Even though the German literatures abound with comedies, humor is rarely mentioned as a German trait. In this course we will challenge the notion of “humor” as a universal, and examine the general ramifications that frame the comical as a cultural phenomenon. Drawing on theoretical texts such as Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905), we will discuss the German sense of humor and its manifestations in everyday life as well as in literary representations. Readings include texts by G. E. Lessing, F. v. Kleist, H. v. Hofmannsthal, and P. Süskind. (Formerly GRMN 0338) 3 hrs. sem.