German

Fall 2007/Spring 2008 Course Catalog

The information below is taken from the printed catalog the college produces each year. For more up to date information, including links to course websites, faculty homepages, reserve readings, and more, use the 'courses' or semester specific link to your left.

German Language

01. Elementary German I. Our multi-media course Fokus Deutsch is based on videos depicting realistic stories of the lives of present day Germans as well as authentic documents and interviews with native speakers from all walks of life. The video program, as well as related Internet Web pages, will serve as a first-hand introduction to the German-speaking countries and will encourage students to use everyday language in a creative way. Text and 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 sections plus weekly viewing assignments in the laboratory.

First semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

02. Elementary German II. A continuation of German 01, with increased emphasis on reading of selected texts. Three class meetings per week plus one additional conversation hour in small sections, with individual work in the language laboratory.

Requisite: German 01 or equivalent. Second semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

04. Quick Access: German for Reading. This one-semester course is intended for anyone who wants to read German scholarly and literary texts in the original language. It prepares students for research and thesis work with original source materials, as well as for graduate reading proficiency exams. Focus on the acquisition of reading and comprehension skills. Close reading and translation practice of fiction and expository prose in the humanities, social and natural sciences. Intensive study of basic grammar (morphology and syntax). Individualized choice of texts from a wide range of fields, determined by the needs of the participants. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2007-08. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

05. Intermediate German. 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: German 02 or two years of secondary-school German or equivalent. First semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

10. Advanced Composition and Conversation. 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 additional hour in small sections and in the language laboratory.

Requisite: German 05 or equivalent, based on departmental placement decision. Second semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

12. Advanced Reading, Conversation, and Style I. Reading, discussion, and close analysis of a wide range of cultural materials, including selections from Die Zeit and Der Spiegel, essays, and short works by modern authors and song writers (Böll, Brecht, Biermann, Udo Lindenberg, Bettina Wegner, etc.). Materials will be analyzed both for their linguistic features and as cultural documents. Textual analysis includes study of vocabulary, style, syntax, and selected points of grammar. Round-table discussions, oral reports and structured composition exercises. Students will also view unedited television programs, work with the Internet, and listen to recordings of political and scholarly speeches, cabaret, protest songs and to authors reading from their own works. Conducted in German. Three class hours per week, plus an additional hour in small sections and in the language laboratory.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. First semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

14. Advanced Reading, Conversation, and Style II. Focusing on one contemporary novel, we will develop strategies for analyzing texts for their literary expression, their linguistic and stylistic features, and their cultural content. Additional materials (Internet, video, CD-ROMs, etc.) on literary and cultural topics as well as articles drawn from history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Three class hours per week plus one hour with language assistants.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Second semester. Senior Lecturer Schütz.

German Culture and Literature

15. German Cultural History to 1800. An examination of cultural developments in the German tradition, from the Early Middle Ages to the rise of Prussia and the Napoleonic Period. We shall explore the interaction between socio-political factors in German-speaking Europe and works of "high art" produced in the successive eras, as well as Germany's centuries-long search for a cultural identity. Literature to be considered will include selections from Tacitus' Germania, the Hildebrandslied, a courtly epic and some medieval lyric poetry; the sixteenth-century Faust chapbook and other writings of the Reformation Period; Baroque prose, poetry, and music; works by Lessing and other figures of the German Enlightenment; Sturm und Drang, including early works by Goethe, Schiller, and their younger contemporaries. Slides, book illustrations, recordings, and videos will provide examples of artistic, architectural, and musical works representative of each of the main periods. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. First semester. Professor Rogowski.

16. German Cultural History from 1800 to the Present. 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: German 10 or equivalent. Second semester. Professor Brandes.

