Course Descriptions

German

GERM 101 - Elementary German I

Introduction to German language and culture. Emphasis on comprehension of oral and written contemporary German as well as developing elementary oral proficiency. The course emphasizes vocabulary recognition and acquisition within a variety of concrete contexts. Students develop facility with German within highly structured contexts. Contemporary culture in German-speaking countries provides the content of the course. For beginning students with no previous German language instruction. Students with any previous training in German must take the German placement exam. Three hours per week plus laboratory conversation hour.

Frequency: Every fall.

GERM 102 - Elementary German II

Continuation of introduction to German language and culture. Vocabulary acquisition continues within broader contexts. Emphasis on both oral and written production with continuing development of reading and listening skills. Students develop creativity and facility with the language using primarily concrete vocabulary within meaningful contexts. The course provides an introduction to extended reading in German as well. Three hours per week plus laboratory conversation hour.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 101 with a grade of C- or better, or permission of instructor.

GERM 110 - Accelerated Elementary German

An accelerated course which covers material and proficiency development normally covered in GERM 101 and GERM 102. The course is for students with prior experience with German who need a concentrated review or students with previous other foreign language background who wish to work at an accelerated pace. Three hours per week plus conversation laboratory hour.

Frequency: Every semester.

GERM 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

GERM 203 - Intermediate German I

This course is designed to help students increase their proficiency in the German language while emphasizing authentic cultural contexts. Through exposure to a variety of texts and text types, students develop oral and written proficiency in description and narration and develop tools and discourse strategies for culturally authentic interaction with native speakers. Cultural topics are expanded and deepened. Three hours per week plus conversation laboratory hour.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 102 or GERM 110 with a grade of C- or better, or placement test, or consent of the instructor.

GERM 204 - Intermediate German II

The course aims to help students attain a comfort level with extended discourse in German within culturally appropriate contexts. Students develop the ability to comprehend authentic spoken German on a variety of topics at length. They develop effective strategies for comprehending a variety of texts and text types. They gain increased facility with extended discourse, such as narrating and describing. Writing in German is also developed so that students can write extensively about familiar topics. Three hours per week plus laboratory conversation hour.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 203 with a grade of C- or better, or placement test, or consent of the instructor.

GERM 255 - German Cinema Studies

Changing topics in German film. Possible titles include: Nazi Cinema; Film, Philosophy, Politics; Film and the Fantastic; Form and Gender in German and American Cinema; Cinema of the Weimar Republic; Where am I in the Film? Students may register up to two times for courses numbered 255, provided a different topic is offered. Taught in English.

Frequency: Every year.

GERM 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

GERM 305 - German Through the Media

Students continue enhancing their German language skills while exploring contemporary issues through media, ranging from television shows to commercials, films, magazines, newspapers and the Internet. At the end of the course students should be able to converse and write on a relatively sophisticated level about a variety of social and academic topics, and be comfortable reading or listening to contemporary German. Excellent preparation for study abroad. Taught in German. Three hours per week plus conversation laboratory hour.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 204, placement test or permission of instructor

GERM 308 - German Cultural History I

This course prepares students for upper-level courses in German Studies through the critical investigation of important political, social and aesthetic topics in the context of German cultural history from 1815-1945. Such topics include the tension between the German Kulturnation and the political nation, the economics and philosophical critique offered by socialism, imperialism as discourse and political tool, the aesthetic revolution of modernism in the arts, and the debacle of fascism and the Holocaust.  In addition to historical sources, students read literary and autobiographical texts, view films, and investigate examples of material culture from a variety of periods. Conducted in German.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite: GERM 305, placement test, or permission of instructor

GERM 309 - German Cultural History II

This course prepares students for upper-level courses in German Studies through the critical investigation of important political, social and aesthetic topics in the context of German cultural history from 1945 through the present. Such topics include the tension between consumer culture and Vergangenheitsbewältigung in the West Germany of the 1950s, the theory and practice of collectivism in East Germany, the significance of the Wall, political upheaval and terrorism in West Germany, real existierender Sozialismus in the East, German unification, multiculturalism, and contemporary topics such as environmentalism and sustainability. In addition to historical sources, students read literary and autobiographical texts, view films, and investigate examples of material culture from a variety of periods. Conducted in German.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 305, placement test, or permission of instructor

GERM 314 - Darwin/Nietzsche/Freud

We all have values; but what are they based on? Perhaps no two thinkers have asked this question as persistently and approached it with such intrepid originality as Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Writing in an age when religious belief had lost credence as a foundation for ethics, Nietzsche and Freud confronted the groundlessness of value systems while recognizing the impossibility of living without them. Both were reacting to Darwin's discovery of natural selection, which dispelled nature's divine aura and inaugurated what Nietzsche would call the "death of God." The course explores the challenges to value judgments in the wake of Darwin and attempted solutions to them, centering on the four domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value. Readings will include excerpts from Darwin's The Origin of Species ; Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals, The Gay Science , and the texts posthumously published as The Will to Power ; Freud's Totem and Taboo, Civilization and Its Discontents , and Beyond the Pleasure Principle ; as well as other works.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

