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The College Catalogue

German – Courses

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

[1027 {27} c. From Flowers of Evil to Pretty Woman: Prostitutes in Modern Western Culture. (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 1027 {27} and Gender and Women’s Studies 1027 {27}.)]

German Literature and Culture in English Translation

1151 {151} c - ESD. The Literary Imagination and the Holocaust. Fall 2013. Steven Cerf.

An examination of the literary treatment of the Holocaust, a period between 1933 and 1945, during which eleven million innocent people were systematically murdered by the Nazis. Four different literary genres are examined: the diary and memoir, drama, poetry, and the novel. Three basic sets of questions are raised by the course: How could such slaughter take place in the twentieth century? To what extent is literature capable of evoking this period and what different aspects of the Holocaust are stressed by the different genres? What can our study of the Holocaust teach us with regard to contemporary issues surrounding totalitarianism and racism? No knowledge of German is required. (Same as Film Studies 1151 {151}.)

1152 {152} c - IP, VPA. Berlin: Sin City, Divided City, City of the Future. Spring 2014. Jill Smith.

An examination of literary, artistic, and cinematic representations of the city of Berlin during three distinct time periods: the “Roaring ’20s,” the Cold War, and the post-Wall period. Explores the dramatic cultural, political, and physical transformations that Berlin underwent during the twentieth century and thereby illustrates the central role that Berlin played, and continues to play, in European history and culture, as well as in the American cultural imagination. For each time period studied, compares Anglo-American representations of Berlin with those produced by German artists and writers, and investigates how, why, and to what extent Berlin has retained its status as one of the most quintessentially modern cities in the world. No knowledge of German is required. (Same as Film Studies 1152 {152}.)

Language and Culture Courses

1101 {101} c. Elementary German I. Every fall. Fall 2013. Jill Smith.

German 1101 {101} is the first course in German language and culture and is open to all students without prerequisite. Facilitates an understanding of culture through language. Introduces German history and cultural topics. Three hours per week. Acquisition of four skills: speaking and understanding, reading, and writing. One hour of conversation and practice with teaching assistant. Integrated Language Media Center work.

1102 {102} c. Elementary German II. Every spring. Spring 2014. Steven Cerf.

Continuation of German 1101 {101}. Equivalent of German 1101 {101} is required.

2203 {203} c. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe. Every fall. Fall 2013. Steven Cerf.

Continued emphasis on the understanding of German culture through language. Focus on social and cultural topics through history, literature, politics, popular culture, and the arts. Three hours per week of reading, speaking, and writing. One hour of discussion and practice with teaching assistant. Language Media Center also available. Equivalent of German 1102 {102} is required.

2204 {204} c. Intermediate German II: German History through Visual Culture. Every spring. Spring 2014. Birgit Tautz.

Continuation of German 2203 {203}. Equivalent of German 2203 {203} is required.

2205 {205} c - IP. Advanced German Texts and Contexts. Every year. Fall 2013. Birgit Tautz.

Designed to explore aspects of German culture in depth, to deepen the understanding of culture through language, and to increase facility in speaking, writing, reading, and comprehension. Topics include post-war and/or post-unification themes in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Particular emphasis on post-1990 German youth culture and language. Includes fiction writing, film, music, and various news media. Weekly individual sessions with the Teaching Fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz. Equivalent of German 2204 {204} is required.

2970–2973 {291–294} c. Intermediate Independent Study in German. The Department.

2999 {299} c. Intermediate Collaborative Study in German. The Department.

Literature and Culture Courses

All courses require the equivalent of German 2204 {204}.

3308 {308} c - IP. Introduction to German Literature and Culture. Spring 2014. Jill Smith.

Designed to be an introduction to the critical reading of texts by genre (e.g., prose fiction and nonfiction, lyric poetry, drama, opera, film) in the context of German intellectual, political, and social history. Focuses on various themes and periods. Develops students’ sensitivity to generic structures and introduces terminology for describing and analyzing texts in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Weekly individual sessions with the Teaching Fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz. All materials and coursework in German.

3313 {313} c - IP. German Classicism. Fall 2013. Birgit Tautz.

Focus on the mid- to late eighteenth century as an age of contradictory impulses (e.g., the youthful revolt of Storm and Stress against the Age of Reason). Examines manifestations of such impulses—e.g., ghosts, love, and other transgressions—in the works of major (e.g., Goethe, Schiller) and less well-known (e.g., Karsch, Forster) authors. Beginning with discussions of transparency, examines the ghostly and spiritual moments of “Faustian bargains” (Goethe’s Urfaust); transgressive desires in poetry, travel texts, and love letters as well as in secret societies; and concludes with emergent, phantasmic technologies (Schiller’s Geisterseher) and manifestations of the irrational in nature’s chaos (Kleist Das Erdbeben in Chili). Investigation of texts in their broader cultural context with appropriate theory and illustrated through film and drama on video, statistical data, developments in eighteenth-century dance, music, and legal discourse. All materials and course work in German.

[3314 {314} c - IP. German Romanticism.]

[3315 {315} c - IP. Realism and Revolution in Nineteenth-Century German Literature and Culture.]

[3316 {316} c - IP. German Modernism—Urbanity, Interiority, Sexuality. ]

[3317 {317} c - IP. German Literature and Culture since 1945.]

3390–3399 {390–399}. Seminar in Aspects of German Literature and Culture.

Work in a specific area of German culture not covered in other departmental courses, e.g., individual authors, movements, genres, cultural influences, and historical periods.

3392 {392} c - IP. Das deutsche Lustspiel. Spring 2014. Steven Cerf.

An examination of selected masterworks of the rare and problematic German-language comedy from the Enlightenment to Post-Unification in historical and cultural contexts. Particular attention is paid to the comedic works of Lessing, Kleist, Wagner, Hofmannsthal, Zuckmayer, Dürrenmatt and Levy. Three questions are posed: (1) Why are there so few German literary comedies? (2) How did German comedic writers—with their attention to psychological, historical, and sociological detail—form their own tradition in which they responded to each other over two centuries? (3) To what extent did writers from other cultures inspire German comedic playwrights? In addition to a close reading of texts, filmed stage productions and cinematic adaptations are examined. All materials and coursework in German.

[3394 {394} c. Contemporary Austrian Literature, Drama, and Film.]

[3395 {395} c - IP. Myths, Modernity, Media. (Same as Film Studies 3395 {395}.)]

3397 {397} c - IP. Global Germany? Fall 2013. Jill Smith.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the concomitant end of the Cold War ushered in what many cultural critics call “the era of globalization.” An exploration of how contemporary German culture (1990–present) grapples with both the possibilities and uncertainties presented by globalization. Examines a myriad of cultural texts—films, audio plays, dramas, short fiction, novels, photographs, websites—as well as mass events (i.e., the Love Parade, the 2006 World Cup) within their political, social, and economic contexts to show how Germany’s troubled past continues to affect the role it plays on the global stage and how its changing demographics—increased urbanization and ethnic diversity—have altered its cultural and literary landscape. Critically considers issues such as migration, terrorism and genocide, sex tourism, the formation of the European Union and the supposed decline of the nation-state. Frequent short writings, participation in debates, and a final research project based upon a relevant topic of individual interest are required. All materials and course work in German.

4000–4003 {401–404} c. Advanced Independent Study in German. The Department.

4029 {405} c. Advanced Collaborative Study in German. The Department.

4000–4003 {401–404} c. Honors Project in German. The Department.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.