Spring 2008

Advanced Seminar

Listed in: German, as GERM-40


Ute Brandes (Section 01)


A course designed for the intensive study of a topic in the German literary, cultural, and historical tradition, or of a single author. The seminar is intended for German majors and other students who have solid command of the language. The course topic changes from year to year. Topic for 2007-08: Lessing and the Enlightenment in Germany. The Age of Reason was a force of modernity which led to major innovations in literature, philosophy, and art. We will focus on the works of G.E. Lessing (1729-1781), exploring the rebellion against authority of the age, ideas of tolerance and universality, new concepts for education and popular enlightenment, and social utopias in the context of an emerging middle-class culture. The seminar will conclude with a discussion of the proclaimed "end of the enlightenment" by the 20th- century Frankfurt School. Readings in Lessing, Mendelssohn, Leibniz, Kant, Sophie La Roche, Gottsched, Anna Luisa Karsch, and Nicolai; music by J.S. Bach, Haydn, and Mozart; selected art and architecture. Conducted in German. Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Second semester. Professor Brandes.