Current Courses

Fall 2018

(Check SIS for room assignments)


GERM 2525 (3) Intermediate German, Topics (Learning by Doing)

12:00-12:50 MWF
Mr. Shepherd

Who doesn't love a twofer? Get two movie tickets for the price of one. Buy one, get one at your favorite shoe store. GERM 2025 is the best twofer of the semester. Improve your German and acquire technical skills. This course is a total immersion experience that broadens and deepens your language proficiency in a technology-centered and project-oriented way. Throughout the semester you will design and develop a German-language website, model and print iconic representations of German and US-American culture using the Scholars’ Lab Makerspace 3D printers, and experience virtual reality to generate discussion and ideas on creating a VR environment for learning German. We will also prepare an exhibit to showcase our 3D printed objects. You don't need any previous technology skills for this course. Together, we will confront the challenges of language learning and create valuable technology-based objects and learning experiences in German.

Prerequisites: GERM 2525 is equivalent to GERM 2020 and has the same prerequisites (GERM 2010 or corresponding qualification). The successful completion of GERM 2525 fulfills the language requirement of the College of Arts and Sciences at UVa. If you are interested, you will also be able to declare a German major or minor upon competing this class.                                  

GERM 3000 (3) German Language Skills - Grammar in Use

12:00-12:50 MWF
Ms. Gutterman

This course builds on the first and second year German sequence and focuses on speaking and writing to improve upper-level German language skills. In class, we will discuss current social and cultural events in German speaking countries, with topics drawn from newspapers, films, short literary texts, and the news. Grammar topics will be addressed within the context of these topics. Additionally, this course will be part of the Language Forward Initiative of the Institute of World Language and participate in a telecollaboration project with students in Germany. Grading will be based on class participation, written assignments and a final project. All work will be conducted in German. No book required. Prerequisite German 2020 or instructor's permission.

GERM 3010 (3) Texts and Interpretations

10:00-10:50 MWF
Mr. Dobryden

This seminar serves as an introductory course to the practice of reading and interpreting texts. While the focus will be on literary texts, other media will be represented as well, notably film. Participating students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the three major literary genres (drama, poetry, and prose); the technical terms necessary to discuss and analyze literature and other kinds of texts; and various schools of interpretation, such as structuralism and psychoanalysis. Students will also improve their language proficiency, especially in the areas reading comprehension, speaking, vocabulary, and writing. The class will be conducted entirely in German. Requirements include active participation, regular homework assignments, a series of essays and quizzes, as well as an oral presentation.

GERM 3110 (3) Survey of Literature II - 20th and 21st Century Literature

1:00-1:50 MWF
Ms. Gutterman

This course focuses on texts by German-speaking authors of the 20th and 21st century. We will discuss different literary forms and genres – short stories, novels, plays, poems, as well as autobiographic writings – and we will address the relationship of these texts to German history, culture, and literary movements. Our discussion will begin with turn-of-the-century writers in Vienna, such as Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal, followed by Benjamin, Brecht and Kafka. Postwar literature will include Ruth Klüger and Ingeborg Bachmann. We will also discuss contemporary literature and pay special attention to the current literary scene in Germany, with readings ranging from Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten to Shida Bazyar’s Nachts ist es leise in Teheran. Grading will be based on class participation, written assignments and a final project. All work will be conducted in German. Prerequisite German 3000 or instructor's permission.

GERM 3230 (3) Composition & Conversation

3:30-4:45 TR
Mr. McDonald

Improve your German communication skills through an innovative German conversation and writing method that draws on contemporary online resources, spanning culture, politics, sports, and technology. (Among these resources are Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau, German online newspapers, and online dictionaries.)  Students develop and refine writing and conversation strategies through weekly writing assignments modelled on texts from streaming-media sites. Daily conversation and comprehension exercises build vocabulary and introduce students to idioms. Select grammar review at student initiative. No textbook is required.

