Fall 2014 Courses

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GER 1026. Memories, Secrets, and Lies: Autobiographical Texts from Rilke to Spiegelman.
Autobiographical texts are all around us, from the bestseller table in the bookstore to movie theater marquees. Although the tagline "Based on a True Story" is summoned to indicate a faithful relation between "real" events and their representation, all texts rely on the techniques of storytelling. Investigates how people tell stories about themselves, looking closely at issues of identity, subjectivity, memory, and representation. Explores various forms of life writing, including autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries. Readings include works by authors and artists (Goethe, Rilke, Spiegelman), as well as texts by "ordinary" people who write to explore, manage, and represent themselves. Close work with texts as well as critical and creative writing assignments. All course readings in English.
GER 1101A. Elementary German I.
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.
GER 1101B. Elementary German I.
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.
GER 2203A. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe.
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 1102 {102} is required.
GER 2203B. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe.
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 1102 {102} is required.
GER 2205. Advanced German Texts and Contexts.
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.
GER 3317. German Literature and Culture since 1945.
An exploration of how successive generations have expressed their relationship to the catastrophe of the Nazi past. Examines representative texts of East and West German writers/filmmakers in Cold War and post-unification contexts. A discussion of German identity from several critical perspectives, including Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the political and cultural influence of the United States and the Soviet Union, gender in the two Germanys, and the politics of migration and citizenship. Authors may include Grass, Böll, Borchert, Brussig, Özdamar, Schlink, and Wolf. Films by Fassbinder, von Trotta, Schlöndorff, Akin, and Levy.
GER 3395. Myths, Modernity, Media.
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).