Previous Semesters

Spring 2014 Undergraduate Courses

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Spring 2014 Graduate Courses

Students who have completed the equivalent of 101-102 begin with 131; those who have completed the equivalent of 131-132 (2nd-year German) begin with 231; those who have completed the equivalent of 231-232 (3rd-year German) are eligible to take any 300- or 400-level undergraduate course taught in German. Students who are performing well may also enroll simultaneously in 231-232 and 301-302. There are no prerequisites for the German program’s undergraduate courses taught in English: these are open to any current undergraduate student.

Major/minor credits: Depending on whether you are interested either in 1) the German Language & Literature degree (all courses but one taught in German) or 2) the German Studies degree (all courses may be taken in German, or several may be taken in English; option to count credits from other departments offering courses with a focus on German topics), any of the following courses, from Elementary German to our upper-level offerings in German or English, may count toward your German degree. For more information, contact the Undergraduate Director of German, go to and select “Undergraduate,” or enter the German degree that interests you on your Degree Navigator page.

Questions? Contact Undergraduate Director Professor Nicholas Rennie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For an explanation of the School of Arts & Sciences learning codes indicated on syllabi, please see the Summary of New Core Curriculum Learning Goals.

Need to take a placement test? Click here.

Language Courses
Literature and Culture Courses



Language Courses

Elementary German
Susan Doose
MWTh3 11:30-12:50pm, Murray Hall 112
pdf Syllabus

Sophie Schweiger
MWTh4 1:40-3pm, Beck Hall 201
pdf Syllabus

Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 205
W67 4:30-7:30pm, Murray Hall 115
pdf Syllabus

Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of high-school German. Such students should, unless they have placed into a higher-level course in German, enroll in German 121.

This course is designed for beginners (students without previous knowledge of German), and offers a fast-paced, thorough introduction to the basics of the German language, with an emphasis on conversation. The course covers the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; study of grammar; vocabulary building; supplementary work in the language laboratory. We will also examine German culture past and present. Assignments will vary, encompassing speech and written practice. Students of 101 are strongly encouraged to enroll in Elementary German Lab 103.

Elementary German
Carlos Gasperi
MWTh3 11:30-12:50pm, Hardenbergh Hall B4
pdf Syllabus

Tanja Rommelfanger
MWTh4 2:15-3:35pm, Hickman Hall 122
pdf Syllabus

Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of high-school German. Such students should, unless they have placed into a higher-level course in German, enroll in German 121.

The course will cover the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; study of grammar and vocabulary building. There will be supplementary work in the language laboratory. 100-level credits can be applied toward the overall credit requirement for the interdisciplinary German Studies major or minor. For students beginning their college German below the 200 level, one course in intermediate German (470:131 or 132) may similarly be counted toward the German Language & Literature minor. Students of 102 are strongly encouraged to enroll in 470:104, Elementary German Lab.

Elementary German Laboratory
Sascha Hosters
T 1:10-2:30pm, Language Lab 119
pdf Syllabus

Corequisite: 01:470:101 Elementary German or 01:470:121 German Intensive Review

This lab course is an instructor-guided laboratory practicum based on intensive use of media. Designed for the improvement of aural/oral skills. Practice involves use of text related audiotapes and videotapes, individual and group work, and recordings of student speech for evaluation of pronunciation and fluency.

Elementary German Laboratory
Susan Doose
T3 11:30-12:50pm, Language Lab 119
pdf Syllabus

Corequisite: 01:470:102 Elementary German or 01:470:121 German Intensive Review

This is an instructor-guided laboratory practicum based on intensive use of media. Designed for the improvement of aural/oral skills. Practice involves use of text related audiotapes and videotapes, individual and group work, and recordings of student speech for evaluation of pronunciation and fluency.

German for Reading Knowledge
Doris Glowacki
TTh 6:10-7:30pm, German House, 2nd floor library
pdf Syllabus

Does not satisfy prerequisite for 01:470:131 or 132.
Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of high school German.

Development of reading-skills course for students of German, and others who want to use the language primarily for reading and research purposes. Emphasis is on grammatical forms, sentence and paragraph structures. Regular practice with expository texts of increasing length and difficulty. Texts chosen from the humanities, the natural and social sciences.