GERM 3250 (3) German for Professionals  

11:00-11:50 MWF
Ms. Parker

Prepares students to communicate and interact effectively in the business environment of German-speaking countries. Emphasis is placed on practical, career-usable competence. Prerequisite: GERM 3000 or equivalent

GERM 3290 (1) German House Conversation 

4:00-4:50 W
Mr. Rammelsberg

This course is mandatory for the residents of the German House but open to other students as well.

GERM 3510 (3) Topics in German Culture – Exile and Migration

2:00-3:15 TR
Mr. Grossman

The story of migration to Germany, it is often claimed, only began with the arrival of guest workers in 1955, with the result that many Germans disagree over the question: Is Germany an “Einwanderungsland” (a land of immigration) or can it be one? This debate remains an urgent matter, given the recent refugee crisis that has sent hundreds of thousands fleeing war zones and other places of hardship to Germany in recent years. Adding to that urgency is the backlash against migrants, refugees, and others considered to be “foreign” or of “foreign” origin, giving rise to the anti-immigrant movement Pegida and the electoral success of the AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland), an extreme right political party has now entered the German parliament (Bundestag) with 13% of the seats.

We will address the question of Germany as “Einwanderungsland” by reading texts of various types concerned with this issue, which may include: essays, news articles, official documents, fiction, drama, poetry, film, and other materials written in German by authors of various backgrounds. The aim of the course is to explore a range of views and develop a multifaceted understanding of the issues, debates, problems, etc., that continue to be a pressing question in Germany today.

GETR 3505/HIEU 3505 (3) Hitler in History and Fiction                        

2:00-3:15 MW
Ms. Achilles

Who was Adolf Hitler and how can we understand the Hitler phenomenon? Was his rise to power an aberrant historical accident or a logical outcome of German history? What was more decisive in shaping the catastrophic course of events under Hitler’s regime: his personality or deep structural historical factors? Would history have turned out better (or worse) if Hitler had been accepted into art school or died in infancy? Do melodramatic depictions of his last days normalize or even trivialize the Holocaust? Is it acceptable to laugh about or even empathize with Hitler today? 

This course investigates Hitler’s life and afterlife on the basis of a broad variety of sources. Course materials range from scholarly articles to Nazi propaganda, films, novels, counterfactual histories and Hitler representations on the internet. Throughout this course, we will combine an interest in the personal dimensions of Hitler’s rule with the study of power structures, social interests, aesthetic forms, generational shifts, and national frames. We will pay particular attention to the affective logics and representational regimes that shape our understanding of the past (and present). Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, one oral presentation, and short written assignments. There will be no midterm or final examinations.  

HIEU 3352 (3) Modern German History

10:00-10:50 MW
Ms. Achilles

This course explores the multi-faceted history of modern Germany from the founding of the Empire in 1871 to the present. Among the themes that we will study are the repeated radical transformation of Germany’s political structures in the 20th century, the place of war and genocide in German history and memory, as well as the country’s shifting position within Europe and the world. We will also examine some of the major debates in German historiography, such as the idea that the Nazi Third Reich resulted from a flawed pattern of modernization that disconnected economic liberalism from political democracy. Throughout this course, we will pay particular attention to the ruptures and continuities in modern German history, and to the meanings of a traumatic past for the construction of  national identity. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, two essays, as well as a midterm and final examination.

GETR 3566 (3) Weimar Cinema

3:30-4:45 MW
Mr. Dobryden

This course will familiarize students with the formally adventurous and globally influential cinema of the Weimar Republic. We will examine key films from a range of genres (including horror, comedy, science fiction, crime, and melodrama) by directors such as Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau, Ernst Lubitsch, and G. W. Pabst. Situating the films within the cultural upheavals of the period from 1918 to 1933, we will discuss the aftereffects of WWI; the politics of class and gender; discourses on nature and technology; relationships between aesthetics, spectatorship, and politics; and processes of industrialization, urbanization, and globalization. Students without experience in film studies are welcome.

GETR 3590 (3) Nietzsche, Freud, Kafka: What Is Reading?

