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2020-2021 Course Descriptions

Course Categories:


COURSES Taught in english

 

GER 104-6-20 : First Year Seminar - The Human and Machine in German Culture

From automata to cyborgs, this course explores ways in which mechanical devices have served as models to gain a deeper understanding of the human and nature in German literature, philosophy, film, and music. While the course is structured around the short prose and poetry of Eichendorff, Kafka, and Enzensburger, as well as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, we will also read excerpts from significant texts by Descartes, Herder, Heidegger, Benjamin, and Friedrich Kittler. The course material will allow us to ask significant questions that are as historically determined as they are philosophically oriented: how does the eighteenth-century automaton become a central symbol for the debate over the mind/body relationship? What is the relationship between the human worker and the machine, and the machine and the diabolical? In what way does the introduction of the machine redefine both “labor” and “war” in the twentieth century? And perhaps above all, we will look at ways in which the writing process takes on mechanical attributes, from Nietzsche’s typewriter to Kafka’s torture machine.

GER 104-6-21 : First Year Seminar - The Nazi Olympics

This course explores the Nazi Olympics, held in Berlin 1936, in relation to religion, race, and politics. We show how the Nazi Olympics appropriated themes from the ancient Olympics in Greece in order to create a new religious, aesthetic, and political ethos. We also look at the legacy of politics in the Olympics of Mexico City in 1968, with a focus on Black activism in contemporary sports.

German 222-0 (SA) – German History 1789-1989

The country that we now know as Germany has undergone a remarkable number of geographic, political and cultural transformations over the past two centuries. This course offers a general introduction to some aspects of the history of modern Germany from the late 18th century to today, examining the contested development of German national identity; the lengthy struggles for unification; political, military and imperial ambitions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the history of Germany in the two World Wars; and the gradual integration of a divided Germany into new European and international frameworks following the Second World War.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV.

German 224-0 – Contemporary Germany

Courses under this rubric focus on the German political, social, and cultural scene after 1945. Topics vary and may include: Political Extremism in West Germany, a seminar which traces the history of political terrorism in post-war German society and also tries to locate it within a larger framework of militant protests throughout Europe and the world. Particular attention will be given to the actions of the infamous Red Army Faction (RAF), which also left its mark in German popular culture. While the RAF and other left-wing groups of the 1960s and 1970s are the main focus of the class, we will also talk about the disquieting phenomenon of right-wing terrorism, currently a much-discussed topic in Germany because of the ongoing revelations about the National Socialist Underground (NSU). Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 224 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV.

German 226-0 – New Voices in German Literature

Courses under this rubric introduce students to contemporary German literature in English translation such as the contemporary historical novel, new and important short story, novels, and/or memoirs. Topics vary and may include: The Black Diaspora and Transnationality, a course that will a) explore the concepts of “diaspora” and “transnationalism” in order to situate the course materials within the broader networks of the global African Diaspora; b) survey theoretical and historical readings about the emergence of black communities in the UK and Germany as well as their transnational conversations with other Afro-diasporic groups; and c) introduce students to the cultural productions of Afro-diasporic groups in Britain and Germany such as films, music, novels, and autobiographies. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 226 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 228-0 – The German Film

Courses under this rubric offer in-depth study of German films and their cultural background. Topics vary and may include: Cinema and the City, a course which will draw on a wide range of classic and lesser-known films from the Weimar period onward. Students will be introduced to major German cities and analyze both how space and social relationships are imagined in the German metropolis and in terms of the relationship between a German and an “extra-territorial” city. How does urban space influence how one thinks about forms of national, gendered, ethnic, sexual, and class identity? How does the perception of social relations in the urban space and in cinematic form organize the view of political and social networks? Approaches to these questions will include: formal and aesthetic analysis, examinations of the historical background and cultural specifics of both the films and the cities under consideration, and the close reading and interpretation of a brief selection of classical texts on modernity, mass society, production and reception histories, and theories of space. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 228 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 230-0 – Berlin and the Culture of Democracy

This class aims to introduce students to the history and culture of Berlin from 1900 to the present. Drawing on a wide range of media, from maps through film to music, the class concentrates on a series of transformative moments in German cultural history seen through the prism of Berlin. Students will engage with the varied historical, socio-political, and artistic changes in German culture throughout the twentieth century, including the vibrant and provocative culture of the 1920s and early 1930s, with a focus on changing forms of gender identity (the “New Woman”) and sexual subcultures (as in the film Cabaret). Further, students will examine the everyday and extraordinary history of German-Jews in Germany around the devastating caesura of the Jewish genocide executed by the National Socialists. After examining the megalomaniacal plans that the Nazis made for Berlin, the class turns to the devastated city of 1945 and the divided city of the Cold War, where the conflict between “East” and “West” emerges in the “concrete” form of the Berlin Wall. Further topics include the events surrounding the collapse of the Wall and the creation of the Berlin Republic, the changing face of national culture in light of the migration of the so-called Turkish “guest workers” of the post-War years, particularly through the art of later generations of Turkish-German authors and filmmakers in Berlin.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 232-0 – The Theme of Faust through the Ages

