German Studies Department

All courses are conducted in German except for German 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

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 Mr. Schneider.

Yearlong course 105-106.

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

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 Mr. Schneider.

Yearlong course 105-106.

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

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. Mr. Schreiber.

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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

235a. 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 2012/13a: 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.

239a. 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 of 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. Mr. Schneider.

Prerequisite: German 211 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

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 2012/13b: Expressing the Inexpressible: Lyric Poetry from Goethe to Tawada. Our explorations center around how lyric poetry radically pushes the conventions of language in an attempt to articulate experiences beyond the reach of words, be it the ecstasy of Romantic love, or the catastrophes of the twentieth century. We begin with the period of "Storm and Stress" in the eighteenth century, when the modern notion of "the lyric" was invented by the young Johann Wolfgang Goethe. We then follow the twists and turns of this genre's development up to the present, including its playful subversion in the Dada movement, its reinvention of in the wake of the Holocaust by poets such as Paul Celan, and its contemporary invigoration in the work of experimental, polyglot poets such as Yoko Tawada. Assignments include short analytic essays as well as creative writing and translation. Mr. Schreiber.

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

Two 75-minute periods.

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.

Topic for 2012/13b: Radical Films for Radical Times: The New German Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. The explosion of radical politics In the 60s was matched in Germany by an explosion of radical cinema, which evolved in the fervid atmosphere of the early 70s into the so-called New German Cinema, arguably the high point of German film. This course investigates the aesthetics, politics, and cultural context of New German Cinema. We study the influence of Brecht's theoretical writings on theater and film, ambivalent positions vis-à-vis the classic Hollywood cinema, issues of feminist film making, and the thematic preoccupations peculiar to Germany, for example, left-wing terrorism and the Nazi past. Attendant materials include literary sources, screenplays, and interviews. Films by Fassbinder, Herzog, Kluge, Oettinger, Sander, Schlöndorff, Syberberg, von Trotta, and Wenders. Ms. von der Emde.

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. Ms. von der Emde.

Prerequisite: German Studies 230, 239 or the equivalent.

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

Not offered in 2012/13.

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 2012/13a: Borders, Spies and Secret Battlefronts: Germany in the Cold War. Early on Sunday morning of August 13, 1961, the East German government, under First Secretary Walter Ulbricht, began to block off East Berlin with barbed wire and antitank obstacles. In the course of the next weeks and years, the border between East and West Germany became the most fortified border in the world. This course studies social and cultural practices in cold-war Germany and how discourses of all kinds were shaped by the existence of an inner border that divided the nation into two states, the Federal Republic of Germany in the West and the German Democratic Republic in the East. Materials include political documents, autobiographical materials, newspaper articles, films, and works of fiction as well as other phenomena, such as Olympic sports as a cold war battleground. Ms. von der Emde.

Prerequisite: German 260 or 270 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

302a. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Yearlong course 302-303.

Permission required.

303b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Yearlong 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 2012/13b: Soldiers and Dandies, Femme Fatales and Mannweiber: Gender And Sexuality in Germany and Austria around 1900. At the dawn of the twentieth century, Germany and Austria were hotbeds of gender and sexual experimentation. Feminist and gay rights organizations as well as well as doctors and artists began challenging traditional definitions of husband and wife or libertine and prostitute. This course will study these new discourses on gender and sexuality in their relation to politics, social practices, and literary movements. Readings will be drawn from fiction, autobiographical materials, political scandals, and the new “sciences” of sexology, psychoanalysis and eugenics. Mr. Schneider.

Prerequisite: German 260 or 270 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

375. Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies (1)

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