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Winter 2021 Class Schedule

Winter 2021 class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Topic
101-1-27  Beginning German Paluch
101-2-21 Beginning German Meuser
101-2-22 Beginning German Melovska
101-2-25 Beginning German Paluch
102-2-21 Intermediate German Ryder
102-2-22 Intermediate German Zeller
102-2-23 Intermediate German Kerlova
102-2-24 Intermediate German Zeller
201-0 Focus Reading Meuser
221-3 Introduction to Literature: 1945-today Parkinson
227-0 Contemporary Germany von Holt
228-0 German Film Parkinson TBD
234-2 Jews and Germans: An Interculturaly History II Fenves
246-0 Special Topics  Kerlova

Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict (Co-List Slavic 393)

309-1

Advanced Business German: the German Economy

Ryder
327-0 German Expressionism Weitzman Expressionism: Modernity, Madness, Revolution
334-0 Writers and their Critics Fenves
335-0 Minority Voices in Germany von Holt
346-0 Topics in German Literature and Culture Weber Theory as Theater: Nietzsche’s Zarathustra
349-0

History of the Holocaust

Ionescu Co-list History 349
402-0

German Literature and Critical Thought, 1832-1900

Weitzman Theories of Realism
408-0 Critical Theory and Religion Helmer

 

Winter 2020 course descriptions 

GER 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.

GER 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 201-0 – Focus Reading

This course is for students in intermediate German who would like to improve basic reading skills by exploring vital German cultural texts in depth. There are two versions of the course. In Brothers Grimm students will be exposed to versions of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen collected by the brothers Grimm and adaptations by later authors. These texts will be used to investigate the culture and values of the period and will also examine the historical framework, which led to the collection of these tales and a development of the genre. In Tension in the Modern Age: 20th Century Women of the Arts examines the explosion of art and industry at the turn of the century that for the first time included substantial opportunities for women. Through short historical texts, biographies, letters and journals, students will learn about social issues, art movements and the German politics of the period that included Bismarck, colonies and war.
Prerequisite in German: German 102-2. (This course will not count for the language requirement but may be taken concurrently with 102-3.)

German 221-3 – Introduction to Literature: 1945-today

This course, designed for majors and non-majors, introduces students to representative short stories by major German-speaking authors’ writing from 1945 through the present. The stories selected are representative of a dynamic period in German literature and highlight important social, political, and intellectual issues including questions of the recent German past and the representation of history; questions of individual versus collective guilt, questions of gender and sexuality, exile and alienation, the relationship of the individual to a modern technological society; and new themes and issues since the reunification of Germany. In addition, the course examines the genre of the short story, with attention to different modes and styles of writing.

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 227-0 – Popular Literature as Cultural History

This course analyzes German popular culture of the past 100 years through bestsellers and box-office hits (novels and films) that constitute the genre of Unterhaltungsliteratur – a category that has been constructed as inferior to “real” and “serious” literature and unworthy of scholarly attention. Unterhaltungsliteratur can be a valuable tool in order to gain insight into the historical and cultural fabric of 20th and 21th-century Germany: the assumption of the course is that Unterhaltungsliteratur functions as social seismographs that allow us to explore moods, anxieties, tensions, and concerns of a large part of German society at a particular point in history. The course will also analyze popular culture’s role in society and introduce theories of popular culture.

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

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 228-0 – The German Film

Courses under this rubric offer in-depth study of German films and their cultural background. Topics vary and may include: Cinema and the City, a course which will draw on a wide range of classic and lesser-known films from the Weimar period onward. Students will be introduced to major German cities and analyze both how space and social relationships are imagined in the German metropolis and in terms of the relationship between a German and an “extra-territorial” city. How does urban space influence how one thinks about forms of national, gendered, ethnic, sexual, and class identity? How does the perception of social relations in the urban space and in cinematic form organize the view of political and social networks? Approaches to these questions will include: formal and aesthetic analysis, examinations of the historical background and cultural specifics of both the films and the cities under consideration, and the close reading and interpretation of a brief selection of classical texts on modernity, mass society, production and reception histories, and theories of space. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 228 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 234-2 – Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History II

