Cultures and Contexts

Cultures and Contexts: Germany

Essay Three

Note that this essay will be somewhat longer than the previous two:  7 full pages. 

Please do not choose to write about any works that you have already discussed in your previous papers.

  1. Choose any two or three texts or works of art and compose an essay comparing, contrasting, or otherwise developing an argument or theme of your choice.  If you wish to write a paper of this sort, please consult with your TA in advance.
  • Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are sometimes thought of as thinkers who revealed the “deep structures” that invisibly govern society and personality, respectively.  Comment on this thesis with reference to The Communist Manifesto and Civilization and its Discontents, or any other texts or works we have engaged with.
  • Compare E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Sandman with Thomas Mann’s Mario and the Magician.
  • Compare Heinrich von Kleist’s St. Cecilia with Franz Kafka’s Hunger Artist.
  • Dada photomontages such as those of Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch, jokey and impersonal, are often understood as a rejection of the tortured, self-absorbed Expressionist aesthetic.  But the case could be made that paintings such as Ludwig Meidner’s Apocalyptic City, or Expressionist poems such as Georg Heym’s The City, shared many of Dada’s essential aims, for example to undermine all attempts to establish an objective image of reality.  Comment on this.
  • Discuss several works of art or architecture with respect to one of the following themes:  city vs. country; form vs. function; awareness of history vs. forgetting of history; affirmation of life vs. embrace of death; explicit vs. implicit political content; realism vs. symbolism.

Clearly state your argument as early as possible, in the first or second paragraph. First present your argument, then analyze the text in order to offer evidence in favor of that argument, and finally summarize briefly to conclude. Support all claims with reference to the text, and avoid making any claim you cannot prove from the text (e.g. do not make claims about the author’s intent, do not express your own moral judgment about the events in the text, do not generalize about history or human nature, etc.) Stay on topic and do not repeat yourself.

Papers must be submitted to your preceptor in lecture on Tuesday, December 8. You must print your paper and submit it to your preceptor. Papers will not be accepted via e-mail—familiarize yourself with printing resources and make a plan to ensure you have time to print your paper without being late to section! If you know you will not be present at section on the day the paper is due, you must make arrangements beforehand to submit the paper. If you have an unplanned absence due to illness or emergency, you should send the paper via e-mail before the time that your section begins, but you will still be required to submit a print copy as soon as possible and your preceptor will check that they are identical. Attendance is required at all sections, and your paper must be submitted on time.Double-space with 1-inch margins and use 12-point Times New Roman font. Include your name, the title of the course, your preceptor’s name, and the time of your section at the top. Use a stapler to attach the pages of your paper together. Proofread your essay! Cite all

 
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