27. The Age of Goethe. Classical German literature and music, from the 1780s to the 1830s, has influenced German and Western culture until today. While considering music and art, this course will focus primarily on the greatest writers of the period: Goethe, Schiller, and Hölderlin. Placing their literature in the philosophical and political contexts of Idealism and of German enlightened absolutism, we will distinguish this "high art" from contemporary early romantic concepts as well as from German Jacobine activism, which was strongly influenced by the French Revolution. We will also examine the legacy of this rich cultural era in its impact on Western romantic, transcendentalist, and symbolist movements--and its influence on the rise of the myth of the Germans as a "nation of poets and thinkers." Readings will include Goethe's Faust I, Egmont, Iphigenie, and Römische Elegien; Schiller's Die Räuber and Maria Stuart; Hölderlin's Hyperion and selected poems; essays and manifestos by Kant, Fichte, and Forster. Listening assignments in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and selected Lieder of the period. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Brandes.

32. Modernism and Its Discontents. This course will trace the impact of early twentieth-century modernization on the cultural consciousness of artists and politicians. We will first study classical modernism in the context of European and Western avant-garde movements, with emphasis on art and society in Germany. Topics include the effect of rapid urbanization and the rise of modern mass culture; modern constructions of gender and nature; the emergence of visual culture and mass media; the aesthetic revolt and literary visions of Futurism, Dada, and Expressionism; and the radical activism of proletarian didactic art. We will then trace the anti-modernist responses, such as Kaiser Wilhelm's retrogressive push for national art; the socialist realist doctrine of Stalin's cultural policies; Hitler's prohibition of modernist art as "degenerate"; and finally the censorship and self-censorship of certain modernist artists, in the name of political progress. Texts by Hofmannsthal, Hauptmann, Schnitzler, Wedekind, Heinrich Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Rilke, Benjamin, Brecht, and Anna Seghers; selected art by Modersohn-Becker, Kirchner, and Kollwitz; samples of architecture, early radio, films, and music. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Brandes.

33. Comedy and Humor. The course with the shortest reading list ever--not! Contrary to popular opinion, Germans (and their Austrian and Swiss neighbors) do have a sense of humor that has produced a wide variety of both high-brow and popular forms, ranging from the absurdist skits of Karl Valentin and Liesl Karlstadt, to raunchy "Ostfriesenwitze," and to the current boom in sex and "relationship" comedies in film. We will explore broadsheets and cartoons (Wilhelm Busch, Loriot, E. O. Plauen, Uli Stein), populist theater forms such as the operetta (Strauss, Lehar) and farcical "Volkstheater," sophisticated literary comedies (Tieck, Büchner, Sternheim, Dürrenmatt), social satire in print and other media (Heine, Kraus, Tucholsky, Staudte, Irmtraud Morgner, Robert Gernhardt, Eckhard Henscheid, Luise Pusch, Elfriede Jelinek), parody pastiche in song and movies (Comedian Harmonists, Max Raabe, Bully Herbig), and political humor in cabaret from the Wilhelmine period, the Weimar Republic, inside and outside the Third Reich, communist East Germany, and the multi-ethnic Germany of today (Wedekind, Werner Finck, Erika Mann, Gerhart Polt, Sinasi Dikmen). Primary materials will be supplemented by theoretical readings, including Arthur Koestler, Volker Klotz, Susanne Schäfer, and--of course--Sigmund Freud. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. First semester. Professor Rogowski.

34. Post-War German Culture, 1945-1989. How did post-war Germany respond to the dilemma of being the frontier between Communism and the Free World? How did the two German societies develop their own identities and adapt, rebel, or acquiesce culturally in regard to the powers in control? We will situate major literary and cultural developments within the context of political and social history. Topics include coming to terms with the Nazi past; political dissent, democratization, and economic affluence; reactions to the Berlin Wall; the student revolt and feminism; the threat to democracy and civil rights posed by terrorism; the peace movement in the East and the West. Readings in various genres, including experimental literary texts. Authors include Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, Peter Schneider, and Peter Weiss in the West and Volker Braun, Heiner Müller, Ulrich Plenzdorf, and Christa Wolf in the East. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Brandes.

38. German Drama of the Twentieth Century. From the political agitation of Bertolt Brecht to the performance pieces of Pina Bausch, German drama has had a profound impact on international theater. We shall trace the development of modern German drama from around 1890 to the present day. Topics will include: Naturalism and its attempt to depict social reality; Expressionism and its iconoclastic innovation; recent developments such as the postmodern dramatic collages of Heiner Müller. Particular attention will be focused on Brecht's legacy after World War II in the fields of "epic" and "documentary" theater. Authors discussed will include Gerhart Hauptmann, Frank Wedekind, Georg Kaiser, Bertolt Brecht, Peter Weiss, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, and Botho Strauß. Readings will be supplemented by video materials on Pina Bausch, Johann Kresnick, and Heiner Müller. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rogowski.

