Fall Courses

Course Descriptions - Fall 2016

Language Courses

Please note that all sections of German 1 through German 4 will still meet five hours per week, however at each level we are introducing sections that will meet three days per week, rather than five days per week.

German 1 (5) Elementary German I. Euba in charge.

Fall/Spring. Five units; classes meet three or five times a week. All four foreign language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) are addressed to help students acquire communicative competence in the German language while being sensitized to the links between language and culture. German 1 is for students with no prior knowledge of German.

German 2 (5) Elementary German II. Euba in charge.

Fall/Spring. Five units; classes meet three or five times a week. In German 2, students will continue to develop communicative competence in the German language and expand their sensitivity toward the relationship between language and culture. While all language skills will be addressed, additional emphasis will be on the various styles of written and spoken German. Prerequisite: German 1 or equivalent.

German 1G/2G (S/U) Reading German for Graduates. Theison

Fall/Spring. Taken on S/U basis. Prepares graduate students from other disciplines to take their German reading exams. One year of German should be taken before 1G; 1G or consent of instructor is required for 2G. Students who will take 2G should enroll in it at the beginning of the semester; 2G will begin in approximately the eighth week of instruction. All students interested in the G courses should attend the first meeting of the semester.

German 3 (5) Intermediate German I. Topics in German Language and Cultural History. Euba in charge.

Fall/Spring. Five units; classes meet three or five times a week. While continuing to expand students’ communicative competence in German, this content-driven course will provide insights into postwar German history and cultural trends. The primary focus will be on the development of literacy skills (critical reading and writing), vocabulary expansion, and a thorough review of structural concepts. Students will be guided toward expressing themselves on more abstract topics, such as language and power in society, multiculturalism, rebellion and protest, and social justice, and toward drawing connections between texts and contexts by using a variety of text genres (journalistic, historical, short story, poetry, drama, advertising, film).

German 4 (5) Intermediate German II. Topics in German Language and Culture. Euba in charge.

Fall/Spring. Five units; classes meet three or five times a week. In this fourth-semester German language course, students work on strengthening their interpretative abilities as well as their written and oral forms of expression. While continuing the development of communicative competence and literacy skills, students will discuss a variety of texts and films and try to find innovative ways in which to engage with familiar presuppositions about who we are, about what determines our values and actions, and about the function and power of language.

Reading and Composition Courses
Readings and discussions in English. Fulfills the second half of the university’s Reading & Composition Requirement (equivalent to English 1B, Comp. Lit. 1B, etc.).

German R5A. Reading and Composition (4)

Section 1: Woods

Section 2: Haselbeck
"Mediocre Art and Average People".  Everything can be mediocre except when it comes to art. Artworks are not supposed to be mediocre, unless we are talking about dramatic characters like Aristotle’s “middle man,” or things that are focused around the idea of the middle or, the average, like perspective and the “golden mean.” Mediocrity in the arts always spells failure. On the other hand, mediocrity or the average has also been understood as an ethical ideal: the pursuit of the virtuous middle way that avoids extremes, has been a consistent theme in moral philosophy. This has changed considerably with the emergence of statistics and the arithmetical notion of the average. Eventually, the average—a coveted spot for many centuries—became a mathematical abstraction and turned into a slightly derogatory term.  Since the 19th century statistical enumeration has come to inform not only the sciences and everyday policy decisions, but also our political language. Politicians still like to refer to the ‘common man’ or the average citizen. Who are they talking to or about?  And do average people make or consume mediocre art?  In this course we will focus on literary and theoretical texts, films, and images that problematize ideas of mediocrity or average. We are going to ask what role technology, art, and in particular literature play in shaping what we perceive as mediocre or as average.  This course fulfills the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement. It is designed to help you to develop your abilities to read and write analytically. We will discuss writing samples and research techniques in class. Throughout the course, you will be required to edit and refine your arguments.

Section 3: Fragomeni
"Rock & Roll During the Cold War".   In this course, we will consider the impact and influence of Rock & Roll music during the Cold War, with a special emphasis on its effects in East Germany and the USSR. We will investigate how various Rock & Roll genres challenged social conventions, as well as how they influenced the evolution of music itself. Concurrently, we will also cover the timeline in three units: Overview of the Cold War 1945 – 1991, Rock & Roll of the 50’s and 60’s, and then of the 70’s and 80’s.

Section 4: Tovey
"Conceptualizing Utopia".  How is it possible to conceptualize an absolute-ideal society? Literally meaning "no place" in Greek, any attempt to formulate an idea of Utopia would seem to be futile, yet authors and philosophers have pursued the idea since the beginning of recorded history. With a focus on the early 20th century, this class will explore different philosophies of Utopia and various methods authors have used in attempting to conceptualize what in theory should not exist.

