GM2HOFF-Fantasy, Horror & the Grotesque: ETA Hoffmann

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
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Alison Martin


Summary module description:

This is one of a series of courses that aim to provide students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of early nineteenth-century German culture by focusing on selected literary, historical and cultural subjects. In this module we will be focusing specifically on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann as we investigate how key elements of the Gothic – the supernatural, the uncanny and the grotesque – continue to appeal to a reading public some two centuries on.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will demonstrate an ability to analyse certain genres of literary text. They will gain practice in discussing what characterises a specific literary period, its themes and its style. Students will also be able to develop their research and writing skills.

Additional outcomes:
This module will also encourage the development of close reading and oral communication skills and students will learn to contribute effectively and persuasively to class discussions through seminar presentations and group work.

Outline content:
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822), composer, stage designer and writer, produced some of the most bizarre and fantastic tales that early nineteenth-century readers had ever encountered. Highly sophisticated creative explorations of the inner world of the imagination, Hoffmann’s stories were provocative pieces written to counter what he perceived as the cultural ignorance and growing materialism of the age. Drawing on three relatively short prose works, 'Der Sandmann' [The Sandman] (1815), ‘Die Bergwerke zu Falun’ [The Mines at Falun] (1819) and 'Das Fräulein von Scuderi' [Mademoiselle de Scudery] (1819), we shall be exploring the effect of the supernatural and the uncanny on the darker corners of the human mind, and examining the role of science in literature, as we consider the multifaceted nature of Hoffmann’s writings within the context of German Romanticism.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A mixture of informal lectures and student-led seminars/discussions taking place in the Autumn and Spring terms. Students will acquire important background information from the lectures and will be encouraged to undertake independent work and prepare seminar presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15 15
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will submit ONE essay of approximately 2000-2500 words and will complete one 2-hour examination in class.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework (in the event of failure in this module and in Part 2 as a whole) by 1.00 pm on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed, the first working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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