Intermediate German
Sascha Hosters
TTh7 6:10-7:30pm, Scott Hall 201
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:102, 121 or placement test.

Emphasis on conversation and composition, based on everyday situations, aspects of culture, and contemporary German short stories, review of major grammatical points. Counts for SAS Core requirements:  Arts and Literatures (AHq)

Intermediate German
Christina Mandt
TTh7 6:10-7:30pm, Scott Hall 105
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:131 or placement test.

Themes and subjects for discussion and essays include the world of work, multicultural society, young and old, stereotypes and the environment. A variety of grammar topics include all aspects of accusative, dative and genitive cases, adjectives and their endings, subjunctive II, relative clauses, reflexive pronouns/clauses and the passive voice. A variety of short stories will be included for discussion and reading comprehension. Counts for SAS Core requirements:  Arts and Literatures (AHq)

Advanced Conversation and Composition
Dr. Charlotte M. Craig
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, German House 2nd floor library (room 205)
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:132 or placement test.
Counts for general upper-level credits toward the major and minor.

Reading and discussion of advanced text material based on contemporary German culture. Intensive practice in word formation, sentence structure, and expository writing.

Advanced Conversation and Composition
Stefanie Populorum
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 216
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:231
Counts for general upper-level credits toward the major and minor.

Reading and discussion of advanced text material based on contemporary German culture. Intensive practice in word formation, sentence structure, and expository writing.  Fulfills SAS Core Requirement: Writing and Communication in a Discipline (WCd)

Literature and Culture Courses

Fairy Tales Then and Now
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:246:01 and SAS 01:090:225:01
Professor Martha Helfer
MW5 3:20-4:40pm, Tillett Hall 226
pdf Syllabus

In English. 

This course analyzes the structure, meaning, and function of fairy tales and their enduring influence on literature and popular culture. While we will concentrate on the German context, and in particular the works of the Brothers Grimm, we will also consider fairy tales drawn from a number of different national traditions and historical periods, including the American present. Various strategies for interpreting fairy tales will be examined, including methodologies derived from structuralism, folklore studies, gender studies, and psychoanalysis. We will explore pedagogical and political uses and abuses of fairy tales. We will investigate the evolution of specific tale types and trace their transformations in various media from oral storytelling through print to film, television, and the stage. Finally, we will consider potential strategies for the reinterpretation and rewriting of fairy tales.

Readings include selections from the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, Margret Atwood, Anne Sexton, Angela Carter, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Stephen Sondheim, Disney Studios, and others. This course meets SAS core requirements AHp and WCD.

Tales of Horror
Professor Nicola Behrmann
TTh2 9:50-11:10am, Tuesdays: Murray 204, Thursdays: Murray 213
1.5 Credits. Course beings March 11.
pdf Syllabus

Tales of horror in literature and film from Brothers Grimm to Alfred Hitchcock. Consideration of historical, political, and psychoanalytical dimensions.

From Nietzsche to Superman
Nicola Behrmann
F 23 9:50-1pm, Hardenbergh Hall H6
1.5 Credits. Course begins March 28.
pdf Syllabus

What is popular culture? Examination of this question through analysis of Nietzsche's "Overman" and its gradual translation into the American "Superman"  hero. Consideration of works from Nietzsche to Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Bertolt Brecht, Bob Dylan, Stanley Kubrick and the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix).

Contemporary German Media and Society
Stefanie Populorum
M 7:40-9:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall B5
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:102.
In German. If taken twice, 470:299 may be counted for three literature/civilization/film credits toward the major and minor.

Development of active language skills and cultural awareness through study of the role of various media (including print, Internet, film, and the other arts) in informing contemporary German politics and society. Special attention to cultural differences between Germany and the United States. Texts and presentations chosen to accommodate language level of students enrolled. In cooperation with the Rutgers College Housing German Special Interest Section, it is an ample opportunity to take advantage of their numerous events and activities, which enable students to learn even more about German culture today. Successful completion of at least German 102 or comparable linguistic ability is highly recommended. Class will be held in German. May be repeated. Three credits from 470:299 may be counted toward the major and minor.

