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Fall 2017 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

SAS Core Goal Courses:

Intermediate German I 01:470:131
Intermediate German II 01:470:132
Tales of Horror  01:470:227
Advanced German II 01:470:232
Introduction to German Studies 01:470:275
Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis 01:470:301
 Kafka & World Lit, 01:470:354

 

Other Courses Taught by German Program Faculty

 

Language Courses

Elementary German
01:470:101:01

Christiane Fischer
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 115

Elementary German
01:470:101:02

Alexander Pichugin
M6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Scott Hall 106
W 67 4:30pm-7:30pm, Scott Hall 221

 

Elementary German 
01:470:101:05

Tony Kosar
TWF 10:55-12:15pm, TF Ruth Adams 110B, W Ruth Adams 209B

This course introduces students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries, using both prepared and authentic materials with theme-related vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will have the opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in German through in-class activities and homework assignments. Students also learn about cultural perspectives, products and practices of German-speaking countries. Some of the topics addressed in this course include geography and landscape, university studies and professional education, laws and regulations, and customs and holidays.

No prerequisites. Taught in German. German with some explanation of grammar points in English. Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of secondary school German.


Elementary German
01:470:102:01

Doris Glowacki
MWTh3  11:30am- 12:50pm, MTh Hardenbergh Hall B4, W Hardenbergh Hall B2

This course continues developing the students’ German language proficiency at the elementary level. Students further develop their knowledge of the German language and culture of German-speaking countries, using both prepared and authentic materials with theme-related vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students have the opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in German through in-class activities and homework assignments. Students continue learning about cultural perspectives, products and practices of German-speaking countries. Some of the topics addressed in the course include everyday living, food and shopping, travel, health and illnesses, childhood and youth, and the life of modern society.

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points in English. 

Prerequisite: German 101 or placement test. Not open for credits to students who have had two or more years of secondary school in German.


German for Travel
01:470:103:01

Alexander Pichugin

Th4  1:10pm -2:30pm, AB 3100

This course will introduce students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries focusing on the language competencies particularly relevant in travel situations.

By the end of the semester students will be able to speak about themselves in general and as travelers, ask basic questions about travel, discuss their travel interests and express likes and dislikes, speak about German-speaking countries and their inhabitants, orient themselves in means of transportation and accommodations used in Europe, purchase tickets and book hotel rooms on German-language websites.

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points and cultural references in English. Corequisite for German 103 is German 101 or 121.

 

German Conversation
01:470:104:01

Eva Erber
W5  2:50pm-4:10pm,   AB 3450

This course will introduce students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries focusing on the language competencies particularly relevant for oral communication in everyday situations.

By the end of the semester students will be able to speak about themselves, ask basic questions, share basic information about their families and relatives, speak about their studies, speak about objects relevant to everyday situations, speak about the weather, and express likes and dislikes.

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points and cultural references in English. Corequisite for German 104 is German 102 or 121.

 

 Intermediate German I
01:470:131:01

Doris Glowacki
MW4  1:10pm-2:30pm, Hardenbergh Hall A7

Intermediate German I
01:470:131:02

Eva Erber
TTh7   6:10pm-7:30pm, Scott Hall 204

In this course students develop their German-language skills at an intermediate level by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world. Through extensive work on expanding vocabulary, reviewing major grammar topics, conversation and composition exercises, the students will strengthen their language skills and develop cultural competency. The course focuses on real communication in meaningful contexts, to develop and consolidate students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities at the intermediate level. Using a variety of media, such as texts, video and audio, students will explore the course’s five major themes: Personal Life, Community Life, Media, Travel, and Art.

Taught in German. Fulfills SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goal AHq. Prerequisite: 01:470:102 or placement test.

 

Intermediate German II
01:470:132:01

Anna Mayer
TTh6   4:30pm-5:50pm,  Murray Hall 111

In this course students develop their German-language skills, by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world. Through extensive work on expanding vocabulary, reviewing major grammar topics, conversation and composition exercises, the students will strengthen their language skills and develop cultural competency. The course focuses on real communication in meaningful contexts, to develop and consolidate students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities at the upper intermediate level. Using a variety of media, such as texts, video and audio, students will explore the course’s five major themes: Traditions and Celebrations; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; Economy and Job Market; and History and Society.

