Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, Unit Catalogue 2011/12
|Level:||Honours (FHEQ level 6)|
|Assessment:||CW 33%, ES 67%|
|Supplementary Assessment:||Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)|
This unit aims to introduce students to the concept of 'Heimat', investigate the reasons for its extraordinary lasting fascination, and provide insight into the political and cultural dimensions of local, regional and national identity in Germany. Heimat has emerged from below in expressions of love of country, and been consciously constructed from above. We shall be asking what needs it reflects and what functions it has fulfilled over the last century.
Students who complete the unit will be able to:
* Understand the original security-related legal and political dimensions of Heimat;
* Understand the psychological need for belonging to places and communities;
* Understand the political instrumentalisation of these needs by different parties and institutions since the late 19th century;
* Understand the variety and significance of local, regional and national identities in the German-speaking countries today;
* Appreciate intersections with ethnicity, class and gender;
* Undertake detailed formal and thematic analysis of texts relating to Heimat in a variety of media and genres.
Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken German, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, teamwork and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are developed and assessed in this unit.
Students will examine the ideology, political institutions and cultural products associated with a) the Heimat movement in the 1890s, including links with critiques of modernisation and nature conservation; b) racist conceptions of Heimat in the Third Reich; c) the loss of Heimat in exile 1933-45 and the cult of lost East European Heimat by the Vertriebenenverbände after the war; d) the rediscovery of local identity in the context of the environmental movement in the 1970s; e) the GDR as socialist Heimat, and local identity in East Germany since reunification; f) national and regional identity in Austria and Switzerland, g) anti-Heimat, Heimat and nostalgia, and Heimat in today's multicultural society. We shall look at the manifestation of feelings for the Heimat in painting (Wilhelm Leibl, Hans Thoma), read a selection of poems and short stories, and view films including Der verlorene Sohn (1932) and Good bye, Lenin (2003). The unit is taught in German.
PL30759 is Optional on the following programmes:Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies