MUSEUMS 407-001

Museums & Literature

AH G-026
TTh 1-2:30pm
3 Credit Seminar

This course develops historical and theoretical perspectives for understanding the intersections of post-Enlightenment European literature and museum culture. By probing the specific ways literary texts and exhibitions organize and arrange objects to tell a culture's stories, the course works to understand what museums and literature also have in common and how modern literature (novels and poems) and public museum are driven by similar cultural forces. Authors include: JW Goethe, Gustave Flaubert, Tommaso Campanella, William Carlos Williams, Rainer Maria Rilke, Peter Weiss, WG Sebald, Olga Tokarczuk. Close study of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Klenze's Alte Pinakothek, Berlin's Pergamon Museum, the Louvre; history museums in Paris, Caen, Rouen; contemporary museum installations and issues.

This course can be taken for graduate credit. Graduate students will be expected to contribute a short report in class on a topic of their choosing as well as write a longer research paper.

Textbooks/Other Materials:

  • J.W. Goethe. Elective Affinities. ISBN: 0192837761
  • Gustave Flaubert. Bouvard and Pecuchet. ISBN: 1564783936
  • Peter Weiss. The Aesthetics of Resistance. ISBN: 0822335468
  • W.G. Sebald. Austerlitz. ISBN: 0812982614

Course Requirements: Class Participation, Homework Assignments, Short Paper, Research Paper.

Intended Audience: Museum Studies minors; German Studies majors and minors

Class Format: Seminar

Estimated Cost of Materials: $50-100

HISTART Distribution Requirements: A. Europe, 3. Early Modern, 4. Modern and Contemporary