CENES Courses: Spotlight on GERM 304 (German Cinema)

The Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES) is thrilled to host an exciting array of courses in Winter 2022-23. Among these is GERM 304 002: German Cinema (in English), taught by Dr. Florian Gassner, a three-credit course that is dedicated to the study of contemporary German films that reflect on current social issues and historical debates.

CENES: What is the main focus of the course?

Florian Gassner: This course explores German cinema from the past twenty years, focusing on three topics. First, we look at films that discuss the division and unification of Germany in the later 20th century; then we consider movies that engage with the legacy of World War II; and finally, we study productions that reflect on multiculturalism in the German speaking world.

CENES: What are the particular highlights?

FG: This course stands out due to the variety in theory and methods we explore. Our secondary readings hail from film studies, history, literary theory, culture studies, feminist studies and postcolonial studies, to name but the most prominent themes.

CENES: What gave you the idea to design this course?

FG: When I started teaching in North America, it struck me that most film courses offer but a survey of classic movies from the 20th century. Therefore, I decided to complement these offerings with a course that focused on cinema that was produced during our students’ lifetimes.

CENES: What part of the course do you look forward to most?

FG: I love the variety of materials in this course. We cover everything from Award-winning blockbusters to niche arthouse movies, which makes each week a distinct experience.