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Spring 2023 Class Schedule

Spring 2023 class Schedule 

Spring 2023
Course Title Instructor Time Topic



Beginning German (Intensive) Ryder

MTWF 3pm-3:50pm


MTWF 4pm-4:50pm

101-3-21 Beginning German Zeller MTWF 9am-9:50am
101-3-22 Beginning German Meuser MTWF 12pm-12:50pm
101-3-23 Beginning German Antonakaki Giannisi MTWF 3pm-3:50pm
102-3-21 Intermediate German DeSocio MTWF 9am-9:50am
102-3-22 Intermediate German Zeller MTWF 11am-11:50am
102-3-23 Intermediate German Meuser MTWF 2pm-2:50pm
104-6 First-year Seminar DeSocio MWF 10am-10:50am

Life, Love, and Sex on the Dancefloor: Berlin Dance Music and Club Culture 1990-2020

211-0 German Culture through Film Holt

MWF 11am-11:50am

From Necromancy to Netflix
221-2 Introduction to German Literature: 1900-1945 von Holt MWF 3pm-3:50pm
228-0 German Film Parkinson MWF 11am-11:50am German Film: Cinema in the City–The City in Cinema

Writing as Discovery

Lys TTh 11am-12:20pm

Recoveries and Transitions: 1945 - Present

von Holt MW 12:30pm-1:50pm


CLS 312-0-20

German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media, 1900-45 (1)


M 1pm-3:50pm


The Uncanny in Theory and in Literature
441-0 Studies in Communication and Culture Deuber-Mankowsky W 2pm-4:50pm

Habit and Habitation: On Walter Benjamin’s Media Asthetics and Philosophy of Technology


Spring 2023 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 Tuesday, March 28- Tuesday, April 25 and German 101-3 takes place from Wednesday, April 26 – Wednesday, May 31.

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. 

GER 104-6-1 : First Year Seminar - Life, Love, and Sex on the Dancefloor: Berlin Dance Music and Club Culture 1990-2020

This course offers a study of Berlin, Germany’s world-famous role as a major center of contemporary dance music (techno, house, disco) and nightclub culture. Beginning in the 1990s with the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Berlin, the city quickly became home to cutting-edge DJs, party planners, club owners, and dancers, including notorious clubs like Tresor and Berghain. Coming together, they pioneered new ways to express oneself and connect with one another through music and dance. 

This course examines many aspects of this culture, from the unique genres of music and how DJs create music to the technology of sound, the experience of clubs as spaces, and the politics of belonging, representation, and identity on the dancefloor, in particular its complicated exchanges with Black communities and music in Chicago and Detroit, the birthplaces of this music. We also will consider the social, cultural, and political implications of nightlife and dance music as a site of community-building, friendship, and love within contemporary Western society, especially for queer communities. 

As our course is a First-Year Seminar, we will discuss various aspects of college academic life. Moreover, our writing assignments will be the core of this course’s exploration of dance music and culture. Through our writing, we will learn how to interpret what others have said and made and how to make knowledge ourselves. Each week, we will practice and discuss a specific component of the writing process, from asking good questions to finding sources, synthesizing what others’ have said, and constructing arguments. We will hone our skills in crafting college-level writing through summative, comparative, analytic, and research writing assignments as well as practices of revision and editing.

There will also be an experiential component to the course involving workshops with DJs in which you will engage in a hands-on approach to topics such as the work of DJing and making music and the politics and logistics of dance.

This is a first year seminar  

German 211-0 – German Culture Through Film - 

This course is an introduction to German culture through the lens of German film. Students will be exposed to aspects of German history, society, politics, and aesthetic movements by analyzing nine significant German films made between 1920 and 2022. By studying selected elements of film, including genre, contexts, actors, directors, production and reception, film history, in addition to central thematic and formal elements of film, students will also learn the basics of film analysis.

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

This course counts for Distribution Area VI.