"To sell one's soul," "to strike a bargain with the devil," or even "to beat the devil at his own game," these expressions and others like them have retained their currency for centuries and continue to enjoy undiminished popularity. Also for centuries, "Faust," as a figure of the "mad genius," has served as a formulaic abbreviation for the folly, daring, and danger in pursuing human ambition at any price. The Faust who made his pact in the sixteenth century undergoes many mutations and incarnations over the years, and so does the devil as well as the contract that would burden human enterprise with a final debt to inhumanity. The texts selected for this course probe the history of this contract as a specifically modern phenomenon and address the question of what terms would assure it the undiminished supply of signatories that have kept the theme of Faust alive throughout the ages. The final section of the class generally includes a discussion of Faust-themed films. Readings will include Christopher Marlowe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles Baudelaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area V and Area VI.

German 234-1 – Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History I

This course examines a series of German-Jewish writers, thinkers, and scientists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, each of whom, in his or her own way, created transformative projects, programs, and perspectives from which the modern world can be seen. The class will consider the extent to which the specific experience of German Jewry, with its extraordinary cultural as well as scientific advancement and its abysmal political impotence, played an important part in the creation of global modernity. The course is divided into four sections: the first section examines writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who are seeking innovative forms of writing and action in response to a political and social environment in which the traditional rabbinate has lost its authority, while a newly racialized movement declaring itself “anti-Semitic” has formed political parties in both the new German and the old Austrian Empires; the second section concerns the re-assertion of Jewish messianism in the thought of Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, and Franz Rosenzweig; the third section concentrates on a radical transformation of literary and critical modes of reflection in the writings of Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin; and the fourth section highlights two revolutionary scientists, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, who changed the way the modern world conceives of mind and matter alike.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV, Area V, and Area VI.

German 234-2 – Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History II

This course examines a series of German-Jewish writers, thinkers, and scientists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, each of whom, in his or her own way, created transformative projects, programs, and perspectives from which the modern world can be seen. The class will consider the extent to which the specific experience of German Jewry, with its extraordinary cultural as well as scientific advancement and its abysmal political impotence, played an important part in the creation of global modernity. The course is divided into four sections: the first section examines writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who are seeking innovative forms of writing and action in response to a political and social environment in which the traditional rabbinate has lost its authority, while a newly racialized movement declaring itself “anti-Semitic” has formed political parties in both the new German and the old Austrian Empires; the second section concerns the re-assertion of Jewish messianism in the thought of Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, and Franz Rosenzweig; the third section concentrates on a radical transformation of literary and critical modes of reflection in the writings of Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin; and the fourth section highlights two revolutionary scientists, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, who changed the way the modern world conceives of mind and matter alike.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV, Area V, and Area VI.

German 236-0 – Kafka and Nietzsche

This course takes its point of departure from two sayings: “there are no facts, only interpretations” (Nietzsche), and “Only here is suffering suffering” (Kafka). It explores the relationship between suffering and interpretation. For Nietzsche, the interpretation of suffering – real or imagined – is not only the origin of all moral and legal categories but also the source of philosophical speculation. For many of the characters that inhabit Kafka’s fictions, suffering – real or imagined – generates interminable interpretations, and the interminability of interpretation is itself the source of intensified suffering. Beginning with, and continually returning to, Kafka’s very short story, “The New Advocate,” which is about Alexander the Great’s horse, who has lowered his ambitions and thus become a lawyer, the course considers the question: what is greatness? In the first part of the course we pursue this question in the context of certain sections from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra and from his Toward the Genealogy of Morals. In the second, we turn to a series of Kafka stories, aphorisms, and his great unfinished novel, The Castle.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area V, and Area VI.

German 238-0 – Turn-of-the-Century Vienna

This course highlights ideas and art brought forth during the period of Viennese history from the late 1880s to the 1920s, when Vienna emerged as one of the major intellectual and artistic hubs in Europe. Art Nouveau, the advent of psychoanalysis, and a society that turned its gaze inward, away from the Monarchy, paved the way for the era of Viennese Modernism. Freud, Wittgenstein, Schnitzler, Musil, Schönberg, Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele are just some of the great names in fin-de-siècle Vienna that identify it as a major mindscape of modernist culture. For a few decades Vienna was the principal rival of Paris as the cultural capital of Europe with a considerable impact on the modern consciousness up to our time.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 242 – Imagining Modern Jewish Culture in Yiddish and German

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the dynamic tension between two distinct yet closely related Jewish cultures, one rooted in the German language, the other in Yiddish. The relation between modern German-Jewish culture and its Yiddish counterpart in Eastern Europe is at once highly-fraught and astonishingly creative: both sides of this divide at the heart of greater European modernity now see themselves in relation to each other, sometimes disparaging, sometimes emulating the other. In literature, art and music the encounter between Western and Eastern European Jewry lies at the heart of 20th Century culture. The course will examine the works of world-famous artists such as Kafka, Chagall, and Mahler as well as classic writers of a literature that is unfamiliar to most: Mendele the Bookseller, Sholem Aleichem, and Y.L. Peretz.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 244 – Analyzing Freud

