German Studies Department

Associate Professors: Günter Klabes, Jeffrey Schneider (Chair), Silke von der -EmdeabInstructor: Elliott Schreiber.

ab Absent on leave for the year.

All courses are conducted in German except for German 101, 235, 265, and 275.

Requirements for Concentration: 12 units: 8 units of German above the introductory level. Students can choose from German 210, 211, 230, 239, 260, 269, 270, 301, and 355. Students can take a maximum of 4 units approved by the German department in related fields. Upon the approval of the department, a maximum of 2 units from the Münster and 4 additional units from other programs abroad can be substituted for the 200-level courses.

Senior Year Requirement: German 301 and 355. Majors must take all 8 units in the German Studies Department in German. After declaring a concentration in German Studies, no courses taken under the Non-Recorded Option serve to fulfill the requirements. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must complete a thesis (German 300).

Recommendations: Vassar summer program in Münster, Germany; Junior Year Abroad, study at accredited summer schools.

Vassar Summer Program in Germany: Vassar College conducts a summer program in Münster, Germany. Students who successfully complete the program receive 2 units of Vassar credit. Minimum requirements are the completion of German 105-106, 109 (or the equivalent), and the recommendation of the instructor.

Correlate Sequence in German: Students majoring in other programs may complement their study by electing a correlate sequence in German. Course selection should be made in consultation with the department.

Correlate Requirements: 6 graded units, 4 of which must be taken above the 100 level. Students can choose from German 210, 211, 230, 239, 260, 269, 270, 301, and 355. All students must also complete either German 301 or 355. Upon the approval of the department, a maximum of 2 units from the Münster or other programs abroad can be substituted for the 200-level courses. No courses in English may count towards the correlate sequence.

Advisers: The department.

I. Introductory

101a. Vampires, Lunatics, and Cyborgs: Exploring the Uncanny Recesses of the Romantic Consciousness (1)

From the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “Nutcracker and the King of Mice,” German Romanticism has populated the modern imagination with a multitude of uncanny creations. This course examines the evolution of figures such as vampires, witches, golems, mad scientists, and cyborgs through German culture from their origins in the nineteenth century to their afterlife in the present, including film. In addition, we pursue their reception and development outside of Germany, for instance in Disney’s versions of Grimms’ tales and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Mr. Schreiber.

Readings and discussions in English.

Satisfies College requirement for a Freshman Course.

105a-106b. Beginning German: The Stories of Childhood (1)

This course offers a year-long introduction to the study of German language and culture through literature, fairy tales, and films for and about children. Since these materials tend to be linguistically easier, they are ideal for beginning language learning. Moreover, their role in socializing a new generation makes them important sources for understanding a culture’s fundamental values and way of looking at the world. Materials range from classic texts, such as fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, to contemporary stories, films, and television shows. In addition to offering a systematic introduction to German grammar and vocabulary, classroom activities promote practical and active oral and written communication. No prior experience with German required. Mr. Schneider.

Four 50-minute periods and four 30-minute drill sessions.

109b. Intensive Beginning German (2)

A single-semester study of the German language equivalent to German 105-106. Intensive training in the fundamental language skills. Designed for beginning students who wish to accelerate their learning of German. Mr. Klabes.

Open to all classes; five 75-minute periods, four 30-minute drill sessions, and computer-assisted instruction.

II. Intermediate

210a. Intermediate German I: Identity in Contemporary Germany (1)

Low intermediate language study through short texts and research topics on questions of national identity in contemporary Germany. Strong emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary and reviewing grammar as well as developing oral and written expression. The course uses an online educational environment and may involve an exchange with learners at another college. Mr. Schreiber.

Prerequisite: German 106, 109 or the equivalent.

211b. Intermediate German II: Space in Weimar Germany (1)

Intermediate language study through texts and research topics on questions of space in Weimar Germany at the time of the “roaring Twenties.” Strong emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary and reviewing grammar as well as developing oral and written expression. The course uses an online educational environment and may involve an exchange with learners at another college. Mr. Schreiber.

Prerequisite: German 210 or the equivalent.

230a. Intermediate German III: Contemporary German Culture and Media (1)

Advanced intermediate language study through an examination of debates about media (film, radio, journalism and rock music) in twentieth-century German culture. Strong emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary and reviewing grammar as well as developing oral and written expression. The course may involve an exchange with native speakers of German. Mr. Schneider.