Taught in German. Fulfills SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goal AHq. Prerequisite: 01:470:131 or placement test.

 

Advanced German I: Berlin! Protest und Popkultur
01:470:231:01

Nicola Behrmann

MTh3   11:30am-12:50pm,  HC N106

This course explores 20th century German culture, literature, and politics through an examination of the city of Berlin. Drawing on film, literature, and audio features we will focus on the following topics: Expressionism and Dada, Cabaret in the Golden Twenties, resistance against the Nazis, 1968 movement & left wing terrorism, the Berlin Wall & GDR protest culture, and contemporary Berlin scene. An emphasis will be placed on written exercises, listening and reading skills developing the ability to discuss and argue opinions, as well as a thorough review of grammar. All readings, discussions, and written works are in German. Prerequisites: German 132 or placement test.

 

Advanced German II
01:470:232:01

Janine Wahrendorf
MTh3  11:30am-12:30pm,  CA A3

This course is designed to further students’ German-language proficiency at an advanced level. It focuses on increasing the student’s ability to express their own ideas precisely and convincingly. Through extensive conversation and composition exercises, the course further develops the students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities at the advanced level. Using a variety of media, such as texts, still images, video and audio, and looking at a variety of genres, such as short stories, poems, non-fiction articles, documentary shows and reportages, students explore the course’s major themes. Students will have the opportunity to practice and improve their spoken and written German skills through class discussions, essays, homework assignments, creative project and oral presentations, as well as in-class grammar reviews.


Taught in German. . All readings, discussion, and written work for the course are in German.  Fulfills SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goals t[WCD] and v [WCR or WCD]. Prerequisites: German 231 or placement test.

 

Literature and Culture Courses

Tales of Horror (in English)
01:470:227:01  (Cross listed Comp Lit 01:195:227:01)

Nicola Behrmann

F2,3   9:50AM-12:40pm,  AB 1180

Frankenstein and Dracula, vampires and zombies, Doppelgänger, ghosts, and artificial humans continue to haunt our cultural imagination throughout the centuries. This course explores tales of horror through some of their most spellbinding creatures and fantasies in a period ranging from the Brothers Grimm to surrealist cinema: We will consider the historical or political context and the psychoanalytical underpinnings in each horrific tale and we will pay close attention to the ways a narrative (text or film) establishes, safeguards, or releases its horrific kernel. We will reflect the ways in which horror enters German Expressionism and why moving images relate particularly well to the uncanny and will explore the similarities and differences in the way film and literature explore horror. Readings include E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman,” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the figure of the devil in Jeremias Gotthelf’s “The Black Spider” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat,” the vampire in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the monstrous vermin in Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”. Filmic contributions range from Murnau’s Nosferatu and Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Taught in English. No prerequisites. Fulfills SAS core goals AHo and AHp.

 

Intro to German Studies: 1750-1900
01:470:275:01

Alexander Pichugin

MW5   2:50pm-4:10pm, Scott Hall 204

This course is an interdisciplinary inquiry into seminal literary, artistic, social, political, and intellectual developments in the history of German-language cultures and thought from around 1750 to 1900. The course is open to first-year students and to all who might not necessarily wish to become a German major or minor but who seek, as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education, basic familiarity with the rich and often vexed history of things German and their impact on Europe and the world.

No prerequisites. All readings and discussions in English. Fulfills SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goals p[AHp], s-1 [WCR or WCD], t [WCD], and v [WCR or WCD].

 

Contemporary German Media & Society
01:470:299:01

Anna Mayer
T8   7:40pm-9:00pm, AB 2200

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 explore the traditional (book and press), the new (film, radio and television) and the newest media (internet and mobile networking) and the role they play in different realms of contemporary German society in connection to some topics crucial to understanding the modern German-speaking world, including social structure, politics, culture, and everyday life. We will pay special attention to cultural comparisons between Germany and the United States.

