Previous Semesters

Fall 2020 Graduate Courses

Teaching Apprenticeship in German (1.5 credits)

Alexander Pichugin
M4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Craig Seminar Room, AB West Wing 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.


Introduction to Middle High German
Alexander Pichugin
Meets with 01:470:388:01 

T 4:30pm - 7:10pm , Craig Seminar Room, AB West Wing 4050

Taught in German.

This seminar introduces students to language, literature, and culture of the Middle-High German period (ca. 1050-1350) and helps in preparation for the Area I Exam. Students will analyze the phonology and grammar of Middle High German while reading representative texts of the period with a special emphasis on the popular epic (Song of the Nibelungs, Gudrun), court epic (Erec, Poor Henry, and Iwein by Hartmann von Aue, Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg), and Minnesang (courtly love poems by Friedrich von Hausen, Heinrich von Veldeke, Heinrich von Morungen, Reinmar von Hagenau, and Walther von der Vogelweide). 


Survival and Self-Expenditure (On Autobiography)
Nicola Behrmann
Crosslisted with Comparative Literature 16:195:516:01
W 4:30pm - 7:10pm, Craig Seminar Room, AB West Wing 4050

Taught in English.

Inseparable from fiction, autobiography, the act of writing the self through the persuasive powers of language, emerges from the figure of an author who “speaks from beyond the grave” (Paul de Man) and whose name lives on independently from its bearer. Any autobiographical writing, regardless whether it is invested in measure and framing, in excess and abandonment, or in testimony and truth-telling, is marked by this lack of reference. What are the aesthetic and political implications of autobiographical performances? What impact does the autobiographical paradigm have on the distinction between public and private spheres or the concept of a communitas in medieval prayers, in nineteenth-century memoirs, and in digital media autobiographies?

In this course we will locate the autobiographical impulse in between the fantasy of life writing (Rousseau and Goethe) and a degree zero writing (Sarraute, Bernhard), in between trauma and survival, limitation and self-expenditure. We will look at a range of autobiographical tropes such as confession, testimony, excuse, and complaint. We will also consider the role of optics, music, and silence as hidden reference points. Readings include Mechthild von Magdeburg, St. Augustine, Mary Shelley, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the Russian travelogue Way of a Pilgrim, Theodor Fontane, Nathalie Sarraute, Paul Celan, Thomas Bernhard, Unica Zürn, W.G. Sebald, Wolfgang Herrndorf, and Alison Bechdel. With additional theoretical interjections from de Man, Derrida, Dilthey, Blanchot, Hamburger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Ronell.


Cinemania: Anxiety and the Appeal of the Moving Image
Regina Karl
Crosslisted with Comparative Literature 16:195:608:01
M 4:30pm - 7:10pm, Craig Seminar Room, AB West Wing 4050

Taught in English.

Does cinema give us back reality as it is? Can it provide a better world? Or do moving images witness the fact that the world is illusory in itself? From the beginning, cinema has raised mixed feelings: curiosity, admiration, love, but also suspicion, fear and hate. This course will explore the phenomenon of “Cinemania” – anxiety and the appeal of moving images ­–  in film theories and criticism from around 1900 to the present, retracing the roots in cinephobic as well as cinephile tendencies, their lasting influences on more recent media debates, and their echoes in films and visual art. We will focus on American, German, and French film theories and criticism through a comparative lens. Texts by Sigmund Freud, Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard, Susan Sontag, Laura Mulvey, Donna Haraway, Hito Steyerl, Boris Groys, and others. Films by Jean Epstein, Robert Wiene, Leni Riefenstahl, Maya Deren, Ridley Scott,  Angela Schanelec, and others.

Course will be taught in English.