Spring 2019 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Language Courses

Literature & Culture Courses

SAS Core Goal Courses:

Intermediate German I 01:470:131
Intermediate German II 01:470:132
Fairy Tales Then and Now 01:470:225

Advanced German II 01:470:232
Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis 01:470:302
Marx, Nietzsche, Freud 01:470:371
Avant-Garde: Dada to Punk Rock

Language Courses

Elementary German 101
01:470:101:01
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Murray Hall 112

01:470:101:02
M6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Scott Hall 101
W67 4:30pm-7:30pm, Scott Hall 203

This course will introduce students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries, using both prepared and authentic materials with theme-related vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will have the opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in German through in-class activities and homework assignments. The program of the course corresponds to the Level A1 (Beginner) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a widely accepted European standard for language proficiency.

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type
  • introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have
  • interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.More specifically, students will be able to:
  • talk about themselves, their families, and their origins
  • talk about weather and clothing
  • order food and drinks in a restaurant or a café, discuss food and cooking, use cooking recipes
  • discuss different living situations, talk about houses, rooms, etc.
  • talk about their time and make appointments
  • orient themselves in a German-speaking urban setting and ask for directions
  • talk about things that happened in the past;
  • talk about professions, job, study, recreation, and daily life
  • talk about some major landmarks and places of interest of the German-speaking countries
  • talk about health and health issues
  • express their intentions, obligations and necessities.

No prerequisites. This course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points in English. Not open for credit to students who have had two or more years of secondary school German. Students of 101 are strongly encouraged to enroll in Elementary German Lab 103.

Elementary German 102
01:470:102:01
MWTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 203

01:470:102:02
M6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Academic Building East Wing 2250
W67 4:30pm-7:30pm, Academic Building East Wing 2250

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

This course will continue introducing students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries, using both prepared and authentic materials with theme-related vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will have the opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in German through in-class activities and homework assignments. The program of the course corresponds to the Level A2 (Elementary) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a widely accepted European standard for language proficiency.By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.More specifically, students will be able to:
  • understand non-fiction texts on some topics, including classified ads
  • talk about migration, backgrounds, and languages, compare cities and countries
  • talk about families and everyday life, about city and country life
  • describe people
  • talk about travel
  • talk about leisure, hobbies and interests, as well as holidays and traditions
  • talk about media
  • talk about inventions, products and goods
  • organize a trip to a theater, etc.
  • talk about professional life
  • leave a message on the phone
  • express emotions and react to them using language

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points in English. Students of 102 are strongly encouraged to enroll in Elementary German Lab 104.

Elementary German Language Lab: German for Travel
01:470:103:01
W5 2:50pm-4:10pm, Academic Building East Wing 2200

This course will introduce students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries focusing on the language competencies particularly relevant in travel situations. The course consists of four thematically connected modules of three sessions each.By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • speak about themselves in general and as travelers;
  • ask basic questions about travel;
  • discuss their travel interests and express likes and dislikes;
  • speak about German-speaking countries and their inhabitants;
  • orient themselves in means of transportation and accommodations used in Europe;
  • purchase tickets and book hotel rooms on German-language websites.

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points and cultural references in English.

Elementary German Language Lab: German Conversation
01:470:104:01
Alexander Pichugin
Th4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Scott Hall 201

This course will introduce students to the language and culture of German-speaking countries focusing on the language competencies particularly relevant for oral communication in everyday situations.By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • speak about themselves;
  • ask basic questions;
  • share basic information about their families and relatives;
  • speak about their studies;
  • speak about objects relevant to everyday situations;
  • speak about the weather;
  • express likes and dislikes.The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points and cultural references in English.

Intermediate German I
01:470:131:01
TTh7 6:10pm-7:30pm, Scott Hall 220

Prerequisite: 01:470:102, 01:470:108, 01:470:121, or placement.

The first semester of Intermediate German further develops students' German language skills with an emphasis on conversation and composition based on everyday situations, aspects of culture, contemporary German short stories, and review of major grammatical points. Students will strengthen their listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as cultural competency by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world, including personal and community life, media, travel, and art. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.

