Fall 2012 Courses

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027. From Flowers of Evil to Pretty Woman: Prostitutes in Modern Western Culture
Jill Smith M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-207
Explores the myriad ways that prostitutes have been represented in modern Western culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. By analyzing literary texts, visual artworks, and films from Europe and the United States, examines prostitution as a complex urban phenomenon and a vehicle through which artists and writers grapple with issues of labor, morality, sexuality, and gender roles. Introduces students to a variety of literary, artistic, musical, and filmic genres, as well as to different disciplinary approaches to the study of prostitution. Authors, artists, and film directors may include Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec, Kirchner, Brecht/Weill, Pabst, Marshall, Scorsese, Spielmann, and Sting.
101. Elementary German I
Birgit Tautz M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Sills-107
German 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 laboratory work.
101. Elementary German I
Birgit Tautz M 1:30 - 2:25, W 1:30 - 2:25, F 1:30 - 2:25 Sills-107
German 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 laboratory work.
153. Kafka and YouTube
Michael Huffmaster T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Sills-Smith Auditorium
The works of Franz Kafka, seen as paradigmatic of early twentieth-century literary modernism, have inspired thousands of videos on the twenty-first-century Internet platform YouTube from dozens of cultures around the world. Takes this astounding phenomenon as a springboard to explore both the workings of Kafka’s poetics and the nature of new media. Examines seminal Kafka texts with the aid of literary theoretical concepts such as defamiliarization, performativity, iterability, and dialogism, as well as linguistic concepts such as deviation, point of view, and speech and thought representation. Analyzes video adaptations of Kafka’s works on YouTube in light of features specific to the filmic medium, such as editing, staging, cinematography, spectator position, and sound. Uses YouTube as a case study to investigate the nature of new media, considering concepts such as hypertext and cybertext. Viewings of feature-length film adaptations of Kafka’s novels—Orson Welles’s The Trial (1962) and Michael Haneke’s Das Schloß (The Castle, 1997)—to gain a deeper understanding, through contrastive analysis, of the specificities of contemporary digital media. Such a comparative, cross-medial approach illuminates characteristic features both of Kafka’s work and of new media while offering unique insights into the traditional humanistic concern of textual interpretation. No knowledge of German is required.
203. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe
Jill Smith M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25 Sills-107
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 laboratory also available. Equivalent of German 102 is required.
203. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe
Jill Smith M 1:30 - 2:25, W 1:30 - 2:25, F 1:30 - 2:25 Sills-207
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 laboratory also available. Equivalent of German 102 is required.
205. Advanced German Texts and Contexts
Edward Muston T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-111
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 204 is required.
315. Realism and Revolution in Nineteenth-Century German Literature and Culture
Michael Huffmaster T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-107
What is revolution? What forms has it taken within German-speaking society and culture? Examines a variety of literary, cultural, and social texts from 1830 to 1900 in their broader cultural, artistic, philosophical, and political contexts. Beyond discussing the effects (both positive and negative) of the Industrial Revolution, discusses three other forms of revolution that emerge in nineteenth-century German discourse: (1) political revolution (the formation of German national identity; the rise of the socialist movement); (2) artistic revolution (the search for an artistic direction at the end of the Age of Goethe; the tensions between social realism and romanticism); (3) sexual revolution (scientific interest in “normal” vs. “abnormal” sexual behavior; the advent of the women’s movement and the questioning of gender roles). Authors/artists may include Heine, Büchner, Hebbel, Hauptmann, Andreas-Salomé, Fontane, Wagner, Marx and Engels, Bebel, Simmel, Kollwitz, Krafft-Ebing.
395. Myths, Modernity, Media
Birgit Tautz M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
Explores the important role that myths have played in German cultural history. While founding myths of Germanic culture (e.g., Nibelungen) are considered, focuses especially on myth in relation to fairy tales, legends (including urban legends of the twentieth century), and borderline genres and motifs (e.g., vampires, witches, automatons), as well as on questions of mythmaking. Examines why modern culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, which seemingly neglects or overcomes myths, heavily engages in mythicization of ideas (e.g., gender roles, the unnatural) and popularizes myths through modern media (film, television, the Internet), locations (e.g., cities) and transnational exchange (Disney; the myth of “the Orient”). Aside from short analytical or interpretive papers aimed at developing critical language skills, students may pursue a creative project (performance of a mythical character, design of a scholarly Web page, writing of a modern fairy tale).