A Tale of Three Generations

Subject GERM40009 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

2.5 contact hours/week, 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.


Admission to the postgraduate diploma, postgraduate certificate or fourth-year honours in German. European studies students wishing to enrol in this subject would normally have completed 37.5 points of European studies at second/third year and the language prerequisite for this subject.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed 671-367 A Tale of Three Generations are not allowed to enrol in this subject.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof Alison Lewis



Subject Overview:

This subject will examine how the legacy of two German dictatorships and a failed revolution in 1968 is figured in the stories of the children. It will cover the narratives of the children of Nazi perpetrators and East German functionaries, as well as the stories of their grandchildren, and those of the children of leftist activists of the generation of '68. Students will encounter the ways generations of contemporary writers deal with the historical experiences and political ideals of their parents. how the legacy of the past is passed on in the form of a transgenerational debt or trauma. On completion of the subject students should have acquired an in-depth understanding of the interrelationships between the representation of gender, history and identity in contemporary German prose and a detailed textual knowledge of the novels under consideration.

  • have acquired an in-depth understanding of the interrelationships between the representation of gender, history and identity in contemporary German prose.
  • have gained a detailed textual knowledge of the novels under consideration.
  • have gained a critical appreciation of the various ways the historical experiences of different postwar generations and the legacy of their parents are encoded in contemporary fiction.
  • have developed a grasp of the conceptual issues relating to transgenerational debt, trauma and Vergangenheitsbew√§ltigung, as well as a knowledge of the historical periods under consideration.

A 1200-word class paper 30% (due during semester) and an essay of 4000 words 70% (due at the end of semester).

This subject has the following hurdle requirements:

  • Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have acquired skills in research, critical thinking and contextualising information.
  • also have developed skills in communicating knowledge intelligibly through oral presentations and essays in German.

This subject is taught in German.

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