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Spring 2016 Undergraduate Courses

Language Courses

Literature & Culture Courses

SAS Core Goal Courses:

Intermediate German I 01:470:131

Intermediate German II 01:470:132

Advanced German II 01:470:232

Fairy Tales Then and Now 01:470:225

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis 01:470:302

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud 01:470:371


Language Courses

Elementary German I
01:470:101:01

Damian Grammatikopoulos
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Murray Hall 112
pdf Syllabus (795 KB)

01:470:101:02
Eva Erber
MWTh4 1:40-3:00pm, Beck Hall 201 (Livingston Campus)
pdf Syllabus (533 KB)

01:470:101:03
Alexander Pichugin
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 101
W67 4:30-7:30pm, Murray Hall 115
pdf Syllabus (663 KB)

Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of high-school German. Such students should enroll in German 121, unless they have placed into a higher-level German course.

The first semester of Elementary German introduces students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries. By the end of the semester students will be able to: talk about their activities, including studies, recreational pursuits; express their likes and dislikes; talk about posessions; give opinions on matters of taste or style; describe their talents and those of others; express their intentions, obligations, and necessities; describe feelings; talk about things that happened in the past; talk about shopping, work, and daily life at home; describe their career plans. Students of 101 are strongly encouraged to enroll in Elementary German Lab 103.

Elementary German II
01:470:102:01
Janine Wahrendorf
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Hardenbergh Hall B4
pdf Syllabus (192 KB)

Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of high-school German. Such students should enroll in German 121, unless they have placed into a higher-level German course.

The second semester of Elementary German expands the student's vocabulary and knowledge of German grammar. By the end of the semester students will be able to: talk about housing and housework; describe what to do when in need of medical assistance; talk about shopping and ordering food at restaurants; talk about family and community issues in a multicultural society; talk about the past and historic events. Students of 102 are strongly encouraged to enroll in Elementary German Lab 104.

Elementary German I Language Lab
01:470:103:01
Anna Mayer
T4 1:10-2:30pm, Language Lab 119
pdf Syllabus (307 KB)

Co-requisite: 01:470:101.

This course is an instructor-guided laboratory practicum based on intensive use of media. It is designed for the improvement of aural/oral skills and provides the opportunity for additional language practice. Class practice involves use of audio and video, individual and group work, and recordings of students' speech for evaluation of pronunciation and fluency. It will optimize students' performance and confidence in the German languages.

Elementary German II Language Lab
01:470:104:01
Anna Mayer
T4 1:10-2:30pm, Language Lab 119

Co-requisite: 01:470:102.

This course is an instructor-guided laboratory practicum based on intensive use of media. It is designed for the improvement of aural/oral skills and provides the opportunity for additional language practice. Class practice involves use of audio and video, individual and group work, and recordings of students' speech for evaluation of pronunciation and fluency. It will optimize the students' performance and confidence in the German language.

Intermediate German I
01:470:131:01
Doris Glowacki
TTh7 6:10-7:30pm, Scott Hall 220
pdf Syllabus (446 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:102, 01:470:121, or placement.

The first semester of Intermediate German further develops students' German language skills with an emphasis on conversation and composition based on everyday situations, aspects of culture, contemporary German short stories, and review of major grammatical points. Students will stregthen their listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as cultural competency by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world, including personal and community life, media, travel, and art. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.

Intermediate German II
01:470:132:01
Anna Mayer

TTh7 6:10-7:30pm, Scott Hall 105
pdf Syllabus (645 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:131.

The second semester of Intermediate German further expands German language skills with an emphasis on conversation and composition. Students will strengthen their listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as cultural competency by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world, including traditions and celebrations, science and technology, nature and the environment, economy and the job market, and history and society. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.

Advanced German I
01:470:231:01
Alexander Pichugin
M4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 101
Th4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 205
pdf Syllabus (714 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:132 or placement.

This course is designed to further students' overall German language proficiency at an advanced level. Students read authentic texts from a variety of media and genre with a thematic focus. Students work on increasing active and passive vocabulary and perfecting sentence structure in oral and written communication. The course includes intensive work on idiomatic vocabulary, sentence structure, and patterns of expression, to enable students to discuss a variety of complex topics with increasing ease and confidence.

Advanced German II
01:470:232:01
Doris Glowacki
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 216
pdf Syllabus (501 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:231.

