Previous Semesters

Fall 2018 - Graduate Courses

Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)

Alexander Pichugin
M 1:10pm - 2:30pm , AB 4050

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.

The Frankfurt School and Its Writers
cross listed with 16:195:617:01
Nicholas Rennie
T 4:30pm - 7:10pm , AB 4050

Work of the Frankfurt School is among the most important 20th-century German-language contributions to such fields as sociology, political science, gender studies, film, cultural studies and comparative literature. We will read texts by such key figures of the Frankfurt School as Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse and Jürgen Habermas for their relevance to a number of disciplines, but give particular consideration to literary and aesthetic questions. To this end, we will also read texts by select authors to whom these figures responded (e.g. Baudelaire, Proust, Kafka, Beckett). Throughout the course, moreover, we will be examining responses to and development of the thought of the first and second generation of the Frankfurt School in more recent strands of Marxism, deconstruction, feminism, aesthetics and cultural studies. Taught in English.

Trials, Trauma and Film
cross listed with Comparative Literature 16:195:608:02 
Michael Levine
W 4:30pm - 7:10m, AB 4050

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?  What role does survivor testimony play in trials and truth commission hearings?  How have pathbreaking, non-courtroom based films like Lanzmann’s Shoah and The Last of the Unjust altered the very notion of testimony? The course will examine the interaction between film and the law in and around the following proceedings: the Nuremberg trials, the French trial of Klaus Barbie, the Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, the Cambodia tribunal, the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the Rodney King trial, and the trial of OJ Simpson. Taught in English.

Lessons from a Laboratory in Literary Translation
Peter Wortsman
M 4:30pm - 7:10pm, AB 4050

In this seminar on the art and craft of literary translation, we will focus on the essential goal of the translator, which is to transmit a living voice from one language, culture and moment to another. Each session will begin with aesthetic and/or practical considerations about translation in an effort to spark discussion. We will begin by breaking down language to its essential building blocks: words, sentences, points of punctuation. We will examine how these elements are variously employed in different languages. The instructor Peter Wortsman, a renowned translator from German and French, will also share his own experience as a writer and playwright inspired by translation, drawing on his extensive experience with diverse authors in various genres. Students will be invited to address the particular challenges they face in their own translation projects. They will be invited to engage in self-translation and explore how translation can help pave the way for creative expression. Peter Wortsman will also offer an insight into the publishing process for translations into the English language.

Authors to be translated include: 16th-century German Humanist Johannes Reuchlin, Romantics Adelbert von Chamisso, the Brothers Grimm, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Heinrich von Kleist and Heinrich Heine, and 20th century masters PeterAltenberg, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Mynona, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Kurt Schwitters, Expressionist playwright Ernst Toller, Surrealist Unica Zürn, and songs composed by prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps.  

 Students must be able to read German; the language of instruction is English.