Graduate Seminars for Fall 2022

Content for Fall 2022

For all meeting days and times please see the Online Schedule of Classes.

German 202B (4) Classic German Literature. Tang

“Studies in Romanticism”.  This seminar will approach German romanticism from a variety of perspectives that have developed during the past decades, addressing issues such as political romanticism, green romanticism, romantic science, romantic media, and last but not least, romantic poetics and aesthetics. Readings include Fichte, Schlegel, Novalis, Hölderlin, Kleist, Hoffmann, and Wagner.

German 204 (2) Compact Seminar. Deuber-Mankowsky

“Habit and Habitation: On Walter Benjamin’s Media Asthetics and Philosophy of Technology”

In recent years, Walter Benjamin has become one of the most quoted media theorists. His philosophy of technology is not as widely known as the concept of aura he developed in his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility. The contemporary relevance of his philosophy of technology lies in the fact that Benjamin establishes a connection between technology and different forms of habitation, and between the latter and the concept of habit (Gewohnheit), which is etymologically related to the concept of habitation (Wohnen). This enables a comparison of Benjamin’s approach with the philosophies of technology developed by Heidegger, Deleuze/Guattari, and Simondon, all of whom associate technology with the shaping of environments and the problem of poesis. In our seminar, we will reconstruct Benjamin’s media anthropology of technology through a close reading of his diaries and essays and compare it to philosophies of technology very much being discussed today. Class will be taught in English. Majors and Minors may request special accommodation to take this course as “German taught”.  NOTE: This 2 unit seminar will only meet for 5 weeks from 08/26-09/23/2022.

German 207 (4) Methods.  Gokturk

“Interrogating the Archive”.  This introductory graduate seminar has several goals. First, it offers an introduction to methods of reading and writing in the Humanities. To this end, we will examine a variety of theoretical approaches including philology, discourse analysis, New Historicism, cultural memory, postcolonial studies, reception studies, media theory and digital humanities with case studies on drama, poetry and prose as well as audiovisual media. Second, the proseminar provides an orientation to the field of Germanistik / German studies, the history of the discipline, and a variety of debates within the field. Third, the proseminar offers students training necessary for academic work. Professionalization exercises and practical workshops to refine skills needed for graduate-level research are therefore a central part of this seminar. Fourth, the proseminar offers elements of guidance regarding determining your course of graduate study. You will learn how to pose questions to frame your topic, determine your material, articulate your methodology, present results, and, most importantly, explain the scope, implications, and consequences of your project to other scholars within or beyond your own field.

Parts of this seminar will be taught in conversation with colleagues from multiple universities and fields including film and media, literature, and history: Hilde Hoffmann (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Mary Jo Maynes (University of Minnesota), and Leslie Morris (University of Minnesota). This multi-sited format will allow for collaborations between students across disciplines. Our collaborative discussions will focus on interrogating archives, aiming to conceptualize interfaces between archival research, aesthetic production, and political action. We will ask what scholars in the Humanities can contribute to a key question of our time: what is the role of imagination in shaping scenarios of social cohesion and division with regard to shared pasts and futures?

German 270 (4) History of the German Language.  Shannon

“History of the German Language”. 
This course, which fulfills the core requirement in Linguistics for graduate students in our department, is designed for those interested in the history of the language and culture of the DACHL countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. The History of the German Language introduces students to the progress of German from the earliest times up to the modern period. The goal is to expand participants’ understanding and appreciation of the German language, its genetic affiliations and historical development, dialectal variation and the rise of the modern standard language. Presuming little or no background in linguistics, we will begin the semester with a discussion of language, its components and evolution, and linguistic variation and change, followed by consideration of German’s Indo-European origins. From there, discussion will progress through the various historical stages of the German language. Students will read short texts in the main historical forms of the language — Old Saxon, Old High German, Middle Low German, Middle High German and Early New High German. Along the way, we will look at some of the phonological and other changes that differentiate German from English, Dutch and related languages, and give the modern language its hallmark linguistic features and dialect differences. We will also examine the historical and cultural context in which German developed, noting the impact of important events, from Christianization to the Reformation, from courtly poetry to the invention of printing, on language use and standardization.


German 375A (4) 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.