Courses


Fall 2015

German Aa. Beginning German

An introduction to German language and culture designed for students with little or no knowledge of the language. Encompasses all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Class sessions emphasize the development of oral proficiency. Instruction is supplemented by literary and non-literary texts, videos, and Internet activities. The first half of this course may not be taken as a half course for credit toward the AB degree; there are no exceptions to this rule. May not be taken Pass/Fail. Not open to auditors. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) in order to receive credit.

Staff

M-Th 9, 10, 11, or 12

German Bab. Beginning German (Intensive)

A complete first-year course in one term for students with no knowledge of German. Provides an introduction to German language and culture encompassing all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as an introduction to the culture of the German-speaking countries. Class sessions emphasize the development of oral proficiency. Instruction is supplemented by literary and non-literary texts, videos, and Internet activities.

Staff

M-F 9, F 10

German Ca. Intermediate German: Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading, and Writing

Using an interactive discussion format, this third-semester language course offers systematic vocabulary-building and a grammar review. The focus is on improving comprehension and speaking skills. Materials include short fiction and drama, poetry, contemporary film, interactive lab work, and cultural materials from German websites.

Staff

M-Th 9 or 12 

German Dab. Intermediate German (Intensive): Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading, and Writing

A complete second-year course in one term for students with a basic knowledge of German. Focuses on enhancing students' proficiency in all four skill areas with special emphasis on speaking/discussion. Extensive vocabulary-building exercises, a thorough grammar review, and an introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, Internet, multimedia resources, and film.

Staff

M,W,F 12,  T, Th 1-3

German Ax. German for Reading Knowledge

Development of reading proficiency for students with little or no knowledge of German. Emphasizes translation of academic German prose into English.

Parkes

T,Th 11:30 -1

German 61. Advanced Grammar and Reading

Prerequisite to true fluency in German. Advanced language instruction through systematic study of the rules of grammar, their nuances, and their exceptions. Application of this knowledge through the meticulous reading and parsing of selections from sophisticated texts (Goethe, Kant, Kleist, Heine, Kafka), as well as an entire Nietzsche essay and Thomas Mann story, prepares students for courses and any work requiring advanced German reading comprehension.

Burgard

T, Th 10-11:30 or T, Th 11:30-1

German 101. German Literature, Culture, and Society

This course examines the major social-political trends and tensions that have informed literature and culture in the German-speaking countries. Students will develop the language skills to discuss, analyze, and interpret a variety of texts and cultural phenomena from the 18th to the 21st centuries, with special attention to social theory and political critique. Our readings and discussions are organized around pairs of thinkers from literary Realism and filmic representations to recent political editorials. We will put thinkers in dialogue with one another who address the same issues from a different time, angle, or place. Further emphasis is placed on the history of ideas and how it contributes to current issues and debates. Readings range from Goethe and Hegel through Benjamin and Brecht, Kafka and Jelinek, Arendt and Adorno. 

Hückmann

M, W 11-12

German 147. Nietzsche

Readings and discussion of Nietzsche's major works in translation and in chronological order: The Birth of Tragedy; On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense; Untimely Meditations; Human, All Too Human; The Gay Science; Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; On the Genealogy of Morals; Twilight of the Idols; The Antichrist; and Ecce Homo.

Burgard

T 2-4, and M 5 or 6

German 182. Music and German National Identity

Introduction to the relationship between 'German' music, history, society and politics. By analyzing texted (vocal) music in various settings - historical, political, filmic, literary - this course revisits important and often controversial moments in musical history that have shaped German cultural and national identity. Musical genres include the Lied, folk song, the choral symphony, opera, cabaret, post-war popular music, and contemporary hip-hop. Reading and listening in German and English; discussion in German. An ability to read musical notation is not required.

Parkes

M 1-3

German 200. Dragons, Knights, Popes, and Whores - Medieval German for Absolute Beginners

Diving into "The Real Game of Thrones", students will find out about medieval tales and history by the study of medieval German texts. We work closely with a range of primary sources (poetical, religious, scientific, historiographical, etc.), translating and analyzing them as well as discussing their cultural context. This course brings together historical linguistics, grammar, manuscript studies, literature, and culture and serves as a fundamental grounding for further readings in Middle High German. A workshop with medieval manuscripts at the Houghton Library is part of the course. This is a pre-requisite course for the Philosophical Mysticism class offered by the same professor in Spring Term 2016.

