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Picturing the Past of the German-Speaking Countries

This module, taught in English, is open to students taking German Language 1A and 1B. It offers an introduction to the study of visual and material culture, setting out to examine the relationship that visual art, film, photography, memorial art, architecture, and other related media have to the past. What did the past look like? What do pictures tell us about the past? Why should we employ visual and material culture to shed light on the past? How does visual culture reflect, illuminate, and interpret key events of the German past – such as the various revolutions of the modern era, the World Wars, the Weimar republic, the catastrophe of National Socialism and the Holocaust, division and reunification, and the fall of the Berlin wall? How are the legacies of the past represented and worked through in films, images, monuments, memorials? How do cultural artefacts shape the perception and understanding of the past, also with regard to an understanding of the legacies of race, class and gender experience? And how do these artefacts relate to cultural production and debate beyond the boundaries of Germany itself? In attending to these questions, this course equips students with the ability to engage critically with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to both the visualization of history and the history of visual culture in the German-speaking countries. This module has been designed to reflect a commitment to diversity in its resources and delivery, and will create opportunities for students to engage in critical analysis of different perspectives relevant to the study area.

Coordinator:  Dr Polly Dickson

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment.