Spring 2023

Course Descriptions

(Check SIS For Room Assignments)


GERM 3000 (3)  Advanced German 

12:00-12:50  MWF
Ms. Parker

"Advanced German" is designed for students at the intermediate level, who wish to continue developing their ability to speak, listen, read, and write in German. The course will provide a systematic overview of German grammar at the upper intermediate level, and selectively target grammatical topics at the advanced level. GERM 3000 will prepare you for upper-level German courses, assisting you in firmly achieving competence level B1 and working towards level B2.1-B2.2 of the Common European Framework (CEFR). 

Prerequisite GERM 2020 or GERM 2050 or instructor’s permission.

GERM 3010 (3)  Texts and Interpretations

12:30-1:45 TR

Mr. Schmid 

“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 3120 (3) Literature in German 1

2:00-3:15 MW
Ms. Gutterman 

Does fiction even have a point? Are robots a thing—and what makes them so uncanny? And how do I know what to do or who to be? 200 years ago, these questions pressed philosophers, writers, and artists to create some of the greatest works in the German language. Today, these questions still shape our lived experience, igniting controversial debates about social issues. In “Literature in German I” we focus on texts penned during the 18th and 19th centuries: a few poems, an essay, a play, and a short novel. We critically approach these texts through group activities, discussions, short presentations, creative writing, and cultural analysis. Together we discover how these texts from the past find new shapes in contemporary film and theatre productions—and we investigate their connections to current debates and issues. 

‘Literature in German I’ is conducted entirely in German. Prerequisite: GERM 3010. If you haven’t completed GERM 3010, but are interested in taking this course, please contact me (jg4mt@virginia.edu)

GERM 3290 (1) German Round Table   

5:00-5:50 W
Ms. Frohlich

Why is the biggest star of German children’s TV a depressed loaf of bread named Bernd? Are Germans really always on time? And what on earth is Schlager music? In this class students get the chance to practice their spoken German as well as their conversational and argumentative skills. In a relaxed roundtable atmosphere, we will discuss relevant topics related to German (popular) culture, media, history, or politics. Students will prepare short presentations which will guide us through our discussions while the focus lies on choosing topics that are important and relevant to the students. Whether it is popular German TV series, fashion, music, cultural stereotypes, news, or politics: Anything goes! 


GERM 3300 (1) Language House Conversation 

6:00-7:00 W 

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) German Phonetics 

5:00-6:15  MW 
Ms. Neuhaus 

In this class, we will look at how sounds are produced and organized in the German language. We will use this knowledge to improve our own pronunciation, focusing on areas of particular difficulty for U.S. speakers. By looking at how sounds connect across phrases and analyzing intonation, we will also create more fluent and native-like patterns of speech.

By the end of this class, you will be able to analyse sounds and speech patterns, explain how sounds are produced, read and transcribe phonetic transcription, design and assess pronunciation exercises, discuss the sociolinguistic impacts of pronunciation, and critically reflect upon your own journey in German pronunciation

GERM 4600 (3) Fourth Year Seminar 

3:30-6:00  TR 
Mr. Bennett

Tentative plan for the seminar:  German and Austrian politics, in the 21st century.  If you have questions or suggestions, please get in touch with Mr. Bennett at bkb@virginia.edu

GETR 3330 (3) Introduction to German Studies 

3:30-4:45 MW

Mr. Wellmon




GETR 3392 (3) Fairy Tales

9:30-10:45 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? 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

5:00-7:30 W

Mr. Schmid

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

2:00-3:15 TR

Mr. McDonald 

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) Nietzsche-Freud-Burroghs

12:30-1:45 TR

Mr. Bennett   

The course will explore, by way of class discussion rather than lecture, the problem of the self:  in its philosophical and psychological dimensions, in several major works of Nietzsche and Freud, including On the Genealogy of Morals, The Ego and the Id, and Civilization and Its Discontents; and then, as it crops up constantly in the violent eroticism, and in the insane but inevitable politics of Burroughs’s world, in Exterminator, Blade Runner, and Naked Lunch.  Students will be graded mainly on two papers, one at midterm on an assigned topic, one in lieu of a final exam on a free topic, and on their participation in class discussion.  College rules do not permit a course of this type to count automatically for the Second Writing Requirement, but the instructor will petition the College on behalf of students whose written work clearly meets the criteria.

GETR 3710 (3) Kafka and His Doubles 

11:00--12:15 TR

Ms. Martens  



GETR 3780 (3) Memory Speaks

2:00- 3:15 TR

Ms. Martens