Our multimedia course acquaints students with present day life and culture in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Authentic documents and interviews with native speakers from all walks of life serve as a first-hand introduction to the German-speaking countries. An interactive learning software, as well as related Internet audio-visual materials emphasize the mastery of speaking, writing, and reading skills that are the foundation for further study. Three hours a week for explanation and demonstration, one hour a week in small TA sections.
Fall and spring semester: Senior Lecturer Schrade.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
A continuation of GERM 101, with increased emphasis on reading of selected texts. Three class meetings per week plus one additional conversation hour in small sections.
Requisite: GERM 101 or equivalent. Fall semester: Professor Rosenbrück. Spring semester: Senior Lecturer Schrade.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Systematic review of grammar, aural and speaking practice, discussion of video and television programs, and reading of selected texts in contemporary German. Stress will be on the acquisition and polishing of verbal, reading, writing, and comprehension skills in German. Three hours per week for explanation and structured discussion, plus one hour per week in small sections for additional practice with German language assistants. Requisite: GERM 102 or two years of secondary-school German or equivalent.
Fall semester: Senior Lecturer Schrade. Spring semester: Professor Gilpin.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Practice in free composition and analytical writing in German. Exercises in pronunciation and idiomatic conversation. Supplementary work with audio and video materials. Oral reports on selected topics and reading of literary and topical texts. Conducted in German. Three hours per week, plus one hour per week in small sections for additional practice with German language assistants.
Requisite: GERM 205 or equivalent, based on departmental placement decision.
Spring Semester: Senior Lecturer Anna Schrade.2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
(Offered as GERM 230, EUST 239 and FAMS 270) How to talk about “race” in a culture where the concept is taboo? The “racial state” of the Third Reich has discredited the concept in public discourse, yet racialized assumptions continue to permeate German culture. What is the impact of historically and culturally determined preconceptions on the challenges posed by an increasingly demographically diverse society? Who defines who does and who doesn’t belong to the “national community,” and on what basis? If German identity is implicitly associated with “whiteness,” for instance, where does this leave people perceived as “non-white"? Our course explores how German filmmakers, both those with and without what is now called a “migration background,” tackle questions of belonging, assimilation, inclusion and exclusion in feature films. Works by filmmakers such as Thomas Arslan, Fatih Akin, Mo Asumang, Pepe Danquart, Doris Dörrie, R. W. Fassbinder, M. W. Kimmich, Angelina Maccarone, Branwen Okpako, Burhan Qurbani, Jan Schuette, R. A. Stemmle, and Simon Verhoeven will be discussed in a variety of historical and social contexts. Screenings will be supplemented by readings on questions of non-white German national identity from scholars and writers such as Tina Campt, Fatima El-Tayeb, Ika Hügel-Marshall, Hans Massaquoi, Katharina Oguntoye, Damani Partridge, and Alexander Weheliye.
Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.
Sophomores will have priority. Spring semester: Professor Rogowski.2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
A survey of literary and cultural developments in the German tradition from the Romantic Period to contemporary trends. Major themes will include the Romantic imagination and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century, the literary rebellion of the period prior to 1848, Poetic Realism and the Industrial Revolution, and various forms of aestheticism, activism, and myth. In the twentieth century we shall consider the culture of Vienna, the “Golden Twenties,” the suppression of freedom in the Nazi state, issues of exile and inner emigration, and the diverse models of cultural reconstruction after 1945. Authors represented will include Friedrich Schlegel, Brentano, Heine, Büchner, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Kafka, Brecht, Grass, Wolf, and Handke. Music by Schubert, Wagner, Mahler, and Henze; samples of art and architecture. Conducted in German.
Requisite: GERM 210 or equivalent.
Spring semester: Professor Rosenbrück.2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, race, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.
Limited to 15 students. Enrollment requires attendance at first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
What happens when a wall crumbles and borders disappear? Since 1989, this question has been at the center of contemporary German cultural and political life. When the Wall dividing East from West Germany fell, Germans sought to reconstitute themselves as one “reunified” nation. However, this unity has proven fragmentary, fragile, and contentious, most recently at the height of the Refugee Crisis in 2015 which triggered intense debates around German identity. Our class will investigate three fault lines that, since the disappearance of the Wall and its Cold War binary, have cut through Germany’s tenuous sense of unity in the intervening decades: first, the continued East/West divide, particularly attempts to come to terms with the legacy of East German authoritarianism in the present. Second, we will explore the role of race, migration, and refugees in shaping what has come to be called “Multikulti” Germany, in opposition to a closed-off “Fortress Europe.” Third, and inflecting both of these dividing lines, we will consider the gendered dimension of debates around notions of belonging, including the continued force of oppositions such as man/woman and gay/straight that are seen to bisect German social life. We will focus in these explorations primarily on short pieces of post-1989 literature, but the course will also draw on materials from history, film, and pop culture. Authors may include Olivia Wenzel, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Jenny Erpenbeck, Rainald Goetz, Antje Rávik Strubel, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and Elfriede Jelinek. Additionally, students will acquire crucial conceptual tools from the tradition of critical theory and political philosophy, which deepen our understanding of contemporary and historical phenomena such as belonging, exclusion, walls, and “internal borders.” Small-group work and frequent writing exercises will allow students to develop their oral and written fluency in German. Conducted in German.