In completing the homework assignments, the students will actively engage in watching videos, listening to audio clips, reading texts and participating in asynchronous online discussion. The class sessions will be discussion-based and include prepared, semi-prepared, and spontaneous discussions, which will provide the students with ample opportunity to advance their listening and speaking skills and further develop communication strategies. By the end of the course students will be able to better orient themselves in the German media landscape and engage in meaningful conversation about some aspects of the contemporary German-speaking world.

All course material and discussions in German. The course may be repeated for credit. All levels of language above German 121 welcome. Required of residents of Leupp Hall German special interest housing. Course open to other students and may be repeated for credit.

 

Intro to Lit. & Cult. Anal: Rebels and Loners (in German)
01:470:301:01

Nicola Behrmann

TTh4  1:10pm-2:30pm  AB 1100

This course will prepare you for content courses in German at the 300 level by exploring two common outsider figures in German literature and film: The angry rebel and the melancholic loner. What propels the rebel? What turns us into a loner? We will look at the excessive relation to law and authority these two figures entertain. Readings include recent film adaptations of Heinrich von Kleist’s novella “Michael Kohlhaas,” Franz Kafka’s story “Das Urteil,” Emmy Hennings’ short novel Gefängnis, Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, Bertolt Brecht’s play Mutter Courage, Ulrike Meinhof’s articles on state violence, and Werner Herzog’s film Aguirre – Der Zorn Gottes.

Course is designed for students with a solid grasp of basic German vocabulary and grammar who wish to expand their knowledge of the language and culture through reading, discussion, and writing. Taught in German. Fulfills permanent core requirements AHp, s-2/WCr, t/WCd and v. Prerequisite: 01:470:232, or simultaneous enrollment in 01:470:231 or 232. May be repeated for credit.

 

Masters of German Drama (in German)
01:470:324:01

Nicholas Rennie

TTh5   2:50pm-4:10pm  AB4050

Modern German culture, perhaps more than any other, has been created and disputed on the theater stage. This course will examine the extraordinary political, social, and aesthetic experimentation in German drama from the 18th century to the present. We will read work by such playwrights as Lessing, Goethe, Büchner, Brecht, and Handke, and end with the 2015 hit Terror, by Ferdinand von Schirach. In addition, we will, as much as possible, be viewing and discussing examples of productions: German-language Europe has developed a culture of experimentation with new and old stage materials unsurpassed in its audacity by other European or American cultures. Finally, we may, depending on pricing and what programs come available, be participating together on a trip to see a live production. Taught in German. Fulfills permanent core requirement AHp. Prerequisite: Prior successful completion of German 232, or instructor’s permission.

 

Kafka & World Lit
01:470:354:01  (Cross listed 01:195:382 and 01:563:355)

Michael Levine

TTh6   4:30pm – 5:50pm, Murray Hall 204  

The course will provide an introduction to Kafka's work and its impact on World literature. Kafka’s texts constitute a new level and quality of literature that has triggered innumerable responses in many languages, media, and discourses. He is generally recognized as an "international" author of a new type of "world literature." While the quality of the work is clear, it nevertheless tends to defy all attempts to approach it through traditional means of interpretation.  In an effort to forge new ways of addressing the challenges posed by Kafka's work, the course seeks to locate it in a number of related contexts: at the crossroads of European modernity; within debates about Jewish languages, culture, identity, and music in the early twentieth-century and beyond; at the center of current controversies concerning the politically charged notion of "minor literature;" and perhaps most importantly as the source of inspiration for new works of art, literature, film, and music. Among the works to be considered are the introduction to his writing in “comix” form by Mairowitz and Crumb; the fiction of Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, Achmat Dangor, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, and Philip Roth; the music of Philip Glass; and philosophical works by Kierkegaard and Derrida.  Readings also include canonical texts by Ovid, Homer, and Kleist, and critical/biographical works by Wagenbach, Canetti, Butler, Benjamin, Brod, Pawel, and others.