PHIL 214

GERM 337 - Dead White Men

Today we often hear people dismiss the Western (mostly European) philosophical tradition as a bunch of "dead white men." In other words, the argument goes, these thinkers harbored such passe notions as universal truths, a universal subject, and an individual in total control of itself and endowed with a pure reason unadulterated by rhetoric, imagination, fiction, and politics. Why should we bother with "dead white men" now that we understand that truth depends on historical context, that the self is decentered by the unconscious, that identity is constituted by gender, race, class, and other cultural factors, that truth is linked to power, and that ideology is omnipresent? Unfortunately, this all-too-familiar attitude overlooks its own faulty presupposition: it presumes a clear-cut break between philosophical tradition and contemporary thought, as if contemporary thought had no tradition out of which it emerged and could, therefore, merely discard what preceded it. Hence the popularity of phrases like "philosophy is dead." It is all the more ironic to see this attitude prevail in the West at the very moment that multiculturalism has become our cause celebre : all cultural traditions are supposed to be "respected," except the West's own tradition. (Perhaps as a new way for the West to reinstate surreptitiously its superiority as the sole culture with no tradition?) This course pursues a close reading of texts by various "dead white men" as the unconscious (i.e., repressed and, for that matter, all the more powerful) undercurrent of contemporary thought. Assigned texts will include: Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Marx, as well as texts by twentieth-century thinkers that stress the dependence of contemporary thought on philosophy. No pre-knowledge required; all readings in English. With different reading lists this course may be taken more than once for credit .

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

MCST 337

GERM 360 - Proseminar in German Studies

Changing German Studies topics such as: Desire, Reason and Power in Modernity; Modernity and the Unconscious; German Nationalism and its Legacy; Kafka and German Expressionism; Karl Marx and the Development of Communism; German Political Theater; Nietzsche: Romantic, Modern, Postmodern; The Comical Effects of Kafka and Kleist. Students may register up to two times for courses numbered 360, provided a different topic is offered. May be taught in German or in English.

Frequency: Every year.

GERM 363 - Crime and the Fantastic

This course explores the modern fascination with the uncanny, the mysterious, the magical, and the demonic in two related genres: murder mysteries and tales of the supernatural. We will ask why both of these genres were invented in German Romanticism and what function they play in later contexts. Course materials include stories of the uncanny by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Tieck; Goethe's "Faust"; Grimm's fairy tales; the fantastic realism of the nineteenth century; Kafka's "Metamorphosis"; German TV crime drama. Taught in German. Requirements: weekly reading responses; three short papers with revisions.

Frequency: Offered fall term of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 308, GERM 309, study abroad, or permission of instructor.

GERM 364 - Politics, Class, Culture

This course explores depictions and concepts of "class" in literature, film, and political discourse since the French Revolution. Discussion topics include the invention of the bourgeois family; the Lumpenproletariat (prostitutes, rogues, vagabonds) in literature and art; revolutionary culture and politics in the inter-war period; depictions of class in contemporary mass culture. How does "class consciousness" emerge in German history? Is class an economic necessity or a consequence of culture and politics? Why is culture still fascinated by class? Taught in German.

Frequency: Offered fall term of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 308, GERM 309, or the equivalent

GERM 365 - Kafka: Gods, Animals, and Other Species of Modernity

This course approaches Kafka's work both as a case for literary analysis and as a text that reveals insights into modernity - the historical era characterized by capitalism, secularization, the nation-state, increasing bureaucratization, the commodification of art, the development of technology and media. In addition to reading closely a selection of Kafka's short stories and exerpts from his novels, we shall also read some influential commentaries on his work, as well as texts that address major phenomena that characterize modernity. Taught in German.

Frequency: Offered spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 308, GERM 309 or the equivalent

GERM 366 - Literature and Film

In this course we read closely a selection of German literary texts and compare them to their film adaptations. The literature may range from German "classics" to popular "best sellers," and the films from critically acclaimed cases to box office successes, as a way of gauging social diversity in interests and taste. Beyond focusing on literary analysis, the course will address questions such as: how the written word is translated to the screen; what happens when the film adaptation occurs in another language and culture; what difference it makes if the work was written in the 1920s and filmed in the 2000s. Taught in German.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 308 or GERM 309 

GERM 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

GERM 488 - Senior Seminar

Designed as a capstone experience in German studies, the seminar brings together fundamental questions engaged by the field of German studies, and enhances students' understanding of the theories and methodologies informing contemporary scholarship. Part of the seminar will be devoted to study of an aspect of German studies; students will then conduct independent research, which will serve as the basis of class discussions during the latter part of the semester. Changing topics may include: Constructing National Identity; Radicalism and Conservatism in Modernism; Goethe's Faust ; Centrality and Marginality in German Culture; Translingual Interventions: Migration and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Germany, Stardom and Charisma. Taught in German.

Frequency: Every year.

Prerequisite(s)

GERM 308

GERM 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

GERM 601 - Tutorial

Limit to be applied toward the major or will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 602 - Tutorial

Limit to be applied toward the major or will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 603 - Tutorial

Limit to be applied toward the major or will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 604 - Tutorial

Limit to be applied toward the major or will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 611 - Independent Project

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 612 - Independent Project

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 613 - Independent Project

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 614 - Independent Project

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 621 - Internship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

GERM 622 - Internship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

GERM 623 - Internship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

GERM 624 - Internship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

GERM 631 - Preceptorship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

GERM 632 - Preceptorship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

GERM 633 - Preceptorship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

GERM 634 - Preceptorship

Limit to be applied toward the major will be determined in consultation with the department.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

GERM 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

GERM 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.