German Studies Department

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

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units: 8 units of German above the introductory level. Students can choose from German 210, 211, 230, 239, 240, 260, 269, 270, 301, and 355. Majors must take all 8 units in German. After declaring a concentration in German Studies, no courses taken under the Non-Recorded Option serve to fulfill the requirements. Students can take a maximum of 2 units approved by the German department in related fields. Upon the approval of the department, a maximum of 2 units from an approved summer program and 4 additional units from other programs abroad can be substituted for the 200-level courses.

Senior Year Requirement: German 301 and 355. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must complete a thesis (German 300).

Recommendations: Junior Year Abroad, study at accredited summer schools or a summer program in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

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, 240, 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 approved abroad programs 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.

Readings and discussions in English.

Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Not Offered in 2011-12.

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

This course offers a yearlong 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. Schreiber and Ms. Ungurianu.

Year long course 105-106.

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

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

This course offers a yearlong 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. Schreiber and Ms. Ungurianu.

Year long course 105-106.

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. Ms. von der Emde.

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. Ms. von der Emde.

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. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: German 210 or the equivalent.

230a. Contemporary German Culture and Media (1)

Advanced intermediate language study through an examination of contemporary German culture and the role played by different media such as newspapers, television, radio, film, and the Internet. Strong emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary, reviewing grammar, as well as oral and written expression. The course may involve an exchange with native speakers of German. Mr. Schreiber.

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. Strong emphasis on formal analysis and writing. Readings and discussions in English.

Topic for 2011-2012b: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud. Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are three of the most influential thinkers of the modern era. We associate their names with different, even antagonistic agendas ranging from political systems (socialism and communism), entire disciplines (psychoanalysis), and even the death of God. Yet all three were pivotal in developing a "hermeneutics of suspicion," in which "reality" turned out to be hiding darker and more powerful forces: economic motives, unconscious desires, or the will to power. In conjunction with their radical critiques of religion and morality, we concentrate primarily on the strong aesthetic dimension of their thought: Marx's vision of a socialist future in which our sensual or aesthetic powers come to full fruition; Nietzsche's theory of the primacy of music, and his aesthetic justification of reality; Freud's use of art as a cognitive model of psychic processes, and his psychoanalytic interpretation of the function of art. We explore the cultural milieus in which their ideas originated, and we examine the influences their theories have had in modern culture and thought. We also investigate the ways in which twentieth-century writers, thinkers, and film-makers continued to develop, but also at times to question, their theories. Mr. Schreiber.

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. Schreiber.

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

240a. A Culture of Play: An Introduction to German Theater (1)

Since the eighteenth century, drama and theater have held a vaunted place within Germany's language literary and cultural production. This course offers an introduction to that tradition through the study of specific authors, texts, and theories. Students have the opportunity to hone their speaking skills through performance activities, such as mounting scenes or an entire production. Strong emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary and reviewing grammar as well as developing written expression. Authors may include Brecht, Büchner, Dürrenmatt, Handke, Jelinek, Lessing, Schiller, Schnitzler, and Wedekind.

Prerequisite: 211 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2011/12.

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 2011/1012b.: The Novella. From an inexplicable pregnancy to serial murders, from madness to amusing obsessions, the German novella covers various facets of human life condensed into “a strange, shocking incident,” as Goethe puts it. This course deals with some of Germany’s most famous authors and their terse and dynamic narratives, often culminating in a surprising finale. The taut and compact form of the novella has generated some of the finest examples of German writing and enjoys popularity to this day. Students refine their ability to read challenging texts and practice oral and writing skills by discussing and analyzing selected masterpieces of the genre. This course also involves a creative writing component. Authors include Kleist, Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Droste-Hülshoff, Hauptmann, Schnitzler, Mann, Walser, Grass. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230, 239, 240 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

265a. 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.

