Ger 180 - Faust Syllabus - 2017

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Ger 180 - Faust Syllabus - 2017
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  GER 180/COMP LIT 180 Prof. John Hamilton Fall 2017  jhamilt@fas.harvard.edu Wednesday, 3:00 – 5:00 Bargaining with the Devil The Faust Legend in German Literature & Thought Seduction and transgression, forbidden knowledge and the insatiable lust for learning, the limits of cognition, human will, and the problem of evil –  these are the central themes that circulate through the legend of Faust, who is said to have  exchanged his immortal soul for infinite wisdom and power. The seminar examines the elaboration and complication of this legend across the centuries and its formative role in the development of European literature and philosophy. In addition to studying Goethe’s masterwork, the seminar includes analyses of related works in European literature, music, and the visual arts, all with reference to shifting historical contexts and philosophical reflections.  All readings are available in English translation Assignments, Requirements & Grading The course requires close and critical reading of major literary texts. It is vitally important that the material is read before each lecture according to the schedule below. It is recommended that you take notes as you read the primary material. Short, take-home writing assignments are a major component of the course. The prompts for each assignment are distributed one week before the due date. In addition to engaging in critical analyses of texts, you are expected to develop skills for formulating lucid and compelling arguments. The take-home assignments are given in lieu of a midterm and final exam . The full grading breakdown is as follows:    Three short-response essays: Questions are given a week before each essay is due (20% each).    Take-Home final exam: A series of questions are assigned two weeks beforehand (30%).    Lecture attendance (10%). Class Notes, Absences & Participation For your convenience, lecture notes will be posted on a weekly basis. It is important to be organized with your workload. You are expected to attend all lectures punctually and submit your assignments on time. Exceptions can be made for religious holidays. Multiple unexcused absences and/or incomplete assignments will lead to an automatically lowered grade. Collaboration & Academic Integrity You are encouraged to talk with your peers and discuss the course materials freely, but it is expected that every student present work that is produced by him- or herself. Plagiarism is a serious matter and can lead to grave consequences. Please  review the policy on academic integrity on the University’s website or in the Handbook. Books available at the Harvard Square Coop    Goethe, Faust , C. Hamlin, ed. (Norton Critical Edition): 978-0393972825    Marlowe, Doctor Faustus , D. S. Kastan, ed. (Norton Critical Edition): 978-0393977547    Mann, Doktor Faustus , J. Woods, trans. (Vintage): 978-0375701160     Goethe, Faust , E. Trunz, ed. (Beck): 978-3406611384 (German Text)  Reading & Assignment Schedule SEP 6. General Introduction: Themes & Tensions SEP 13. Information and Knowledge Goethe, Faust   I    (“Dedication,” “Prelude at the Theater,” and “Prologue in Heaven”)  SEP 20. The Pact Goethe, Faust   I    (“Night,” “Outside the City Gate,” and “Study”)  Gounod, Faust ( Opera ; musical selections presented in class) SEP 27. Seduction Goethe, Faust   I    (“Auerbach’s Tavern” to “Dungeon”)  Schubert, Gretchen am Spinnrade ( Lied ; music presented in class) First Short Response Paper Due in Class OCT 4. Alchemy & Necromancy Historia von D. Johann Fausten Michael Maier,  Atalanta Fugiens (excerpts) Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, De occulta philosophia  (excerpts) Nicolas Flamel, Le Livre de figures hieroglyphiques (excerpts) OCT 11. Elizabethan Soliloquies Marlowe, Doctor Faustus OCT 18. Theology & The Problem of Evil   Marlowe, Doctor Faustus (cont.) Augustine, Confessions , Book 2, Ch. 3-6; City of God , XI.17; XIV. 3 Aquinas, Summa Theologica (“On Evil”)  Luther, Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (“Flesh against Spirit”)  OCT 25. Fresh Beginnings Goethe, Faust II, Acts I and II NOV 1. Knowledge & Power Goethe, Faust II  , Acts III, IV, and V Second Short Response Paper due in Class NOV 8. Word & Music Mann, Doctor Faustus , chaps. 1 – 13 NOV 15. The End of Humanism Mann, Doctor Faustus , chaps. 14 – 24 NOV 22. NO CLASS –  THANKSGIVING BREAK NOV 29. Renunciation Mann, Doctor Faustus , chaps. 25 – Epilogue Third Short Response Paper due in Class DEC 11. Take-Home Final Essays due per email attachment  
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