GERM 3000 (3) Advanced German: Identity and Belonging
How do the languages we speak shape our identity? Where do we belong? What does it mean to be a speaker of German? In this content-based language course, we will investigate questions of language, identities and belonging. Among other topics, we’ll explore German as a pluricentric language and discuss what it means to feel “at home” in the German language, by reading texts from authors like the Japanese and German-language writer, Yoko Tawada and the Afro-German activist and poet, May Ayim, and others. Together, we will work on your communication skills in German and practice your speaking and writing. To help you communicate confidently in German, we will systematically review grammar topics at the upper intermediate level, selectively target grammar topics at the advanced level, and place special emphasis on questions of German sentence structure.
Prerequisite GERM 2020 or GERM 2050 or instructor’s permission. If you haven’t taken GERM 2020 or GERM 2050, and are interested in taking this course, please email Marcel Schmid at firstname.lastname@example.org!
GERM 3010 (3) Texts and Interpretations
“Texts and Interpretations” is designed to introduce students to the practice of reading and interpreting texts and to further students' overall German language proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking. Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with different genres and media, as well as with the technical terms necessary to discuss and analyze them. Students will engage in class discussions and group work, which will take the form of creative tasks such as short performances of a scene, recitations (Lesetheater), or transformations of a text into a different genre in order to explore the conditions of meaning-making. Guided reading and writing assignments will exercise students’ critical thinking skills. Active participation is required throughout the course. All work will be conducted in German.
GERM 3230 (3) Contemporary German II: Writing and Speaking
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 3290 (1) German Round Table
The German Conversation class is designed for students who wish to improve their ability to express themselves in German. In a small-group setting, we will focus on communications skills and discuss topics ranging from personal interests to current events. This course is open to all language levels.
GERM 3300 (1) Language House Conversation
For students residing in the German group in Shea House. May be taken more than once for credit. Departmental approval needed if considered for major credit. Prerequisite: instructor permission."
GERM 3559 (3) New Voices in German: Today's Literary Landscape
What do German speakers read these days? In “New Voices in German,” we will explore a selection of novels fresh of the press and ask how they critically engage with Germany’s multilingual and transnational (literary) landscape. Readings include Fatma Aydemir’s “Dschinns,” Shida Bazyar’s “Drei Kameradinnen,” Katja Petrowskaja’s “Vielleicht Esther,” Jackie Thomae’s “Brüder,” Khuê Phạm’s “Wo auch immer ihr seid,” and Saša Stanišić’s “Herkunft.” This course is especially suited for students who wish to enhance their vocabulary through reading and develop their writing and conversational skills. The course will be conducted entirely in German. Prerequisite: GERM 3010 or instructor’s permission.
GETR 3392 (3) Fairy Tales
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? What does all this have to do with Germany’s emergence as a nation? How does Disney depict the fairy tale in film? – These are some of the questions that our seminar addresses. Authors to be discussed include: Goethe, the brothers Grimm, Bettelheim, Hoffmann, Freud, Saint-Exupéry, Tolkien, and others. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, and short written assignments.
GETR 3393 (3) Serial Media
Have you ever binge-watched a show on Netflix? Have you ever not been able to put down a book? You had to know what was going to happen in the next episode or the next chapter. In this class we will not only reflect on and analyze this experience, we will also investigate its history: the history of serial media.
Over the past 20 years we have witnessed in a revolution in serial media: The medial possibilities made available through online streaming have inspired a trend away from the theater in favor of the laptop, and the primacy of feature length film has been upset by the advent of the so-called second golden age of television. Together we will explore the history of serial forms, particularly through its German tradition beginning with the 19th century serial journal projects of the Romantics and culminating with the contemporary German Netflix show “Dark,” a show that, like the American hit “Stranger Things,” involves parallel dimensions and supernatural elements. Finally, with the help of the work of German intellectuals such as Paul Kammerer and Carl Gustav Jung, we will explore the connection between seriality and coincidence.
GETR 3464 (3) Medieval Stories of Love and Adventure
An interactive course, involving reading, discussion, music, and art, that seeks, through selected stories of the medieval period, to shed light on institutions, themes, and customs. At the center is the Heroic Circle, a cycle with connections to folklore, the fairy tale, and Jungian psychology—all of which illuminate the human experience. Discover here the genesis of Arthurian film, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more. All texts on Collab.
Second Writing Requirement
Cultures and Societies of the World
GETR 3559 (3) History of Information: Data, Ethics, Technology
This course challenges the idea that our current age is the only “information age” or that our twenty-first century technologies represent a fundamental break with the past. By considering the sciences, technologies, and tools used to encode and give form to knowledge across cultures and time, we will sketch our own history of "information" from medieval manuscripts to contemporary machine learning and social media platforms. We’ll pay particular attention to search technologies––the methods and machines used to manage the surplus of information––and how changes in computation, statistics, politics, and political economy since World War II to today have transformed what it means to search and know.
GETR 3720/ENGL 3560 (3) Freud and Literature
In formulating his model of the psyche and his theory of psychoanalysis, Freud, a scientist with a vast humanistic education, availed himself of analogies drawn from various fields, including mechanics, optics, philosophy, politics--and not least, literature. Freud textualized the human mind, turning the stories generated by its different levels into an object of analysis. But if literature was formative for psychoanalysis, Freud's ideas in turn captured the imagination of many twentieth-century literary writers. After introducing Freud's theories through a reading of his major works, including The Interpretation of Dreams, the course will turn to literary works by post-Freudian writers, including Kafka, Schnitzler, Breton, Lawrence, and Woolf, that engage with Freud's masterplot.
GETR 3790/ENGL 3500 (3) Pursuing Happiness
2:00- 3:15 TR
Fictions of happiness pursued--and found! Through the ages, people have sought happiness and formulated conceptions of what happiness means. Happiness could be something we once had--then lost--but might find again; something we might achieve by acting wisely or performing meritorious deeds; something possible through escape; alternatively, something available in the here and now; bound up with love or recognition from others; or a byproduct of creativity, independent of others. This course is not a self-help course. Don’t take it expecting to find the key to happiness. This is a literature course. We’ll read fiction, poetry, theory. But we will read some cheerful and uplifting (or at least moderately cheerful or uplifting) literature, to raise our spirits as the pandemic, with luck, recedes. Texts by Hesiod, Ovid, Chrétien, Rousseau, Schiller, Novalis, Wordsworth, Emerson, Valéry, Hunt, Rilke, Hilton, Stevens, Cavafy, Thurber, Giono, Nabokov, I. Grekova. Some theory of happiness and one or two films. Lots of discussion, two short presentations, two short formal essays, and a final exam are envisaged.