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Spring 2021 Class Schedule

Spring 2021 class Schedule 

Course Title Instructor Time Topic



Beginning German (Intensive) Paluch

MTThF 3pm-3:50pm

MTThF 4pm-4:50pm

101-3-21 Beginning German Melovska MTWF 9am-9:50am
101-3-23 Beginning German Ryder MTWF 11am-11:50am
101-3-22 Beginning German Meuser MTWF 12pm-12:50pm
101-3-28 Beginning German Meuser MTWF 3pm-3:50pm
102-3-21 Intermediate German Kerlova MTWF 9am-9:50am
102-3-22 Intermediate German Laport MTWF 10am-10:50am
102-3-23 Intermediate German Laport MTWF 12pm-12:50pm
102-3-24 Intermediate German Zeller MTWF 1pm-1:50pm
221-2 Introduction to German Literature: 1900-1945 von Holt MWF 1pm-1:50pm
230-0 Berlin and the Culture of Democracy von Holt MWF 3pm-3:50pm
245-0  Special Topics in German Literature and Culture Zeller MWF 10am-10:50am Bauhaus and Beyond: German Influences on the Chicago Skyline
266 Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl Moseley TTh 3:30pm-4:50pm
309-2 Advanced Business German: Marketing and Management Ryder MWF 12pm-12:50pm

Reason, Revolution, and Despair: 1800-1900

Weitzman MW 9:30am-10:50am


CLS 481

Proseminar (1) Weitzman Th 12pm-2:50pm How to Read
441-0 Studies in Communication and Culture Fenves TTh 9am-11am Political Theology and Production


Spring 2021 course descriptions

German 101-1,2,3 : Beginning German 

The Beginning German sequence offers students a systematic introduction to German language and culture emphasizing the four modalities: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing. The first quarter (101-1) offers a systematic review of basic German words, phrases with a cultural focus on Germany, an introduction of simple grammar items, and short interview practice at the end of the quarter. The second quarter (101-2) includes a variety of writing assignments, cultural presentations, reading poems by Goethe, the visit of a Mystery Guest, as well as intensive work with the strong and irregular verbs. In the third quarter (101-3), students will read and discuss short stories and plays by Grimm, Brecht and Kafka! The highlight will be an in-class skit performance which culminates in the almost famous *Evening O' Skits* featuring the best student selected skits from first and second-year German.
Prerequisite in German for 101-1: None or one year of high-school German.
Prerequisite in German for 101-2: 101-1 or placement exam results.
Prerequisite in German for 101-3: 101-2 or placement exam results.

German 101-2-25/101-3-26 : Beginning German (Intensive)

This is an intensive 2-unit elementary German course that covers the material in German 101-2 and 101-3 during Spring Quarter.  Many students in this course are continuing from the special course the department offered during Winter Quarter (German 101-1 MTuThF 3 or 4 p.m.) and there are others who began learning German in high school or who finished the first quarter of the 101 sequence at Northwestern.

German 101-2 takes place from Monday, March 29- Tuesday, April 27 and German 101-3 takes place from Thursday, April 29 – Tuesday, June 1. I will compute the grades for 101-2 on the weekend of May 1-2, 2021.

We will continue to focus on developing proficiency in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, while using the culture and history of the German speaking countries as basic source materials.

German 101-2  We will work more with texts this quarter and will be reading some poetry from Heinrich Heine and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Preparations during the quarter lead up to an interview with an invited guest from Germany. (Mystery Guest).

German 101-3 During this final quarter of elementary German, readings and class activities focus on providing interesting perspectives on German life and culture. We will work with selected writings of Grimm, Brecht and Kafka, using them for discussion, performance and language acquisition activities.


German 102- 1,2,3 : Intermediate German

The Intermediate German sequence offers students a systematic review of German language and culture to increase linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy. The pedagogy used fosters learning in the four modalities: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing. Each quarter has a specific focus: In the Fall Quarter (102-1) students concentrate on speaking and communication and on the history of the GDR and the 20th anniversary of Germanyʼs reunification, in the Winter Quarter (102-2) on writing and on contemporary German culture, and in the Spring Quarter (102-3) on reading, theatre, and performance and on 20th -century literature by German-speaking authors.
Prerequisite in German for 102-1: 101-3 or placement exam results
Prerequisite in German for 102-2: 102-1 or placement exam results.
Prerequisite in German for 102-3: 102-2 or placement exam results.


German 221-2 : Introduction to Literature: 1900-1945

This course, designed for majors and non-majors, introduces students to the historical dimension of a literary era, the first half of the 20th century marked by a)the demise of the German Empire in the course of the First World War, b) a short-lived democratic experiment, the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), and c) the Rise and Fall of the “Third Reich.” Furthermore, the course is to improve the students’ writing skills in terms of style and expression by way of three shorter essays.  A secondary, yet strong emphasis is on making the students able and comfortable to conduct a discussion on fairly sophisticated issues in German. By keeping the number of students in the class relatively small, there will be ample opportunity to practice the close reading of literary texts and the analysis of complex works of art in a foreign language.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 230-0 : Berlin and the Culture of Democracy

This class aims to introduce students to the history and culture of Berlin from 1900 to the present. Drawing on a wide range of media, from maps through film to music, the class concentrates on a series of transformative moments in German cultural history seen through the prism of Berlin. Students will engage with the varied historical, socio-political, and artistic changes in German culture throughout the twentieth century, including the vibrant and provocative culture of the 1920s and early 1930s, with a focus on changing forms of gender identity (the “New Woman”) and sexual subcultures (as in the film Cabaret). Further, students will examine the everyday and extraordinary history of German-Jews in Germany around the devastating caesura of the Jewish genocide executed by the National Socialists. After examining the megalomaniacal plans that the Nazis made for Berlin, the class turns to the devastated city of 1945 and the divided city of the Cold War, where the conflict between “East” and “West” emerges in the “concrete” form of the Berlin Wall. Further topics include the events surrounding the collapse of the Wall and the creation of the Berlin Republic, the changing face of national culture in light of the migration of the so-called Turkish “guest workers” of the post-War years, particularly through the art of later generations of Turkish-German authors and filmmakers in Berlin.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.