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 228-0 – The German Film

Film is the progeny of a period of unprecedented modernization and industrialization, with its development both mirroring and exceeding its birthplace of the expanding metropolis. Drawing on a wide range of classical and lesser-known (but mesmerizing) films from the Weimar period onward, we will consider how space and social relationships are imagined, initially in the national and then increasingly transnational space of the urban metropolis. We will consider an array of prominent visual and thematic tropes in German film through a combination of formal and aesthetic cinematic analysis, consideration of the historical and cultural specificity of each film, accompanying close reading of a selection of classical texts on modernity, mass society, and cosmopolitanism, as well as relevant theories of space, cultures of memory, and globalization. German 228 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
This course counts for Distribution Area VI.  

German 305-0 – Writing as Discovery

This course focuses on reviewing and developing German vocabulary using a variety of indirect (incidental) and direct (intentional) methods of vocabulary learning. The goal of this course is to encourage and facilitate the review and acquisition of intermediate- and advanced-level vocabulary items in German through explicit vocabulary instruction which aims at engaging students in actively thinking about word meanings, the relationships among words, and how we can use words in different situations.  Short reading, writing, speaking and listing exercises will help students refine vocabulary depth which includes learning about grammar constructions and collocations, connotations, register, and style. Studying words directly will improve vocabulary breadth, which refers to the understanding of meaning in various contexts.  Students will study and commit words to memory through a variety  of well-established activities as well as researching learning opportunities using technology and understanding of and working with google translate.

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

German 321-3 – Recoveries and Transitions: 1945 - Present

This course offers an examination of the relationship of literature and film  with the socio-political and cultural sphere in Germany after 1945, from the end of the War to the Wende and the unification of Germany. Topics in this rubric may include: From the End of the War to the End of the Wall, a course which will focus on literature, non-fiction essays, and films addressing the National Socialist past; inter-generational conflict in German society; the ‘terrorist’ movement of the 1970s; the politicized climate of the women’s movement; the response of the writer in East Germany; the role of historical memory in contemporary Germany; and the politics of national unification and citizenship, including immigrant literature in Germany. 

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 322-0 – German Contributions to World Literature - SHAME! HISTORIES AND CULTURES OF AN EMOTION


GERMAN 403 – German Literature, Critical Thought, and New Media, 1900-45 (1)

“Uncanny” is the English word generally used to translate the German “Unheimlich,” a category theorized first by Ernst Jentsch, then by Freud, in an essay of that name (1919), and in a different way taken up by Heidegger in the late 1920s and 30s, and finally also by Derrida. It competes with the more traditional notion of “alienation” as a categorization of contemporary life, at least in the “West” (or if you prefer “Global North”). What is explicit in the German word but not in the English is the reference to the “home”. What however distinguishes the notion of the Unheimlich from previous theories of alienation or estrangement is that the experience no longer can be framed within the mutually exclusive polarity of domestic vs foreign, since the Unheimlich turns out to be most at home in the home, its strangeness reveals itself to be strangely familiar. Formulated in this way, literature emerges as a privileged medium of the Uncanny.

In this course, we will retrace its emergence of a theory of the Uncanny in the texts of Freud and Heidegger, each of which reserve a special place for literature as a privileged setting for this “apparition”: for Freud the story by E. Th. A. Hoffmann, “The Sandman;” for Heidegger Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone. If these ¨classical¨ articulations of the uncanny in literature can be understood as a challenge to traditional Western notions of self-identity, we will look at some responses to this challenge in texts as diverse as The Odyssey (books 23 k& 24), Oedipus at Colonus, several shorter “stories” by Kafka (“Cares of a Housefather,”  “The Silence of the Sirens”) and finally two “science fiction” stories adapted for radio: “Child’s Play” by William Tenn (1948-51) and Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth” (1947).


GERMAN 441 – Studies in Communication and Culture

At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, self-descriptions in German literature and cultural theory remarkably often allude to ‘the Baroque.’ The aim of this course is to study these receptions and iterations of the Baroque. The term Baroque was used only ex post in order to describe period and style of the 17th century. Hence, rather than reconstructing the ‘original’ early modern Baroque, we will focus on the question what kind of Baroque is created through its recent applications to literature and cultural theory, which connect to early 20th century discourse formations (e.g. Wölfflin, Benjamin, Wellek). How do they recode ‘the Baroque’ and why? What is new about the Neobaroque? Where does its particular quality lie, locally and globally? How does it differ from other actualizations of the Baroque in the 20th and 21st centuries? The class will be held in German and English. Texts will be read in German and English. 



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