Professor Jason Groves jagroves uw. Office hours: Tuesdays pm and by appointment and after class. Every story is a travel story Michel de Certeau. In this course we will consider the intimate link between travel and narrative, in particular in the context of the mobility and displacement that is characteristic of life in postwar Europe.
In contrast to, but sometimes echoing the figure of the wanderer in the 19th century, this course will trace the fugitive geographies of the migrant. We will focus on the German-language literature and film of those who—through exile, travel, immigration, emigration, or other politically inflected forms of mobility—have challenged and reimagined traditional conceptions of German national and cultural identity. We will encounter forms including lyric poetry, novella, essay, collage, and memoir, and special attention will be given to questions of translation, understood broadly as a literary and cultural practice.
The topics of migration, memory, and translation will loosely guide class readings and discussions. The course has three major goals: Students can expect to expand their familiarity with German-language literature of migration in the postwar period; to better understand how migration has shaped German society, literature, and culture from the postwar period to the present day; to develop critical glossaries of migration; to gain a better understanding of their own relationship to the German language; and to sharpen their critical reading and writing skills.
We learn much more by actively and critically engaging in the back-and-forth of conversation than we do by listening passively to lectures. The principle aim of class time in this course will therefore be to foster lively and thoughtful discussions. To this end, the texts and lectures will serve as an impetus for inquiry and debate.
As a teacher, I will provide some background context and reflections for the works we consider, but my principle role will be to open them up for discussion by you. In this course, I expect everyone to contribute to the conversation. This does not mean you need to come to every class with brilliant theories to propound, but rather that you open up and share your questions, ideas, and thoughts about the works we are considering.
Your participation grade includes a range of factors including attendance, discussion, and preparation. All students are expected to take part actively in class discussion. To this end, I will draw on content from the class blog see below to catalyze discussion. Weekly blogposts see guidelines below will inform class discussion and prototype final essay. Other short writing exercises will be announced throughout the course. Present opening remarks, on one of our texts, in a way that invites your colleagues to join in a collaborative critical endeavor. Sign up during first week.
The general method of instruction is through lectures and classroom discussions, which will take place in both English and German.
The film shows the excitement and extreme boredom that comes with being in a confined space during wartime. All of the interior shots were filmed with a special handheld camera to really drive home the feeling of claustrophobia. Another classic Weimar movie, this is one for all you lovers of horror. The grisly plot focuses on a mad hypnotist who uses an unsuspecting sleepwalker to commit horrific murders. There are many themes throughout the film and there has been plenty of theory written about it, most notably on how the film can be seen as a metaphor of how Germany subconsciously feels obedient towards figures of authority.
Language Trainers :: Foreign Film Reviews from Rainer Werner Fassbinder :: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Many of the original names have been changed, although much of the plot still remains. This film from the 70s is all about Ali, a guest worker from Morocco, and his relationship with the widowed Emmi. But you knew that, right?! In the film, we see a teacher visiting a cabaret bar attempting to catch some of his students there. You can watch the full film on Amazon. Another movie directed by the internationally renowned Fritz Lang , this drama-thriller is all about a mass-murderer who preys on young children.
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He becomes the focus of a huge Berlin-wide manhunt, which is the main focus of the film. Lang considered this film to be one of his favorites and has commented that he made it as a warning for mothers, against them neglecting their children. Hollywood remade the movie in , moving all of the action from Berlin to LA. So there we have it—some of the best classic German-language films from the Weimar era up to the s.
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With the sunflowers is a note informing Ngaturipure that the director will try his best to land him the role of Othello. Just from the song title we are told, in unequivocal terms, that Ngaturipure is no more reconciled with the theater community nor society in general by the end of the film. After all, the director seeks to give Ngaturipure the role of a black man, essentially typecasting him based solely on his skin color.
Her interactions with her neighbors and her coworkers fall into a power play dynamic, in which someone dominates and someone submits.
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And since strength is found in numbers, and the popular sentiment at the time was decidedly anti-foreigner, Emmi is always isolated and excluded. Yet, as she tells him repeatedly throughout the film, Emmi needs Ali. She needs him because he is the only one who does not use her class and age to feel superior, but instead embraces who she is until gradually her insecurities start to fade away.
In the beginning of the film, Emmi enters a bar and everyone fixes cold, hard stares on her.
Already the staging sets up an atmosphere of judgment and division, Emmi against the rest of them. There is no verbal confrontation, no communication. Rather, the gaze is accompanied by silence, further deepening the separation between the two parties. With Ali, however, the distance is immediately closed when he asks her to dance. They dance arm in arm, facing only each other, as the other bar patrons gaze passively on at them.
The first night he spends at her apartment he once again closes a distance between them by entering her room. They speak of sleeplessness and fears, and he caresses her arm, closing the final gap between them, the physical separation between individual human beings. A question that the film raises is how independent can a person really be? Emmi says that she only needs Ali, but she and the audience know that cannot be true. One cannot live in isolation.
There are different kinds of isolation. There is the kind that Emmi faces before she meets Ali: rarely talking to people, on cordial but impersonal terms with her neighbors, coworkers, and children. She feels ashamed of her job and keeps to herself because of it, not confident enough in herself to feel worthy of love or friendship. This, then, is a kind of learned self-isolation. It shrivels up the spirit until one cannot readily connect with another, even when that person is right in front of you, as when Emmi and Ali are first standing by the doorway, Emmi speaking to one side, gazing into the distance, while Ali stands on her other side, seeing only her back.
Her loneliness exists in the lack of eye contact, in the words directed at no one in particular; it has become a habit, she has learned to survive by herself. But that cannot be called independence.