This course is designed to further students' overall German language proficiency at a very advanced level. It focuses on increasing their ability to express their own ideas as convincingly and precisely as possible. Students read authentic texts from a variety of media and genre with a thematic focus. The course continues intensive work on idiomatic vocabulary, sentence structure, and patterns of expression to enable students to discuss a variety of complex topics with ease and confidence. Through a process of carefully guided writing exercises, including free writing, composing drafts, editing, and revising, students will practice writing various kinds of texts. Fulfills SAS core goal WC d.


Literature & Culture Courses

Fairy Tales Then and Now
01:470:225:01

Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:246:01
Martha Helfer
MW5 3:20-4:40pm, Rutgers Cinema 1 (Livingston Campus)
pdf Syllabus (1.66 MB)

In English. No prerequisites.

This course analyzes the structure, meaning, and function of fairy tales and their enduring influence on literature and popular culture. While we will concentrate on the German context, and in particular the works of the Brothers Grimm, we will also consider fairy tales drawn from a number of different national traditions and historical periods, including the American present. Various strategies for interpretng fairy tales will be examined, including methodologies derived from structuralism, folklore studies, gender studies, and psychoanalysis. We will explore pedagogical and political uses and abuses of fairy tales. We will investigate the evolution of specific tale types and trace their transformations in various media from oral storytelling through print to film, television, and the stage. Finally, we will consider potential strategies for the reinterpretation and rewriting of fairy tales. Fulfills SAS core goal AH p, WC d.

Contemporary German Media & Society
01:470:299:01
Christina Mandt
M8 7:40-9:00pm, Scott Hall 221
pdf Syllabus (529 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:102 or 01:470:121 or higher.
In German. If taken twice, 470:299 may be counted for three credits toward the major or minor.

The main goal of this course is to increase the students' cultural awareness through the study of the various media and their role in contemporary German society, while furthering the students' German language skills through consistent speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In this course, students will explore the traditional, modernized, and news media and the role they play in different realms of contemporary German society. Chosen topics of the course are crucial to understanding the modern German-speaking world and include themes such as social structure, politics, culture, and everyday life. Special attention is paid to cultural comparisions between Germany and the United States.

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: War in German Cultural Discourse
01:470:302:01
Alexander Pichugin
MTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 207
pdf Syllabus (731 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:232.
In German. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

War, their impacts and aftermaths, have been shaping Europe from Early Neolithic times until the present day. War has been a strong discourse-building element in German-speaking Europe over the centuries, finding its expression in politics, literature, and arts. This course examines the representation of war and related concepts (peace, politics, military power) in German-language literature, theater, cinema, television, and press. In exploring these topics, we will try to answer the questions: What is war? Why do people engage in military conflicts? What role did war play in the history of the German-speaking region? How is war reflected and interpreted in historiography, politics, literature, and art? All course materials, discussions, and readings are in German. Fulfills SAS core goals AH p, WC d, r.

German Culture: Counter- and Multicultures
01:470:343:01

Tanja Rommelfanger

MTh2 9:50-11:10am, Hardenbergh Hall B5
pdf Syllabus (129 KB)

In German. Prerequisite: 01:470:232.

This course examines the German-speaking world from the cultural and political margins. Beginning with nineteenth-century antisemitism and culminating in the current debates on Germany's refugee crisis, we will analyze the politics surrounding German multiculturalism. To what extent were the 1968 student protests in Germany responding to the struggle for decolonization in the Third World? How can we understand the rise of right-wing populism in the German-speaking world through a historical lens? Texts range from the writings of political radicals like Ulrike Meinhof and contemporary authors like Feridun Zaimoglu to new coverage on Switzerland's minaret referendum and Germany's refugee policy.

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
01:470:371:01

Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:374:01 and Philosophy 01:730:344:01
Nicholas Rennie
T2 9:50-11:10am, Murray Hall 211
Th2 9:50-11:10am, Milledoler Hall 100
pdf Syllabus (839 KB)

In English. No prerequisites.

Exploration of the work of three German writers who revolutionized modern philosophy, theology, psychology, aesthetics, social and political science, gender studies, historiography, literature and the arts. We will be reading and discussing a selection of key writings by Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Along with these we’ll examine a sampling of texts that were important for their work, and writings that later both reflected their influence and drew their ideas in new directions. Fulfills SAS core goals HST and AH o.

Topics: Labor, Idleness, Art
01:470:388:01
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:395:01
Martin Schaefer
TTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Graduate School of Education 025B
pdf Syllabus (140 KB)

In English. No prerequisites.