This class examines the life and work of the groundbreaking Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud from a comparative and interdisciplinary angle. Long after his death, Freud’s legacy continues to be controversial: some claim that his theories are no longer relevant in the light of new research, whereas others defend his theories and/or expand upon the implications and influence of his ideas, in the realm not only of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience, but also in the fields of sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, literary studies, criminal justice, queer studies, gender’s studies, and many more. What is certain, however, is that Freud’s work—and the image of his life—have marked the modern world. This class will read fundamental texts from Freud’s body of work in dialogue with texts by Freud’s near and distant predecessors and followers, both to situate Freud in his historical and cultural context, and to think through the many different kinds of questions that Freud’s work addresses.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 246-0 – Special Topics in German Literature and Culture

Courses taught under this heading may address various topics at the intersection of German literature, culture, and history. Topics may include: From Luther to Bismarck, a seminar which highlights the road to German unity from Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation to Bismarck and the founding of the German Empire with emphasis on the Thirty Years’ War, the intellectual and national awakening of the German people in the 18th century, the impact of the French Revolution on German affairs, the flowering of German culture in the Enlightenment and the Classicism of Goethe's Weimar, the Romantic movement, as represented by Schopenhauer, Hegel, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 246 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 248 – Learning Diversity: Germany and Global Migration

With the so-called refugee crisis re-defining Europe’s self-perception, Germany is very much in the focus of global attention: The government’s decision to accommodate more than a million refugees in 2015 met praise and criticism alike, both inside and outside of Germany. The influx of hundreds of thousands of people from Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries has given new urgency to questions of what immigration and a diverse population means for Germany and how practices and policies have to change. The class will follow and analyze these discussions from a historical standpoint so that students are better able to evaluate German positions on immigration, citizenship, and diversity today.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV.

German 266-0 – Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl

In collective memory the shtetl (small Jewish town) has become enshrined as the symbolic space of close-knit, Jewish community in Eastern Europe; it is against the backdrop of this idealized shtetl that the international blockbuster Fiddler on the Roof is enacted. This seminar explores the spectrum of representations of the shtetl in Yiddish literature from the nineteenth century to the post-Holocaust period. The discussion will also focus on artistic and photographic depictions of the shtetl: Chagall and Roman Vishniac in particular. The course will include a screening of Fiddler on the Roof followed by a discussion of this film based upon a comparison with the text upon which it is based, “Tevye the Milkman.”
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 272-0 – Luther and the West

October 31, 2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. This anniversary commemorated the day the German monk Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The results of Luther’s ideas and actions cannot be understated. His teachings led to an ongoing division between Roman Catholic and Protestant forms of Christianity and inaugurated a “modern” turn towards rationalism, secularism, and individualism. This course probes the lasting significance of Luther’s life and thought in the modern West. Two questions will guide the course. First, how did Luther shape the cultural, political, and social questions and issues in the West since the 16th century? And, second, what is Luther’s ongoing relevance in the West today?
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area V.

German 326-0 – German Cultural Studies

Courses taught under this heading explore key concepts, major figures, and cultural and literary themes in German studies and interdisciplinary fields such as political science, media studies, music, and art. Topics may include: Racism in modern Germany, a seminar that explores the ways in which the contested category of race has shaped modern German history. While considerations of race in Germany generally focus on Nazism and the Holocaust, the aim of this course is to situate racial categories like ‘Aryan’ and ‘Jew’ within a longer and contextual narrative. The course will examine German relationships with and fantasies of Africans, Jews, Slavs, Turks, Gypsies, Aryans and the many other categories of peoples who shaped modern Germany. While the seminar itself focuses on German history, the course is intended to raise larger questions about the roles of race and racism in the modern world at large. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 326 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.

German 328-0 – German Cultural Criticism from Kant to Kluge

Exploration of major texts in German cultural criticism form the late 18th to early 21st century, including philosophical, philological, scientific, and essayistic texts.

Prerequisite: None. (Distro Area IV and V)

German 334-0 – Writers and their Critics

Courses under this rubric will expose students to texts of leading writers in German through a discussion of the criticism these texts have evoked. Students will thereby be given the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between literary texts and their historical and critical interpretation. Topics may include: Kafka and the Question of the Narrator, a seminar on the question of the narrator and the role the narrative plays in Kafka’s fiction. Much of Kafka criticism avoids this question either by equating the narrator with the author and focusing on “Kafka,” or by regarding the narrative as transparent and focusing on the objects represented. Perhaps the most powerful and significant aspect of his writings relates, however, to the ambiguous figure and discourse of the narrator. The narrative never simply relates a series of events existing independently of the perspective from which they are presented. It thereby reveals something about the process of story-telling as well as of the different figures and events involved in it. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 334 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

344-1-0 – German History: Weimar and Nazi Germany

Survey of German political, economic, social, intellectual, and diplomatic history covering Weimar and Nazi Germany. Taught with History 344-1; may not receive credit for both courses.

german-344-2 – German History: Germany Since 1945

Debates about the development of the postwar German states from 1945 to the present. Social, political, economic, and everyday history within the context of East, West, and unified Germany.  Taught with History 344-2; may not receive credit for both courses. 

