German Studies Department

Advisers: The department.

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

Programs

Major

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.

Courses

German: I. Introductory

101a. Sex Before, During, and After the Nazis (1)

This course offers an introduction to Germany's unique position in the history of sexuality. As early as the late nineteenth century, Germany and Austria were a hotbed for new thinking sexuality and sexual freedom, including the founding of psychoanalysis and the world's first homosexual emancipation movement. National Socialism, however, forever changed the way that Germans and non-Germans viewed every aspect of Germany's history and culture, including its sexual politics. This course examines some of Germany's most salient debates about sex from the late nineteenth century to the Nazi era and beyond, including the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Materials include autobiographies, fictional works, plays, films, political tracts, and sexual case studies, as well as secondary texts representing a variety of disciplinary approaches. Mr. Schneider.

Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar. Readings and discussions in English.

Two 75-minute periods.

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. Ms. Maxey.

Yearlong course 105-GERM 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. To be announced.

Yearlong course GERM 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 GERM 105-GERM 106. Intensive training in the fundamental language skills. Designed for beginning students who wish to accelerate their learning of German. Mr. Schneider.

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

German: 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. Maxey.

Prerequisite: GERM 106, GERM 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: GERM 210 or the equivalent.

230b. 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. Ms. von der Emde.

Prerequisite: GERM 211 or the equivalent.

Not offered in 2014/15.

235b. Introduction to German Cultural Studies (1)

(Same as STS 235) 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 2014/15b: Atrocious Science: German Biopolitics and its Consequences. Scientific racism, forced sterilization, euthanasia, genocide, death camps, and medical experimentation on prisoners-these atrocities represent some of the consequences of Nazi efforts to translate biologistic ideas into policies that transformed the boundaries between bodies, lives, and states. But the efforts to apply "biology" to society began long before the Nazis, and their implementation encompasses more than the Nazi era. This course aims to develop a keener understanding of biopolitics in the German context, as well as its continuing relevance to politics, medical ethics, law, and culture-both inside and outside Germany. As well as exploring the roots of biopolitical discourse in Germany, we examine more recent critical theories from the work of Giorgio Agamben, Hanna Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas, among others. We also study the important role that literature and film has played in promoting, contesting, or condemning biopolitical theory and practice. All readings and discussions in English. Mr. Trump.

Open to all classes. German majors see GERM 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 GERM 235 but do the readings in the original, attend a separate discussion class, and take separate exams.

Topic for 2014/15b: Atrocious Science: German Biopolitics and its Consequences. Scientific racism, forced sterilization, euthanasia, genocide, death camps, and medical experimentation on prisoners-these atrocities represent some of the consequences of Nazi efforts to translate biologistic ideas into policies that transformed the boundaries between bodies, lives, and states. But the efforts to apply "biology" to society began long before the Nazis, and their implementation encompasses more than the Nazi era. This course aims to develop a keener understanding of biopolitics in the German context, as well as its continuing relevance to politics, medical ethics, law, and culture-both inside and outside Germany. As well as exploring the roots of biopolitical discourse in Germany, we examine more recent critical theories from the work of Giorgio Agamben, Hanna Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas, among others. We also study the important role that literature and film has played in promoting, contesting, or condemning biopolitical theory and practice. All readings and discussions in English. Mr. Trump.

