German 110: Special Topics in Modern Literature and Culture: Language and Identity

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

What impact does language have on one’s identity? Does learning and speaking another language change a person? How do multilinguals exist in a supposedly monolingual world? Can a language be traumatized by the acts committed in it? These are just a few of the questions we will be discussing in this course as we explore the nexus of language and identity by drawing on a diverse group of 20th and 21st century writers such as Franz Kafka, Elias Canetti, Klaus Mann, Jhumpa LahiriEmine Sevgi Özdamar, and Olumide Popoola, as well as considering relevant films, public debates, and scholarship. Most of the materials for this course are drawn from the German context but the readings and discussions will provide you with interpretive tools to consider the issues in other contexts as well. Taught in English.