GERST 3800

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2016-2017.

This seminar will explore the unique "Kafkaesque" universe of metamorphoses, labyrinthine systems of law and (in)-justice, and uncanny societies of humans and animals. Focusing on Franz Kafka's novels and tales, we will examine topics such as: the relationship between body and pain; society and the individual; authority and hierarchy; fathers and sons; writing and living; language and home; music and politics; and religion and persecution. Placing Kafka first within the socio-cultural context of Jewish-German-Czech Prague (and discussing problems of multicultural-lingual identity), we shall follow his literary journey to his vision of America (one of his novels). At the center of our discussions will be the effect of his work on literature, film, and theatre. We shall also discuss the effects of his work on contemporary theories of psychoanalysis, law, performance, modernism, architecture, and literature. Texts include novels and novellas: the Trial, the Castle, America, the Penal Colony, Metamorphoses, the Judgment, the Country Doctor, The Burrow, Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk. Films by the Coen brothers and David Lynch; theoretical readings by Camus, Lacan, Deleuze, Guattari, Bataille, Blanchot, Benjamin, Kierkegaard and others; this course will also examine Kafka's library and discuss a number of authors who influenced his work: Flaubert, Balzac, Cervantes, Hamsun, Tolstoi, Perez, Dostojewski.

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (LA-AS)

Comments Readings and discussions in English. Students proficient in German at the upper intermediate level or higher may opt to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Combined with: COML 3688

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 16377GERST 3800  SEM 101

  • Readings and discussions in English. Students proficient in German at the upper intermediate level or higher may opt to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.