German 346-0 – Topics in German Literature and Culture

Courses under this heading examine at an advanced level selected topics in German literature and/or pivotal periods in German culture. Topics may include: On Historical Epistemology, a class on the theory and history of the modern sciences, with an emphasis on the emergence of a new science called “biology” in the nineteenth century. The organizing thread for this class will be the contribution that different streams of twentieth-century philosophy of science made to the process of discovery and justification of knowledge. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 346 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 366-0 – Yiddish Culture and the Holocaust

This course begins with an examination of certain works of Modern Yiddish Literature written before the Holocaust that are uncanny in their premonitions of disaster. The course then proceeds to read Yiddish literature written during the Holocaust, especially the Warsaw and Vilna ghetto diaries. It concludes with a discussion of the outpouring of Yiddish literary responses to the Holocaust from 1945 to 2000. The literature examined remains a dark continent for the majority of scholars of both the Holocaust and of modern Jewish culture. Thus, this course serves also as an introduction to a magnificent literature in its own right.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

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COURSES Taught in german

German 101-1,2,3 – Beginning German

The Beginning German sequence offers students a systematic introduction to German language and culture emphasizing the four modalities: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing. The first quarter (101-1) offers a systematic review of basic German words, phrases with a cultural focus on Germany, an introduction of simple grammar items, and short interview practice at the end of the quarter. The second quarter (101-2) includes a variety of writing assignments, cultural presentations, reading poems by Goethe, the visit of a Mystery Guest, as well as intensive work with the strong and irregular verbs. In the third quarter (101-3), students will read and discuss short stories and plays by Grimm, Brecht and Kafka! The highlight will be an in-class skit performance which culminates in the almost famous *Evening O' Skits* featuring the best student selected skits from first and second-year German.
Prerequisite in German for 101-1: None or one year of high-school German.
Prerequisite in German for 101-2: 101-1 or placement exam results.
Prerequisite in German for 101-3: 101-2 or placement exam results.

German 102-1,2,3 – Intermediate German

The Intermediate German sequence offers students a systematic review of German language and culture to increase linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy. The pedagogy used fosters learning in the four modalities: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing. Each quarter has a specific focus: In the Fall Quarter (102-1) students concentrate on speaking and communication and on the history of the GDR and the 20th anniversary of Germanyʼs reunification, in the Winter Quarter (102-2) on writing and on contemporary German culture, and in the Spring Quarter (102-3) on reading, theatre, and performance and on 20th -century literature by German-speaking authors.
Prerequisite in German for 102-1: 101-3 or placement exam results
Prerequisite in German for 102-2: 102-1 or placement exam results.
Prerequisite in German for 102-3: 102-2 or placement exam results.

German 115 – Intensive Beginning German through Musical Journeys in Vienna

The fascinating musical and cultural history of the metropolis Vienna serves as the basis for this
Intensive Beginning German course which provides musically interested students with the option to acquire German language skills through an intensive immersion in the topic in an interdisciplinary context. The goals of the course include the contextualized development of speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills in German and the acquisition of a basic general and musical vocabulary as well as a solid grammatical basis. Activities will draw on the lives and works of composers between 1750 and 1950 including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauß, and Alban Berg. Students will read short biographies, letters, poetry and prose, watch relevant films and videos, study paintings and maps of Vienna, learn about important institutions and historical facts about the city, and explore current cultural events.
Prerequisite in German: None or one year of high-school German.

German 201-0 – Focus Reading

This course is for students in intermediate German who would like to improve basic reading skills by exploring vital German cultural texts in depth. There are two versions of the course. In Brothers Grimm students will be exposed to versions of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen collected by the brothers Grimm and adaptations by later authors. These texts will be used to investigate the culture and values of the period and will also examine the historical framework, which led to the collection of these tales and a development of the genre. In Tension in the Modern Age: 20th Century Women of the Arts examines the explosion of art and industry at the turn of the century that for the first time included substantial opportunities for women. Through short historical texts, biographies, letters and journals, students will learn about social issues, art movements and the German politics of the period that included Bismarck, colonies and war.
Prerequisite in German: German 102-2. (This course will not count for the language requirement but may be taken concurrently with 102-3.)

German 203-0 – Focus Speaking

This course is designed to enhance the aural/oral skills by training students in listening comprehension and speaking. Vocabulary and idioms employed in everyday conversational German will be introduced and practiced in communicative activities such as role-playing, listening to and creating podcasts in German and small group discussions. New cultural concepts will be introduced through multimedia presentations and German podcasts. A final project will involve the creation of a short podcast in German by the students.

Prerequisite in German: German 102-2. (This course will not count for the language requirement as it may be taken concurrently with 102-3.)