Fall semester. Professor Rosenbrück.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
(Offered as GERM 324 and SWAG 324) Can there be literature “after Auschwitz”? This class investigates how German literature attempts to come to terms with the atrocities committed under National Socialism and produce a new understanding of German identity after 1945. If Nazi politics centered on a “purification” of the German nation along racial, sexual, and gendered lines, we will then ask how post-war Germany reworked notions of racialization, gender, and nationhood to overcome fascist legacies. How did literary works contribute to the construction of a post-fascist nation and its transition to a liberal democratic state? To answer this, we will explore the various ways in which German-language authors after 1945 articulated new notions of “Germanness,” masculinity and femininity, as well as normative and non-normative sexualities. Throughout, our focus will be on the possibilities and limits of literature in participating in these processes.Literary works may include texts by Wolfgang Koeppen, Günter Grass, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Anna Seghers, Christa Wolf, Gerhard Fritsch, and Thomas Bernhard. In addition to literary and historical research, writers of critical theory, political philosophy, and psychoanalysis will help us think through fascism and its aftermath, in particular Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Klaus Theweleit, and Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich. Small-group work and frequent writing exercises will allow students to develop their oral and written fluency in German. Conducted in German.
Spring semester. Professor Rosenbrück2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
(Offered as GERM 364, ARCH 364, and EUST 364) This course will address a number of developments and transformations in contemporary urban architecture and performance from an international perspective. We will explore issues including, but not limited to, trauma, memory, absence, perception, corporeality, representation, and the senses in our examination of recent work in Germany and elsewhere, and read a number of texts from the fields of philosophy, critical theory, performance studies, and visual and architectural studies, in an attempt to understand how architecture is beginning to develop compositional systems in which to envision dynamic and responsive spaces in specific cultural contexts. We will focus our research on the work of a number of German and international architects, performance, and new media artists, including Jochen Gerz, Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, Horst Hoheisel, Micha Ullman, Shimon Attie, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, Greg Lynn, Mark Goulthorpe, Mariam Kamara, R & Sie(n), Axel Kilian, Paul Privitera, Diébédo Francis Kéré, Hani Rashid and Lise-Anne Couture, Ini Archibong, Herzog and de Meuron, Archigram, David Adjaye, William Forsythe, Jan Fabre, Rachel Whiteread, Rebecca Horn, Mario Gooden, Sasha Waltz, Richard Siegal, Michael Schumacher, Mwanzaa Brown, Robert Wilson, the Blix Brothers of Berlin, Maya Lin, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Pina Bausch, Granular Synthesis, Sponge, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Miku Dixit, Toni Dove, Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, and many others. Students will develop projects in various media (video, performance, text, design, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.
Limited to 15 students. Enrollment requires attendance at first class meeting. Fall semester. Professor Gilpin.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Independent reading course.
Fall and spring semesters. The Department.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
The Senior Research Seminar fulfills the comprehensive requirement for the German major. We will focus on developing research and presentation skills within a multidisciplinary and international context, learn how to formulate good questions, refine critical reading and writing skills, and practice oral and written presentations of individual or collaborative research projects in development. This seminar is designed for German majors to reflect, integrate, and apply what they have learned and accomplished in their major coursework, and to conduct independent research. Students will select and pursue a semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester in a variety of media formats (including writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Students writing a thesis may choose to focus their individual research project on their thesis research. Conducted in English and/or German, with an additional weekly research workshop/discussion section in German for German speakers. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context and do a substantial portion of their research and writing in German.
Throughout, we will identify strategies for framing research questions, for gathering and digesting research materials from various sources, and for employing this research in projects of writing and creation according to individual student interest. We will examine how writers, artists, dancers, performers, filmmakers, and architects employ research in the development of their work, and students will explore and articulate the ways in which they can perform their research in all forms of writing, performance, design, and the visual and electronic arts according to their own interests and experience.
Please note: This course does not replace GERM-498, the Senior Departmental Honors Tutorial, which covers students’ independent work under the tutelage of a thesis advisor.
Open to seniors and juniors.
Fall semester. Professor Gilpin2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Fall semester. The Department.2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022