The course examines the intricate interrelations between labor, idleness, and art. Hannah Arendt famously called the modern capitalist societies that emerge in the 18th century and still persist today "laboring societies": their human members are first of all defined by their ability to work, toil, and labor. Practices of idleness tend, on the one hand, to get vilified as the demonic "other" of labor. On the other hand, they come to be seen as acts of heroic resistance. In this context, the status of works of art gets called into question. Are they the result of human labor, perhaps a "proper" labor freed from everyday constraints? Or are they made possible by the very absence of labor and the "real" human freedom of idleness? And what does happen when, in the 21st century, "creativity," flexibility and other qualities formerly attributed to artists and idlers become central requirements on the labor market?

In order to explore these questions we will read theoretical and literary texts from around 1800 to the present including Marx, F. Schlegel, Nietzsche, and Arendt. Discussion in English; all readings available in English translation and also in the original German whenever relevant.

Topics: Written on the Screen: Desire and Film Adaptation
01:470:390:01
Cross-listed with Cinema Studies 01:175:377:03 and Women & Gender Studies 01:988:396:01
Christina Mandt
M4, 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 205
W4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 221
pdf Syllabus (264 KB)

In English. No prerequisites.

In this seminar, we will examine the relationship between literature and film in contemporary adaptations, focusing on the topics of gender relations and desire. Recent debates have come to consider an adaptation to be less an attempted copy of a "source" or "original" than a dialogue between a text and a film (Robert Stam). We will focus on the possible consequences of these debates for the way we think about the relationship between a novel and its film version. By exploring famous prose texts from the German-speaking world and their impact on international cinema, we will examine gender and sexuality across these media. Beginning with primary sources and reading them on their own terms, we will then analyze connections and contrasts between the texts and their adaptations. Moreover, we will study films that deal with the topic of adaptation without referring to any source novel. In these cases we will ask how they invite us to rethink the very idea of adaptation. Finally, we will reconsider the concept of adaptation in the light of the discussed examples and also try out adapting a literary passage into a short screenplay.

The readings include modern classics by Franz Kafka and Arthur Schnitzler, post-war and contemporary writings by Ingeborg Bachmann, Bernhard Schlink, and Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek. We will view films by Stanley Kubrick, Michael Haneke, Spike Jonze, and David Lynch. Moreover, we will draw on seminal texts in both gender and adaptation studies.Taught in English. All readings available in English.

Topics: Dangerous Passions: Collecting, Hoarding, and Acquiring
01:470:392:01
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:397:01
Annie Pfeifer
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, German House Seminar Room 102
pdf Syllabus

In English. No prerequisites.

The collector, warns the literary critic Walter Benjamin, is “motivated by dangerous though domesticated passions.” Far from merely a playful or antiquarian practice, collecting was depicted by various authors and theorists as a pathological tendency which often borders on compulsion and kleptomania. This interdisciplinary seminar examines not only the literary representations of collecting, hoarding, and possessing but also the psychological, economic, and aesthetic forces which motivate people to acquire. From Noah’s Ark to the Renaissance Wunderkammer to the contemporary museum, collecting is related to the practice of organizing, cataloguing, and understanding the world we live in. This seminar poses the question: to what extent is collecting a trans-historical phenomenon and to what extent is it a fundamentally modern process shaped by the expansion of capitalism and private property? 

By examining the fictional representations of art collectors and collections, we will begin with what Benjamin calls the “domesticated” side of collecting. We will then turn our attention to the “dangerous” undercurrents of collecting by teasing out the differences between collecting, hoarding, and possessing. This seminar also explores the dangerous political and ethical ramifications of collecting practices, such as the relationship between imperial conquest and the growth of institutions like museums, world fairs, and human zoos.


Byrne Seminar: Eco-Cinema: Nature and Environment in Film
01:090:101:97
Alexander Pichugin
T12 8:10-11:10am, Hardenbergh Hall A4

In English. Open only to first-year Rutgers students.

This seminar is open to any student interested in film studies, nature/culture relationship, environmentalism and environmental humanities. It will engage students with the connections between ecology and cinema. The seminar begins with an exploration of the theoretical principles of the ecological approach and the history of ecocriticism, including ecocriticism in film. The focus of the second (main) part of the seminar will be on the application of ecocritical thinking to the analysis of feature and documentary films related to nature and ecology. The feature films include James Cameron's Avatar, the documentaries are David Attenborough's Life Series, Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth and Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. The goal of the course is to approach the filmic representation of the relationship between humans and our natural environment in meaningful and creative ways.

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