Jews in German Culture

Subject GERM40012 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

2.5 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8 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:


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:

Subject Overview:

This subject, taught in English, introduces students to some key texts about the “Jewish question” as well as to some important Jewish writers who explore the place of Jews in German-speaking Europe. Taking examples from the eighteenth through to the twentieth centuries, the subject explores themes such as Jewish emancipation, anti-Semitism and the characterisation of gender and sexuality of Jews in the German cultural context. Students will read literary texts by writers such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn, Arthur Schnitzler and Franz Kafka, as well as critical and other literature. This subject enables students to appreciate the Jewish presence in and influence on German-speaking culture in Europe from the Enlightenment to modernism.

  • Gain an insight into the contribution of Jewish writers and thinkers to modern German culture
  • Understand how the "Jewish question" has been raised and address in modern German culture
  • Explore the impact of Jewish themes on German cultural identity from the eighteenth- through to twenty-first centuries

A 10-minute class presentation 15% (due during the semester), a 1-hour mid-semester test 25% and an essay of 3500 words 60% (due at the end of the 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:
  • Lessing, G E, Die Juden: Ein Lustspiel in einem Aufzuge. Reclam.
  • Droste-Hülshoff, A von, Die Judenbuche: Ein Sittengemaelde aus dem gebirgigten Westfalen. Reclam.
  • Schnitzler, A, Leutnant Gustl. Reclam.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • appreciate literary and other texts in their historical context.
  • summarise and critically engage with texts in oral presentation.
  • enhance their understanding of texts by referring to existing scholarship.
  • identify and explore themes which connect texts from different time periods.
  • interpret and appraise in writing the meaning of literature, with due attention to social context and to language.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: German

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