Spring 2015 Graduate Courses
This course prepares graduate students for a successful teaching and learning experience in the foreign language classroom. This semester, the course will concentrate on the development of aspiring and beginning instructors as teaching professionals and continue to introduce them to the most current methodologies of foreign language teaching in the United States, as well as provide them with guidance and practical advice in the classes they are teaching. Completing these goals will help the course participants find their own voice as teaching professionals and thus strengthen their position in the competitive job market.
The practical aspects of the course include developing and writing one's own teaching philosophy, compiling a teaching portfolio, designing course syllabi, and preparing for teaching-related aspects of the job application and teaching-related questions in the job interview. It also includes designing lesson plans for a learner-centered classroom, stating objectives based on standards of foreign language learning and nationally accepted proficiency guidelines, finding authentic materials for teaching and creating one's own, developing and reviewing graded assignments, analyzing and comparing different assessment tools, observing and reflecting upon one's own teaching and the teaching of others, and discussion assessment tools. Students will observe and reflect upon their own teaching and the teaching of others, as well as discuss personal experiences and challenges in the langauge classroom. The course participants will also continue to discuss methodologies and standards of foreign language teaching and learning in secondary and post-secondary education in the US, e.g. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, the New Jersey World Language Curriculum Framework and Core Curriculum Content Standards, and the Standards of Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. This course is taught in German with some assignments and readings in English.
Topics in German Literature: Literature, Film, and Theory for the Anthropocene: New Directions in German Ecocriticism (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 16:195:608:02
W67 4:30-7:10pm, German House Seminar Room (Room 102)
Extending recent attempts to widen the scope of ecocriticism and the Environmental beyond Anglophone literature, this seminar will offer an introduction to environmental issues in German literature and film, while also developing ecocritical models for German Studies and Comparative Literature. Meetings will focus on literary, cinematic, artistic, and theoretical articulations of the new geological epoch widely known as the "Anthropocene" as well as the planetary catastrophes that it stands for. Topics inlcude dark pastoral (Goethe's The Suffering of Young Werther) and the philosophy of landscape (Simmel); literature of the nuclear age (Christa Wolf's Accident and Güter Grass's The Rat); mass extinction and biodiversity loss (in novels such as Dietmar Dath's The Abolition of Species, Sebald's The Rings of Saturn, and Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide; lyric poetry from Brecht to Juliana Spahr; and Maya Lin's monumental installation What is Missing); climate change fiction (Ilija Trojanow's Melting Ice); geopoetics from Hölderlin to Celan; petrofiction and the "oil encounter" (Werner Herzog's Lessons in Darkness); "toxic discourse" (Sebald's The Emigrants and Michael Glawogger's Working Man's Death); waste, pollution, and post-colonial debris (particular in films such as Jörg Forth's Letztes aus der DaDaeR, Fatih Akin's Polluting Paradise, and Vik Muniz's Wasteland).
In addition to a review of current theoretical impulses in the environmental humanities, this seminar will focus on recent theoretical work in articulating the geologic as a condition of contemporary life in three principal areas: geophilosophy, geocriticism, and geopoetics. Authors include Deleuze and Guattarti and Elisabeth Grosz on geophilosophy; Elizabeth Povineli and Kathryn Yusoff on "geoontology" and the possibility of a post-carbon philosophy; Kate Rigby on ecopoetics; Clarie Colebrook's post-theoretical Essays on Extinction; and Joanna Zylinska's Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene, among others. This course is taught in English.
Topics in German Literature: Around Kafka: From the Grimms to Murakami (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 16:195:516:01
M67 4:30-7:10pm, German House Seminar Room (Room 102)
"Franz Kafka" is often understood to be the familiar historical character: a Czech-Jewish writer who wrote and practiced worker's compensation law in Prague, and who died an untimely death, most likely of TB related to complications from the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, in 1924. But in keeping with conditions of simulation and representation in our still-young cybernetic age, "Franz Kafka" may also be regarded as a most distinctive idiom, aesthetic, posture, and display or distribution of literary figures throughout a radical virtual space "belonging" as much to his fellow authors and legions of readers as to himself. Our course decisively takes off from this second approach. We will approach Kafka both as an author who made inventive incursions into the preexisting virtual universes of fairy tale and Romantic inspirations including Heinrich von Kleist and E.T.A. Hoffmann; and, as a major resource and inspiration for an astounding variety of 20th- and 21st-century critics and philosophers as well as fiction-writers. Some of the most distinctive achievements of Jorges Luis Borges, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, and Haruki Marukami, not to mention critics Walter Benjamin and Maurice Blanchot, would be unthinkable outside the unique imaginary terrain that Kafka configured and programmed. We begin by asking ourselves: what are the parameters of the virtual simulated world that Kafka both synthesized and appropriated. We'll then hang on for the improvisational literary demolition-derby happening when "Franz Kafka" collides into the imaginations of Beckett, Borges, Pamuk, Murakami, and peers. This course is taught in English.