Intermediate German II
01:470:132:01
Alexander Pichugin
TTh7 6:10pm-7:30pm, Scott Hall 105

Prerequisite: 01:470:131 or placement.

In this course students will further develop their competencies in German language and culture of the German-speaking countries on the intermediate level, using both prepared and authentic materials with theme-related vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will have the opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking in German through various in-class activities and homework assignments. Using a variety of media, such as written texts, video, and audio clips, students will explore the course’s five major themes: Climate and Environment; Social Behaviors; Generations; Migration; Europe.

The program of the course corresponds to the Level B1.2, which is the first half of Level B1 (Intermediate) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a widely accepted European standard for language proficiency. By the end of the course sequence, students will be able to understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.; deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken; produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest; describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

The course is taught in German with some explanation of grammar points in English.

Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.• Understanding the nature of human languages and their speakers.

 

Advanced German II
01:470:232:01
MTh2 9:50am-11:10am, Honors College S126

In German.

This course is designed to further students’ German-language proficiency at an advanced level. It focuses on increasing students’ ability to express their own ideas precisely and convincingly. Through extensive conversation and composition exercises, the course further develops the students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities at the advanced level. Using a variety of media, such as texts, still images, video and audio, and looking at a variety of genres, such as short stories, poems, non-fiction articles, documentary shows and reportages, students explore the course’s major themes. Students will have the opportunity to practice and improve their spoken and written German skills through class discussions, essays, homework assignments, creative project and oral presentations, as well as in-class grammar reviews. The course’s thematic focus in Spring 2018 is on the two generations that clashed during the anti-authoritarian student movement in 1968: the parents who were still raised during the Third Reich, and their children, who were born shortly after 1945. Subsequently, the discussion will study the children of the “1968-ers” – how they related to the liberal lifestyle of their parents and how they changed or criticized them in the 1990’s. Fulfills SAS core goal WCD(t).

Literature and Culture Courses

Fairy Tales Then and Now
01:470:225:01 (1st year section)
01:470:225:02 (Sophomore section)
01:470:225:03 (Junior section)
01:470:225:H1 (Honors Section)
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:246:01
Martha Helfer
MW5 2:50pm-4:10pm, Academic Building East Wing 2225

In English. No prerequisites.

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. Fulfills SAS core goal AH p, WC d.

Introduction to German Literature
01:470:242:01
Alexander Pichugin
TTh5 2:50pm-4:10pm, Scott Hall 114

In German. Prerequisite: 01:470:132

This course is an interdisciplinary inquiry into seminal literary, artistic, social, political, and intellectual developments in the history of German-language cultures and thought from around 1900 to the present day. The course invites all students who seek, as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education, basic familiarity with the rich and often vexed history of things German and their impact on Europe and the world. The topics include: European politics and world wars; German split and reunification; literary representation of history; modern music, visual arts and poetry; German science and research; and others. By studying different genres of literature, film, music, and art in relation to the general intellectual development of the period, students will gain insights into ideas, trends and discourses that have shaped contemporary German culture. As a learning outcome of the course, students will develop their ability to approach texts and works of art both analytically and synthetically, exploring the connections between the historical period and its cultural representation in critical and creative ways.

The course is conducted in German. All course materials, discussions, and readings are in German.

Avant-Garde: Dada to Punk Rock
01:470:277:01
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:277:01
Nicola Behrmann
MW5, 2:50pm-4:10pm, Frelinghuysen Hall B5

In English. No prerequisites.

This interdisciplinary course serves as an introduction into the various European avant-garde movements at the beginning of the 20th century and its reverberations in our contemporary culture. We will consider innovations in art, music, film, and literature, beginning with German Expressionism, followed by Italian Futurism, the international Dada movement, and French Surrealism through its late expressions in American Pop Art of the 1960s and Punk Rock of the 1970s. We will look at the various ways in which these movements discover the irrational, the pathological, the unconscious, the precarious and the abandoned as revolutionary and subversive gesture with the utopian potential of changing the world. Readings include literary works by Frank Wedekind, Fillippo Tommaso Marinetti, Gottfried Benn, Emmy Hennings, Hugo Ball, Guillaume Apollinaire, Kurt Schwitters, and André Breton; artworks by Marcel Duchamp, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Hannah Höch, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, John Heartfield, and Andy Warhol; films by Robert Wiene (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), Hans Richter (Ghosts Before Breakfast), Luis Buñuel (An Andalusian Dog); music by The Sex Pistols, The Misfits, David Bowie, and others. The coursework will be accompanied by several interdisciplinary guest lectures.

By the end of this course students will be able to: recognize pertinent characteristics of modernist artworks and relate them to a broader understanding of early 20th century culture and history; demonstrate an understanding of the structure, meaning, and form of vanguard artworks and their underlying intellectual concepts. Assessment will be based on participation in class and evaluation of assigned written work.

Assignments: Class participation and regular blog posts (15%), 3 response essays, 5pp. each (45%); short presentation or online project (15%), final paper, 10-12pp. (25%)

This course satisfies SAS Core Curriculum Requirements AHo and AHp.

Contemporary German Media & Society
01:470:299:01
T8 7:40pm-9:00pm, Academic Building West Wing2150

Prerequisite: 01:470:102 or 01:470:121, or higher. 

In German. If taken twice, 470:299 may be counted for three credits towards the major or minor. 

The main goal of this course is to increase the students' cultural awareness through the study of the various media and their role in contemporary German society, while furthering the students' German language skills through consistent speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In this course, students will explore the traditional, modernized, and news media and the role they play in different realms of contemporary German society. Chosen topics of the course are crucial to understanding the modern German-speaking world and include themes such as social structure, politics, culture, and everyday life. Special attention is paid to cultural comparisons between Germany and the United States.

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Adaptations
01:470:302:01
Michael Levine
TTh4, 1:10pm-2:30pm, Scott Hall 205

Prerequisite: 01:470:232 (Student who are performing well may also enroll simultaneously in 231-232 and 301-302.)
In German.
Please note: 470:302 may be repeated for credit when topics vary!

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis will familiarize students with central concepts and methods in the analysis of literary texts and their adaptations in film and other media. Works of literature can enjoy an afterlife or even a rebirth in the adaptations based upon them. These re-envisionings have a way of tapping into unsuspected aspects of the original by translating them into a different medium. The course will explore these processes of translation and recreation by studying how literary works are adapted for the screen, set to music or reimagined as graphic novels. Among the works considered are graphic novel adaptions of Thomas Bernhard and Franz Kafka; cinematic adaptions of Heinrich von Kleist, Thomas Mann and Elfriede Jelinek; and operatic adaptations of the story of Tristan and Iseult and the Song of the Nibelungen. This course is designed for students with a solid grasp of basic German grammar and vocabulary who wish to expand their knowledge of the language and cultures of the German-speaking world through reading, discussion, and writing.

Designed for students with a solid grasp of basic German vocabulary and grammar who wish to expand their knowledge of the language and culture through reading, discussion, and writing. Taught in German. Fulfills permanent core requirements AHp, s-2/WCr, t/WCd and v. Prerequisite: 01:470:232, or simultaneous enrollment in 01:470:231 or 232. May be repeated for credit.

Psy Fi: Literature and Psychoanalysis
01:470:356:01

Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:312:01
Michael Levine
TTh6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Scott Hall 220

In English. No prerequisites.

Origins and major concepts of psychoanalysis explored through a close analysis of Freud’s writings with a particular focus on their literary dimension. The course seeks not simply to apply Freud to literature but moreover to see how psychoanalytic thinking itself might be enriched and expanded by our approaching it through works of art, literature and cinema. Thus, in addition to readings of Freud’s writings on dreams, infantile sexuality, trauma, and the unconscious, we will also study films by Hitchcock, a wide range of literary texts from German, French, Anglo-American and Latin American traditions, and critical essays by Zizek, Bronfen, Felman, Weber, Ronell and others. In English.

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
01:470:371:01
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:374:01, and Philosophy 01:730:344:01
Nicholas Rennie
TTh4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Voorhees Hall 105

In English. No prerequisites.

Exploration of the work of three German writers who revolutionized modern philosophy, theology, psychology, aesthetics, social and political science, gender studies, historiography, literature and the arts. We will be reading and discussing a selection of key writings by Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Along with these we’ll examine a sampling of texts that were important for their work, and writings that later both reflected their influence and drew their ideas in new directions. In English. No prerequisites.

(Students who have completed Introductory German 102 or the equivalent, or who have Prof. Rennie’s permission, are encouraged to enroll in the 1-credit companion module “The Language of Marx, Nietzsche and Freud” (01:470:394:01), which will focus on the original German-language concepts and formulations in select passages relevant to the principal themes of the main course “Marx, Nietzsche, Freud.” This optional supplementary section meets every second Tuesday during the semester, 2:45-4:20pm. Register by e-mailing Prof. Rennie at nicholas.rennie@rutgers.edu and including your 9-digit student number. Registration is open only to students who are also enrolled in, or have successfully completed, “Marx, Nietzsche, Freud.”)

Permanent Core Curriculum requirements: HST, AHo.

Required Texts

Ordered through the Rutgers University Store. These texts are indicated by (abbreviated) title within the list of weekly readings. Other titles are available online as pdf files at the Resources page of the course Sakai website
1. Freud, Sigmund. Moses and Monotheism [ISBN: 9780394700144].
2. --. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud (Psychopathology of Everyday Life, The Interpretation of Dreams, and Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex) [ISBN: 9780679601661]
3. Marx, Karl, Friedrich Engels. The Marx-Engels Reader [ISBN: 9780393090406]
4. Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Nietzsche Reader [ISBN: 9780631226543]

 

Topics in German Literature and Civilization: Literature and Media Art
01:470:390:01
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:381:01
Distinguished Visiting Craig Professor Claudia Benthien
MW4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202

In English. No prerequisites.

In the early 20th century, Russian literary scholars set out to spread a new understanding of what constituted the nature of literature. Now known as Russian formalism, the movement coined the notion of “literariness” to account for the qualities of literary language, distinct from its habitualized uses. It envisioned literature to renew a perception that had become numbed by automatization. To describe the ways in which literature deviates from conventionalized norms of language use, they referred to the notion of “making strange.”

The seminar is based on the observation that aesthetic features attributed to literature can also be valid for other forms of artistic expression. Literary elements and genres play a significant role in many media artworks by renowned artists such as Mona Hatoum, Gary Hill, Jenny Holzer, William Kentridge, Nalini Malani, or Bruce Nauman. It will also look at media art adaptations of literary texts. This seminar will offer students of literature a focused introduction into the analysis of media art and students of media studies, performance studies, or art history an unusual insight into literary aesthetics. It will be structured according the book publication The Literariness of Media Art (Benthien, Lau, and Marxsen, 2019).

German Literature after 1945: Einführung in die deutschsprachige Nachkriegsliteratur und -kultur
01:470:436:01
Cross-listed with 16:470:671:01
Fatima Naqvi
T23 9:50am-12:50pm, Academic Building West Wing, Room 4140

Wir werden uns in diesem Semester mit der deutschsprachigen Literatur und Kultur nach 1945 befassen. Der sozio-politische Kontext, in dem die Werke entstanden sind, wie auch ihre stilistischen und inhaltlichen Merkmale werden unsere Schwerpunkte sein. Einige Autoren werden wir gesondert behandeln (z.B. Heiner Müller, Böll, Bachmann, Handke, Bernhard, Jelinek, Herta Müller). Um aber einen besseren Überblick über diese Zeit zu gewinnen, werden wir aus Werken anderer Schriftsteller Auszüge lesen (Weiss, Johnson, Özdamar). Literarische Entwicklungen sollen durch Vergleiche mit Filmen (Fassbinder, Haneke, Schlöndorff), bildender Kunst und Fotografie (Richter, Kiefer, Gursky, Höfer) und Architektur (Coop Himmel(l)au, Haus-Rucker-Co., Hollein, Hadid) verdeutlicht werden; die Rolle von Radio und Fernsehen werden ebenso in Betracht gezogen und theoretisch reflektiert. 

In German. Counts for general upper-level credits toward the major and minor.