Courses For Spring 2019

Please find below the undergraduate courses offered by the German Department for the current semester – Spring 2019. For the most up-to-date listings, as well as an archive of courses offered during the last three years, please consult the University’s online Course Offerings page ; after selecting the appropriate semester from the dropdown menu at the top, please select GER and then click on the search button in the lower right hand corner.

GER 102 Beginner’s German II
Continues the goals of GER 101, focusing on increased communicative proficiency (oral and written), effective reading strategies, and listening skills. Emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and functional language tasks: learning to request, persuade, ask for help, express opinions, agree and disagree, negotiate conversations, and gain perspective on German culture through readings, discussion, and film. Participants are eligible to apply for Princeton-in-Munich, GER 105-G, June, 2019.
Staff, Various sections, MTWThF

GER 1025 Intensive Intermediate German
Intensive training in German, building on GER 101 and covering the acquisitional goals of two subsequent semesters: communicative proficiency in a wide range of syntax, mastery of discourse skills, and reading strategies sufficient to interpret and discuss contemporary German short stories, drama, and film. Intensive classroom participation required. Successful completion provides eligibility for GER 107 or, in exceptional cases, for 200 level courses. Participants are eligible to apply for the Princeton-in-Munich program 107-G, June, 2019.
Staff, Various sections, MTWThF

GER 107 Advanced German
Continues improvement of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing using texts, online media, and other sources as a basis for class discussion. Grammar review is included. Conducted in German.
Staff, Various sections, MWF

GER 208 Studies in German Language and Style: Contemporary Society, Politics, and Culture
This course traces German cultural and political history from 1945 to the present by examining the period’s most heated debates: first, the controversy around the aftermath of Nazi rule, which escalated in the 60s and 70s in violent clashes between students and government; second, the ideological rivalry between two German states up to reunification; third, persistent struggles with multiculturalism; and fourth, Germany’s role and reputation in Europe. The course facilitates advanced competence in written and oral German, but will also develop analytical competencies in historical and historiographical argumentation across a range of sources.
B. Nagel, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm, T Th

GER 210 Introduction to German Philosophy
An introduction to the German philosophical tradition from the Enlightenment to the present through the study of its major figures (Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, Arendt). This course offers a survey of German intellectual history based upon direct engagement with original texts. Domains to be explored include metaphysics, aesthetics, the theory of knowledge, political philosophy and the philosophy of language.
J. Wankhammer, Lecture, 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm M W, Precept times TBA

GER 211 Introduction to Media Theory
Through careful readings of a wide range of media theoretical texts from the late 19th to early 21st century, this class will trace the development of critical reflection on technologies and media ranging from the printing press to photography, from gramophones to radio technologies, from pre-cinematic optical devices to film and television, and from telephony and typewriters to cyberspace. Topics include the relationship between representation and technology, the historicity of perception, the interplay of aesthetics, technology and politics, and the transformation of notions of imagination, literacy, communication, reality and truth.
T. Levin, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm, M W

GER 303 Topics in Prose Fiction: Beginnings
The beginning of a story or a novel marks a delicate threshold. It signifies both the entrance into a fictitious world and the advent of a new order. Narrative openings not only determine a story’s further course and continuation, they also offer fundamental insights into the logic of narration as such. In order to address all of these questions properly, a selection of canonical works of German and European literature will be the basis of discussion.
J. Vogl, 3:00 pm – 4:20 pm T Th

GER 306/COM 384/ECS 304 German Intellectual History: Margins of Enlightenment
What mechanisms of exclusion accompanied the constitution of modern reason in the eighteenth century? Are the universalist ideals of the Enlightenment inherently flawed, or can they be recuperated by a more inclusive universalism? This course interrogates Enlightenment universalism by reading canonical eighteenth-century works together with texts that highlight the occult, gendered, and racialized undersides of Enlightened reason. In conversation with recent attempts to reclaim, revise, or refute the Enlightenment project, we will also explore the complex legacy of Enlightenment universalism in contemporary political and theoretical debates.
J. Wankhammer, 1:30 pm – 2:50 pm, T Th

GER 307 Topics in German Culture and Society: German Myths and Legends
Myths are a form of symbolic capital providing orientation, generating confidence and organizing shared identity in an impenetrable world. Myths are not fake news. They are a complex construction of historical facts, embedded in media and narrative genres. Their longevity is legendary, and so is their power in politics. This seminar will study a variety of foundational German myths and legends such as Nibelungen, Luther, Faust, Wirtschaftswunder, Wunder von Bern, Antifaschismus.
N. Wegmann, 3:00 pm –4:20 pm – M W

ECS 378/GER 378/ENV 378 Nature vs. Culture: A European Problem
Where does nature end? Where does culture begin? In this seminar, we will walk the contested borderlands claimed by both, exploring key works of literature, art, and film from the Middle Ages to the present that challenge, represent, perform, condition, and subvert our notions of morality and human conduct. Is nature cruel or edifying? Should human values be informed by botany? How can an earthquake become an act of natural justice? Is the environment a field of scientific study or a human-made reality? Studying these cases of European culture will force us to address ethical issues and moral judgments of lasting fundamental relevance.
F. Fuchs, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm, T Th