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Fall 2015 Undergraduate Courses

Language Courses

Literature Courses

Mini Courses

SAS Core Goal Courses:

Intermediate German I 01:470:131

Intermediate German II 01:470:132

Advanced German II 01:470:232

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis 01:470:301

Masters of German Drama 01:470:324:01

Language Courses

Elementary German I

Eva Erber
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 115
pdf Syllabus (270 KB)

Alexander Pichugin
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 204
W67 4:30-7:30pm, Graduate School of Education 025B
pdf Syllabus (664 KB)

Janine Wahrendor
MW4 2:15-3:35pm, Hickman Hall 115 (Douglass Campus)
Th4 2:15-3:35pm, Heldrich Science Building 204 (Douglass Campus)
pdf Syllabus (423 KB)

Not open for credit to students who have had two or more year 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
Doris Glowacki
MTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 104
W3 11:30-12:50pm, Scott Hall 215
pdf Syllabus (481 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 103.

Elementary German Lab
Anna Mayer
T4 1:10-2:30pm, Language Lab 119
pdf Syllabus (80 KB)

Co-requisite: 01:470:101 or 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 students' performance and confidence in the German languages.

Intermediate German I
Christina Mandt

MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall B3
pdf Syllabus (272 KB)

Anna Mayer
TTh7 6:10-7:30pm, Scott Hall 204
pdf Syllabus (108 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
Doris Glowacki

TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 111
pdf Syllabus (559 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
Annie Pfeifer
MTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Murray Hall 115
pdf Syllabus (585 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, sentennce structure, and patterns of expression, to enable students to discuss a variety of complex topics with increasing ease and confidence.

Advanced German II
Annie Pfeifer
MTh2 9:50-11:10am, Scott Hall 201
pdf Syllabus (382 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 verious kinds of texts. Fulfills SAS core goal WC d.

Literature Courses

German Culture in English: Literary Orphans

Annie Pfeifer
M5 3:20-4:40pm, Lucy Stone Hall B267 (Livingston Campus)
W5 3:20-4:40pm, Hill 009 (Busch Campus)
1.5 Credits. Course begins October 19.

In English. No prerequisites.

Why do so many young literary protagonists have absent or deceased parents? From early myths to the nineteenth-century novel, the oprhan is a prominent, almost clichéd figure throughout literature. In pop culture, Superman, Batman, James Bond, and Harry Potter are all portrayed as orphans who developed their magical or superhuman abilities partly through the absence or loss of their parents. In this course, we will examine not only the literary representation of orphans, but also the way the orphan as a cultural symbol has changed over time. In nineteenth-century Europe, the orphan was frequently deployed as a symbol for the abandoned individual who had to confront an industrializing, increasingly atomized society. In the twentieth century, the orphan reemerges as a symbol of innocence in the face of human catastrophes such as war, genocide, and AIDS. Drawing on literature, sociology, cultural studies, and psychology, this interdisciplinary course concludes with Harry Potter to examine whether the abandoned child is still a relevant figure in contemporary culture.

Contemporary German Media & Society
Christina Mandt
M8 7:40-9:00pm, Murray Hall 112
pdf Syllabus (234 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 newst media and the role they play in different realms of contemporary German society. Chose 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: German Music from Bach to Rammstein
Alexander Pichugin
MTh3 11:30-12:50pm, German House Seminar Room 102
pdf Syllabus (649 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:232.
In German.

German-speaking countries produced some of the most renowned composers and music performers of the world. Classical works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, and Wagner are some of the most performed in the world. German popular music of the 20th and 21st century with modern movements such as Neue Deutsche Welle, metal/rock, punk, pop rock, and hip hop is extremely popular and German electronic music has gained global influence. Germany is the largest music market in Europe, and third largest in the world. This course invites students to explore the world of German music and its connections to other forms of cultural production, such as literature and cinema. By studying these connections, students will gain insights into ideas, trends, and discourses that have shaped contemporary German-language culture. Fulfills SAS core goals AH p, WC d, r.

Business German I
Alexander Pichugin
M4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 215
Th4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 207
pdf Syllabus (557 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:232.
In German.

German, Austrian, and Swiss companies traditionally enjoy an excellent reputaion worldwide for representing innovation, quality, and cutting-edge technology. The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide. Both global-scale companies and smaller enterprises from German-speaking Europe attract business partners from around the world. Germany and the United States invest $40 billion per year in each others' businesses. A great number of German corporations and banks have branches in New Jersey and the New York City area. This course is an introduction to the language typically used in business settings in German-speaking countries. It prepares students to use the language in specific business-related contexts and helps them develop a better understanding of the German corporate culture. Topics include meeting business partners; business trips, company visits and professional fairs; offers, purchasing, and leasing; job search and job interviews; day-to-day office life; office organization and equipment; social meetings with business partners and small talk.

Translation I
Charlotte Craig
MW4 1:10-2:50pm, German House Library 202 (2nd Floor)
pdf Syllabus (213 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:232.
In German.

