SoSe 15: S-Literary Studies: Periods-Genres-Concepts II: When Hitler Won the War: Parahistory and the Parahistorical Novel
Andrew James Johnston
"What if Hitler had won the War?" For a long time, respectable historians would have refused even to ask such a question, let alone answer it. Writers have not been quite as queasy about the issue ... Lesen Sie weiter
"What if Hitler had won the War?" For a long time, respectable historians would have refused even to ask such a question, let alone answer it. Writers have not been quite as queasy about the issue and in recent years eminent historians have begun to follow suit. The counterfactual in history is becoming an acknowledged methodological tool amongst academic historians, while writers of fiction have long been exploiting its exciting narrative possibilities. This course will take a look both at the practice and theory of counterfactual or alternative history, comparing fictional versions of alternative history with those produced by historians or popular historical writers. The focus of this class will, therefore, be not only on the literary issues involved but also on questions of epistemology and historiographical method. The alternative history texts that our examples will be taken from deal with the idea of Germany having won World War II.
Apart from a number of shorter texts written by historians, which students will be provided with at the beginning of the term, we will be reading the following novels: Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (1962); Robert Harris, Fatherland (1992); and Stephen Fry, Making History (1996). Students are expected to have acquired copies of these novels and read them before the semester starts.
This course will be taught in English and requires a knowledge of the language commensurate with C1 or, preferably, C2.