German 205-0 – Focus Writing

This course is designed especially for students who wish to improve their writing skills in order to become independent, confident and proficient writers of German. The thematic basis for the course is the city of Berlin and the personalities, places, historical events, cultural trends, and visions that have shaped it during the 20th and are shaping it during the 21st Century. Course materials will include current texts from newspapers and magazines, fictional works by German-speaking authors, as well as feature films, episodes of a German telenovela, music, and videos. Students will learn to analyze and to produce portraits of people and places, narratives, and film reviews. Grammar topics relevant for each unit will be reviewed thoroughly and integrated in context.

Prerequisite in German: German 102-3.

German 207-0 – Current Events in German Media

Using the broad range of media now available on the internet along with traditional print sources, this course will provide an opportunity to learn about current issues in Europe as examined through German language media.  Print articles, radio broadcasts, TV news shows, and other internet sources from Germany, Austria and Switzerland allow for immediate access to news and students will use these sources during class discussions and activities to investigate issues in sports, politics, education, economics and culture. Students will practice listening comprehension skills that allow for understanding of regular radio and TV news programs and develop skills for narrating, comparing, analyzing and synthesizing information taken from texts, and audio and video broadcasts.

Prerequisite in German: German 102-3.

German 209-0 – German in the Business World

In this course, students will acquire basic business-related German language skills and attain a cross-cultural perspective on German and American business practices. The emphasis will be on communicative situations such as oral and written social interactions with customers, sales dialogues, business travel, basic formats of business letters and internship applications. The course is taught entirely in German and emphasizes developing cultural knowledge and German language skills to prepare students for basic professional activities in and with German-speaking countries.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.  

German 211-0 – German Culture Through Film

This course is an introduction to German culture through the lens of German film. Students will be exposed to aspects of German history, society, politics, and aesthetic movements by analyzing nine significant German films made between 1920 and 2015. By studying selected elements of film, including genre, contexts, actors, directors, production and reception, film history, in addition to central thematic and formal elements of film, students will also learn the basics of film analysis. This course is taught entirely in German and emphasizes developing cultural knowledge and German language skills.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.  

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

GERMAN 213-0 – Politics, History, and Culture in 21st-Century Germany

This course is specifically designed for students who would like to prepare for studying abroad and/or would like to deepen their cultural and linguistic knowledge regarding integration and multicultural life in Germany. The topics covered in the course will focus partly on topics covered in the German integration course (Integrationskurs), a program developed in Germany specifically for immigrants. Topics will include a brief history of Germany in the 20th century and how it affects life in the 21st century, the meaning of democracy, Germany as a welfare state, life in unified Germany and Europe, political and educational structures, religious and intercultural integration and social networks. With this course, students will be prepared for the final examination, the “Life Germany” test, an examination written for immigrants in Germany.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area III.

German 221-1 – Introduction to Literature: 1800-1900

This course, designed for majors and non-majors, presents an overview of German literary history of the 19th century – from Weimar classicism to radical modernist movements of the 1890s.  Students will learn to closely examine representative texts such as poetry, prose, and drama with a special focus on the rapidly changing historical and literary environment that was typical for this period. By keeping the number of students in the class relatively small, there will be ample opportunity to practice the close reading of literary texts and the analysis of complex works of art in a foreign language.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 221-2 – Introduction to Literature: 1900-1945

This course, designed for majors and non-majors, introduces students to the historical dimension of a literary era, the first half of the 20th century marked by a)the demise of the German Empire in the course of the First World War, b) a short-lived democratic experiment, the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), and c) the Rise and Fall of the “Third Reich.” Furthermore, the course is to improve the students’ writing skills in terms of style and expression by way of three shorter essays.  A secondary, yet strong emphasis is on making the students able and comfortable to conduct a discussion on fairly sophisticated issues in German. By keeping the number of students in the class relatively small, there will be ample opportunity to practice the close reading of literary texts and the analysis of complex works of art in a foreign language.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 221-3 – Introduction to Literature: 1945-today

This course, designed for majors and non-majors, introduces students to representative short stories by major German-speaking authors’ writing from 1945 through the present. The stories selected are representative of a dynamic period in German literature and highlight important social, political, and intellectual issues including questions of the recent German past and the representation of history; questions of individual versus collective guilt, questions of gender and sexuality, exile and alienation, the relationship of the individual to a modern technological society; and new themes and issues since the reunification of Germany. In addition, the course examines the genre of the short story, with attention to different modes and styles of writing.

By keeping the number of students in the class relatively small, there will be ample opportunity to practice the close reading of literary texts and the analysis of complex works of art in a foreign language.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 223-0 – Contemporary Austrian Literature

This course will give a brief overview of Austrian literature, philosophy, music, and art from the 19th to the 21st century. In both cases the relation of art to political discourses will be central to our discussions. Questions that will be considered in the course: How does Austria construct its national identity vis-à-vis its neighbor Germany? What is it that makes Vienna the capital of the multi-cultural Austro-Hungarian Empire and the center for a various avant-garde art movements but also a hotbed of anti-Semitism as well as the cradle of Nazi ideology?