12:00-12:50 MWF
Mr. Bennett

Reading and discussion of texts by Nietzsche, Freud, and Kafka that raise significant questions about the person who happens to be reading them.  We will not attempt to deal with the psychology (or the neuropsychology) of reading.  The starting point for class discussion will be ethical.  Do we make a personal commitment when we read, and what is the nature of that commitment?  Among the works assigned will be Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy, “On the Use and Disadvantage of History,” On the Genealogy of Morals, The Antichrist; Freud’s Civilization  and Its Discontents, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, The Question of Lay Analysis, and Moses and Monotheism; a selection of Kafka’s shorter published works including “The Judgment,” “The Metamorphosis,” “A Country Doctor,” and “A Hunger Artist.”  Depending on class size, there will be either one paper or one short plus one long, and perhaps an examination on the reading.

GETR 3590 (3) Women and War                   

3:30-4:45 MW
Mr. Bennett

Beginning with Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, the course will first examine the structure and complications of a world in which men wage war and women wage sex. It will then move on to the discussion of ways in which this world-view is challenged or overturned, including:  the collision of war and sex in the figure of Judith (plays of Hebbel and Giraudoux); the virgin warrior Joan of Arc (Voltaire, Schiller, Anouilh, Shaw); Amazons ancient and modern (Kleist, Wittig); women at the intersection of war and business (Brecht).  Space will be left in the schedule to accommodate one or two texts suggested by students. At least one paper will be required, perhaps two, depending on the size of the class.

GETR 3590 (3) Fairy Tales

11:00-12:15 TR
Mr. Schmid

In fairy tales, everything is possible: throw a frog against the wall, it may well turn out to be a prince in disguise; go visit your grandmother and you may realize that she has been eaten and replaced by a wolf; and if you have plans for the next hundred years, you better beware of being pricked by a spindle. Entering the world of fairy tales often feels like passing into an elaborate dream: it is a world teeming with sorcerers, dwarves, wondrous objects, and animals that speak. In this seminar, we focus on fairy tales and dream narratives from the romantic period into the present. Why did the Grimm brothers bother to collect fairy tales? Why did Hoffmann, Tieck, and others choose to transform the fairy tale into a genuine literary art form? What does all this have to do with Germany’s emergence as a nation? – These are some of the questions that our seminar addresses. Authors to be discussed include: Goethe, the brothers Grimm, von Arnim, Brentano, Tieck, Hoffmann, Schnitzler, Freud, and others. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, and short written assignments.

GETR 3590 (3) Medieval Stories of Love and Adventure

2:00-3:15 TR
Mr. McDonald

Joseph Campbell––and more! Trace the origin of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones: Encounter the stories that inspired Richard Wagner. Follow the hero and heroines of medieval fiction through the steps of the heroic quest: the call to adventure, meeting the mentor, tests and trials, symbolic death and rebirth, the road back, and return with a societal boon. Among the stories read are Parzival and Tristan and Isolde. Grade is based on classroom discussion, oral reports, and a final paper. No final examination. No textbook required.  

GETR 3590 (3) Reporters at War  

12:30-1:45 TR
Ms. Riedle

It is crucial that journalists continue to report on global crises, from places where daily life can be complicated, difficult, and dangerous. With the journalist and writer Gabriele Riedle, students will explore a variety of texts, photographs, and documentary films—from Ernest Hemingway’s reports from the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s to the Magnum Photo Agency’s ongoing documentation of conflicts.

Informed by Riedle’s extensive experience reporting from crisis regions, the course will grapple with the practical, ethical, and representational questions raised by such journalism: What is life like for journalists “in the field”? How can they continue to work while staying safe? What different genres and media are available to cover wars, armed conflicts, and humanitarian or political crises? Is objectivity possible, especially in cases when a reporter is embedded with an army? How can journalists avoid sensationalizing crisis or portraying themselves as heroes?

Requirements include regular attendance and preparation, participation, writing assignments, and a final project.

GETR 3692/HIEU 3692 (3) The Holocaust

12:30-1:45 TR, 2:00-3:15 TR
Mr. Finder

In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews.  The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, postwar Holocaust-related trials, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.

This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject. We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer, Christopher Browning, and Peter Hayes, contemporary documents, and memoirs. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.