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Spring 2014 Undergraduate Courses

Questions about the Department's graduate course offerings should be addressed to the Graduate Director, Fatima Naqvi, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Advanced undergraduates may apply to enroll in a graduate seminar, and German majors are encouraged to do so as a path toward eligibility for Honors in German. Interested students should contact the Undergraduate Director of German (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to discuss these options.


Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)
Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
Th 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 214
pdf Syllabus

Deutschlehrerberuf: Erwartungen, Herausforderungen und Vorbereitung
German Teacher as a Profession: Expectations, Challenges, and Preparation

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 on 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 for 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, as well as discussing personal experiences and challenges in the language classroom. The course participants will also continue to discuss methodologies and standards of foreign language teaching and learning in secondary and postsecondary education in the US, e.g. the 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 class is taught in German.

Film Theory and World Cinema (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 16:195:522:01
Professor Fatima Naqvi
W 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
pdf Syllabus

This course will serve as an introduction to film theory and criticism from the inception of cinema to the present. It seeks to help students develop the vocabulary and analytical skills essential for teaching and research within cinema studies and to expose them to international film movements. We will focus on a variety of theoretical concerns, including the interrogation of realism, auteurism, genre, avant-garde and third cinema movements, psychoanalytic and feminist approaches, spectatorship and subjectivity, star studies, (post)national cinema, and the impact of digital technology. Each week we will view a film, which will be discussed in class together with the required readings. Please note that the screenings will take place in the German House Seminar Room; films are also available for on-site viewing at the Douglass Media Center (Kilmer Library). The course is taught in English and all readings (Balázs, Arnheim, Vertov, Eisenstein, Kracauer, Adorno, Metz, Althusser, Mulvey, Mayne, Silverman, etc.) are available in English, although students are encouraged to read the original where possible. This course is necessary for completion of the graduate certificate in film studies. This course is taught in English.

Drama and Political Representation from Greek Tragedy to the Brecht and Heiner Müller (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 16:195:603:01
Spring 2014 Visiting Craig Professor, Helmut Schneider
T 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
document Syllabus

From its beginnings in classical Greece, the dramatic genre, and especially tragedy, was tied to the representation of the “polis,” i.e. the political community, later to become “the state.” “Representation” is to be understood in the twofold sense of delegation/substitution and (scenic, theatrical) presentation, Darstellung. In this course, we will read and analyze some of the most prominent and influential dramas in the European tradition, extending from Attic, Elizabethan and French tragedy, as represented by Aeschylus and Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Corneille, to later “modern” German drama, represented by Goethe, Schiller and Kleist around 1800 (Weimar classicism and its subversion), Grillparzer and Hebbel (post-classicism of the 19th century), and, finally, Büchner, Brecht, and Heiner Müller (modernism). This German tradition, still very alive in today’s theater productions, confronts the older European tradition with the consequences of the modern transformation of society and the state, as it first manifested itself in the French Revolution.

This is no doubt a demanding reading list (although not quantitatively). All texts will be read in English, with the original language added by choice. Some of the historical and systematic perspectives to be followed are: law and community; gender/family and the polis; the sacrificial victim; genealogy and charisma; legitimacy of the sovereign and its visualization; the “body of the king” (E. Kantorowicz) and its loss in the Revolution (the loss of Anschaulichkeit); the demise of the heroic ideal; the representation of the “Volk” and the modern “mass.” Theoretical references include Aristotle, Corneille, Schiller, Hegel, Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, René Girard, Christoph Menke. – Two short class presentations, one final paper.

 This course is taught in English.

Impossible Economies: Prostitution and Literature (3 credits)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 16:195:609:01
Professor Nicola Behrmann
M 4:30 - 7:10pm, 172 College Avenue, Seminar Room
pdf Syllabus

This seminar explores the figurations, rhetorics, and economies of selling sex in a variety of literary master texts: If it is true that the (mostly female connoted) figure of the prostitute serves as a mere projection or screen for deviant phantasies, what is the impact of writing over an exchanged body? In what way does prostitution inform Russian Realism, French Symbolism, or German Expressionism? What is the gift of the “prostitute” and what are her/his stakes? What is actually being exchanged in the sporadic encounter with a sex worker? Participants in this investigation will be: Marquis de Sade, Giuseppe Verdi, Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leon Bloy, Frank Wedekind and German Expressionist poets, Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, Jean Genet, and Elfriede Jelinek. Discussions will be framed and guided by Theodor W. Adorno/Max Horkheimer, Georges Bataille, Simone de Beauvoir, Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Luce Irigaray, Jean-François Lyotard, and Karl Marx.

Discussions will be held in English. Graduate students in German are expected to use the German-language sources in their term papers, and to highlight and clarify key German terms in their class presentations. German editions of Benjamin, Marx, Wedekind, and German Expressionist poets are available through the University bookstore or will be uploaded on Sakai.

 This course is taught in English.