40. Advanced Seminar. A course designed for the intensive study of a topic in the German literary, cultural, and historical tradition, or of a single author. The seminar is intended for German majors and other students who have solid command of the language. The course topic changes from year to year. Topic for 2007-08: Lessing and the Enlightenment in Germany. The Age of Reason was a force of modernity which led to major innovations in literature, philosophy, and art. We will focus on the works of G.E. Lessing (1729-1781), exploring the rebellion against authority of the age, ideas of tolerance and universality, new concepts for education and popular enlightenment, and social utopias in the context of an emerging middle class culture. The seminar will conclude with a discussion of the proclaimed "end of the enlightenment" by the 20th century Frankfurt School. Readings in Lessing, Mendelssohn, Leibniz, Kant, Sophie La Roche, Gottsched, Anna Luisa Karsch, and Nicolai; music by J.S. Bach, Haydn, and Mozart; selected art and architecture. Conducted in German.

Requisite: German 10 or equivalent. Second semester. Professor Brandes.

Courses Offered In English


42. The Crusades and the Image of Islam.
(Also European Studies 43.) The legacy of the Crusades continues to be felt in Europe, the U.S. and in the Middle East. Originating 900 years ago, when Pope Urban II called on Christians to free the Holy Land of the "Unbelievers," a zealous collection of northern European monks, knights, and soldiers set out from Cologne on the first of several Holy Wars, believing they would prepare for the coming of the Messiah by liberating Jerusalem. The ensuing "clash of civilizations" pitted Christians first against Jews and then against the Muslim world, resulting in battles, pogroms, and centuries of hostility. To this day, Middle Eastern understanding of Western policies is deeply influenced by the history of the Crusades while European and American attitudes towards the Middle East and Islam are still colored by its controversial lore. This interdisciplinary course will discuss the history and legacy of the Crusades and the image of Muslims and Islam in historiography, theology, and literature, asking questions such as: Who became a Crusader and why? How did the Crusades perceive and represent Islam and Muslims? How did these views of Islam and the East contribute to European self-definition and expansionism? We will pay attention to three perspectives: the Western European, Christian and Jewish, and the Middle Eastern Muslim views. Materials will include German, French, Hebrew, and Arabic texts by modern and medieval historians, among them Fulcher of Chartes, the Hebrew Chronicles of the Crusades, and Muslim sources; literary readings, such as the Song of Roland, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Willehalm, Duke Ernst, and selected medieval lyric; and religious commentary by St. Bernard. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the applicable readings in German.

First semester. Visiting Professor Sullivan of the University of Massachusetts.

44. Popular Cinema. From Fritz Lang’s thrilling detective mysteries to Tom Tykwer's hip postmodern romp Run Lola Run, from Ernst Lubitsch's satirical wit to the gender-bending comedies of Katja von Garnier, this course explores the rich legacy of popular and genre films in the German-speaking countries. Topics to be covered include adventure films, comedies, and costume dramas of the silent period, including Fritz Lang's Spiders (1919) and Joe May's The Indian Tomb (1920); the musical comedies of the Weimar Republic and the "dream couple" Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch; Nazi movie stars and the "non-political" entertainment films of the Third Reich, such as Josef von Baky’s blockbuster Münchhausen (1943); the resurgence of genre films in the 1950s ("Heimatfilme," romantic comedies, melodramas, etc.); the Cold War Westerns in the West (based on the novels by Karl May) and in the East (starring Gojko Mitic); the efforts to produce audience-oriented films in the politicized climate of the 1960s and 1970s; the big budget quasi-Hollywood productions by Wolfgang Petersen; and the recent spate of relationship comedies. We will discuss the work of, among others, actors and performers Karl Valentin, Heinz Rühmann, Zarah Leander, Hans Albers, Heinz Erhard, Romy Schneider, Loriot, and Otto, and directors including Ernst Lubitsch, Fritz Lang, Joe May, Wilhelm Thiele, May Spils, Katja von Garnier, Detlev Buck, Tom Tykwer, and Doris Dörrie. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Second semester. Professor Rogowski.