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 227-0 – Popular Literature as Cultural History

This course analyzes German popular culture of the past 100 years through bestsellers and box-office hits (novels and films) that constitute the genre of Unterhaltungsliteratur – a category that has been constructed as inferior to “real” and “serious” literature and unworthy of scholarly attention. Unterhaltungsliteratur can be a valuable tool in order to gain insight into the historical and cultural fabric of 20th and 21th-century Germany: the assumption of the course is that Unterhaltungsliteratur functions as social seismographs that allow us to explore moods, anxieties, tensions, and concerns of a large part of German society at a particular point in history. The course will also analyze popular culture’s role in society and introduce theories of popular culture.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 245-0 – Special Topics in German Literature and Culture

This course is a cultural studies course highlighting a major author, a prominent theme in German literature or culture, a movement, or a literary genre. Topics in this rubric may include: German Architecture in Chicago, a course exploring the unique history of Chicago in the context of German-American architectural connections- particular emphasis is placed on the Bauhaus School and movement that influenced architectural development in Chicago and its residences Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin; Stories through Songs, explores stories through music and the stories behind the music, studying intersections between narratives and musical expression while exploring the mysterious language of music in the context of German culture. Highlights will be a discussion of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Schiller's poetry, selected renditions of Goethe’s poetry by Schubert and other composers. Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

German 303-0 – Speaking as Discovery

This course is designed to help students improve their listening comprehension and speaking skills to become creative, independent, and sophisticated users of spoken German. The content focuses on exploring standpoints, developing arguments, and expressing points of view using a variety of media such as authentic material from the German press, German television, news broadcasts, documentaries and film excerpts for interpretive activities and discussions. The class discussion is tailored to students’ interests and needs.

Prerequisite in German: Two 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

German 305-0 – Writing as Discovery

This course focuses on reviewing and developing German vocabulary using a variety of indirect (incidental) and direct (intentional) methods of vocabulary learning. The goal of this course is to encourage and facilitate the review and acquisition of intermediate- and advanced-level vocabulary items in German through explicit vocabulary instruction which aims at engaging students in actively thinking about word meanings, the relationships among words, and how we can use words in different situations.  Short reading, writing, speaking and listing exercises will help students refine vocabulary depth which includes learning about grammar constructions and collocations, connotations, register, and style. Studying words directly will improve vocabulary breadth, which refers to the understanding of meaning in various contexts.  Students will study and commit words to memory through a variety  of well-established activities as well as researching learning opportunities using technology and understanding of and working with google translate.

Prerequisite in German: Two 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

German 307-0 – German Media

This course is concerned with how current political, socioeconomic, and cultural events in Germany and Europe are portrayed in German media (this includes print, TV, news broadcasts and social media). Current topics will be discussed such as for example how the presence of a far-right populist party in the parliament will alter the form of politic discourse in ways that are yet to be seen. The class will also include a discussion of journalistic differences among media sources. There will be ample room for students’ suggestions as well as for current events that are not yet foreseeable. The class aims to give students an overview of the German media landscape in general and answer the question which newspapers and TV channels are suited to fulfill the students’ information needs and what they can do to follow current developments in Germany.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

German 309-1 – Advanced Business German: the German Economy

This advanced business-German course will give students an overview of the German economy (Volkswirtschaft), its underlying structures, its current trends, and some of the problems the German economy faces. Students will become well versed in German economic topics, will learn about the differences between the German and American economic system, will gain familiarity with relevant German media that report on the German economy. Although this course is content-driven, student will also develop their language proficiency in the field of German business and commerce through study of business-specific vocabulary and through specific reading and writing tasks. This course is a companion course to German 309-2; both courses together will prepare students to work in international work environments.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

German 309-2 – Advanced Business German: Marketing and Management

This advanced Business German course focuses on management and marketing practices in Germany (Betriebswirtschaft). In addition to acquiring a rich Business German vocabulary, students will also develop nuanced cross-cultural knowledge by encouraging students to think critically about cultural differences and how they relate to business practices. Topics to be discussed, among others, are German corporate structures and business culture, intercultural competence, marketing and advertising, career and everyday life. Important vocabulary and relevant grammar structures will be practiced throughout the class. The course prepares students to work in international work environments. This course is a companion course to German 309-1; both courses together will prepare students to work in international work environments.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

German 321-1 – Reason, Revolution, and Despair: 1800-1900

This course is a literature/culture course focusing on discussions of key texts in German intellectual history from the Enlightenment to the pre-revolutionary period in the 1830 and beyond.  Topics in this rubric may include:  Lessing to Büchner, focusing on the half century from 1780 to 1830, where the mood in German intellectual and cultural history swung from confident, even defiant optimism (Lessing) to expressions of starkest despair (Büchner). Students will read and discuss some of the central texts in this dramatic development, describing the  theological, aesthetic, and social developments through theoretical as well as literary works. Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 321-2 – Myth and Modernity: 1900-1945