This course examines a series of German-Jewish writers, thinkers, and scientists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, each of whom, in his or her own way, created transformative projects, programs, and perspectives from which the modern world can be seen. The class will consider the extent to which the specific experience of German Jewry, with its extraordinary cultural as well as scientific advancement and its abysmal political impotence, played an important part in the creation of global modernity. The course is divided into four sections: the first section examines writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who are seeking innovative forms of writing and action in response to a political and social environment in which the traditional rabbinate has lost its authority, while a newly racialized movement declaring itself “anti-Semitic” has formed political parties in both the new German and the old Austrian Empires; the second section concerns the re-assertion of Jewish messianism in the thought of Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, and Franz Rosenzweig; the third section concentrates on a radical transformation of literary and critical modes of reflection in the writings of Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin; and the fourth section highlights two revolutionary scientists, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, who changed the way the modern world conceives of mind and matter alike.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area IV, Area V, and Area VI.

 

German 309-1 – Advanced Business German: the German Economy

This advanced business-German course will give students an overview of the German economy (Volkswirtschaft), its underlying structures, its current trends, and some of the problems the German economy faces. Students will become well versed in German economic topics, will learn about the differences between the German and American economic system, will gain familiarity with relevant German media that report on the German economy. Although this course is content-driven, student will also develop their language proficiency in the field of German business and commerce through study of business-specific vocabulary and through specific reading and writing tasks. This course is a companion course to German 309-2; 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 327-0 – Expressionism - Expressionism: Modernity, Madness, Revolution

This course will look at the rise and fall of German Expressionism in literature, visual art, and film from the late nineteenth century to the ascent of the Third Reich. We will discuss how the artistic innovations of Expressionism reflected distinctive political, philosophical, and social ideas and conditions of Germany in the years just before and in the wake of the First World War, looking closely at the aesthetics and poetics of this short-lived but influential movement. We will also consider certain themes and issues that Expressionist art particularly addressed, including: urbanization and cosmopolitanism; capitalism and inequality; war and trauma; portrayals of extreme states such as violence, ecstasy, and mental illness; sexuality, desire, and the representation of women; horror and the occult; the role of ethnic and cultural minorities and the appeal of the exotic.
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 VI.

German 334-0 – Writers and their Critics

Courses under this rubric will expose students to texts of leading writers in German through a discussion of the criticism these texts have evoked. Students will thereby be given the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between literary texts and their historical and critical interpretation. Topics may include: Kafka and the Question of the Narrator, a seminar on the question of the narrator and the role the narrative plays in Kafka’s fiction. Much of Kafka criticism avoids this question either by equating the narrator with the author and focusing on “Kafka,” or by regarding the narrative as transparent and focusing on the objects represented. Perhaps the most powerful and significant aspect of his writings relates, however, to the ambiguous figure and discourse of the narrator. The narrative never simply relates a series of events existing independently of the perspective from which they are presented. It thereby reveals something about the process of story-telling as well as of the different figures and events involved in it. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 334 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

German 335-0 – Minority Voices in Germany

Starting out from the question: “What is German?”, this course explores the changing understandings of national identity in postwar Germany. In this context, the course examines fiction, autobiography, poetry, and political and theoretical writings by and about “minority voices” in Germany in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Questions the course will explore include: What is the relationship between autobiographical writing and identity? What is a “minority” and how might we conceive of “minority voices” in terms of ethnicity, religious belief, gender, class, and community? What can our readings teach us about the role of “minority literature” in Germany?

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 VI.

German 346-0 – Topics in German Literature and Culture -Theory as Theater: Nietzsche’s Zarathustra

Courses under this heading examine at an advanced level selected topics in German literature and/or pivotal periods in German culture. Topics may include: Theory as Theater: Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 346 may be repeated for credit with different topics.

Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

GERMAN 402 – German Literature and Critical Thought, 1832-1900 - Theories of Realism

Thematic approach to key texts of 19th century German literature between Goethe and Gottfried Keller, tragedy and the Bildungsroman. Literary and philosophical texts are read side by side in order to interrogate traditional concepts of realism, mimesis, and interpretation.

Cross listed with Comp-Lit 414

GERMAN 408-0 – Critical Theory and Religion

This course explores the central place the concept of “religion” has occupied in the development of critical theory and, in turn, the role critical theory has played in reframing “religion” in modernity and in the contemporary geopolitical moment. We take up the question, “Is critique secular,” as we consider the contributions, potential and actual, of “religion” to social transformation.

Cross listed with Religious Studies 468

 

 

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