Courses

FALL 2019

German 10a. Beginning German

An introduction to German language and culture for students with no knowledge of the language. Students develop basic communication competencies (spoken and written), with an emphasis on interpersonal communication. Instruction is supplemented by a variety of texts, including poetry, songs, and visual media. 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, but may be taken Sat/Unsat by GSAS students. Not open to auditors. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) in order to receive credit.

Staff

M-Th
9-10am, 9-10am, 10:30-11:30am,

or 12-1pm

German 10ab. Beginning Intensive German

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-Th 9-10am
and F 9-11am

German 20a. Intermediate German

This third-semester language course offers a thorough review and practice of grammar and an expansion of vocabulary. Focus on enhancing students' communicative competencies in all four skill areas. Introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, current news, and contemporary film.

Conducted in German. Not open to auditors.

Staff

MWF 9-10:15am or 1:30-2:45pm

German 20b. Intermediate German

This second-semester intermediate course is a continuation of 20a. Further review and practice of grammar and expansion of vocabulary. Focus on enhancing students' communicative competencies. Introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, current news, and contemporary film.

Conducted in German. Not open to auditors.

Prerequisite: German 20a (used to be Ca) or permission of the instructor.

 

Staff MWF 9-10:15am

German20ab. Intermediate Intensive German

A complete second-year course in one term for students with basic knowledge of German. Focus on enhancing students' communicative competencies in all four skill areas. Introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, current news, and contemporary film.

Conducted in German. May not be taken Pass/Fail, but may be taken Sat/Unsat by GSAS students. Not open to auditors.

Staff

M-Th 9-10:15am and F 9-11am

German 61. Advanced Grammar and Reading

Close reading, analysis, and full production of a play in German. 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), 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 10:30-11:45am

German 65. German Drama and Theater

Close reading, analysis, and full production of a play in German. The first part provides an introduction to a small selection of dramas, dramatic theory, the vocabulary of theater, as well as intensive pronunciation practice. The second part focuses on the rehearsal and production of a German play. Students participate on stage and collaborate on different aspects of the production, including costumes, set, sound, and program. Two performances take place at the end of term. Conducted in German.

Parkes W, F 12:45-2:45pm

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.  Readings and discussion in German.

Schwakopf T-Th 1:30-2:45pm

German 108. Introduction to the History of the Modern Self: Meister Eckhart and His Successors

This course will be equally accessible to students in philosophy, religious studies, German or comparative literature (all texts will be available in translation). It will offer an introduction to the thought of the medieval mystic and philosopher Meister Eckhart, and explore how Eckhart’s writing allows us to re-think how we write the history of the modern Western self. Eckhart is often credited with having first forged the language of German philosophy. The focus of the course will be the 12 sermons included in the Reclam selection of his writings (translations will also be provided). Comparisons with Aristotle’s 'De anima' and Augustine’s ‘Confessions,' both of which shaped Eckhart’s thinking, will help us consider how questions of embodiment and questions of narrative alter the way we think about forms of selfhood. Eckhart’s use of gendered images will be contrasted with that of a late medieval woman mystic, Julian of Norwich. Eckhart’s thought will be compared with that of Luther’s, before we move on to explore how Eckhart’s approach allows us to re-read major modern thinkers, such as Schelling, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt and Daniel Dennett. By the end of the course students will have a firm grasp of key elements of Eckhart’s thinking. The course will also show how his thought can productively renew how we think about questions of selfhood and personal identity.

TBA F 9:45-11:45am

German 143. German Empires 1848-1948

This course examines the history of Germans in Europe and elsewhere, starting with the revolutions of 1848 and ending with the separation of Austria, West Germany, and East Germany following the Second World War. We will consider multiple different visions of what "Germany" should be, what borders it should have, and who should be considered "German."

Frank Johnson T, Th 10:30-11:45am

German 180. Bargaining with the Devil: the Faust Legend

Seduction and transgression, forbidden knowledge and the insatiable lust for learning, the limits of cognition, human will, and the problem of evil – these are the central themes that circulate through the legend of Faust, who is said to have exchanged his immortal soul for infinite wisdom and power. The seminar examines the elaboration and complication of this legend across the centuries and its formative role in the development of European literature and philosophy. In addition to studying Goethe’s masterwork, the seminar includes analyses of related works in European literature, music, and the visual arts, all with reference to shifting historical contexts and philosophical reflections.