Section 5: Ch-Polizzi
"On Freedom and Human Dignity".  This R5A course will survey a range of literary and philosophical texts examining the changing conceptualizations of that most "American" of values: freedom. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical position based on their own engagement with the material and with emphasis on acquiring the requisite skills in close reading and analytical writing.

Courses Taught in German

German 100 (3) Introduction to Reading Culture. Dewulf
This course is intended to acquaint students with selected works from German cultural history and to familiarize them with various methods of interpretation and analysis. Required for all German majors. Fulfills the Letters & Science requirement in Arts and Literature or International Studies. Taught in German. Students with native fluency in German are not eligible to enroll. Prerequisite: German 4.

German 101 (3) Advanced German Conversation, Composition, and Style. Euba
Focusing on five central themes, this advanced-level language course will help students improve and expand on spoken and written language functions utilizing a variety of works from different genres in journalism, broadcasting, literature, fine arts, and cinema. The final goal is to enable students to participate in the academic discourse (written and spoken) to a linguistic and stylistic level appropriate for advanced students of German in upper division courses. Fulfills the Letters & Science breadth requirement in Arts and Literature or International Studies. Taught in German. Students with native fluency in German are not eligible to enroll. Prerequisite: German 4.

German 102D (3) Pop Culture/Germany. Jernigan
Focusing on popular culture in German speaking countries, this advanced-level language course will help students to improve and expand on spoken and written language functions. Fulfills the Letters & Science breadth requirement in Arts and Literature or International Studies. Taught in German. Students with native fluency are not eligible to enroll. Prerequisite: German 4.

German 103 (3) Introduction to German Linguistics. Shannon
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the major subfields of linguistics as they apply to the German language. It also serves as the gateway course for the further study of German linguistics at the undergraduate level. The first part of the course will focus on the synchronic description of contemporary German. The second part of the course will concern itself with variation in German. There are no prerequisites for this class and no prior experience with linguistics is presupposed, however an advanced knowledge of German (at least German 4 level) is expected.

German 105 (3) Middle High German. Tennant

German 148 (3) Topics in Narrative. Kudszus
"Madness & Dreams in Literary Formations".  We will read and discuss a selection of most significant and haunting prose texts in Austrian, German and Swiss literature. This includes Tieck's Der blonde Eckbert (1796), Büchner's Lenz (1836), Hoffmann's Der Sandmann (1816), Droste-Hülshoff's Die Judenbuche (1842), Nietzsche's Ecce homo (1888, selections), Freud's Die Traumdeutung (1900, selections), Kafka's Das Urteil (1912), Walser's Der Spaziergang (1917), Bernhard's Gehen (1971), and Müller's Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel (1991, selections).

Courses Taught in English

German 39P (4) Freshman Seminar. Tang
"Law and Literature".  For many people, law is the subject of professional legal education, while literature belongs to the humanities. In this seminar, we will see that law and literature, professional school and the humanities are in fact closely related. We will read some of the greatest authors in world literature – Shakespeare, Melville, Morrison, Kleist, Kafka, among others – and see how their works engage with the key issues of law such as justice and equity, rights and obligation, crime and punishment. At the same time, we will read legal texts and see how law operates by telling stories.
This course satisfies breath requirements in Arts and Humanities, as well as in Philosophy and Values.

German 160B (4) Fascism and Propaganda. Payne
The course will study the history and theory of National Socialism by focusing on the role of propaganda in the production, distribution, and reception of Nazi ideology. While analyzing the political and cultural history of the period from 1933-1945, we will pay particular attention to literary and artistic reflections of the era.

German 179 (3) Special Topic. Payne
"Refugee in German Literature".  In this course, we will study how German literature has responded to the emergence of the refugee as a unique figure of modern political life in the twentieth century. Our focus will be on literature’s use of language and genre to explore the complex states of exception bound up with the refugee phenomenon. We will consider interventions in lyric, drama, and prose, by a range of authors at different junctures in twentieth-century literary and political history, as they embark upon the many literary paths of refugees. Along the way, we will examine how these texts challenge assumptions about identity, citizenship and belonging by calling our attention to questions of voice, narrative, and witnessing. The course will be conducted in English.

Graduate Courses

German 201A (4) Literature of the Middle Ages.  Largier
Survey of medieval German literature that concentrates on monuments of the Hohenstauffen period but also includes representative works from the later 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.

204 (2) Compact Seminar. Wirth
"The Author as Editorial Fiction 'around 1800'".  The course will study the different concepts of authorship in the context of three novels 'around 1800' (Goethe's "Werther", Jean Pauls "Leben Fibels", and E.T.A. Hoffmann's "Kater Murr"). The course will focus on the theoretical and historical function of an editor in contrast to the function of an author, especially in regards to the 'paratexts'.  One short paper is required. Taught in German. *This class only meets for 5 Fridays from 9/9-10/7/2016.

