Modern German Jewish Writers: Emancipation and Its Discontents
Full course for one semester. This course examines texts by modern German Jewish writers and thinkers, with a special emphasis on the period between 1900 and 1933. Often regarded as the culmination of a century-long process of emancipation and acculturation, this period is in fact marked by complex renegotiations of German/Austrian Jewish identity. Themes include gender and assimilation, exile and diaspora, racial antisemitism, Jewish “self-hatred,” representations of East European Jewry, and the aestheticization and politicization of Jewish traditions. The course concludes with a brief look at the post-Holocaust reinterpretation of the “German-Jewish symbiosis.” Readings from Lessing, Heine, Schnitzler, Kafka, Lasker-Schüler, Roth, Celan, Mendelssohn, Buber, Freud, Scholem, and Benjamin. Conducted in English. Students may arrange with the instructor to take the class for German credit. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 325. Not offered 2006-07.
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