This course focuses on texts that acquaint students with the literature and thought as well as the events and ideologies that helped shape the cultural, political and social life in Germany during a period that saw the rise and final collapse of the imperial tradition, a short-lived experiment with democracy during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), and the rise of the Nazi state. Topics in this rubric may include: World War 1 in German Literature, Art, and Music which takes a close look at the literature, art, and music during World War 1 focuses on the expression of nationalist sentiment but also the emergence of a wave of modernism with styles as expressionism, futurism, and Dada which brought forth some of the essential works of avant-garde art we still recognize and admire.  Nietzsche, Wagner, and Hitler: Politics and/as Art in Germany -1871-1945 focuses on the lasting influence Friedrich Nietzsche had on German culture, starting with the publication of his scandalous Wagnerian treatise on the birth of tragedy (1872), through his death as a madman in Weimar (1900), and his reception by the disciples of Richard Wagner to the end of the so-called Third Reich (1945). Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 321-3 – Recoveries and Transitions: 1945 - Present

This course offers an examination of the relationship of literature and film  with the socio-political and cultural sphere in Germany after 1945, from the end of the War to the Wende and the unification of Germany. Topics in this rubric may include: From the End of the War to the End of the Wall, a course which will focus on literature, non-fiction essays, and films addressing the National Socialist past; inter-generational conflict in German society; the ‘terrorist’ movement of the 1970s; the politicized climate of the women’s movement; the response of the writer in East Germany; the role of historical memory in contemporary Germany; and the politics of national unification and citizenship, including immigrant literature in Germany. 

Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 323-0 – Rhyme and Reason - German Poetry

This course introduces students to German poetry from the early 18th century to the present. will Students will learn about the generic aspects of such poetic forms as the ballad, the ode, the song, and the sonnet and about the status of poetry in the history of German culture. The analysis of poetic form will concentrate on main formal categories of poetry (meter, rhyme, verse, and poetic genres) as well as main topics and themes.  

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 327-0 – German Expressionism

This course will look at the rise and fall of German Expressionism in literature, visual art, and film from the late nineteenth century to the ascent of the Third Reich. We will discuss how the artistic innovations of Expressionism reflected distinctive political, philosophical, and social ideas and conditions of Germany in the years just before and in the wake of the First World War, looking closely at the aesthetics and poetics of this short-lived but influential movement. We will also consider certain themes and issues that Expressionist art particularly addressed, including: urbanization and cosmopolitanism; capitalism and inequality; war and trauma; portrayals of extreme states such as violence, ecstasy, and mental illness; sexuality, desire, and the representation of women; horror and the occult; the role of ethnic and cultural minorities and the appeal of the exotic.
Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 329-0 – Brecht: Theater, Film, and Media

This course introduces students to Bertolt Brecht’s theatre in the 1920s and early 1930s during the Weimar Republic by focusing on those works that were most significant in the struggle for the modernist culture of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), an era which was to set certain cultural agenda for postwar German society and beyond. Students will also be exposed to some of the most important theoretical statements which Brecht wrote on  how to make theatre, the mass media and the entertainment industry serve the interest of the community at large (a question which appears to be of  renewed importance for our global media society).

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 331-0 – Shattered Worlds: Representation after the Shoa

The course offers an historical, literary, and filmic introduction to the topic of "art and literature after—or, respectively, about—Auschwitz." Readings address questions such as: What is the role of art in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century in view of this so-called breach of civilization? How can we define the relationship between art and politics? How can—or perhaps why should—poetry continue to be written after Auschwitz? Important contributions by a variety of influential authors will be discussed in their cultural context.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 333-0 – Literature of a Divided Nation

This course examines literary works from the GDR (and post-wall representations of the GDR) in their socio-political context. Through close textual analysis students examine different artistic strategies and the changing focus of GDR literature in response to political and social developments. Questions to be addressed are: What was the relationship between literature and censorship in the GDR and how was social critique articulated? In which ways did GDR literature address the widening cleft between the GDR’s utopian socialist vision and the more mundane historical reality? And how does post-wall literature imagine or address the former GDR?

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 335-0 – Minority Voices in Germany

Starting out from the question: “What is German?”, this course explores the changing understandings of national identity in postwar Germany. In this context, the course examines fiction, autobiography, poetry, and political and theoretical writings by and about “minority voices” in Germany in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Questions the course will explore include: What is the relationship between autobiographical writing and identity? What is a “minority” and how might we conceive of “minority voices” in terms of ethnicity, religious belief, gender, class, and community? What can our readings teach us about the role of “minority literature” in Germany?

