Images of Germany 1945 - Present - GRMN3120

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Heide Kunzelmann checkmark-circle


German cultural production since 1945 had been largely dominated by ideologies and politics, by the forced forty-year division into two republics in opposite camps in the Cold War, and by the legacy of National Socialism, which factors all contributed to the eruption of student unrest in the 1960s. The material studied on the module covers the problems of returning soldiers in 1945 and the hardships endured by the civilian population; the trauma of the Holocaust; the pioneering idealism in the foundational phase in the German Democratic Republic and a satirical take on that; the pain caused to ordinary individuals by the erection of the Berlin Wall; the significance of the Vietnam War to the Left in the 1960s and the turn to violence in the pursuit of political goals in the following decade; and the study of these materials will allow students to attain a well-grounded cultural and historical understanding of the period from 1945 to the present.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 50%
Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Allinson, M. (2002). Germany and Austria, London: Arnold.
Humble, M. & Furness, R. (1994). Introduction to German Literature, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Caruth, C. (1996). Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Krimmer, E. (2010). The Representation of War in German Literature: From 1800 to the Present, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Parker, S. Davies, P. & Philpotts, M. (2004). The Modern Restoration: Re-thinking German Literary History, 1930-1960. Berlin: De Gruyter.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate an appreciation of a range of cultural products originating in Germany and Austria since 1945 (plays, novels, poems, political documents and film, visual culture, and architecture);
Demonstrate analytical skills for the study of cultural products in a variety of forms and link them to their social, historical and political contexts;
Demonstrate skills relating to close reading and cultural analysis;
Plan and write an essay analysing cultural, historical and political questions as they are articulated in literary and cultural artefacts;
Demonstrate understanding of cultural production and its contexts.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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