Babylon Berlin and the Weimar Republic
Course Number: 82-426
This course, conducted entirely in German, will address the television series Babylon Berlin, which is based on novels by Volker Kutscher. Babylon Berlin is the most popular German Netflix series ever made, and it deals with Germany in the final years of the Weimar Republic, at a time when Nazis are gradually gaining increasing power throughout the country. The course will cover the first two seasons of Babylon Berlin, which are based on Kutscher’s novel Der nasse Fisch (2007). That novel is set in the year 1929, when the Great Depression started. The television series Babylon Berlin deals with murder, crime, politics, mayhem, and culture, including the sexual culture of Berlin in the late 1920s and 1930s, film and musical culture of the period, and also Bertolt Brecht’s famous opera Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera, 1929). Students will be required to complete relevant viewings of Babylon Berlin as well as associated readings, to participate actively in class discussion, and to create three short papers and a final project.