German 207 (4) Methods. Tang
Drawing on a variety of literary texts, periods, and genres, this seminar will present and explore different ways of reading. Topics will include literary hermeneutics and textual deconstruction.

German 255 (4) Interpretation and Criticism of Poetry. Kudszus
In-depth readings of German-language poetry from the 18th to the 21st centuries. For their individual projects, participants will choose from a wide and varied spectrum of poetic texts.G 

German 265 (4) Film Theory. Kaes
"The Frankfurt School and Its Media Theory".  The seminar will focus on the theoretical writings on film, photography, radio, and television by Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, and Theodor W. Adorno from the 1920s to the 1960s. We shall engage in close readings of both classic and unknown texts by these authors and place them in dialogue with pertinent examples from film and media history. We will also relate their arguments to contemporaneous writings by theorists such as Georg Simmel, Aby Warburg, Bert Brecht, and Martin Heidegger. In addition, we will examine how the legacy of Frankfurt School’s media theory lives on in the films of Guy Debord, Jean-Luc Godard, Alexander Kluge, and Harun Farocki, as well as in current critical work on New Media. In general, the seminar will explore the various ways in which past media theories and practices illuminate our present moment and vice versa. All texts are in English translation.

German 270 (4) History of the German Language. Rauch
Designed for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the external and internal history of the German language from prehistoric times to the present and its interchange with closely and remotely related languages. Genetic language processes informing the German language across time are illustrated through the interface with literary documents from ancient cattle raids through runic, Gothic, Medieval German, and English texts, as well as excerpts from Luther’s era, modern, and contemporary German. No prerequisites.

German 282 (4) Old Saxon. Rauch
Introduction to a heterogeneous language which is unquestionably the most provocative of the major Germanic dialects in terms of language identification and language origin. Reading of the Latin prose and verse prefaces that serve as the keystone to the literary and the ethnographic setting of the Heliand as well as reading of selected fits from the Heliand and Genesis fragments, including the 2006 Leipzig find. Study of the isogrammar shared by Old Saxon with Old Frisian and Old English to the North, and with Old High German to the South. No prerequisites.

German 293 (4) Semantics.  Shannon
This seminar will deal with the methods and results of the analysis of linguistic meaning as applied to German. There will be a course reader with various articles and excerpts from the literature.


German 375A (3) Seminar in Foreign Language Pedagogy: Teaching College German I. Euba
Focusing on the theory and practice of foreign language pedagogy, this course is designed to provide graduate students in German with knowledge and tools for their careers as teachers in the language classroom and beyond. While emphasizing critical reflection on pedagogical practices–-one’s own and that of others–-students will also be introduced to the field of Second Language Acquisition research and its relationship to pedagogy. This, along with the development of practices that promote continuing professional growth, should provide a basis for the ability to stay theoretically informed and to participate in the professional discourse of a rapidly developing field. Included in this course is a significant practical component addressing the day-to-day challenges of planning for and teaching the simultaneously offered elementary German language courses.


Dutch 1 (5) Elementary Dutch. Van Der Hoeven
Dutch language course for beginners. The focus of the course is on acquiring basic communicative competence in the language. That is, developing the ability to appropriately use the language (spoken as well as written) in authentic situations.

Dutch 110 (5) Advanced Dutch. Van Der Hoeven
The focus of this course is on reinforcing and expanding the patterns and vocabulary acquired in Dutch 2. All major grammar will be reviewed. Written and spoken proficiency will be improved.

Dutch 171AC (4) From Amsterdam to New York. Dewulf
A different look at the early colonial history of the United States from the perspective of the 17th century Dutch colony on Manhattan. No knowledge of Dutch required. SATISFIES AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT.


Yiddish 101 (5) Elementary Yiddish. Ingalls
This is an introduction to Yiddish language, literature, and culture. With particular focus on the basics of Yiddish grammar, we will develop reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills. In so doing, we will also have an opportunity to explore simple Yiddish songs, stories, and dialogues as reflections of Yiddish culture and history.

Yiddish 103 (5) Yiddish Literature. Chaver
"The Feminine Voice: 20th-Century Women's Yiddish Poetry". In traditional Jewish Culture, women were usually barred from the "masculine" fields of learning and literary activity. The spread of modern secular culture gave women an opportunity for self-realization. We will explore the transgressiveness, deceptive traditionalism and high modernism of poets such as Anna Margolin, Miriam Ulinover, Dvoyre Fogel, Rikuda Potash, and others. Readings are in Yiddish; secondary sources are in English. Prerequisite: Yiddish 101 and 102, or equivalent knowledge.