Kirakosian

W 4-6

German 236. Literatur, Theorie, Wissen: E.T.A. Hoffmann

Explores the fascinating œuvre of E.T.A. Hoffmann, using it as a case     study for applying literary theories, on the one hand, and for investigating the history of knowledge (Wissensgeschichte), on the other. We thus engage with: the most widely-read German romantic author; salient methodologies such as hermeneutics, trauma theory, and deconstruction; major cultural and scientific developments around 1800, such as the birth of psychiatry, analytics of sexuality, and the innovation of new media.

Sütterlin

W 2-4

German 243.  Robert Musil: Seminar

Alongside his shorter narrative works, the seminar will focus on Musil’s famous novel Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (1930-1942). At issue is his incorporation of contemporary science, philosophy, and psychology (as well as personal experiences) into his creative work, establishing a new form of “essayistic” fiction.

Ryan

M 2-4

Scandinavian 90r.a Danish

Individualized study of Danish at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Contact hours with language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 90r.b Finnish

Individualized study of Finnish at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. Contact hours with a language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 90r.c Norwegian 

Individualized study of Norwegian at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Contact hours with language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 160a. Old Norse Language, Literature, and Culture: The Viking Legacy

Introduction to the language and literary culture of medieval Scandinavia, emphasizing works treating the Viking Age and their valorization of an heroic ideal. In addition to basic language skills, students acquire familiarity with key critical tools of the field. Readings include skaldic poetry, selections from Egils saga and the Vinland sagas, and various runic monuments.

Mitchell

T, Th 1-2

Swedish Aa. Beginning Swedish Language and Literature

A basic course focusing on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. During fall term, pronunciation and listening comprehension will be emphasized, as well as regular writing assignments. Literary, film, music and other cultural texts will be introduced relatively early on. By semester's end, students will have achieved a basic literacy in everyday Swedish.

Broomé

M-Th 9

Swedish Ba. Intermediate Swedish: Childhood in Swedish Literature and Culture

Sweden and Swedish Finland have produced some of the most translated and beloved works of children's fiction in the world. In this intermediate Swedish language course, we will review the essentials of Swedish grammar and vocabulary as we explore some of these classic works of children's fiction, film, and comic books and the aspects of Swedish culture they illuminate. The final project for this class involves producing your own work of children's fiction or film.

Broomé

T, Th 11:30-1

Romance Studies 201. Questions of Theory  

The seminar is organized around a sequence of fundamental questions regarding the literary disciplines, their history, foundations, epistemology and intellectual complexion. Discussions combine modern and contemporary critico-theoretical statements with writings from other epochs, works of criticism with works of the imagination: Designed for graduate students entering fields of literary study to reflect critically and historically upon the nature of their work as well as upon its institutional settings.

Hamilton & Conley

F 10-12

 

Spring 2016

German Ab. Beginning German

An introduction to German language and culture designed for students with little or no knowledge of the language. Encompasses all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Class sessions emphasize the development of oral proficiency. Instruction is supplemented by literary and non-literary texts, videos, and Internet activities. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

Staff

M-Th 9, 10, 11, or 12

German Bab. Beginning German (Intensive)

A complete first-year course in one term for students with no knowledge of German. Provides an introduction to German language and culture encompassing all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as an introduction to the culture of the German-speaking countries. Class sessions emphasize the development of oral proficiency. Instruction is supplemented by literary and non-literary texts, videos, and Internet activities.

Staff

M-F at 9 or 12 plus F 10

German Cb. Intermediate German: Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading, and Writing

Continuation of German Ca. Discussion materials include literary and non-literary texts and film. Emphasis on speaking proficiency and on strengthening writing skills. Course includes a review of selected grammatical structures and exercises in vocabulary building.

Staff

M-Th at 9 or 12

German Dab. Intermediate German (Intensive): Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Reading, and Writing

A complete second-year course in one term for students with a basic knowledge of German. Focuses on enhancing students' proficiency in all four skill areas with special emphasis on speaking/discussion. Extensive vocabulary-building exercises, a thorough grammar review, and an introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, Internet, multimedia resources, and film.

