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The Study of Literary Texts at the Nexus of Multiple Histories in the Intermediate College-Level German Classroom

  • Author(s): Levine, Glenn S
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.5070/L24110015
Abstract

This article addresses the teaching of complex representations of history through the study of literary texts in the college-level intermediate German class, employing the categories and tenets of Scollon and Scollon’s (2004) nexus analysis (see also Scollon, 2001). Nexus analysis is a model for understanding the meetingpoint of social actions and multiple discourses, each with its own historical body, interaction order, and discourses in place. These discourses and social actions can include the narrated action of the text, the author’s writing of the text, the reception of the text, and of course, the student’s reading and study of the text. Important for pedagogical design, nexus analysis includes consideration of the analyst’s—in this case the L2 student’s—own discourses and social actions. The curricular proposals based on two literary worksby German-Jewish authors within a conventional intermediate-level German language course provide theframework for curriculum and teaching that allows learners at this level to engage with multiple, intersecting and overlapping historical, literary, and cultural issues and questions. It further involves consideration of multiple levels of analysis and multiple timescales in order to raise learners’ critical historical consciousness.

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