Previous Graduate Courses

Fall 2023

GER 506

Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy


Readings and discussion in classroom application of SLA theory.  Focus on quantitative as well as interpretive analysis. Primary audience is the current teaching staff of GER 101. In English.

GER 516

Topics in 20th -Century Literature: Robert Musil: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften


This seminar will undertake a sustained engagement with one of the most prominent literary projects of the 20th century. Focusing on exemplary chapters we will discuss the narratological, aesthetic, epistemological and ethical dimensions of this novel fragment.

GER 520
MOD 521

Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory: Aesthetics of the Anthropocene


According to the diagnosis associated with the term Anthropocene, humans are the decisive geological force responsible for various recent ecological changes and crises. Although there are alternative concepts and narratives to account for the current situation, ‘Anthropocene’ has installed itself as the privileged designation for the rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture. The seminar will discuss the challenges this task poses for art and aesthetics. We will explore terms like the sublime, the uncanny, the spectral, the ironic, the melancholic, the grotesque, the monstrous, and the (post-)apocalyptic in this context.

GER 523
MOD 500, HUM 523, ENV 523

Topics in German Media Theory & History: Ecopolitics of Media: Material, Knowledge, Resource Regimes


The media of literature, art, science and knowledge formation in general depend on a constant supply of so-called ‘natural resources’ such as fibers, metals, wax, vinyl and rare earths. This seminar will combine discourse-analytical approaches from literary and media studies and the history of science with new methods of media ecology, critical infrastructure analysis and environmental studies to critically analyze these medial resource dependencies at different scales, both local and global, interrogating the normative, epistemic, aesthetic, geopolitical and economic frameworks that have co-constituted modern media.

GER 532

Topics in Literary Theory and History: Literary Studies? A Disciplinary Investigation


Is there a future to the study of literature? Just as the concept of literature has changed markedly over time, so too have approaches to literature at universities and in the world of media. Yet courses on the history of the study of literature are rare. John Guillory’s 2022 Professing Criticism will serve as the starting point for this seminar in disciplinary self-reflection on the history and present state of literary study. The practice of literary studies in the USA will be compared to other institutional models such as media literacy, Cultural Studies and Literaturwissenschaft in Germany.