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 337-0 – Science and Culture in Germany

Germany is often regarded as being at the forefront of European developments concerning issues such as climate change and recycling, transport and renewable energy sources. This class will trace the scientific, political, philosophical, and aesthetic history of Germany as a ‘green nation’ from the 18th century until today. What are the roots of the ideology of environmentalism as it is represented in concepts like environment, ecology, or sustainability, which were all invented or popularized by German scientists (von Uexküll, Haeckel, von Carlowitz)? The course will also examine recent developments in German environmental policies like the so-called “Energiewende” and the “Diesel-Skandal”.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 345-0 – Topics in German Literature and Culture

This course rubric applies to courses that represent an in-depth study of topics in German literature and/or pivotal periods in German culture. Topics in this rubric may include: Culture Theory, Culture Critique and Politics in Germany since 1918, a course will delve into the debate of culture theory and political and social history by first examining some representative authors in the discussion of “culture” in social and political theory in the German-speaking context after 1918. The second part of the course, will analyze some major perspectives of thinkers on the “cultural turn”, including Jan Assmann, Jürgen Habermas, and Niklas Luhmann. In order to understand the connection between culture theory and political and social history, the analyses will be embedded in readings on the relations between culture, society, and politics in the history of Germany after 1945.  Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 398-0 – Undergraduate Seminar (1–3 units)

This is a course where students will do advanced work through supervised reading, research, and discussion. Topics in this rubric vary and may include special invitations for research seminars in connection with a week abroad in Germany. Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 399-0 – Independent Study

This course is open to outstanding German majors with senior standing. Students will do independent advanced research work culminating in a substantial paper or senior thesis.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

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GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSES AVAILABLE TO UNDERGRADUATES

German 322-0 – German Contributions to World Literature

Courses taught under this heading are oriented to the origin and consequences of major works of modern German literature. Topics may include: Nietzsche’s Will to Power as Eternal Return, a course that will illuminate the three different directions of Nietzsche’s thought – language, eternal return, will to power, by focusing on their mutual interdependence, and above all, on the way his practice of writing provides the indispensable context for understanding the concepts it articulates. The literary dimension of Nietzsche’s writing – evident in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but prevalent throughout – consists in the priority of the “how” of his writing over the “what” of its “content.” Readings and discussions in class will center around a brief résumé of Nietzsche’s conception of language and rhetoric; a discussion of his conception of “eternal return”; and an interpretation of his efforts to think what he calls “the will to power”. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 322 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 324-0 – Modern German Drama

Courses taught under this heading discuss plays by authors ranging from Lessing and Kleist to Brecht and Peter Weiss, and from the perspective of the stage as a “moral institution.” Topics may include: The Ride of the Director in German Theater, a course that examines the rise of the director in the German theatre from 1791 to today. In studying the most important directors of each era, the course seeks to distinguish between personal directorial style, aesthetic trends, and the development of directing as a profession. The course will cover such influential directors as Goethe, Duke George II of Saxe-Meiningen, Max Reinhardt, Leopold Jessner, Bertolt Brecht, Peter Stein, and Heiner Müller. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 324 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

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COURSES PRIMARILY FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

GERMAN 401 – German Literature and Critical Thought, 1750-1832 (1)

This course begins with the formative aesthetic discussions undertaken by Lessing and Mendelssohn, turns to Kant’s program for critical self-reflection, and considers a wide range of responses, including those of Schiller, the early romantics, Kleist, Hölderlin, and Goethe.

GERMAN 402 – German Literature and Critical Thought, 1832-1900

Thematic approach to key texts of 19th century German literature between Goethe and Gottfried Keller, tragedy and the Bildungsroman. Literary and philosophical texts are read side by side in order to interrogate traditional concepts of realism, mimesis, and interpretation.

GERMAN 403 – German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media, 1900-45 (1)

Built around selected key texts on the aesthetic theories of modernism (e.g., by Nietzsche, Adorno, Bürger, and Kittler), this course explores the relationship of literature and the visual arts and scrutinizes the status of literature within aesthetic production in modernity. Particular attention to works by Rilke, Kafka, Brecht, Lasker-Schüler, Benn, Musil, and Mann.

GERMAN 404 – German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media since 1945

Overview of the most influential texts that reflect the mounting concern with media in German literary and critical theory since the Second World War. Emphasis on the effects of the rise of media studies and theory on the understanding and interpretation of literature.

GERMAN 405 – Basic Issues in Foreign Language Teaching: Theory and Practical Applications (1)

This course focuses on basic principles of second language acquisition and language teaching methodology. It introduces students to the major trends and theories in language teaching. The critical reflection of pedagogical practices is emphasized.

GERMAN 406 – Contours of German History since 1750 (1)

Partly thematic and partly chronological approach to familiarizing graduate students with the social and cultural contexts of major intellectual and literary developments. Focus on the end of the early modern order, industrialization, urbanization, unification, utopianism, expansionism, the burden of the National Socialist past, and the vexed question of national identity.

GERMAN 407 – Proseminar (1)

Spring quarter writing workshops in which students complete a research-level paper in conjunction with work in others courses.

GERMAN 431 – Contemporary German Literature (1)

Readings from authors representative of literature in the former East and West Germany’s. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

Sample Classes:

GERMAN 441 – Studies in Communication and Culture

Content varies. Samples; feminist literature, media studies, the history of literary journals, and other specific topics representative of current research interests. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Sample TOpics: Trauma; Nietzsche.

GERMAN 490 – Independent Reading (1)

May be repeated for credit. Permission of instructor and department required.

GERMAN 499 – Independent Study (1)

May be repeated for credit. Permission of instructor and department required.

GERMAN 590 – Research (1)

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to dissertation. Permission of instructor and department required. May be repeated for credit.

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