Courses

Please find below the undergraduate courses offered by the German Department for the current semester. 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 by clicking here; 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.

GERMAN 101 – Beginning German – J. Rankin
The course lays a foundation for functional acquisition of German. Class time is devoted to language tasks that will foster communicative competence and will emphasize listening and reading strategies, vocabulary acquisition, authentic input, and oral production.
Conducted in German. Various Times

GER 105 – Intermediate German — Staff
Develops deeper proficiency in all areas of German, including production skills (speaking and writing) and receptive skills (listening and reading comprehension), bringing the tools of language acquisition to bear on a variety of cultural and historical artifacts, including films and texts.
Conducted in German. MTWTh – 10:00-10:50am; MTWTh – 12:30-1:20pm

GER 107 – Advanced German – B. Nagel
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. MWF – 10:00-10:50am; MWF 12:30-1:20pm

GER 207 – Studies in German Language and Style: Society, Politics and Culture in Germany 1890-1945 – S. Pourciau
Discussion of exemplary texts from modern German Society and culture, including essays, speeches, autobiographies, works of literature, art, and film. The course offers an introduction to important issues in modern Germany: Berlin as a modern metropolis, World War I, the rise of National Socialism, the postwar landscape, and the contemporary political situation. Intensive practice in spoken and written German with emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and complex syntactical forms.
Conducted in German. MW 11:00 am – 12:20 pm

GER 209 – Introduction to German Literature after 1700 – J. Lande
An introduction to major authors, periods, and genres of German literature from the eighteenth century to the present. The course provides a background for the further study of German literature while developing interpretive techniques and providing intensive writing practice.
Conducted in German. TTh 11:00 am — 12:20 pm

GER 306 – German Intellectual History: Madness – S. Pourciau
The notion of the poet as a kind of mad prophet, speaking ecstatically in the tongues of demons or gods, has ancient roots. To be “inspired,” after all, means literally to become the receptacle for an external breath or spirit (spirare = “to breathe,” spiritus = “a breath”), while the German “verrückt” suggests a displacement of the prosaic, everyday self. In this course, we will investigate what happens to the interplay of poetic creativity and madness when it enters the context of the modern German tradition. We will take our objects from literature, film, philosophy, psychoanalysis, music, and the visual arts. MW 3:00 – 4:20 pm

GER 308 – Topics in German Film History and Theory: Film Theory – T. Levin
What is film? Is it a language? Can one speak of cinematic literacy? Does film transform perception? Is there filmic thinking? This seminar on the theory and poetics of cinema will examine the varieties of ways — semiotic, psychoanalytic, narratological – that filmmakers, philosophers and critics have analyzed film form, the cinematic experience, the construction of cinematic subjectivity, questions of aesthetic politics and notions of medium specificity. T 1:30 – 4:20 pm seminar, M 7:30 pm –8:50 pm Film

GER 324 – Topics in Germanic Literatures: Revolution, Science, Violence: Remixing Georg Büchner – B. Nagel
By the time of his death at 23, Georg Büchner had written three of the wildest masterpieces of German literature: Danton’s Tod, Woyzeck, Lenz. His life was just as wild: not only was Büchner a prodigy in the new field of biology, he was a revolutionary activist whose political writings led him to be accused of treason. This class will follow a principle already at work in Büchner’s writings which are all remixes of other texts. Alongside his own works and sources, we will also examine his aftermath; where there is radicality in German letters there is reference to Büchner– from Brecht and Celan to Herzog and Jelinek. MW 1:30 pm – 2:50

GER 372/ART372/ECS372 Writing About Art (Rilke, Freud, Benjamin) – B. Doherty
Seminar addresses significance of works of art, and of practices of writing about visual art, in the work of three great writers of German in the early 20th-century: poet Rainer Maria Rilke; founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. Emphasis on close reading and critical analysis. Readings drawn from variety of fields and genres, including: lyric poetry, experimental prose, psychoanalytic theory, cultural analysis, aesthetic theory, criticism. Topics include: situation of work of art in modernity; art and the unconscious; the work of art and the historical transmission of culture in modern Europe. Th 1:30 pm – 4:20