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Im Buch der Welt gelesen

Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
MW4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott hall 203
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:232 (Students who are performing well may also enroll simultaneously in 231-232 and 301-302.)
In German.

Im Buch der Welt gelesen: Gelehrte, Forscher und Wissenschaftler im deutschen kulturellen Diskurs
Readers of the Book of the World: Scientists, Explorers and Researchers in German Cultural Discourse

The images of the scientist, explorer, and researcher, ranging from “world-illuminator” to “mad scientist,” have been a strong discourse-building element in German-speaking Europe of the 20th and 21st Centuries, which finds its reflection in all forms of cultural production and is especially prominent in literature and film.
This course examines the representation of people of science in German-language literature, cinema, television, and press. By studying different genres of literature and other forms of cultural production in relation to the representation of scientists, explorers and researchers, as well as the related concepts (sciences and disciplines, scientific discoveries, moral aspects of scientific activity), students will gain insights into ideas, trends and discourses that have shaped contemporary German-language culture.

We will discuss a wide range of materials, including both non-fiction and literary prose texts, plays, documentary and feature films, an audiobook, as well as selections from newspapers and magazines related to the image of the scientist.

The course opens with an overview of the lives and works of some prominent German-speaking scientists (Kepler, Leibnitz, Gauss, the brothers Humboldt, Mendel, Koch, Röntgen, Freud, Planck, Einstein). The students will also explore the “scientific side” of Germans primarily known as literary authors (Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, Chamisso). In the second part of the semester, the course will focus on the representation of the scientist in German-language drama (Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht and The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt), the contemporary novel (Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlman) and film (screen version of the novel by Detlev Buck).

The different texts (in a wide sense of the word) are approached as both cultural artifacts and linguistic documents, i.e., their analysis includes the study of vocabulary and elements of grammar and style. We will explore various reading techniques (e.g. close reading, reading for plot, etc.) and learn to define and apply some literary terminology, such as metaphor, realism, fiction, documentary, narrator, narrative development, montage, point of view, mimesis, etc., to literary texts.

As a learning outcome of the course, students will develop their abilities to approach different texts both analytically and synthetically, exploring the connections between the topic (scientists and explorers) and the social world in critical and creative ways. As a practical outcome, the students will develop critical skills of literary interpretation by analyzing narratives in different media by practicing oral and written interpretation and discussion advancing their ability to speak and write in German.

Counts for SAS Core requirements:  Arts and Literatures (AHp), Writing and Communication in a Discipline (WCd), Writing and Communication, Revision (WCr)

Business German II

Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
TTh5, 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall B5
pdf Syllabus

Prerequisite: 470:232

In German.

Geschäftsdeutsch II: Fortgeschrittene Kommunikation im Geschäftsumfeld
Business German II: Advanced Communication in Business Environment

This interactive and multimedia-based course helps students continue to develop their oral and written communication skills required in business settings in German-speaking countries at an advanced level. It prepares students for the use of German in a broad range of business-related contexts and helps them improve their understanding of the German corporate culture.

Special attention is paid to developing standard-oriented competencies in business correspondence as well as business-related conversation skills. The writing skills acquired address common standards of various types in business e-mail and letter writing. The speaking skills developed are intended to cover a wide range of business interactions, from brief and informal conversations to more formal and prolonged exchange typical of the negotiating or interview situation.

Throughout the semester the students practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking on topics relevant to the German-language business environment, expanding specific vocabulary and reviewing some grammar points to further accuracy and fluency.

During the semester the students will work with such topics as:
• Structure of business companies
• Professional duties and responsibilities
• Business communication
• Orders, problems and solutions
• Assets and liabilities
• Goal setting, management and assessment
• Marketing
• Trade Fairs
• Import and export
• Job search and job interviews;

The course is taught in German with English used in comparisons and translation exercises.

Heroes and Monsters

Professor Marlene Ciklamini
MTh2 9:50-11:10am, German House Seminar Room
document Syllabus

In German. 

The course examines the mythic image of the hero and of monsters as reflected in literary and artistic manifestations. Readings are from the Germanic era, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the conceptual stability of the heroic amid the omnipresence of evil, the discussion will encompass discrete forms of combat in the perennial battle against the threat of destruction, the imperilment of civilization, the community or the self.