Topic for 2011-12: Expressionism and Beyond: A Survey of Weimar Cinema (in English). Weimar Cinema tends to be associated almost exclusively with haunting Expressionist masterpieces that depict a distorted world full of dark, looming shadows, populated by madmen or evil geniuses. While films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu did leave a strong mark on film history, they represent just one aspect of the multifaceted German cinema of the 1920s and early 1930s. This course strives for a more comprehensive picture of Weimar cinema, which was second only to Hollywood in the scope of its output and worldwide distribution. In addition to matters of aesthetics and the evolution of a cinematic language from the silent era to sound films, we examine the interaction of film with the socio-political and ideological issues of this turbulent and volatile period. Alongside the celebrated Expressionist masterpieces, we will watch and discuss films of the so-called New Objectivity movement, which emerged as a reaction against Expressionism, as well as some of the famous comedies and crime films of the era. Directors and authors studied include Eisner, Kracauer, Lang, Lubitsch, Murnau, Pabst, and von Sternberg. Ms. Ungurianu.

Readings and discussions in English.

Open to all classes. German majors see German 269.

Two 75-minute periods.

269a. 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. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230, 239 or the equivalent.

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

Prerequisite: German 230, 239, 240 or the equivalent.

Two 75 minute meetings.

Not offered in 2011/12.

287b. Beyond the Wall:Contemporary German Cinema (1)

(Same as Film 287b.) After years of neglect within the film world, German cinema has more recently attracted international attention with broadly popular and often aesthetically innovative hits like Run Lola Run, Goodbye Lenin, Head On, The Downfall, and The Lives of Others. Since the fall of the Wall in 1989, a new generation of energetic directors has begun to discover the cinema as its own form of expression. As they adopt, revise, and react to earlier representational models, these films engage in a sustained dialogue with the historical legacies of the National Socialism, the German-German division, and the 1968 generation, as well as with the aesthetic traditions of Weimar film, New German Cinema and Hollywood. In addition to studying big international releases, the course examines other relevant trends in German film and television, such as the so-called Berlin School, German comedy films, and children’s films. Taught in English. Ms. von der Emde.

Prerequisite: Film 210 or German 265 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute meetings plus screenings.

290. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

297. Readings In German (1/2)

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

Permission required.

III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Thesis (1 or 2)

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 2011-12: Memory Across Generations. Memory of the multiple problematic German pasts has always been central to the Federal Republic of Germany. After reunification, critical reflection and a review of existing forms of commemoration began at many former memorial sites in remembrance of Nazi terror in the territory of the former GDR. Yet the legacies of the GDR itself also had to be negotiated and rethought. This course traces the discourse on memory in the Federal Republic of Germany with special emphasis on remembrance of German division and the cold war. We will work with texts of many different genres and a variety of media, from theoretical texts, to films to websites to plays. Authors and films include Christa Wolf, Heiner Müller, Goodbye Lenin, The Lives of Others, and Neues von der DaDaR. We will also expand on and work with oral history projects, which were begun in German 301 in Fall 2010. Ms. von der Emde.

Prerequisite: German 260 or 270 or equivalent.

Two 75-minute meetings.

302a. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Year long course 302-303.

Permission required.

303b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Year long course 302-303.

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. 
Topic for 2011-12: The Romantic Revolution. This course explores the literary, philosophical, and political ferment of the Romantic movement in Germany. We pay particular attention to its revolutionary qualities, to what the Romantic author Friedrich Schlegel termed its "aesthetic revolution"-for instance, the abolition of the hierarchy of literary genres. We also inquire into the movement's political dimension, especially its complex relation (one of both attraction and repulsion) to the French Revolution. Readings may include texts by Friedrich Schiller, Friedrich Schlegel, Dorothea Schlegel, Rahel Varnhagen, Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin, F.W.J. Schelling, Ludwig Tieck, and Heinrich Heine. Mr. Schreiber.

Prerequisite: German 260 or 270 or equivalent.

Two 75-minute meetings.

375. Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies (1)

399. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)