This course serves as an introduction into the methodology and techniques of translating German to English, and English to German. The course will have the form of a workshop in which students learn and develop strategies and techniques to translate a variety of texts from different subject areas. We will practice on typical problems that a translator encounters when faced with texts relating to technology, natural and social sciences, anthropology, history, commerce, advertising, and literature. Through practice exercises and assigned tasks, students will learn how to use a variety of dictionaries, glossaries, and handbooks that are useful for translators. We will also look at the history of translation studies and discuss the practical applications and typical tasks that a translator faces today.

Masters of German Drama
Nicholas Rennie
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, German House Seminar Room 102
pdf Syllabus (166 KB)

Prerequisite: 01:470:232.
In German.

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. 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. Fulfills SAS core goal AH p.

Classics of German Cinema
Cross-listed with Cinema Studies, 01:175:377:01
Fatima Naqvi
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 301
pdf Syllabus (150 KB)

In English. No prerequisites.

This course introduces students to films of the Weimar, Nazi, and post-war period, as well as to contemporary German cinema. We will explore issues of social class, gender, historical memory, violence, and conflict by means of close analysis. The class seeks to sensitize students to the cultural context of these films and the changing socio-political climates in which they were made. Special attention will be paid to the issue of style. Directors and films include Robert Wiene (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920), F.W. Murnau (The Last Laugh, 1924), Lotte Reiniger (The Adventures of Prinze Achmed, 1926), Fritz Lang (Metropolis, 1927), Josef von Sternberg (The Blue Angel, 1929), Leni Riefenstahl (Olympia, 1936), Wolfgang Staudte (The Murderers are Among Us, 1946), Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, 1950), Volker Schlöndorff (The Young Törless, 1966), Werner Herzog (Aguirre, 1972), Wim Wenders (Alice in the Cities, 1974), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (The Marriage of Maria Braun, 1979), Fatih Akin (Head-On, 2004), Christian Petzold (Yella, 2007), Jessica Hausner (Lourdes, 2009), and Michael Haneke (Caché, 2005). 

Topics: Love Letters
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 01:195:395:01
Michael Levine
T5 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall B2
Th5 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall A4
pdf Syllabus (150 KB)

In English.No prerequisites.

This course examines the intimacies, estrangements, enigmas and vagaries of love through the correspondence of a number of famous men and women of letters. Our exploration of the epistolary genre will range between private letters and published literary works and seek to read the one in conjunction with the other. Of particular concern will be structures of direct and indirect address, the use of pet names and the invention of secret codes and idioms, the materiality of the letter and the postal network, epistolary conventions, and the ties through which poetry, philosophy, literature, personal and public correspondence are themselve intimately bound. Readings include selections from the letters of Abelard and Heloise, Friedrich Hölderlin and Susette Gontard (Diotima), Franz Kafka and Felice Bauer, Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, Barthes, Derrida, and Benjamin. Discussions and readings in English, but original texts in German or French will be available when relevant.

Byrne Seminar: Faust's Bargain with the Devil: Knowing it All, Losing it All
Nicholas Rennie
Th2 9:50-11:10am, German House Seminar Room 102
pdf Syllabus (116 KB)

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

Faust, in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's famous play, is every university's worst nightmare. Frustrated that his multiple academic degrees have left him knowing nothing of value, the aging scholar goes rogue: he gives up standard research for magic; he flees his study with the devil to go out and party; he uses his status to help him impress and seduce a much younger woman; he heads off on a world tour without regard to those he encounters or has left behind; and he becomes a capricious and dangerous tyrant. How, then, did the Faust legend become the quintessential myth of modernity? What does Faust experience and learn by selling his soul? How is he changed, and how does he transform the world? Is his story a celebration or a condemnation of the modern age of discovery – research, teaching, learning, and self-exploration?

Byrne Seminar: The Trials of Franz Kafka
Michael Levine

W5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 106
pdf Syllabus (283 KB)

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

This seminar examines three key moments in the life of Franz Kafka and the afterlife of his writing. The first concerns his reference to the traumatic, public breaking-off of his engagement to Felice Brauer as a "tribunal." The second focuses on the connection between this humiliating experience and the novel, The Trial, on which he began work less than a month later. The third involves the recent Israeli trial conducted to decide who owns Kafka's posthumous writings (including the manuscript of The Trial), which the author had asked his friend, Max Brod, to destroy after his death. Through an examination of letters, novels, literary criticism, and debates surrounding the Israeli proceedings, the course traces the theme of the trial through Kafka's writings, examining in the process the relationship between life and art, the literary and the legal.

SAS Honors Seminar: The Wonderful World of Opera
Alexander Pichugin
W34 11:30am-2:30pm, Scott Hall 104
pdf Syllabus (626 KB)

In English. Open only to SAS Honors Program students.

In this seminar we will trace the development of the opera as genre from its Italian origins to modern day. The highlights of the course will be the well-known, but always new, pearls of the European and American operatic repertory, such as Mozart's Zauberflöte and Le nozze de Figaro, Verdi's Aida, La traviata, and Il travatore, Bizet's Carmen, Puccini's Tosca, and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. In listening, watching, and discussing operas, we will concentrate on several aspects of opera as cultural phenomenon, including its creators, the music itself, the elements of stage production, the voice theory, the orchestra, the narrative and dramatic elements of the libretti, and the reception, as well as genres related to and influenced by opera, such as muscial, operette, and rock opera. Fulfills SAS core goal WC d.

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