51. Joyful Apocalypse: Vienna Around 1900. Between 1890 and 1914, Vienna was home to such diverse figures as Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Leon Trotsky, and--Adolf Hitler. Which social, cultural, and political forces brought about the extraordinary vibrancy and creative ferment in the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire? The course will examine the multiple tensions that characterized 'fin-de-siècle' Vienna, such as the connection between the pursuit of pleasure and an exploration of human sexuality, and the conflict between avant-garde experimentation and the disintegration of political liberalism. Against this historical backdrop we shall explore a wide variety of significant figures in literature (Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Musil, Kraus), music (Mahler, R. Strauss, Schönberg), and the visual arts (Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, O. Wagner, A. Loos). We will explore the significance of various intellectual phenomena, including the psychoanalysis of Freud and the philosophies of Ernst Mach and Ludwig Wittgenstein. We shall also trace the emergence of modern Zionism (Theodor Herzl) in a context of growing anti-Semitism, and discuss the pacifism of Bertha von Suttner in a society on the verge of the cataclysm of the First World War. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Second semester. Professor Rogowski.

52. Kafka, Brecht, and Thomas Mann. Representative works by each of the three contemporary authors will be read both for their intrinsic artistic merit and as expressions of the cultural, social, and political concerns of their time. Among these are such topics as the dehumanization of the individual by the state, people caught between conflicting ideologies, and literature as admonition, political statement, or escape. Readings of short stories and a novel by Kafka, including "The Judgment," "The Metamorphosis," and The Castle; poems, short prose, and plays by Brecht, e.g., The Three-Penny Opera, Mother Courage, and The Good Woman of Setzuan; fiction and essays by Mann, including "Death in Venice" and Buddenbrooks. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Brandes.

54. Nietzsche and Freud. Modern thinking has been profoundly shaped by Nietzsche's radical questioning of moral values and Freud's controversial ideas about the unconscious. The course explores some of the ways in which German literature responds to and participates in the intellectual challenge presented by Nietzsche's philosophy and Freud's psychoanalysis. Readings include seminal texts by both of these figures as well as works by Rilke, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Musil, Schnitzler, and Expressionist poets. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rogowski.

60. Performance. 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 construction, representation, 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, WWW) 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, digital media and Internet 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 Ballett Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss' Der Grüne Tisch, will be also screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Gilpin.

61. Digital Cultures. This course examines the interactions between contemporary critical and cultural theory and digital cultures, addressing issues of identity construction, general corporeal vs. psychic presence, interactivity, bodily motion and motion capture, community, interface, performativity, duration, and representation. We will be looking at work produced internationally and will focus our attention on interactive projects created in Germany, where a tremendous amount of new media works have been created recently. We also will explore material from Websites and from recent international symposia and exhibitions of electronic art and will view a number of films. Readings will be drawn from theoretical, literary, philosophical, psychoanalytic, and architectural texts, as well as from multimedia-authoring texts, exhibition catalogs, and international cybermagazines. Students will develop and produce projects involving text, still and moving image, and sound, in digital format. No previous experience with computers is required. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Gilpin.

64. Architectures of Disappearance. 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, R and Sie, Axel Kilian, Paul Privitera, Hani Rashid and Lise-Ann Couture, Herzog and de Meuron, Archigram, William Forsythe, Jan Fabre, Rachel Whiteread, Rebecca Horn, Sasha Waltz, Richard Siegal, Michael Schumacher, Robert Wilson, the Blix Brothers of Berlin, Pina Bausch, Granular Synthesis, Sponge, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Toni Dove, and many others. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Gilpin.

65. Making Memorials. This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are "preserved" and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Gilpin.

Other Courses

77, 78. Senior Departmental Honors.

First and second semesters. The Department.

97, 98. Special Topics. Independent Reading Course.

First and second semesters. The Department.