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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


The deadline for booking a place on this course has passed. Please use the 'Ask a Question' button to register your interest in future or similar courses.

This weekend course, conducted entirely in German, is designed for those with a command of German at B2 to C1 level, according to the Common European Framework of Reference. It will centre around a core text: Christian Kracht, Imperium, Fischer Taschenbibliothek, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-596-51292-8.

Christian Kracht, who rose to fame with his critically acclaimed novel Faserland in 1995, here tells the story (based loosely on facts) of August Engelhardt, a German dropout who at the very beginning of the 20th century founded a utopian sect in the Bismarck Achipelago (German New Guinea), based on nudism and a diet of coconuts. By realising his vision the protagonist seeks to save not only himself but the whole of humanity, just as the European civilisation is preparing to enter modernity and the catastrophes of World Wars I and II.

But in the idyllic seclusion of the South Seas and the doomed colonial lifestyle, the vision of the sunworshipping vegetarian threatens to decend into a spiral of insanity, thereby mirroring and anticipating events thousands of miles away in Germany...

Imperium is a book about visions, about a Romantic, about German History, and all that written in an old-fashioned style, full of irony and humour, so that every page is a pleasure to read. Above all, however, it is an insightful study about the presumptuousness and fragility of human action.


Fees and bursaries


Fees for weekend courses cover tuition, meals (except breakfast) and refreshments, including morning coffee and afternoon tea during teaching hours, and travel on excursions (but not entrance fees to properties visited). Accommodation can be booked for an additional fee and includes breakfast.

VAT does not apply to course fees and there is no service charge (gratuities to domestic staff are left to your discretion). It is sometimes possible to stay for extra nights or extra meals, or to invite guests to meals, at an additional cost and by prior arrangement with the Admissions team.

If you do not wish to pay in full at the time of booking, you may pay a 15% registration fee as a deposit by credit/debit card. The balance will automatically be taken two weeks before the start of the course. If you wish to pay by cheque, you will need to pay in full when the booking is made.

You may cancel a course booking at any time. After the 14 day cancellation period has expired, the standard ICE course cancellation policy will apply. Please view our refund and cancellation policy for further details.

Cambridge University Press Bursaries for teachers

The Cambridge University Press (CUP) Bursary Fund offers a bursary of 50% of the course fee to applicants who teach in a UK state school or state-funded further education institution, applying to study a day school, weekend course or online course.

Course dates

24 Nov 2017 to 26 Nov 2017

Course duration

1 weekend(s)

Course fee


Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
CB23 8AQ

Qualifications / Credits


Course code