Courses

Spring 2020 Featured Course

GERMAN 279 – Yiddish Literature and Culture in America

American literature has never been written in one language. While English has become dominant in the United States, there has been a long tradition of American literary and cultural production in other languages. This class focuses on the Jewish immigrant experience in Yiddish—a language that brings together German, Hebrew, Russian, Polish, Latin, Aramaic, and more. We will follow Yiddish culture from the beginning of the twentieth century until today as it has been supported, neglected, or imbued with nostalgia.

The questions driving our inquiry will be: What does it mean to translate America into Yiddish and what does it mean to translate Yiddish for America? Through the prism of cultural translation, we will explore how Jews writing in Yiddish navigated America as members of religious minority, identifying and analyzing points of Jewish-Christian difference. We will further investigate how Yiddish writers narrated the experiences of other minoritized groups, such as African Americans and Native Americans. How, we will ask, are hierarchical social relationships constructed in multi-ethnic and multi-lingual America? How, in turn, does the Jewish experience become and not become a paradigm of Americanization for subsequent communities of migrants? Throughout the course, we will also examine how some Yiddish writers translated classic American literature and social mores into Yiddish, while others sought to translate their own Yiddish, ethnic, and migrant experiences into English. Major terms to be discussed include: cultural translation, ethnicity, migration, “Melting Pot,” multilingualism, and assimilation.

MW 9:55-10:45 am               Instructor: Sunny Yudkoff 

Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic Courses

The Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic offers a range of courses. We teach more than a dozens languages, including Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Kazakh, Norwegian, Old Norse, Polish, Russian, Sami, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, Turkish, and Yiddish. Our courses explore cultures and literature from across the globe, from Iceland to Germany to Russia to Turkey. Study with GNS and see the world.

  • Questions regarding Undergraduate Courses can be directed to Joanna Schuth.
  • Questions regarding Graduate Courses can be directed to Mark Mears.
Undergraduates (left to right) Whitney Bauer, Molly DeLong, and Joanna Krystek study in the Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 26, 2007. DeLong is using the campus’s wireless network to connect her laptop computer to the Internet.
©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067
Photo by: Jeff Miller
Date: 04/07 File#: D200 digital camera frame 5694

 

Spring 2020 GNS Courses

For the most up-to-date listings of courses offered by German, Nordic, and Slavic please see the Course Guide under the subject headings GERMAN, SCAND ST, SLAVIC, GNS, FOLKLORE, and LITTRANS (Literature in Translation).

Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic Course Descriptions for Spring 2020:

GNS (includes Turkish and Kazakh courses) Course Descriptions

German and Dutch Course Descriptions

Scandinavian Studies Course Descriptions

Slavic Course Descriptions

Folklore Course Descriptions

For more information on courses please contact our Undergraduate Advisor Joanna Schuth.

For course descriptions from previous semesters click on the “Course History” tab.

Fall 2019 GNS Courses

For the most up-to-date listings of courses offered by German, Nordic, and Slavic please see the Course Guide under the subject headings GERMAN, SCAND ST, SLAVIC, and LITTRANS (Literature in Translation), and for Turkish and Kazakh courses see LCA LANG listings. In the fall, GNS will offer introductory (first semester) courses in the following languages: Czech, Danish, Finnish, German, Modern Icelandic, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish. We will offer intermediate and advanced courses in these and other languages, including Polish and Serbo-Croatian.

German, Nordic, and Slavic Course Descriptions for Fall 2019:

GNS course descriptions

German and Dutch course descriptions

Scandinavian Studies course descriptions

Slavic course descriptions

Kazakh and Turkish course descriptions (GNS Listings)

Folklore course descriptions

All First Semester Language Offerings

For more information on courses please contact our Undergraduate Advisor Joanna Schuth.

For course descriptions from previous semesters click on the “Course History” tab.

Students seeking to enroll in Directed Study courses for German, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic, or GNS must complete a Directed Study Form. Students should complete the form in conversation with the instructor with whom they plan to take the course. In most cases, students will not be authorized to enroll in a Directed Study courses until they have completed and submitted the form to our graduate or undergraduate advisors.