 

Hamilton W 3-5pm

German 222. Schelling, Goethe, and Dorothea and Friedrich Schlegel c. 1809: A Genealogy of the Present

This course will be equally accessible to students in philosophy, German or comparative literature (all texts will be available in translation). The main focus is Schelling’s treatise on freedom and Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’, both published in 1809, unpacking the dark, dynamic view they have of nature, and the implications this has for current debates (new materialisms, enactivism). Schelling’s treatise was published with a selection, by Schelling, of four other essays (first published 1795-1807) that are his attempt to reframe an understanding of philosophy, physics and aesthetics contra Kant and Hegel. The volume thus opens up a view on a cultural history that didn’t happen (after Schelling had published these texts together under the title ‘Philosophical Writings’ volume 1, he didn’t publish another major text), but which helps us re-imagine our own cultural inheritance. Over the 12 sessions, we will start by reading Schelling’s 1809 treatise, excerpts from Spinoza, the 1807 lecture on art Schelling included in the 1809 volume, and selections from Friedrich Schlegel, whose book on Indian language and literature (1808) was understood by Schelling to be the one main rival position, i.e. Schelling oriented his new account of a dynamic nature with/against an historically informed hermeneutics. Dorothea Schlegel’s novel ‘Florentin’ (1801) will then be studied as a contrasting attempt to come to grips with the present moment, preparing the way the way for a clearer understanding of the path Schelling hoped to embark on, which we will contextualise by a contrast with the preface from Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ (1807). Having characterized Schelling’s project of 1809, the course will explore its implications for literature. The position Schelling arrives at, which balances the claims of a dynamically grasped nature, of historical hermeneutics, and of the dialogical processes he refers to with the term ‘freedom of inquiry,’ finds its fullest expression in novels of the period, as we will explore focusing on Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ (1809), Scott’s ‘Waverley’ (1808-1814) and Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’ (1814). By the end of the course students will have an understanding of rival narratives of the development of German philosophy and of the implications these narratives have both for literary studies and for key contemporary philosophical debates.

TBA

Th 12-2:45pm

German 254. The Frankfurt School on Film and Mass Culture

 

This seminar considers the Frankfurt School's deliberations on film, radio, television, and mass culture. We will devote the majority of the course to three seminal figures: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and T. W. Adorno. More generally, we will focus on the debates catalyzed by the emergence of modern mass media and an industrialized visual culture; we will also reflect on the pertinence of these debates for our own contemporary culture of media convergence.

 

Rentschler M 12:45-2:45pm

German 291. Questions of Theory

The seminar is built around a sequence of fundamental questions regarding the literary disciplines, their history and epistemology. Discussions are instigated by readings in philology, stylistics, the history of ideas, semiotics, structuralism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, film theory, genetic criticism, literary sociology, cultural studies, and digital humanities.

Suetterlin

 

F 9:45- 11:45am

German 300. Dissertation

TBA

TBA

Germanic Philology 280. Approaches to Foreign Language Teaching

A practical and theoretical introduction to foreign language instruction. Emphasis on historical and current theories of second language acquisition and their implications for the methods of teaching foreign language, culture, and literature.

Parkes M 3-5pm

German 90r. Germanic Language Tutorial: Dutch

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

TBA TBA

German 91r. Supervised Reading and Research

Advanced reading in topics not covered in regular courses.

TBA TBA

Scandinavian 90r.a Danish

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

TBA TBA

Scandinavian 90r.b Finnish

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

TBA

TBA

Scandinavian 90r.c Norwegian

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

TBA

TBA

Scandinavian 91r. Supervised Reading and Research

Advanced reading in topics not covered in regular courses.

TBA M 12:00-1:15pm and T 1:30-2:45pm
Scandinavian 191r. Special Reading Programs and Research Problems Mitchell TBA

Scandinavian 300. Special Reading Programs and Research Problems for Advanced Students.

