuTh 5:45 - 8:15, BH 307
COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit
COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credit
Nazi Germany is one of the best-documented periods in history, yet even experts feel that it surpasses their imagination. We know almost every detail, but we fail to grasp the whole event. This is where artworks can reveal their power, for in the best cases they work to stretch our imagination and allow us to see things that factual accounts of the world fail to show. We will examine how literature, photography, film, poetry, comic books, and other works attempt to imagine the catastrophe that was the Nazi regime (which included, but was not limited to the Holocaust). We will also consider whether there are or should be limits to what we imagine. Is there something unethical about trying to picture, and thereby to contain within our understanding, vast suffering?
All readings and discussions in English.
Michel Chaouli, Assoc. Professor of German, Indiana University
Director, Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities
Ballantine Hall 660, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA; T: +1-812-567-3522