I took a German Expressionism course back in my early days of college, and it was probably one of the only classes I attended sober and was not asleep in (I was 19 years old, so you must have some sympathy). I actually stayed awake with wide Bambi eyes in total enthusiasm. Of course, I should mention it also helped a lot that a very good-looking Austrian classmate was in the seat next to mine.
I remember a lot of Kafka books, watching Fritz Lang movies as well as classic horror movies (influential in the genre), learning words like “Doppelgänger,” studying artists like George Scholz, and getting to know all that crazy modern futuristic architecture. I had then finally developed a sense of what I found (and still find) aesthetically pleasing, and was introduced to literature and art I felt a deep connection with, themes such as existentialism, nihilism, depression, and the metaphysical. This was a far better genre to go along with my Gothic sensibility, not having been previously satisfied with the fluffiness and romanticism of the Gothic genre, having created such books as Stoker’s Dracula. I found that book to be so corny I could not finish it, blushing from embarrassment on the behalf of the author. With the cool world of German Expressionism, I had found a soul mate in a genre. I must also point out that this was the same phase in which I was introduced to one of my other favorite genres of all time–science fiction–which was not a far stretch for someone taking a German Expressionism class.