Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)
Alexander Pichugin

This course prepares graduate students for a successful teaching and learning experience in the foreign language classroom. The course addresses two major goals: introduce aspiring and beginning instructors to the most current methodologies of foreign language teaching and provide them with guidance and practical advice in the classroom. Special focus this semester will be on classroom interaction with its various aspects. The course 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, developing and reviewing graded assignments, analyzing and comparing different assessment tools, observing and reflecting upon one's own teaching and the teaching by others, and discussing personal experiences and the challenges of the language classroom. This course is taught in German with some assignments and readings in English.

Utopia & Nostalgia. Time, History, and Memory in the Modern Age
Dr. Philipp Felsch, Visiting Craig Professor

Among the key features of Western Modernity is the notion of a linear time that – stretching from the past into the future – can be experienced as progress or decay, provokes both utopian expectations and nostalgic longing – and in any case the need to determine one's own position within this constant flux. By examining historical sources, the course offers an introduction to the defining dimensions of the modern time regime: from the first notions of a rapidly accelerating time in the late 18th Century through ideas of nowness and belatedness, trauma and redemption, history and memory, to the dystopic fears that mark our present day.

Parergal Zones: Politics of Space
Nicola Behrmann

 This combined seminar-and-lecture series investigates the politics of space, of what envelopes and frames it, and how our perception of space remains bound to mechanisms that do not come into effect or make an appearance in our established cartographies. Derrida’s concept of the parergon – that which “touches and cooperates within the operation, from a certain outside” (Derrida) – can help us understand how political dynamics of infringement, exile, public humiliation, upheaval, security measures, cultural anxieties, and spectral returns of the repressed are connected. Drawing on landscape architecture, literature, music, and visual arts, we will investigate how “parergal zones” and spaces of exception are bound to the dynamics of bio-political governance. We are interested in the topographic blind spots or wander lines that cannot be mapped or represented “properly” and ask how administrative and colonial grids come into appearance as an a-social that frames and distorts the perception of collective or communal space.
Readings in the plenary sessions will feature works by Nicholas Abraham/Maria Torok, Theodor W. Adorno, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Georg Büchner, Fernand Deligny, Amitav Ghosh, J.W. Goethe, Esther Kinsky, Alfred Kubin/Johannes Schaaf, Henri Lefebvre, Jean-François Lyotard, Achille Mbembe, Stanisława Przybyszewska, Yvonne Rainer, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Adalbert Stifter. Several distinguished guest interlocutors will engage a wide range of disciplines with regards to the politics of space.

The Problem of Language
Dominik Zechner

William Burroughs considered language to be a virus from outer space. If man is the “animal in possession of language,” as a more grounded Aristotelian lineage has affirmed, our relation to this possession may well be one of estrangement rather than familiarity. Is language at all something that can be attributed and possessed? Or is the human being called into the precinct of language by an apostrophe that radically antecedes both notions of property and human grammars of articulation? These questions will guide our inquiry into language as the most fundamental concept in literary studies and philology. The course trajectory contains contributions to philosophy, literary studies, modern poetry, prose, and drama, penned by the likes of Herder, Benjamin, Heidegger, Beckett, Handke, Lacan, Derrida, Butler, and Cixous.