Staff

M, W, F 12, T, Th 1-3

German 62. Advanced Conversation and Composition

This course is designed to further students' spoken and written German at the advanced level. Students will analyze and practice the stylistic and rhetorical features of various written and spoken genres. By focusing on aspects of contemporary society in the German-speaking countries, students will broaden and refine their vocabulary and idiom, become sensitized to different registers, as well as hone points of grammar.

Parkes

T, Th 10-11:30

German 63. Germany and Europe: Heimat, Exile, Return

This course discusses 20th and 21st Century German culture and poetics in dialogue and dispute with its European neighbors. Particular emphasis will be put on the effect of history on contemporary political, cultural and historical issues. How did the rest of Europe react to the German unification? How does Germany relate to its „Gastarbeiter“ today? This course is designed to provide students with the ability to gain insights into how personal and collective identity is constructed and problematized through art and culture. In this interdisciplinary course we will work with a variety of written genre (poetry, short stories, plays, essays, journalistic non-fiction), as well as visual art, architecture, and film. The class is conducted entirely in German. We will take a cultural studies approach to understanding how to read effectively and interpret textual and visual materials.

Hückmann

T, Th 11:30-1

German 141. Social Dynamics in Twentieth-Century Modernism

The course explores the relationship between experimental German modernist texts and  their representations of social dynamics.  Why do these texts tend to focus on madmen, criminals, fanatics, outsiders, alongside various types of intellectuals?  Texts are predominantly short, but one novel and a drama are also included. Authors treated: Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Carl Einstein, Rilke, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Döblin, Benn, and Musil. Theorists include Freud, Bahr, Weber, Simmel, Mannheim, Broch, Canetti and others.

Ryan

M 4-6

German 146. The Ethics of Atheism: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Examines the Western secular tradition through the work of three seminal figures whose critiques of religion -- in social and political theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis and anthropology -- are motivated by ethical concerns. Introductory readings of Kant and Feuerbach ground analysis of Marx’s, Nietzsche’s, and Freud’s ethical atheism. Students do not develop or debate formulae for behavior, but rather become critically aware of ethical considerations that underlie actions and that are negotiated vis-à-vis prevailing moral codes. Readings include (some selections and some complete works): Kant, Prefaces to Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone; Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity; Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General, Introduction to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of RightOn the Jewish QuestionTheses on FeuerbachCommunist Manifesto; Nietzsche, On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral SenseThe Gay ScienceBeyond Good and EvilOn the Genealogy of MoralsThe Antichrist; Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of SexualityTotem and TabooThe Future of an Illusion. The course is conducted as a large seminar with preparatory section meetings the evening before the full seminar meeting.

Burgard

T 2-4

German 170. Biopolitics and Vampire Aesthetics, 1716-2016

This course traces the infamous bloodsucker's bite-marks through major periods of European literature from the 18th century to the present, exploring how the notion of vampirism is inextricably linked with the emergence of what Michel Foucault has famously called `biopolitics' or 'bio-power'. Since the 18th century, institutions such as schools, clinics and prisons have exerted an increasing “hold over life” (Foucault), conditioning the ways in which we think and act. Why does the emergence of these modern institutions coincide precisely with the vampire's first appearance in European literature? Have the arts been defying the biopolitical hold over life by creating a vampiric aesthetics? We pursue these questions by engaging in a dialogue between literature, film, the natural sciences, and critical theory. Readings include canonical authors such as Goethe, Byron, Hoffmann, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Stoker, Tawada.

Sütterlin

W 2-4

German 171. Case Studies - Law and Literature

This seminar examines the relationship between legal discourses and poetic representations of justice from the late 18th to the 21st Century. Can literature offer poetic justice when, as Schiller suggests, the legal system fails? Moreover, to what extent can literature adequately testify to historical events? Is fiction necessarily false testimony? Or is testimony fictional? Following an initial examination of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, where the vengeful furies yield power to the law, the course turns to modern depictions of criminals (Schiller, Goethe, Büchner, Kleist), holy justice (Droste-Hülshoff, Gotthelf), historical trials (Kippardt), and human rights (Arendt). We will conclude with the on-going debate about vengeance and forgiveness in literature and film (Wiesenthal, Améry, Tarantino).
With texts from Weimar Classicism, Romanticism, Realism and Modernism, the seminar offers a cultural-theoretical framework for reading each literary epoch alongside historical legal developments.