Taught in English. No prerequisites. Fulfills SAS core goals AHo and AHp.

 

Topics: Literary Theory
01:470:388:01    (Cross Listed 01:195:301:01 – Primary)

Michael Levine
TTh4   1:10pm – 2:30pm   HH A6

The course has two related aims: 1) to critically examines seminal texts which have helped to shape contemporary views of literature, culture and art,2)  to engage in a sustained, interdisciplinary exploration of the question: what is theory?  Topics include: formalism, poetics and narrative theory, psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, speech act theory, Marxism, sexuality and gender, race, postcolonial and cultural studies.

Taught in English. No prerequisites.

 

Topics: Enchanted Worlds
01:470:390:01  (Cross Listed 16:470:670:01, 01:195:395:01, 16:195:516:02)

Martha Helfer

M6,7   4:30- 7:10       MU 113

Enchanted Worlds: Fantasy, the Fantastic, and the Supernatural in Classicism, Romanticism and Realism

Course description: This course explores how fantasy, the fantastic, and the supernatural function as a site of cultural and aesthetic critique in German Classicism, Romanticism and Realism. Readings include immensely creative and influential masterpieces of world literature. Meet devils and doppelgänger, sandmen and spider women, elf kings and alchemists, magicians, and marble statues that come to life! Emphasis placed on developing critical reading and writing skills.

Taught in English. No prerequisites.

Reading list (tentative):

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust, Part One; “Dedication”; “Erl-King”

Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen

Ludwig Tieck: “Fair-Haired Eckbert,” “Rune Mountain”

E.T.A. Hoffmann: “The Sand Man,” The Golden Pot

Heinrich von Kleist: “Earthquake in Chili,” “The Foundling”

Joseph von Eichendorff: “The Marble Statue”

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff: “The Jews’ Beech Tree”; “In the Moss”; “The Mirror Image”
Jeremias Gotthelf: The Black Spider

Adalbert Stifter: Rock Crystal

Theodor Storm: Rider on a White Horse

Other Courses Taught by German Program Faculty 

Honors Seminar: Wise Fools 
01:090:292:01

Nicholas Rennie

Th 2,3   9:50am-12:50pm       AB 4050

The “wise fool” is a paradoxical figure that has fascinated Western writers at least since the Middle Ages. The fool stands outside of social convention and society’s normal hierarchies, and as such serves to highlight problems and contradictions in society itself. His folly veils a deeper wisdom. To speak as a fool, however, is also to contend with various forms of explicit or hidden censorship, to find ways to defy and circumvent social norms. We will accordingly look both at individual figures of the fool, as depicted in work from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Heinrich Böll; at examples of satire that bring into relief social issues of power, politics, gender, generational conflict, morality, and the relation between the individual and the collective; and at ways in which the language of folly itself serves as a model for some of the world’s most interesting examples of literary experimentation.

 

Byrne Seminar: Faust's Bargain with the Devil: Knowing It All, Losing It All 
01:090:101:73

Nicholas Rennie

T 4   1:10pm-2:30pm       AB 2250

The “wise fool” is a paradoxical figure that has fascinated Western writers at least since the Middle Ages. The fool stands outside of social convention and society’s normal hierarchies, and as such serves to highlight problems and contradictions in society itself. His folly veils a deeper wisdom. To speak as a fool, however, is also to contend with various forms of explicit or hidden censorship, to find ways to defy and circumvent social norms. We will accordingly look both at individual figures of the fool, as depicted in work from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Heinrich Böll; at examples of satire that bring into relief social issues of power, politics, gender, generational conflict, morality, and the relation between the individual and the collective; and at ways in which the language of folly itself serves as a model for some of the world’s most interesting examples of literary experimentation.

 

Byrne Seminar: Eco-Cinema: Nature and Environment in Film
01:090:101:74

Alexander Pichugin

Th 6  4:30pm-5:50pm       SC 121

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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