SO/CU 350A - German Popular Culture

This course provides fundamental insights into contemporary German popular culture: Who or what is currently 'hip' in the German context? How are German pop phenomena related to U.S. American culture? Which formats are original, which transcultural? This course focuses on different pop-cultural phenomena of the 21th century from diverse media: reality TV (e.g. "DSDS: Deutschland sucht den Superstar", “Bauer sucht Frau”), music (e.g. German Gangsta-Rap, feminist pop, “Schlager”), TV-series (e.g. "Babylon Berlin"), radical young theater (e.g. She She Pop), evening culture (e.g. techno club scene), literature (e.g. Helene Hegemann), and column (e.g. Margarete Stokowski). Thereby, the seminar follows a historical approach. It is based on the assumption that German pop culture has been influenced by U.S. popular culture from its beginnings in the 20th century to the 1990s. As a cultural practice of “Self/Americanization” (Fluck 2008) specifically German formats have emerged until today, both in the East, West, and reunited Germany. Furthermore, the seminar investigates the political subtexts of German pop cultural practices. One focus of the seminar is that popular culture always works with 'the Abject', i.e. the rejected and traumatic elements of a culture. At the end of the seminar, students will be familiar with the latest trends, the trendsetters and the historical-theoretical discourses of German pop culture. In excursions, workshops and guest lectures, students will also be encouraged to experience and participate in German pop culture.

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Cultural Studies

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