Kafka and World Literature
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:356:01, and Jewish Studies 01:563:395:01
Professor Michael Levine
TTh6, 4:30-5:50pm, Frelinghuysen Hall B6
document Syllabus

In English. 

The course will provide an introduction to Kafka's work and its impact on World literature. Kafka’s texts constitute a new level and quality of literature that has triggered innumerable responses in many languages, media, and discourses. He is generally recognized as an "international" author of a new type of "world literature." While the quality of the work is clear, it nevertheless tends to defy all attempts to approach it by way of traditional means of interpretation.  In an effort to forge new ways of addressing the challenges posed by Kafka's work, the course seeks to locate it in a number of related contexts: at the crossroads of European modernity; within debates about Jewish languages, culture, identity, and music in the early twentieth-century and beyond; at the center of current controversies concerning the politically charged notion of "minor literature;" and perhaps most importantly as the source of inspiration for new works of art, literature, film, and music. Among the works to be considered are the silk-screens of Kafka by Andy Warhol; the introduction to his writing in “comix” form by Mairowitz and Crumb; the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges, Roberto Bolaño, and JM Coetzee; the music of Philip Glass; and excerpts from German, Czech and Polish film.

Cultural Foundations of Germany
Professor Marlene Ciklamini
MTh3 11:30-12:50pm, German House Seminar Room
document Syllabus

In English. 

“Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?" The miracle of German unification, a process which evolved over centuries amidst convulsive religious, social and political strife.

Survey of the main political, social, and religious movements from the first empire founded by Charlemagne to the final unification of independent states under Bismarck. Politically, we shall discuss the pervasive strife, conflict and compromise that ended in unification and in a new, profound sense of German identity and patriotism. Socially, we shall explore dislocations, such as the belief in and prosecution of witches, the crusades including the fatal children's crusade, the Reformation and repeated rebellions against political and religious authorities.

Topics: Passion! Passion and Narration in Realist European Literature

Cross-listed with Comparative Literature, 01:195:398:02
Spring 2014 Visiting Craig Professor, Helmut Schneider
TTh4, 1:10-2:30pm, German House 102
document Syllabus

In English. 

The great era of epic realism in European 19th and early 20th century literature had one outstanding thematic: the conflict between erotic and sexual passion with the established norms of society. Specifically, it was the legacy of romanticism and its emancipation of individual emotions that ran counter to the solidity of bourgeois marriage, an institution which by the same token was to be grounded on love. Thus, adultery became the principal focus for the plots of such seminal novels as Goethe’s Elective Affinities, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Fontane’s Effi Briest. In this course, we will concentrate on shorter stories from the German, French, British-American and Russian traditions, which highlight the conflict in various artistic ways and different socio-historical contexts. Some aspects of analysis will be: the cultural background (class conflicts, different understanding of marriage, honor code); the representation of gender roles, esp. the image of woman and femininity; psychological and psychoanalytical introspection; the relation between sexual transgression, ‘perversity’ and crime; and last but not least the role and function of the narrator and the mode of narrative presentation. “Passion” is to be understood, on the one hand, as a motor driving the narrative, while, on the other hand, the act of narration serves as a containing frame for its excessive power.

Authors include Heinrich von Kleist, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Edgar Allan Poe, Adalbert Stifter, Gottfried Keller, Prosper Mérimée, Théophile Gautier, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Theodor Storm, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Thomas Mann.

Class will be held in English, all texts will be made available in English and also, for those competent in the respective foreign language, in the original. One midterm and one final paper.

Byrne Seminar: Our Threatened Planet: Ecology in Film
Fatima Naqvi
W 45, German House 102
pdf Syllabus

In this seminar, we will view several documentary films that deal with the threatened state of the earth’s environment. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth popularized the subject, but we will focus our attention on three Austrian films. We will discuss each filmmaker’s handling of the documentary mode, and the unique perspective of these artists who come from a small European country that is very concerned with environmental issues. We will also read several essays from the New Yorker and The New York Times. We are interested in the way in which these films make their argument: the types of images they privilege, the kind of rhetoric they engage in, the use of neutral or polemical narration, etc. A comparison of American vs. European narratives of environmental damage in relation to their respective political and economic circumstances will be considered.