German 245-0 : Special Topics in German Literature and Culture - Bauhaus and Beyond: German Influences on the Chicago Skyline

This course is a cultural studies course highlighting a major author, a prominent theme in German literature or culture, a movement, or a literary genre. "This cultural studies course is taught in German and explores the unique history of Chicago in the context of German-American architectural connections. Particular emphasis will be placed on the German Bauhaus School and movement that influenced architectural development in Chicago and worldwide. We will discuss the lives, works, and theories of German-born architects, who played a significant role in shaping the Chicago skyline and also designed signature works in Germany, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn and Dirk Lohan. Course materials are derived from a variety of sources and media, including articles on history and architecture, websites, photographs, paintings, videos, exhibits, and films. Highlights include exploring the campus from an architectural angle, an interview with a German architect, the attendance* of architectural tours, including a walking tour in Chicago or Evanston, a river cruise, and creative articles and videos to be shared on the collaborative course website.**

*Please note that participation in the onsite excursions will be optional and will be scheduled in small group. During excursions, all required COVID safety measures will be followed and strongly enforced.

Prerequisite in German: One 200-level course in German or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area VI. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.


German 266-0 – Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl

In collective memory the shtetl (small Jewish town) has become enshrined as the symbolic space of close-knit, Jewish community in Eastern Europe; it is against the backdrop of this idealized shtetl that the international blockbuster Fiddler on the Roof is enacted. This seminar explores the spectrum of representations of the shtetl in Yiddish literature from the nineteenth century to the post-Holocaust period. The discussion will also focus on artistic and photographic depictions of the shtetl: Chagall and Roman Vishniac in particular. The course will include a screening of Fiddler on the Roof followed by a discussion of this film based upon a comparison with the text upon which it is based, “Tevye the Milkman.”
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 309-2 – Advanced Business German: Marketing and Management

This advanced Business German course focuses on management and marketing practices in Germany (Betriebswirtschaft). In addition to acquiring a rich Business German vocabulary, students will also develop nuanced cross-cultural knowledge by encouraging students to think critically about cultural differences and how they relate to business practices. Topics to be discussed, among others, are German corporate structures and business culture, intercultural competence, marketing and advertising, career and everyday life. Important vocabulary and relevant grammar structures will be practiced throughout the class. The course prepares students to work in international work environments. This course is a companion course to German 309-1; both courses together will prepare students to work in international work environments.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.


German 321-1 – Reason, Revolution, and Despair: 1800-1900

This course is a literature/culture course focusing on discussions of key texts in German intellectual history from the Enlightenment to the pre-revolutionary period in the 1830 and beyond.  Topics in this rubric may include:  Lessing to Büchner, focusing on the half century from 1780 to 1830, where the mood in German intellectual and cultural history swung from confident, even defiant optimism (Lessing) to expressions of starkest despair (Büchner). Students will read and discuss some of the central texts in this dramatic development, describing the  theological, aesthetic, and social developments through theoretical as well as literary works. Please consult Caesar for current topic.

Prerequisite in German: Three 200-level courses in German (at least one in literature) or permission of the DUS.

This course counts for Distribution Area IV and Area VI.


GERMAN 407 – Proseminar (1) - How to Read

“Reading” has a history. The aim of this course is to examine the past and present of literary interpretation and reception, in order to better understand the changing relationship of art to commentary and, from there, to critically reflect on our own practices and habits of analysis. Questions that will be addressed are: What is the ethics and the politics of reading? How does the reading of literature exist in a symbiotic relationship with the literary text? What is the place of “theory” in literature? What is the import of forms of interpretation vis-à-vis the choice of subject matter being interpreted? What does it mean to read professionally? This seminar will such questions through an overview of approaches to the question of interpretation, with a particular emphasis on contemporary theoretical paradigms and debates. In parallel to the course readings and discussions, students will get training in skills necessary to graduate- and professional-level academic work, culminating in the workshopping and preparation of a publication-ready article.

GERMAN 441 – Studies in Communication and Culture - Political Theology and Production

 This course, co-taught with Professor Eduardo Sabrovsky in conjunction with his seminar in the Instituto Philosofía at Diego Portales University (Santiago, Chile), examines a variety of programs and theorem in which political theology, as it develops out of Hobbes’ Leviathan, configures ever-more modern concepts of production and productive capacity in contrast to ancient notions of poēsis and dynamis.  After an initial session on Benjamin’s “Capitalism as Religion,” the seminar will proceed in historiographical order from Hobbes and Schelling, through Feuerbach and Marx, to Heidegger and Schmitt, returning in conclusion to Benjamin.  The seminar begins on March 16th (two weeks earlier than the beginning of the spring quarter) and concludes on June 1st; each session, however, is only two hours, such that the total time on Zoom is equivalent to a regular quarter-long seminar.  The class will be held in English, with no presumption of Spanish.  Texts will be read in English, German, and Spanish.  Those who are interested should contact Professor Fenves at

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