GERMAN 388 - Topics in German Literature
Winter 2019, Section 001 - Anti-Semitism in German Lit
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
GERMAN 300, 315, 325, 326, 332, or 336.
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


In this course, we will focus on the image of the Jew in the German literary and cultural imagination, from Luther’s translation of the “New Testament” to Timur Vermes’ 2012 satirical novel Er ist wieder da. We will read a variety of canonical and lesser-known fiction texts from the Austro-German literary tradition, and learn about the formal characteristics and motivations of German literary and aesthetic movements. We will also discuss genre, and will make it our task to execute careful close readings of the texts we read. Here the point is not to merely “catch the drift” of a plotline, but to make a diligent effort to access important details of the text that can assist us in deepening our understanding of the literature. We investigate the image of the Jew in the writings of Martin Luther, the Brothers Grimm, Richard Wagner, Theodor Herzl, Henry Ford (whose translated Anti-Semitic writings were gleefully welcomed by the Nazis), and Adolf Hitler, among others. We end the course in present-day Germany. We discuss, of course, the phenomenon of Anti-Semitism often and in detail, tracing its development from the Middle Ages to present times. Our primary aim is to follow the general trajectory of the (German) Jewish experience in Germany and Austria by examining the manner in which Jewish figures have been depicted in German-language literature and culture.

Course Requirements:

Student grades are determined by attendance, participation, and the writing of approximately five essays and rewrites in German.


GERMAN 388 - Topics in German Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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