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Winter 2024 Class Schedule

Winter 2024 Class Schedule


*101 and 102 courses will be 70 minutes long, even though they are listed as 80 minutes on CAESAR. 

Course Title Instructor Time Topic
101-2-21 Beginning German Meuser MWF 9:30-10:50AM* *Class will end 10 minutes early
101-2-23 Beginning German Ryder

MWF 11-12:20AM*

*Class will end 10 minutes early

101-2-25 Beginning German DeSocio

MWF 3:30-4:50PM* 

*Class will end 10 minutes early

102-2-20 Intermediate German Kerlova

MWF 9:30-10:50AM* 

*Class will end 10 minutes early

102-2-22 Intermediate German DeSocio

MWF 12:30-1:50PM*

*Class will end 10 minutes early

102-2-23 Intermediate German Zeller

MWF 3:30-4:50PM*

*Class will end 10 minutes early

115-0 Intensive Beginner German through Musical Journeys in Vienna Zeller MWF 2-2:50PM
203-0 Focus Speaking Meuser MWF 1-1:50PM
211-0 German Culture Through Film Holt TTH 2-3:20PM From Necromancy to Netflix

The Theme of Faust Through the Ages


MW 10-10:50AM

F 10-10:50AM Discussion


Luther and the West


TTh 11AM-12:20PM


Advanced Business German: the German Economy

Ryder MWF 1-1:50PM

Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict

Kerlova TTH 12:30PM - 1:50 PM

Science and Culture in Germany

Krienbrock TTh

Topics in German Literature

Holt TTh 11AM-12:20PM Talking Trash: Managing Waste in Culture, Theory, and Practice

History of the Holocaust

Ionescu MW 9:30 – 10:50 AM

German Literature and Critical Thought, 1900-1945

Fenves M 1-3:50PM


Winter 2024 course descriptions 

GER 101-1,2,3 : Beginning German 

This is the first quarter of the Beginning German sequence: a systematic introduction to basic German. All four language skills - speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing - are stressed to insure that students acquire a basic command of German. Classes are conducted in German, with occasional use of English. Key feature of this quarter: Individual oral interviews at the end of the quarter.
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

This is the second quarter of a three-quarter sequence of Intermediate German. The thematic focus this quarter is on contemporary Germany as a multi-ethnic society. As materials we will use the TV show Türkisch für Anfänger and articles from a variety of German magazines or newspapers. We will follow recent 21st-century German cultural and political questions. All language skills are practiced throughout the year, but each quarter focuses on different language areas. In the Winter quarter we focus on colloquial and idiomatic contemporary language. The Spring quarter will be devoted to excerpts from German literary works of varying genres and discussion arising from them. The fall quarter was dedicated to 20th-century German history and politics through a literary lens.
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 115 – Intensive Beginning German through Musical Journeys in Vienna

The fascinating musical and cultural history of the metropolis Vienna serves as the basis for this
Intensive Beginning German course which provides musically interested students with the option to acquire German language skills through an intensive immersion in the topic in an interdisciplinary context. The goals of the course include the contextualized development of speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills in German and the acquisition of a basic general and musical vocabulary as well as a solid grammatical basis. Activities will draw on the lives and works of composers between 1750 and 1950 including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauß, and Alban Berg. Students will read short biographies, letters, poetry and prose, watch relevant films and videos, study paintings and maps of Vienna, learn about important institutions and historical facts about the city, and explore current cultural events.
Prerequisite in German: None or one year of high-school German.

German 203-0 – Focus Speaking

This course is designed to enhance the aural/oral skills by training students in listening comprehension and speaking. Vocabulary and idioms employed in everyday conversational German will be introduced and practiced in communicative activities such as role-playing, listening to and creating podcasts in German and small group discussions. New cultural concepts will be introduced through multimedia presentations and German podcasts. A final project will involve the creation of a short podcast in German by the students.

Prerequisite in German: German 102-2 or placement test results. (This course will not count for the language requirement as it may be taken concurrently with 102-3.)

German 211-0 – German Culture Through Film - From Necromancy to Netflix

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. Of particular interest will be the role of film in the production of a ‘mass culture' constitutive of collective identity and memory. Some guiding questions will be: How does film shape popular culture and what sort of force does it exert on individuals? How has the relationship of the viewer to images, the screen, and the audience changed over the course of the past century? This course is taught entirely in German and emphasizes developing cultural knowledge and German language skills.

Prerequisite: One 200-level course in German.

Advanced Expression

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

Literature and Arts Foundational Discipline

GER 232-0 : The Theme of Faust Through the Ages

“To sell one’s soul,” “to strike a bargain with the devil,” or even “to beat the devil at his own game”—these expressions and similar ones continue to enjoy undiminished popularity. For more than five-hundred years the legend of Faust has served as means to express the daring and danger of pursuing an aspiration even if it comes at the cost of one’s “soul.” The specter of a “Faustian bargain” often appears when narratives identify individuals whose inordinate achievements are both destructive and self-destructive. The theme of Faust provides a perspective in which one must thus reflect on the highest and lowest values.

Dr. Faustus has undergone many mutations since he first appeared in central Europe around the early sixteenth century. This class will be begin with a question at the foundation of the Faust legend: what is our “soul” worth? While examining this and kindred questions about the nature of the moral self, the class will continually reflect on what we are doing when we evaluate a work of art in relation to the moral culture of its “time” or “period.” In addition to listening to some musical compositions and reading some shorter texts, we will examine the earliest versions of Faust, which derives from the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation and then proceed to read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s great drama of cosmic knowledge and sexual seduction, Faust I, followed by selections from its strange sequel Faust II, in which Faust invents paper money and then becomes a real-estate developer or social-engineer who wants to reorganize the very nature of our planet. We will ask what Goethe, near the end of his life, gave to “world literature” (a term of his own invention) when he presented his final version of Faust as a man committed to a total terrestrial transformation that inadvertently destroys innocent lives. As a conclusion to our analysis of Goethe’s Faust, we will read two very different kinds of poetic responses, Paul Celan’s “Death Fugue” and Carol Ann Duffy’s “Mrs. Faust.” And in the final two weeks of the class we will view three versions of the Faust legend for our times: Taylor Hackford’s The Devil’s Advocate from the 1990s, Sophie Barthes’ Cold Souls from the 2000s, and Danny Boyle’s Yesterday from 2019."

Prerequisites: None.
Ethical and Evaluative Thinking Foundational Disci

Ethics Values Distro AreaInterdisciplinary Distro - See Rules

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

Literature and Arts Foundational Discipline


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

This course will give you an overview of the German economy, its underlying structures, its current trends and some of the political and global issues it is facing today. Throughout the course, you will gain tools that will enable you to become well-versed in German economic and sociopolitical topics. While the course is designed to introduce you to a variety of issues, you will also be able to delve deeper into one topic of your choice for your final project, such as national health care insurance or immigration. Although content-driven, the course will also further develop your language skills. You will expand your vocabulary and become familiar with advanced grammar structures used heavily in the business context. In-class activities and will focus on how to present graphics and statistics, and lead informative discussions in a business setting.
Prerequisite in German: Two 200-level courses in German or permission of the DUS.

Advanced Expression

German 328-0 – Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict

Examination of the cultural, political, and social transformation of Prague from the 19th century to the present. Cosmopolitan Prague, communist Prague, and capitalist Prague. SLAVIC 328-0 and GERMAN 328-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses.

Literature and Arts Foundational Discipline

German 337-0 – Science and Culture in Germany

Germany is often regarded as being at the forefront of European developments concerning issues such as climate change and recycling, transport and renewable energy sources. This class will trace the scientific, political, philosophical, and aesthetic history of Germany as a ‘green nation’ from the 18th century until today. What are the roots of the ideology of environmentalism as it is represented in concepts like environment, ecology, or sustainability, which were all invented or popularized by German scientists (von Uexküll, Haeckel, von Carlowitz)? The course will also examine recent developments in German environmental policies like the so-called “Energiewende” and the “Diesel-Skandal”.

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

Ethics Values Distro Area

Historical Studies Distro Area

Interdisciplinary Distro - See Rules

German 346-0 – Topics in German Literature and Culture - Talking Trash: Managing Waste in Culture, Theory, and Practice

Courses under this heading examine at an advanced level selected topics in German literature and/or pivotal periods in German culture. Topics may include: Contemporary climate activism and movements for degrowth and sustainable development have made us pay greater attention to our ecological footprint and the impact that our production of waste has on each other and the Earth’s ecosystems. Alongside this growing public concern for political ecology and environmental justice, artists, writers, filmmakers, and theorists have drawn on various kinds of ‘trash’ (e.g., debris, dirt, sewage, litter, spam, as well as ‘trashy’ individuals or places) in their metaphoricity and often threatening materiality, as tools for critiquing ossified aesthetic standards, anthropocentrism, globalization, and ecological damage. This course will provide insight into the environmental humanities through the lens of trash, tracing its varying manifestations from the nineteenth-century figure of the ragpicker to today's spam-generating botnets. Writers and artists discussed will include Walter Benjamin, Amitav Ghosh, Donna Haraway, Wolfgang Hilbig, Hito Steyerl, and Christa Wolf. Please consult Caesar for current topic. German 346 may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Prerequisites: None.
Advanced Expression

Literature and Arts Foundational Discipline

GERMAN 349-0 The Holocaust  

Origins and development of the genocide of European Jewry during World War II.

Prerequisite: None. HISTORY 349-0 and GERMAN 349-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses.

Global Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equity

Historical Studies Distro Area

Historical Studies Foundational Discipline


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

The aim of this seminar is to reflect on two constructions of the aesthetic in preparation for an inquiry into Benjamin’s attempt circa 1920 to do the same—but only indirectly, via a literary work, specifically Goethe’s 1809 novel Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities).  After briefly reviewing two Kantian prefaces (one “precritical,” the other “critical”), and two of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous writings, the seminar turns to Benjamin’s essay on Goethe with this question in mind: what the difference—“aesthetic” and/or “ethical”—between election (= choice) and decision, exemplified in the choice/decision of marriage?  



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