Hückmann

M 2-4

German 215. Philosophical Mysticism -- Meister Eckhart and His Influence on German Philosophy and Literature

Modern Philosophy from Hegel to Heidegger and Derrida, and German literature from Novalis to Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann has been highly influenced by so called "mystical' traditions. Meister Eckhart's philosophical mysticism played a major role in the history of modern thought. Reading the key texts written by him will provide the basis on which we will discuss their impact on 19th and 20th century authors and philosophers. We will explore the ways in which medieval mystical thought has shaped the modern discussion and formation of a concept of subjectivity.

Kirakosian

W 4-6

German 265. Skandal! Postmoderne und Dekonstruktion in Deutschland?

When postmodernism and deconstruction hit 1960s Europe and the Americas, international opinion was divided between euphoria and resistance. Nowhere, however, did these 'scandalous' movements meet with more blatant rejection than in Germany, where they continue to do so. What accounts for German cultural anxieties about postmodern pluralists and deconstructive parasites? In this course we explore: postmodern German literature including Jelinek, Ransmayr, and Süskind; postmodernism’s and deconstruction’s controversial reception from Gadamer to Gumbrecht; salient deconstructive investigations into the German tradition, including Derrida on Kafka and de Man on Kleist.

Sütterlin

T 12-2

German 272. Hermeneutics and the Philology of the Flesh

The course offers an historical overview of theories of interpretation from Luther to Gadamer and Merleau-Ponty, with specific focus on metaphors of incarnation, embodiment, and revelation. In tracking the shift from interpretation as an auxiliary art to hermeneutics as a philosophical universal, the literary readings broach questions concerning theories of the verbal sign, understanding, self-consciousness, phenomenology, and the human condition - all in relation to the theological paradigms that have persistently motivated and shaped these investigations.

Hamilton

F 1-3

German 295. Rhetoric: Disciplines of Persuasion (Graduate Seminar in General Education)

Examines rhetoric from Aristotle to the present. Addresses rhetoric in literature, philosophy, science, statistics, politics, journalism, art, film, and digital media. Explores how we communicate to and with one another, how we construct and present arguments, how we persuade and are persuaded. Seeks to understand better the rhetoric we use and to which we are subjected as well as the fact that we regularly use and are subjected to rhetoric.

Burgard

Th 1-4

Scandinavian 55. One Hundred Years of Scandinavian Cinema

This course explores Scandinavian cinema from the pioneers of the silent era to the globally successful hit films of the present day. Students will trace the development of Scandinavian cinema through the films of directors such as Viktor Sjöström, Carl Th. Dreyer, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman and Lukas Moodysson and discover the profound influence the region’s films have had, and continue to have, on filmmaking in America and the world.

Broomé

M 12-2, W 12-1

Scandinavian 90r.a Danish

Individualized study of Danish at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Contact hours with language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 90r.b Finnish

Individualized study of Finnish at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. Contact hours with a language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 90r.c Norwegian 

Individualized study of Norwegian at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Contact hours with language coach. Emphasis on literacy.

TBD

TBD

Scandinavian 160br. Old Norse Language, Literature, and Culture: Mythology

Builds on Scandinavian 160a, continuing the language study and cultural survey of the first term, but now considers mythological texts relating to Viking religious life, mainly selections from the prose and poetic Eddas with particular attention to issues of magic and the scholarly tools and debates concerned with the interpretation of these cultural monuments.

Mitchell

T 1-3

Swedish Ab. Beginning Swedish Language and Literature

Continuation of the basic course focusing on a basic mastery of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. During spring term, the emphasis is on more advanced conversation and an exploration of Sweden's culture and civilization through selected texts and video. By semester's end, students will be able to carry on conversations in everyday Swedish, read news articles, and write letters and produce substantial creative work.

Broomé

M-Th 9

Swedish Bbr. Special Topics in Swedish Literature and Culture: Women of Letters

In this fourth semester Swedish course, the theme is immigration and emigration from a Swedish perspective. We will be studying the Swedish emigration to America in the 19th century, both in fiction and through letters sent home to Sweden, the so-called amerikabrev. Modern day immigration will be discussed through recent authors who have written about their experiences moving to Sweden. We will also be following the political debate about immigration through reading news stories and opinion pieces.

Broomé

T, Th 11:30-1