GERMAN 2P03 Modern Germany Through Film (C01)
Academic Year: Winter 2020
Instructor: Dr. Iris Bruce
Office: Togo Salmon Hall 502
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24697
Office Hours: Wednesday 4:30-5:20; Friday 5:30-6:20; or by appointment
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
Our class will begin with early German film noir, the expressionist silent and early sound films in the first half of the twentieth century, which were sensational in their own time and left a lasting legacy in the modern film industry.The first half of the course will be devoted to Wegener’s The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920), Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919-20), Lang’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Lang’s M. (1931), and Murnau’s Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror (1922). These films will be juxtaposed with (post)modern counterparts. Herzog’s post-WWII reinterpretation of Nosferatu the Vampire (1979) will be followed by contemporary horror films and melodrama in German popular culture, including Fassbinder’s American Soldier and Bornhak’s 2016 Der Nachtmahr [The Nightmare]). We will end with excerpts from the latest noir classics: Haneke’s Benny’s Video, Schlingensief’s ambitious “Germany Trilogy” and his Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container (2000), a provocative critique of Germany’s efforts to create a multicultural society. We will examine these films as cultural texts, using methods drawn from film theory and cultural studies.
Students will study early and (post)modern film techniques and learn about German cultural history from the early 20th to the 21st century: the Golden Twenties, the Weimar Republic, WWI, WWII, German Reunification, contemporary refugee problems, multiculturalism, and racism.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Required Text: available at Titles, the university bookstore.
Kracauer, Siegfried. From Caligari to Hitler. Princeton,  2019
Hake, Sabine. German National Cinema. Routledge, 2008.
Hayward, Susan. Cinema Studies. The Key Concepts. London/New York: Routledge, 2013.
Further historical and critical background information, as well as additional texts on film theory are available on Avenue.
Films will include:
- Paul Wegener, The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)
- Robert Wiene, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919-20) Film 186
- Fritz Lang, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) McMaster library e-video
- Fritz Lang, M. (1931) Film 623
- F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) Film 741
- Werner Herzog, Nosferatu the Vampire (1979)
- Fritz Lang, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) Film 2240
- Alfred Vohrer, The Dead Eyes of London (1961) [Edgar Wallace film]
- Rainer Werner Fassbinder, The American Soldier (1970)
- Achim Bornhak Der Nachtmahr [The Nightmare] (2016)
- Michael Haneke, Benny’s Video (1992)
- Excerpts from Christoph Schlingensief, “Germany Trilogy” (100 Years Adolf Hitler - The Last Hour in the Führerbunker , The German Chainsaw Massacre - The First Hour of the Reunification  and Terror 2000 - Germany out of Control ); Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container (2000)
Method of Assessment:
Assignments and Evaluations: (Due Dates)
Research Essay (2500-3000 words) . . . . . . .. . . 30% (due: March 18, 2020)
Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30%
Final Exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30%
Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 10%
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
Written Work and Late Submissions:
- work will be penalized: there will be a reduction of 3% per day on essays handed in late without permission, and they will receive no extensive commentary.
Late Assignment Policy:
All essays are due either in class or electronically by the end of the day on the assigned date.
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
READINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
Discussion of films and texts will flow over to the following class.
January 8: Introduction: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1911 & 1920 versions)
January 15: Paul Wegener, The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)
January 22: Robert Wiene, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919-20) Film 186
January 29: Fritz Lang, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) McMaster library e-video
February 5: Fritz Lang, M. (1931) Film 623
February 12: F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) Film 741
February 19: NO CLASS; Mid-Term recess
February 26: Werner Herzog, Nosferatu the Vampire (1979)
March 4: Fritz Lang, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) Film 2240 & Alfred Vohrer, The Dead Eyes of London (1961)
March 11: Rainer W. Fassbinder, The American Soldier (1970)
March 18: ESSAY IS DUE. Achim Bornhak, Der Nachtmahr [The Nightmare] (2016)
March 25: Michael Haneke, Benny’s Video (1992)
April 1: Excerpts from: Christoph Schlingensief, “Germany Trilogy” (100 Years Adolf Hitler - The Last Hour in the Führerbunker , The German Chainsaw Massacre - The First Hour of the Reunification ; Terror 2000 - Germany out of Control ); Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container (2000); LAST DAY OF CLASSES: REVIEW
April 13 - April 28, 2020: FINAL EXAM PERIOD;
Other Course Information: