Course Catalog for GERMAN
GRMN 101
Intensive Elementary German I
This is a basic four-skill (understanding, speaking, reading, and writing) course with emphasis on developing facility in reading and speaking German within a cultural and historical context. Students with prior German language study must obtain the permission of the instructor. Students taking this course should plan to take German 102 in order to complete the study of essential vocabulary and grammar and to gain practice in speaking and in reading original texts. (HUM)
1.50 units, Lecture
GRMN 102
Intensive Elementary German II
Continuation of German 101, with completion of the study of essential grammar, further vocabulary building through oral and written practice, practice in reading, and discussions of cultural contexts. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 101 or equivalent.
1.50 units, Lecture
GRMN 201
Intermediate German I
This course will aim for intermediate-level proficiency in understanding, speaking, and writing contemporary idiomatic German with emphasis on conversation. Essential grammar review, exercises, and oral reports will be based on the reading and discussion of such materials as edited TV broadcasts, letter-writing, and short essays. Since significant linguistic progress cannot be achieved in 201 alone, students wishing to acquire proficiency should plan to take both 201 and 202 in sequence. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 102 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 202
Intermediate German II
Continuation of German 201, with the addition of expository material on German life and culture for discussion and writing practice. (GLB2)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 201 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 216
Realism is a term that is often loosely used to describe art, politics, and worldviews Considering realisms in the German context and beyond, this course will explore the dominant cultural, philosophical, and political modes of realism from the nineteenth century to the present. Beginning with the rise of the European middle classes in the nineteenth century, this course will investigate the origins of realism and its various expressions in the forms of literature, art, thought, and Realpolitik. Other topics of interest will include, but are not limited to, the challenges to realism via modernism, socialist realism of the Cold War, as well as contemporary debates concerning realism, such as tensions of fact and fiction with reality television. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 217
Critical Legacies of the European Enlightenment
As a movement, the European Enlightenment was ostensibly dedicated to an eradication of sectarianism in all forms, the valorization of science and the advancement of universal human rights. The legacy of these aims is much more complicated (as in the colonialist impulse, for example) and can be traced back to the very way in which these ideals were conceived- philosophically, politically and culturally. This course will proceed in a culturally comparative and interdisciplinary way, in order to track the origins of the European Enlightenment (Rousseau, Diderot, Hume, Kant) along with its early critics (Mendelssohn, Hamann) into the modern era. The course will draw on guest lectures from various disciplines, such as Philosophy, History, French Studies and American Studies. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 223
Germany Then, Germany Now: Intro to German Studies
This course is designed as a survey of the most important turning points in German history and in the field of German Studies. This course will take an interdisciplinary look at the German speaking world and its people, culture, politics, and society from the Middle Ages, Thirty Years War, German Unification, WWI and WWII, the Cold War, Reunification up to the present. Questions of gender, race, identity, trauma, guilt, and memory will be explored in depth. The course work will include close readings of literary, philosophical and historical texts, films, music, art and more in order to gain a deeper knowledge of German history, and a deeper understanding of Germany as it exists today. (GLB1)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 259
The Postwar German Film
This course will explore the social and political landscape of postwar Germany from 1945 to the present by looking at a broad range of films from East and West Germany, and Austria, that encompass a wide variety of genres, filmmakers, and movements. The themes examined will include, but not be limited to, the creation of a new cinema after World War II, filmmaking during the Cold War, avant-garde cinema, German history through film, socially critical cinema, and Germany today. Directors will include Wolfgang Staudte, Volker Schlöndorff, R.W. Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Margarethe von Trotta, Fatih Akin, and Christian Petzold. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 260
Knowledge, Evil and a Pact with the Devil: The Legend of Faust
From the epic exploits of Gilgamesh to the myth of Prometheus to the serpent's whisper to Eve, the desire for knowledge and the dire consequences of its attainment is one of humankind's oldest conflicts. This course will take up the legend of medieval scholar Johann Faustus, to examine questions of access, control and power relating to knowledge. The primary sources will be literary versions of the tale, beginning with its medieval chapbook origins and then moving through Christopher Marlowe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Thomas Mann. In addition to these texts, this course will also engage with various philosophical, theological and sociological readings to contextualize and expand upon how literary versions of the tale frame issues of authority, gender, politics and faith in relation to knowledge. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 261
Berlin to Hollywood
Through close examination of films and readings, this course will explore the influence that filmmaking during the Weimar Republic period of German history had on Hollywood and American popular culture. By looking closely at films and filmmakers, we will examine the continuities and breaks between German film and classic Hollywood film. Starting with the expressionism and new objectivity styles in Germany during the 1920s, we will move on to emigration of filmmakers from the Third Reich and their work in Hollywood. Among others, we will examine genres such as the anti-Nazi film, film noir, and comedies, as well as explore questions regarding race, gender, and ideology. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 262
Not Just for Kids: the World of Fairytales in the German Tradition
For centuries fairytales have served as powerful cultural currency, transmitting ideas about morality, gender, identity, nationalism, and childhood. Running the risk that it will ruin fairytales by vivisection, this course will approach the genre of German-language fairytales from a critical perspective, taking into account their historical context, psychological and philosophical interpretations, and how certain fairytales have changed over time into their contemporary iterations. Special attention will be paid to the fairytales collected by the Brothers Grimm, while also exploring their intersections with fairytales in other cultural and historical contexts. The goal of this course is for students to explore texts with whose content they may be familiar, in order to then gain a deeper understanding of their cultural, historical, and psychological dimensions. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 264
Literature and the Law
In literature and in law, language shapes rhetorical worlds that seek to represent, constitute and interpret the actions of human beings and their world. Therefore, examining how the law is represented in literature gives insight both into how this representation shifts to accommodate historical and cultural differences, and how central the role of narrative is to legal institutions. This course will focus on representations of the law in German-language literature from the late 18th century onward, to examine how literature relates the human condition to law, to other central cultural values (love, honor and justice), and how literature can put the law itself into question. The course will emphasize literary interrogations of National Socialist law, which take up these questions in their most urgent form. Taught in English. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 266
Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
This survey of German intellectual history from 1848 to the present will acquaint students with writings of Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and the many others who shaped subsequent western culture and thought. Drawing upon close readings of excerpts from pivotal works, we will examine the relevance of such works in the matrix of artistic trends and historical circumstances from which they emerge. Short literary pieces (Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann) will be included. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 268
Inside the Third Reich: Culture, Politics, and the Everyday in Nazi Germany
What was the Third Reich? Through the examination of various primary and secondary texts, this course takes an in-depth look at life inside Nazi Germany. Themes include the role of propaganda in the media and entertainment industries, Volk, anti-Semitism, race, narratives of the persecuted, the aesthetics of fascism, gender, youth organizations, resistance, and collapse. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 269
The Latest German Cinema - The New German and Austrian Film since 2000
This course will examine how current cultural, social, and political themes and debates are reflected in contemporary German and Austrian cinema. Beginning with German Reunification this course will cover a broad range of topics that are relevant in Germany, Austria and Europe today. Of particular interest will be the issues of globalization, migration, race, gender, and the memory of World War II and the Cold War in the new millennium. Among other themes this course will address the topics of nostalgia, the historical film, the Berlin School of film making, Turkish-German cinema, a European identity, and other current topics. All course work will be done in English, and all films will be available with English subtitles. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 270
Propaganda on the Big Screen: The Propaganda Film throughout History
Propaganda is everywhere. We see it in politics, in consumer culture, and in entertainment we consume. This course explores the use of cinema as a medium in service of political objectives. Taking a chronological approach, this course will explore the origins of propaganda and film in the early twentieth century up to the present day. Students will be introduced to theoretical models of propaganda and various methods and forms in visual culture. With a primary emphasis on the American and European context, this course will examine how film was weaponized during critical moments in the twentieth century as in World War I and II, during the Cold War, as well as how it is used today. All coursework in English. Films will have English subtitles. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 303
German Literature and Film Since 1945
Through close readings and comparative discussions of short prose, poetry, and film from 1945 until the present, students will improve their German comprehension (listening as well as reading), speaking, and writing skills. There will be texts from Austria, Switzerland, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the former German Democtatic Republic, by authors such as Günter Grass, Heinrich Böll, Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, and Christa Wolf, as well as many well-known poets and film directors. Some grammar review will be offered. All work will be done in German. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 304
The Wild 18th Century: Goethe on Love, Death and the Devil
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is perhaps the most influential author in German literature, and his works defined some of the most important genres of his lifetime and beyond (1749-1832). This course will explore some of Goethe's greatest masterpieces, as well as selected works by other authors of the era, in order to examine some of the fundamental philosophical and aesthetic questions of the eighteenth century. Readings will include Goethe's "Die Leiden des jungen Werther," "Faust I" and selected poems; Schiller's "Die Räuber" and selected poems; and Kleist's "Das Erdbeben in Chile." We will also focus on the life and times of Goethe in order to understand his influence and role in German and European culture. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 305
German-Jewish Writers
This course will examine the contribution of Jewish writers to German literature, philosophy and culture. Of central concern will be how these writers negotiate and theorize their dual identity as Jew and German through the form and content of their writings. Issues of national, cultural and linguistic identification, acculturation, and self-criticism will be traced out through texts dating from the Enlightenment to the modern era. Readings to include: Mendelssohn, Varnhagen, Schlegel, Heine, Schnitzler, Freud, Kafka, Lasker-Schüler, Arendt, Celan. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 306
German Fairytales
Through close readings and comparative discussions of theoretical texts and primary source materials, this course will explore the genre of German language fairytales, with a particular emphasis on the Grimm collection. Readings on the historical context of the fairytale genre, the intersections of fairytales and feminism, and psychoanalytical readings will inform the study of the Brothers Grimm, Andersen, Bechstein, Wolf, and Ende. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 312
German Crime Stories
The crime story, or the Krimi, has long held an esteemed place in the literature of the German-speaking countries. While working on improving students’ speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills in German, this course will introduce students to the world of crime fiction. The materials will include both literary and filmic examples of the Krimi that span a broad period of time. In addition to some works from classic German authors, we will also look at more contemporary examples that include films, television series, and short stories. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 313
Ideal and Reality: Constructions of Femininity in German Literature from 1750-1920
The ways in which men write about women, and the ways in which women write about themselves have historically often mirrored the divide between a projected ideal and a lived reality. This course will trace the dissonance between these two modes of figuring femininity in German literature from the era of Empfindsamkeit to the fin de siècle in a comparative way. The course will include an introduction to gender theory, and will then proceed to juxtapose the works of such female authors as Karoline von Günderrode, Annette von Dröste-Hulshoff, Lou-Andreas Salomé and Irmgard Keun with works by their male contemporaries, in order to engage the differences in gender coding between the predominately male, literary canon and its female counterpart. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 314
Witches, Child-killers, Poisoners: Criminal Women in the German Literary Imagination
The literary depictions of female transgressors of legal and social norms reveal much about what a culture deems to be acceptable, feminine behavior. Occasioned by Enlightenment thought, reform movements, and shifting educational ideals, the discourse concerning the role of women in society became quite ardent in Germany during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries- and unfolded prominently through a literary engagement with deviant, criminal women. From the witches of the Brothers Grimm, to JW Goethe's Gretchen, and ETA Hoffmann's vampires, this course will trace the ways in which these depictions of female deviancy (authored almost exclusively by male authors) shaped feminine, behavioral norms into the present day. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 316
Deviancy and Madness in German Literature 1700 through 1900
This course examines the ways in which deviant behavior such as murder, infanticide, seduction and "madness" are represented in German literature from the 17th through the 20th centuries. At stake will be tracing out the ways in which literary notions of good and evil reflect larger moral and social issues. The course will focus on poems, short stories, dramas and novellas in order to introduce students to important periods of German literary history while examining the historical changes in the larger German moral sensibility. Close reading of texts, conversation, presentation and varied writing assignments will prepare students to both write about and orally discuss the formal, stylistic and historical elements of the texts. Readings will include: Schiller, Goethe, Hoffmann, Droste-Huelshoff, Hauptmann. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in German 202 or equivalent.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 356
Germany and the Great War: Destruction, Myths, and Legacy
The outbreak of World War I marks the end of Germany's long nineteenth century and the beginning of a chaotic twentieth century. Its defeat in the war ushered in a period of remarkable social progress, scientific and artistic achievement, as well as unprecedented political instability, which led to some of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century. This course will examine Germany's entry into the war to its defeat and aftermath. With focus on the totality of the experience of this war in German and Austro-Hungarian regions, we will explore important historical works, primary documents, novels, films, works of art and more. Taught in English. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 357
Germany's Roaring 1920s: "Babylon Berlin" in the Context of the Weimar Republic
The recent Netflix series sensation Babylon Berlin (2017-) has sparked renewed international attention to Germany's Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Between two world wars, the Weimar era was a time of political crisis, social revolution, and cultural boom. Today, this period continues to draw much attention and it remains one of the most fascinating periods of twentieth-century European history. This course answers why this series is so popular, and dives deeper into Weimar Republic by looking at a variety of social and cultural issues from this era, including gender relations, political extremism, race, popular culture, and art. Using the series as an introduction to the Weimar period of German history, this course will include, among others,, historical works, literary texts, and films. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
GRMN 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (HUM)
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
GRMN 401
Senior Seminar: Special Topics in German Studies
This interdisciplinary seminar, devoted to guided, individual research, is required of all seniors majoring in German Studies Plan A or Plan B (German as primary language). Each student may work on any aspect of the history, society, or culture of the German-speaking world. Coursework is conducted in German. The grade is based on seminar participation and a research project. (WEB)
Prerequisite: One 300 level German course and permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
GRMN 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available online, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment. Guidelines are available in the College Bulletin. (0.5 - 1 course credit)
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
GRMN 497
Senior Thesis
Submission of special registration form and the approval of the director are required for enrollment in this thesis course. (WEB)
1.00 units, Independent Study
GRMN 499
Senior Thesis
Submission of special registration form and the approval of the director are required for enrollment in this thesis course. (HUM)
1.00 units, Independent Study