Prerequisite: German 211 or the equivalent.

235b. Introduction to German Cultural Studies. (1)

Introduction to the methodological questions and debates in the field of German Cultural Studies. Topics may include German identity, reunification, U.S.-German cultural exchanges, and the status of the German language in a global world. Strong emphasis on formal analysis and writing.

Topic for 2006/07: Contemporary Germany: In Search of Transparency and Soft-Power. This course offers a study of contemporary Germany with its imperatives of transparency and soft-power. In its second decade after unification, Germany is on a decidedly transnational course where writers, filmmakers, artists and politicians are engaged in a self-critical polemic about the country’s new European identity. We explore common values and differences in transatlantic relations between the US and Europe where “soft power” has become a distinct trademark in negotiations. The course draws on literary texts, political debates, cinema and the arts and may include works by Gunter Grass, Christa Wolf, films by New German Cinema, Kiefer’s and Richter’s art of mourning as well as Berlin’s new architecture of transparency. Classroom instruction is complemented by trips to New York galleries, film screenings and stage performances. Mr. Klabes.

Readings and discussions in English. Open to all classes. German majors see German 239.

Two 75-minute periods.

239b. Introduction to German Cultural Studies for Majors (1)

Students in this course attend the same seminar meetings as in German Studies 235 but do the readings in the original, attend a separate discussion class, and take separate exams. Mr. Klabes.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230 or the equivalent or permission from the instructor.

260b. Developments in German Literature (1)

This course offers an overview of selected historical developments in German literature from the last three centuries.

Topic for 2006/07: To be announced.

Two 75-minute periods.

Prerequisite: German 230, 239 or the equivalent.

265b. German Film in English Translation (1)

This course offers an overview of selected historical and formal developments in German films from the silent period to the present.

Readings and discussions in English. Open to all classes. German majors see German 269.

Two 75-minute periods.

269b. German Film for Majors (1)

Students in this course attend the same seminar meetings as in German Studies 265 but do readings in German, attend a separate discussions class, and take separate exams.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230, 239 or the equivalent.

270a. Aesthetic Forms, Texts, and Genres (1)

In-depth study of one or more literary and non-literary genres in their historical and cultural contexts. Examples may be drawn from drama, poetry, autobiographies, manifestos, or essays.

Topic for 2006/07: German Fairytale and Folklore in Literature, Art, and Music. Great literature, art, and music of all ages have borrowed fairytale motifs. This course approaches fairytales as works of art and explores their rich symbolism, social functions, and structural dynamics across the disciplines and in the context and taste of different eras. The course includes fairytales and legends by the Grimms and others and explores the impact on composers like Wagner and Humperdinck as well as on artists of the Romantic and Expressionist schools. Mr. Klabes.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230, 239 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

275a. Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies (1)

This course offers an extended analysis of one of the major issues in German Cultural Studies. Topics may include memory and the Holocaust, Nazi culture, issues of transparency in political culture, or lesbian and gay culture.

Topic for 2006/07: To be announced.

Readings and discussions in English. Open to all classes.

Two 75 minute periods.

298a or b. Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Permission required.

For advanced work in German, students must complete the following: German 230, 239, 260, 269, and 270 or their equivalent.

III. Advanced

For advanced work in German, students must complete the following: German 230, 239, 260, 269, and 270 or their equivalent.

300a or b. Senior Thesis (1)

Open only to majors. The department. Permission required.

301a. Senior Seminar (1)

An examination of selected topics in German literature and culture. May be taken more than once for credit when topic changes.

Topic for 2006/07: German Romanticism: Poetic and Pictorial Images. This course examines the strategies of writers and artists struggling to find meaning in a time of revolutionary political and cultural change. Particular attention is paid to changes in cultural aesthetics and new literary and artistic forms with a view toward their legacy in twentieth-century Germany. Course may include works by Novalis, Tieck, Kleist, Guenderode, E.T.A. Hoffmann as well as by artists from the German Romantic School like C.D. Friedrich and Runge. Mr. Klabes.

302a-303b. Senior Thesis ( 1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Permission required.

355b. Advanced Seminar (1)

An examination of selected topics in German literature and culture. May be taken more than once for credit when topic changes. Mr. Schreiber.

Topic for 2006/07: To be announced.

Two 75-minute periods.