Previous Semesters

Fall 2013 Graduate Courses

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Fall 2013 Undergraduate Courses

Advanced undergraduates in their third or fourth year of study may, with the permission of the Undergraduate Director, Professor Nicholas Rennie, and the authorization of the Graduate School, enroll in a graduate seminar as a route toward earning departmental honors.

Questions? Contact Our Graduate Director Fatima Naqvi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)
Dr. Alexander Pichugin
Th 2:50 - 4:10pm, Scott Hall 205
pdf Syllabus

The Teaching Apprenticeship will introduce graduate students who are teaching classes in the department to the professional expectations they will encounter as they seek careers in the foreign language teaching profession. Two major topics will be addressed: practical advice f or your own classes, and an introduction to the most current methodologies of foreign language teaching in New Jersey and in the United States. Both issues will help to prepare you for your future as a foreign language educator. The practical aspects of this class will include the writing of lesson plans and thematic units for a learner-centered classroom, based on the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century and the ACTFL proficiency guidelines, as well as the use of authentic teaching materials for meaningful activities and assessments. Assignments for this class will also include a weekly journal and an end-of-semester report, two peer observations per semester, and weekly observations regarding the classes you teach. This class is taught in German.

Enchanted Worlds: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, the Fantastic, Science Fiction, and the Supernatural (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 16:195:605:01
Professor Martha Helfer
M 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
pdf Syllabus

Course description: This course explores how fairy tales, fantasy, the fantastic, science fiction, and the supernatural function as a site of cultural critique in literature from the German Romantic tradition to the early 20th century. Readings include immensely creative and influential masterpieces of world literature. Emphasis placed on developing critical reading and writing skills.

Afterimages of War: Trials, Trauma and Representation (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 16:195:608:01
Professor Michael Levine and Professor Christian Delage
Th 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
Additional meetings at Cardozo Law School in New York City; to be arranged
pdf Syllabus

The Nuremberg trials set two important precedents related to the use of images in trials: the use of film as juridical evidence and the filming of the trials themselves. These decisions by Allied prosecutors have been crucial to our modern juridical frameworks and to the citizens of countless nations. In this exceptional situation, it was not a historian who created the archives (be they written or audiovisual) and determined their evidentiary value, but the courts. Today, the questions raised at Nuremberg about the relationship between images and the juridical process have become a growing concern for historians, jurists and film scholars alike; all seek to examine the use of film in contemporary trials for war crimes and genocide, and all are interested in thinking through the relationship between mass violence today and the memory of the traumas of the Second World War, particularly the genocide of the Jews of Europe. Trials are the first and still arguably the most important site at which law, history and film intersect. From Nuremberg to the contemporary trials in Cambodia film has played a crucial role, serving both as evidence of atrocity and as the means of publicizing the proceedings. But what does film bring to justice? What problems arise when courts use film as a form of testimony? What form of justice is done, and how instrumental are trials in shaping the memory of witnesses and survivors? This course is taught in English.


Lessing and the Reinvention of Literature (3 credits)
Professor Nicholas Rennie
W 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
pdf Syllabus

This course aims to introduce a selection of Lessing’s most important writings in the context of the developments that transform German literature and philosophy in the 18th century prior to Sturm und Drang. Topics to include: Classical and neo-Classical theories of literature and theater, and the invention of a new “German” culture; “Enlightenment” as a set of ideals and as work-in-progress; Empmfindsamkeit; class society and literature’s role in both representing it and theorizing its end (Diderot and the new bürgerliches Trauerspiel); shifts in the portrayal and instrumentalization of gender roles; new theories of education and religion; and the creation and development of the modern field of aesthetics. We will be reading shorter selections by Gottsched, Bodmer and Breitinger, and other precursors and contemporaries of Lessing’s; and texts by Lessing to include Der junge Gelehrte, Der Freigeist, Die Juden, Miß Sara Sampson, Laokoon, Minna von Barnhelm, selections from the Literaturbriefe and Hamburgische Dramaturgie, Emilia Galotti, Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts, and Nathan der Weise.

ISBN numbers (and ordering suggestions) for the required readings are available at the course Sakai site “2013-09 Lessing & the Reinvention of German Lit 470:672” (under “Announcements”), which until the start of the semester can be accessed by anyone with a Sakai login. Feel free also to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.