Featured Courses

Spring 2022:

Undergraduates welcome!
German 204 sec.002 (2 units)- Class Number: 30438
F 1-4pm in 282 Dwinelle Hall
Professor Karin Liebhart


The compact seminar is aimed at both graduate and advanced undergraduate students from all UC Berkeley Departments, who are interested in Austrian Studies, right-wing populist and far-right politics, political discourse and visual political communication. The seminar looks at recent trends and phenomena related to right­ wing party politics and civil society activism in Austria. The course also sheds light on how these developments are being reflected in political communication (political rhetoric, candidate and issue centered campaign material, social media communication of party representatives and political activists). Based on a condensed overview of right-wing politics, discourses and related imagery from the mid-1980s up to the present, the seminar puts special emphasis on the analysis of recent developments and significant examples. Topical, theoretical and methodological input provided by the instructor, in-dass group work based on assigned readings (app. 100 pages per week) and response papers (1 page), and discussion formats alternate. Participants will gain interdisciplinary insights into the subject and strengthen their topic related knowledge as well as theoretical and methodological expertise. They will trace discursive and visual communication of right-wing politics and identify relevant strategies such as repudiating pluralistic political concepts, appealing to stereotypes, scapegoating, turning minorities into problems and threats, constructing a homogeneous majority population, blaming the elites, and constructing the enemy within and abroad. While making oral and written arguments on several occasions, participants will also practice presentation and writing skills.

Undergraduates are welcome: workload and grading will be adjusted accordingly!

NOTE: This 5 week short seminar only meets for 5 Fridays from 04/01-04/29/22.

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German 103 (4 units)- Class Number: 27994
TuTh 2-3:30 in 206 Dwinelle Hall
Professor Tom Shannon

“Introduction to German Linguistics”
This course provides students with an overview of the major subfields of linguistics as they apply to German, covering the contemporary standard language, language history, variation and dialects. Gateway course for the undergraduate study of German linguistics. Required for German majors and minors. Taught in German.


German 256 (4 units)- Class Number: 32539
Tue 3-6pm in 282 Dwinelle Hall
Professor Lilla Balint

“Digital Literatures, Critical Practices”
This class enquires into forms of born-digital literature and critical practices that engage with them—or, in fact, resist them. To survey a broad range of literary examples, across different languages, the seminar is open to all students. Drawing on participants’ expertise in languages that may not be shared by all, the class will have an emphatic lab character that seeks to strengthen collaborative forms of critical work. The theoretical focus will lie on investigating to what extent our critical terms developed for non-digital forms of literature are applicable and useful when turning to new and emergent forms in digital environments. We will revisit prominent moments in literary theory—such as defamiliarization, the death of the author, aesthetic autonomy—to reexamine their relevance for born-digital texts. At the same time, emphasis will be on developing new critical concepts and practices for emergent forms of literature. How to (re-)theorize form, format, and platform? Moreover, we will dedicate ourselves to a close reading of reading; that is, to the particularities of reading that born-digital texts on different platforms command and/or frustrate. Readings by Armin Nassehi, Marjorie Perloff, Lutz Koepnick, Alan Liu, Kenneth Goldsmith, Jessica Pressman, Kathrin Passig, Boris Groys, among others. Reading knowledge of German is a plus but not required; reading assignments will be handled flexibly. Discussions, class work, and writing assignments will be in English. The class will also feature a series of conversations with producers, editors, and critics of digital literatures.