Mitchell

TBA

Swedish 10a. 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

TBA

Swedish 20a. 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

 

TBA

 

 

SPRING 2020

German 10b. Beginning German

A complete first-year course in one term for students with little or no knowledge of German. Provides an introduction to language and culture of the German-speaking countries. Students develop basic communication competencies (spoken and written), and will be able to understand and use high-frequency vocabulary and basic grammatical structures. Instruction is supplemented by a variety of texts, including poetry, songs, and visual media. May not be taken Pass/Fail, but may be taken Sat/Unsat by GSAS students. Not open to auditors. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) in order to receive credit.

Staff

M-Th     9-10am, 9-10am, 10:30-11:30am, or 12-1pm

German 10ab. Beginning Intensive German

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-Th 9-10am
and F 9-11am

German 20b. Intermediate German

This second-semester intermediate course is a continuation of 20a. Further review and practice of grammar and expansion of vocabulary. Focus on enhancing students' communicative competencies. Introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, current news, and contemporary film.

Conducted in German. Not open to auditors.

Prerequisite: German 20a (used to be Ca) or permission of the instructor.

 

Staff

M-Th 9-10:15am or 10:30-11:45am

German20ab. Intermediate Intensive German

A complete second-year course in one term for students with basic knowledge of German. Focus on enhancing students' communicative competencies in all four skill areas. Introduction to various cultural topics of the German-speaking countries through the use of literary and non-literary texts, current news, and contemporary film.

Conducted in German. May not be taken Pass/Fail, but may be taken Sat/Unsat by GSAS students. Not open to auditors.

Staff

M-Th
9-10:15am

and F 9:15-11:15am

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. We will take a cultural studies approach to understanding how to read effectively and interpret textual and visual materials. Conducted in German.

Schwakopf

 

T, Th 10:30-11:45am

German 102. German Literature, Art and Thought

This course explores the major trends and tensions that have informed German literature, art and thought from the 18th to the 21st centuries. In addition to developing the language skills to discuss, analyze and interpret literature, students will explore the rich cultural tradition in the German-speaking countries and its continued relevance for the world. Topics include: Enlightenment; Dark Romanticism or the German Gothic; decadence; media revolution 1900; Third Reich; GDR surveillance; Cold War; German reunification; remembering the Holocaust/ memory politics; rise of right-wing populism (AfD); ecological revolution. Figures include: Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Wagner, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, Brecht, Celan, Dürrenmatt, Wolf, Draesner, Horn. Readings and discussions in German.

Suetterlin

M, F 1:30-2:45pm

German 120. The Age of Goethe

Major movements in German literature and thought from the mid-18th to early 19th century: Enlightenment, Sentimentalism, Storm and Stress, Classicism, Romanticism. Readings include Kant, Klopstock, Lessing, Goethe, Lenz, Schiller, Hölderlin, Kleist, Schlegel, Novalis.

Burgard T 12-2:15pm

German 164. Shaping National Identity: Cultural Trauma in Germany and the U.S.

Explores how the catastrophic events of World War II, persecution, and segregation have shaped the identity of present-day Germany and the U.S., respectively. The course focuses on the so-called “ethical turn in memory culture,” a recent global shift in remembrance strategies that initiated an unprecedented emphasis on commemorating the victims rather than the heroes of war, violence, and injustice. Post-1989 Germany proved a leader in this shift, though its controversial “memory politics” (Erinnerungspolitik) has faced increasing criticism from right-wing movements in recent years. Do we find a similar dynamic in the way the U.S. addresses its own traumatic past? What are the strategies by which a cultural identity has been reconstituted in post-Holocaust Germany and in post-segregation America? What challenges lie still ahead of us in this ongoing process of reconstitution and reconciliation? The goal of this course is to examine how the new memory ethics actively shapes the way in which Germans and Americans construct their identity today. To this end we investigate discussions of the Holocaust, slavery and segregation in German and American literature, film, art, journalism, and philosophy. Reading materials include Christa Wolf, Günter Grass, W.G. Sebald, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, Bryan Stevenson.  Readings and discussions in English. Original German texts available upon request. Open to graduate students with permission of instructor.

Suetterlin F 9:45-11:45am

German 174. Realism, Fantasy, and the Grotesque: Hoffmann and Balzac

A close reading of select works by E.T.A. Hoffmann and his reception in the work of Balzac focuses on Realism's indebtedness to the imaginative realms of the fantastic and the grotesque. Topics: music and inspiration; societal decadence and caricature; magic and the uncanny; experience, observation and expression.

