[GERMAN 64. Environment Matters: Green Thought in the German-Speaking World]

The German-speaking world has long been known for its ecological concern and green credentials. Myriad films and novels from the post-1945 period deal with the degradation of the environment and the concomitant threat to human life. In this course we will look at novels from and about the former East Germany, newspaper and journal articles about the Green Party in West Germany, and both German and Austrian fiction films and documentaries dealing with the fragile state of the global environment. What kinds of formal features do these texts evince? Do they at times suggest a counter-argument to the large-scale destruction they depict? Do they actually promote an “ecology of images” (Sontag)? How do these texts relate their narratives of environmental damage to post-colonial politics or to international economic policies? How has the recent rise of “extreme cinema” influenced the kinds of films being made about such topics? Finally, do the films privilege a peripheral perspective and, if so, does this offer certain advantages? Texts by Heidegger, Adorno and Horkheimer, Mitscherlich, Sontag, Johnson, Maron, Wolf; films by Herzog, Wenders, Geyrhalter, Glawogger, Sauper, Maurer, Haneke, Seidl.

Notes: Conducted in German. Likely offered Spring 2020.





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