Prerequisite: GERM 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. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: GERM 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 2014/15b: German Humor and Comedy in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Contrary to entrenched stereotypes, Germans do have a sense of humor. And the humorous vein in German culture is no less important or productive than its penchant for lofty or brooding works of literature. In this course we explore a variety of humoristic genres, from classic forms such as theatrical comedy, poetry, and satire to colloquial expressions of humor in jokes, film, and stand-up. We examine the historical, ideological, and artistic function of humor in German society, including areas of taboo, such as jokes during and about the Third Reich. In addition to studying specific works, students also have the opportunity to try their own hand at using German for humorous purposes. Authors include Brecht, Dörrie, Jandl, Loriot, Morgenstern, Ringelnatz, and Tucholsky. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: GERM 230, GERM 239, GERM 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 2014/15a: Nazi Cinema: Propaganda, War, and Mass Entertainment. During the twelve years of Nazi rule in Germany, film played an essential role in propagating the regime's ideological and aesthetic norms. Keenly aware of cinema's powerful influence on the public, the Nazi regime quickly seized control of the industry to utilize film's potential to manipulate the masses. The course covers the wide spectrum of film production from notorious propaganda, such as Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will or Jew Süss, to more subtle promotion of ideology in entertainment films and musicals, such as Wunschkonzert and The Great Love, featuring Zarah Leander. We also examine the legacy of Nazi Cinema in Germany after the war and the different ways of handling or avoiding the dark past in the divided country and the two separately emerging film industries. Ms. Ungurianu.

Readings and discussions are in English, and all films have English subtitles. Open to all classes. German majors see GERM 269.

Two 75-minute periods.

269a. German Film for Majors (1)

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

Topic for 2014/15a: Nazi Cinema: Propaganda, War, and Mass Entertainment. During the twelve years of Nazi rule in Germany, film played an essential role in propagating the regime's ideological and aesthetic norms. Keenly aware of cinema's powerful influence on the public, the Nazi regime quickly seized control of the industry to utilize film's potential to manipulate the masses. The course covers the wide spectrum of film production from notorious propaganda, such as Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will or Jew Süss, to more subtle promotion of ideology in entertainment films and musicals, such as Wunschkonzert and The Great Love, featuring Zarah Leander. We also examine the legacy of Nazi Cinema in Germany after the war and the different ways of handling or avoiding the dark past in the divided country and the two separately emerging film industries. Ms. Ungurianu.

Prerequisite: GERM 230, GERM 239 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

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

Not offered in 2014/15.

290a. Field Work (1/2to1)

297a. Readings In German (1/2)

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2to1)

Permission required.

German: III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Thesis (1to2)

The department.

Open only to majors. 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 2014/15a: Total War: Mobilizing the Sexes for Battle. Powers of Europe unleashed one of the largest and deadliest wars in history. In addition to deaths in the tens of millions, the war drastically altered the European political landscape, bringing an end to the dynastic empires of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Russia and the Ottomans while unleashing new and more radical social and political forces. This course explores the cultural climate in Germany leading up to the war as well as the cultural responses to total mobilization and defeat. In particular, we investigate the changing representations of heroism, warfare, and citizenship and the impact of war on aesthetic discourse and Germany's gender and sexual politics. While Germany and Austria are the main focus, a planned conference on the First World War at West Point will enable us to contextualize German-speaking developments in a larger international framework. Materials include autobiographies, fictional works, films, letters, military manuals, poetry, political tracts, and sexual case studies as well as secondary texts representing a variety of disciplinary approaches. Mr. Schneider.

Prerequisite: GERM 260 or GERM 270 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

302a. Senior Thesis (1/2)

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course 302-GERM 303.

303b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course GERM 302-303.

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 2014/15b: Before the Law: Visions of Justice in German Literature and Culture. What is justice? Is it attainable? What is its relation to law? How effective is the intervention of "poetic justice"? German literature and culture offer some of the most original reflections on these questions. This course focuses on the rich literary exploration of justice that reaches a high point in Franz Kafka's fragmentary novel, The Trial. It also addresses how German writers and artists have responded to actual, highly contested trials, such as the trial in Jerusalem of the SS officer Adolf Eichmann, one of the prime architects of the Nazi genocide. Authors and filmmakers may include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Bertolt Brecht, Hannah Arendt, Fritz Lang, and Bernhard Schlink. Mr. Schreiber.

Prerequisite: GERM 260 or GERM 270 or the equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods.

375b. Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies (1)

Not offered in 2014/15.

399b. Senior Independent Work (1/2to1)