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 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, technology, literature, art, and sports. Among these resources are Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau, German online newspapers, and online dictionaries. Students develop and refine writing and conversation strategies through writing assignments and oral presentations. Daily conversation and comprehension exercises build vocabulary and introduce students to idioms. Select grammar review as needed. No textbook is required.
GERM 3290 (1) German Studies Round Table
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 3610 (3) Lyric Poetry
GETR 3390 (3) Nazi Germany
12:00-12:50 MW Discussion 9:00-9:50, 10:00-10:50, 11:00-11:50
This course examines the historical origins, political structures, social dynamics, and cultural practices of the Nazi Third Reich. Fulfills the historical studies and second writing requirements. No prerequisites.
GETR 3393 (3) Fairy Tales
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 3462 (3) Neighbors and Enemies
A biblical injunction, first articulated in Leviticus and then elaborated in the Christian teachings, stipulates that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. This course explores the friend/enemy nexus in German history, literature and culture. Of particular interest is the figure of the neighbor as both an imagined extension of the self, and as an object of fear or even hatred. We will examine the vulnerability and anxiety generated by Germany’s unstable and shifting territorial borders, as well as the role that fantasies of foreign infiltration played in defining German national identity. We will also investigate the racial and sexual politics manifested in Germany’s real or imagined encounters with various foreign “others.” Most importantly, this course will study the tensions in German history and culture between a chauvinist belief in German racial or cultural superiority and moments of genuine openness to strangers. In the concluding part of this course, we will consider the changing meanings of friendship and hospitality in a globalizing world. Fulfills the historical studies and second writing requirements. No prerequisites.
GETR 3464 (3) Medieval Storeis of Love and Adventure
2:00-3:15 TR, 3:30-4:45 TR
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) Ancient and Modern Dramatic Theater
This is a course in the history of Western theatrical drama and, as such, also a course in the history of magic, true magic, not mere legerdemain.
“Theatrical drama” is a category of objects which are, at the same time, works of more or less narrative poetry and ritual structures needing to be realized in the form of public performance. The history of theatrical drama, thus understood, is thoroughly discontinuous. The earliest instance—and as far as we know, the origination of the form—is the development of various dramatic types in ancient Attica from the 6th to the early 4th century B.C. But in Europe, the next appearance of the form, in its strict definition, does not occur until the great period of national drama from the late 15th to the end of the 17th century in England, Spain, France, and the Netherlands. Then there is a short period of prophetically modern drama in Germany around 1800. And finally, from the late 19th century on, an enormous Europe-wide theatrical drama erupts, curiously enough, right in the middle of what by rights should have been exclusively the age of the social novel.
The key concept in understanding how this history works is magic, a concept we will develop and discuss and clarify in relation to texts of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Calderon, Molière, and several later authors.
Requirements: one midterm paper on an assigned topic; one longer final paper on a topic agreed upon by each student and the instructor.
GETR 3559 (3) History of Data - Knowledge, Information and Technology
In this course, we will study the history and gradual confluence of statistical methods and practices, data and information sciences, and technological change over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as they relate to what is now known as data analysis. In short, this course provides a history of "data" as both an object of analysis and scientific and technological way of studying and organizing the world.
GETR 3600/ENGL 3500-3 (3) Faust
Goethe's Faust has been called an “atlas of European modernity” and “one of the most recent columns for that bridge of spirit spanning the swamping of world history.” The literary theorist Harold Bloom writes: “As a sexual nightmare of erotic fantasy, [Faust] ... has no rival, and one understands why the shocked Coleridge declined to translate the poem. It is certainly a work about what, if anything, will suffice, and Goethe finds myriad ways of showing us that sexuality by itself will not. Even more obsessively, Faust teaches that, without an active sexuality, absolutely nothing will suffice.”
Taking Goethe's Faust as its point of departure, this course will trace the Faust legend from its rise over 400 hundred years ago to the modern age. Retrospectively, we will explore precursors of Goethe's Faust in the form of the English Faust Book, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and possibly one of the various other popular re-workings of the text. We will then read Goethe's Faust, parts I and II (part II, either in its entirety or in excerpts). Although now viewed as central to the European canon, Goethe sought in his Faust to radically transform the central tenants of the legend and to challenge many conventions of European culture, politics, and society. Beyond Goethe, we will study Byron's melancholy attempt in Manfred to create a theater of the emotions that explores problems of power, sexuality, and guilt. And we will venture into the twentieth- century, reading texts that re-worked the Faust legend in response to authoritarian politics: Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus, which wrestles with Nazism in the land of Goethe's Faust. We will also consider F.W. Murnau's film version of Faust and may consider Faust works in other media (e.g., music, painting).
GETR 3710/ENGL 3560 (3) Kafka and His Doubles
The course will introduce the enigmatic work of Franz Kafka: stories including "The Judgment," "The Metamorphosis," "A Country Doctor," "A Report to an Academy," "A Hunger Artist," "The Burrow," and "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk"; one of his three unpublished novels (The Trial); the Letter to His Father; and some short parables. But we will also look at Kafka's "doubles": the literary tradition he works with and the way in which he, in turn, forms literary tradition. Thus: Kafka: Cervantes, Kafka: Bible, Kafka: Aesop, Kafka: Dostoevsky, Kafka: Melville; Kafka: O'Connor, Kafka: Singer; Kafka: Calvino, Kafka: Borges. Readings will center on four principal themes: conflicts with others and the self (and Kafka's psychological vision); the double; the play with paradox and infinity; and artists and animals. A seminar limited to 20 participants. Requirements include a short midterm paper (5-7 pages) and a longer final paper (10-12 pages).
GETR 3780/ENGL 3559 (3) Memory Speaks
Memory is a crucial human faculty. Our ability to remember our own past is one of the things that make us human. Memory has long been thought to ground identity: without memory, one has no sense of self. Memory has been seen as fundamental to psychic health, and even as a remedy in times of trouble, as well as essential to our ability to imagine the future. Remembering has its delights. Certainly the idea of losing one’s memory, through shock or illness for example, is terrifying to contemplate. Yet having too many memories of the wrong kind is believed to endanger our equilibrium. Maddeningly, given its power to make us healthy or sick, memory often lies beyond our conscious control. It operates according to its own laws, giving us what we want only sometimes. Undeniably useful, it has also been seen as deceptive. It is demonstrably suggestible. It is not surprising, therefore, that memory is a subject of vital importance in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences alike.
This course will focus on individual memory and in particular on autobiographical memory (our memories of our own lives). We will read autobiographies and works of fiction, written from the early twentieth century to the present, by Patrick Modiano, Marcel Proust, Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary McCarthy, Vladimir Nabokov, and Marguerite Duras. We will also study two films on the theme of memory: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Inside Out. Concurrently, we will read psychological, psychoanalytic, and neuroscientific work on memory. Some attention will be paid to the issues of false memory, external memory, and mediated memory, as well.
Two short papers, presentations, exam.