German 204-Compact Seminar taught by Prof. Hinrich Seeba(only for 5 weeks): Aesthetics of History: Lessing, Schiller, Novalis, Kleist

Seminar | January 31 – February 28, 2020 every Friday | 1-4 p.m. | 282 Dwinelle Hall

 Department of German

 Department of German

In the age of fake news, the disparity of historical and poetic truth, as it emerged in the 18th century, gains new significance. When the study of history became an academic discipline, the role of historical writing between factual report and literary representation was intensely discussed – by historians, philosophers of history and writers, from Chladenius, Wegelin and Gatterer in history, by Kant and Herder in philosophy, by Winckelmann in art history, and by Lessing, Schiller, Novalis and Kleist in literature. Against the background of theoretical debates on historical perspectivism, the compact seminar will concentrate on the latters’ literary contribution to the aesthetics of historical thinking, as it evolved into a new poetics of literature.

Participants should be (or become) familiar with Lessing’s Nathan der Weise (1779), Schiller’s Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man Universalgeschichte? (1789), Novalis’ Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802), and Kleist’s Der zerbrochne Krug (1805). Excerpts from all other pertinent writings will be provided in class.

NOTE: Class only meets for 5 Fridays (01/31-02/28/2020)