GM2GDC-Glorification, Denial and Contempt – Reconstructing Austria’s Past

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: GM1L3 Advanced German Language I or GM1L2 Intermediate German Language
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Miss Elisabeth Koenigshofer


Type of module:

Summary module description:


The module aims to provide students with an insight into the various discourses evolving around Austria’s turbulent past. We examine the ways in which authors and film-makers have reappraised their country’s past, whether through praise, glorification, patriotism and heroism, or through denial, contempt and scorn. By drawing on texts - e.g. novellas, poems, short stories, extracts from plays – and visual sources (film), we explore the different ways in which narratives of the past have reconstructed and refashioned Austrian identity across the 20th century.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

- analyse a variety of texts from different periods in their relation to the discourse about Austria’s past and reflect on different perceptions of this past; 

- explain changes in society and politics and how these affect perceptions and provoke reiterations of the past in texts;

- critically discuss changes in the central topics of the discourse;

- demonstrate skills in oral and written organisation and presentation of their ideas.


Additional outcomes:

This module will enhance students’ textual analysis and reading skills in German as well as their use of adequate terminology and register. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to develop their research skills. In addition, they will have the chance to explore texts through practical exercises and to contribute effectively and persuasively to class discussions through seminar presentations and group work.

Outline content:

Using a predominantly chronological structure, this seminar focuses in on three principal strands: politics and society; literature; film and tourism. It explores how issues of identity, nationhood and the (critical) portrayal of Austria’s past are represented in each of these strands, but also identifies productive points of comparison and contrast across them. The topics and themes studied within the three strands are typically:

a) Politics and Society: end of the Habsburg monarchy, First Republic, The Third Reich, Second Republic 

b) Literature: selected short stories, poems and extracts from dramas by Doderer, Kraus, Musil, Bachmann, Bernhard, Jelinek

c) Film and Tourism: Creating a myth: Sissi and Franz Joseph, The Sound of Music, Der Bockerer


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

A series of seminars in both Autumn and Spring Term. Students will be required to watch extracts from films, read original literary and theoretical texts as well as chapters from relevant secondary literature in preparation for classes and essays. Students will also be asked, in small groups or pairs, to carry out analyses of examples and to discuss them in class. Students will acquire important background information from the lectures and will be encouraged to undertake independent work and prepare seminar presentations. In addition, students’ interest in texts will be enhanced by exploring selected texts through practical exercises.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Seminars 14 10 2
Guided independent study 100 60 10
Total hours by term 118.00 70.00 12.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Two hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will give a short presentation (10%) in class and hand in one essay of 2000-2500 words (40%), due at the beginning of Summer Term. One two hours written exam in Summer Term will account for 50% of the module mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Class discussions and group work presentations.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment, which will be via a 2-hour written exam, in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 2. Continuous assessment and/or coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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