Introduction to German Literature (in translation) - GRMN3260

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module is designed to introduce students to German-language literature and its development from the 1760s to 1933). All texts will be taught in English translation, and throughout the module students will be encouraged to consider the implications of literary translation and of studying translated texts. A variety of genres will be covered, including poetry, drama and narrative prose. Works will be analysed not only within their literary-historical but also their social and political context.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (1,000 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (2,000 words) – 50%
Presentation (10 minutes) – 10%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Canetti, V. (1991), The Yellow Street, New Directions Publishing
Droste-Hülshoff, A. (1997), The Jew's Beech, Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Goethe, J.W., Luke, D. (ed), (1999). Selected Poetry, London: Libris
Hauptmann, G. (1978), Joyce and Hauptmann: Before sunrise; James Joyce's translation with an introduction and notes by J Perkins, Huntington Library
Kafka, F. (1996). The Metamorphosis: Translation, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism, London: Norton
Rilke, R.M. (1994). Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke: The Book of Fresh Beginnings, Oberlin College, Ohio
Tieck, L. (2000). Eckbert the Fair, London: Penguin Books

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate familiarity with a range of influential texts from the first part of the modern period of German-language literature (1770-1945);
Show insight into the overall development of German-language literature and culture during the modern period;
Demonstrate an increased understanding of what constitutes a (national) literary canon and the study of (national) literary history;
Consider the implications of literary translation and the study of literature in translation;
Demonstrate insight into the social and political history of the German-speaking world during the modern period, as relevant to the literature under discussion, for example, the cultural repression of the 1830s-40s or the political engagement of the interwar period 1918-1939.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.