This course is equivalent to Comparative Literature 174. Credit may be earned for German 174 or Comp. Lit. 174, but not both.

Hamilton Th 12:45-2:45pm

German 207. Digital Medieval Mary Magdalene: Paleography and Text-Editing

The goal of this course is two-fold: in terms of research results, we will work on an interactive online edition of a medieval Mary Magdalene legend transmitted in the Lower Rhine area; in terms of teaching practice, it will train graduate and undergraduate students in paleography, editing, and coding. Source material includes Medieval Latin, Middle Dutch, and other medieval Germanic dialects.

Kirakosian

T 9:45-11:45am

German 262. Adorno's Aesthetic Theory: Seminar

This graduate-level interdisciplinary seminar will address the philosophical, historical, sociological, and aesthetic questions raised by the Frankfurt School social theorist and philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in his posthumously-published masterpiece Aesthetic Theory (1970). Our chief task will be to come to a better understanding of this notoriously difficult work by examining its place in past and present debates over the relationship between art and society. Topics include: the possibility of poetry after Auschwitz, the debate with Walter Benjamin over the status of the “aura”, the problem of artistic political engagement, and the dialectic between the culture-industry and “autonomous art.”

This course is equivalent to German 262. Credit may be earned for History 2326 or German 262, but not both.

Gordon W 3-5:45pm

German 267. Dichten und Denken: Heidegger and the Poets

The seminar reads Heidegger's poetological essays both in relation to his larger philosophical project and against the poets he studies: Hölderlin, Mörike, Trakl, and Rilke. Topics include: the nature or essence of poetic discourse; the tension between philosophy and poetry; phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics; surface reading and depth; the poetics of etymology; and other related themes. Readings in German, with discussion in English.

Hamilton F 12- 2pm

German 300. Dissertation

TBA TBA

Germanic Studies 172. The Heroic Epic in Northern Europe

Examines the principal heroic monuments of northern Europe, including Beowulf, Waltharius, The Lay of Hildebrand, The Lay of the Nibelungs, The Saga of the Volsungs, and the Sigurd poetry of the Poetic edda, and their interpretations  Considers the relationship of epic poetry to tradition,orality, and writing, to populations, to proto-nationalism, to cultural institutions, to the Otherworld, and to the shaping of an heroic ideal.

Mitchell T 12-2pm

Comparative LIterature 191. W.G. Sebald's Intertextuality (cross-listed course)

Selected works by W.G. Sebald will serve as starting points for thinking about intertextuality in the decade leading up to the twenty-first century. We will read one narrative from The Emigrants (Die Ausgewanderten), the entirety of The Rings of Saturn (Die Ringe des Saturn), and relevant sections of Austerlitz. How and why does Sebald make use of previous texts in these creative prose works? What theories of intertextuality might help us understand his often baffling texts? Should we classify Sebald as a belated modernist or a postmodern writer? Two sessions of the course will be conducted in Houghton Library, where we will examine Michael Hulse’s typescript translations and Sebald’s hand-written corrections.

Lectures and discussion in English; students will read the texts in the original German or in English translation according to their abilities.

Ryan W 12:45-2:45pm

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. Conducted in English.

Broomé M 12-2:45pm
and
W 12-1:15pm

Scandinavian 90r.a Danish

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

TBA TBA

Scandinavian 90r.b Finnish

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

TBA

TBA

Scandinavian 90r.c Norwegian

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

TBA TBA
Scandinavian 300. Special Reading Programs and Research Problems for Advanced Students. Mitchell TBA

Swedish 10b. 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 9-10:15am

Swedish 20b. Intermediate Swedish

Continuation of Swedish 20a. Focuses on enhancing students' proficiency in all four skill areas with special emphasis on speaking/discussion and the control of different discourse registers. Extensive vocabulary-building exercises, a thorough grammar review, and an introduction to various Swedish cultural topics and current affairs through the use of literary and non-literary texts, multimedia resources, and the news.  Conducted in Swedish. Prerequisite: Swedish 20a or equivalent.

Broomé TBA