Previous Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2021

GER 101

Beginner’s German I


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

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, 2021. Instructors: Staff

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.

Instructors: Staff

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.

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.

Lecture & Precept

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.

GER 302

Topics in Critical Theory


It is a commonplace that the humanities teach “critical thinking”—but what, exactly, does it mean to think “critically” or practice “critique”? This seminar explores the rich history of reflection on Kritik in the German intellectual tradition, from Kant’s critical turn in philosophy to the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School and contemporary debates about whether critique has outlived its usefulness. We will explore the historical origins of the critical habitus, probe connections between literary criticism and cultural critique, and examine the uses and limits of critical demystification in times of post-truth politics.

GER 307

Topics in German Culture and Society: German Affects


This course sets out from the assumption that emotions are historically as well as culturally determined. In discussing literature, philosophy, theory, and film, we will traverse a variety of emotions and ask whether there exists anything like particularly “German” emotions. Our discussion will focus on love, resentment, the uncanny, shock and Angst, hatred, trauma and apathy, rage, Heimweh, enthusiasm, shame, and Schadenfreude.

GER 314
CHV320, COM448

Topics in the History and Theory of the Media:  Artificial Life


What defines life? And where is the boundary between its proper and improper instances, between the natural and the artificial? Taking up readings from philosophy, science, and literature that range from antiquity to contemporary nanotech, this seminar explores humanity’s desire to become like the gods, fashioning species, companions, and slaves at will, even as these creations threaten to take on an uncanny life of their own. As we will see, establishing the threshold between natural and artificial life inevitably also raises questions about ethics, technology, aesthetics, gender and ecology.

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.