German Courses Spring 2022

  • GERMAN 101 - First Semester German

    (4 credits)

    • SEC 001: MTWRF 8:50 am – 9:40 am
    • SEC 002: MTWRF 11:00 am – 11:50 am
    • SEC 003: MWR 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

    Course Description: German 101/401 is an introductory course designed for beginners in German who have no previous knowledge of the German language. By the end of the first semester, you should be able to communicate effective with others in German on a variety of topics, such as personal and public identity, family, education, career goals, and sport culture. This class will expose you to authentic texts from a variety of sources in different genres and modes, for you to develop your reading, viewing, and listening skills and engage in critical thinking. Grammar and vocabulary will be introduced in context. Assessments focus on all skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). Throughout the semester, you will learn more about yourself and deepen your linguistic and culture knowledge of the German-speaking world. You will also improve your language-learning strategies. To be successful and achieve course learning outcomes, you will be expected to complete homework on time and participate in class. Attendance is required. This course cannot be audited. The textbook, Augenblicke: German through Film, Media, and Texts, is available at the UW Book Store for $40 and will be used in first-, second-, and third-semester German. Contact the course supervisor, Dr. Jeanne Schueller (jmschuel@wisc.edu), with any questions about the course or appropriate placement.

    Prerequisites: None.

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 401.)

  • GERMAN 102 - Second Semester German

    (4 credits)

    • SEC 001: MTWRF 9:55 am – 10:45 am
    • SEC 002: MTWRF 10:05 pm – 12:55 pm
    • SEC 003: MTWRF 2:25 pm – 3:15 pm
    • SEC 004: MWR 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

    Course Description: German 102/402 is a continuation of German 101. Students need to have completed German 101 or achieve an appropriate score on the placement exam to enroll. By the end of the second semester, you should be able to communicate effective with others in German on a variety of topics, such as sport and fitness culture, travel, technological innovations, and migration. This class will expose you to authentic texts from a variety of sources in different genres and modes, for you to develop your reading, viewing, and listening skills and engage in critical thinking. Grammar and vocabulary will be introduced in context. Assessments focus on all skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). Throughout the semester, you will learn more about yourself and deepen your linguistic and culture knowledge of the German-speaking world. You will also improve your language-learning strategies. To be successful and achieve course learning outcomes, you will be expected to complete homework on time and participate in class. Attendance is required. This course cannot be audited. The textbook, Augenblicke: German through Film, Media, and Texts, is available at the UW Book Store for $40 and will be used in first-, second-, and third-semester German. Contact the course supervisor, Dr. Jeanne Schueller (jmschuel@wisc.edu), with any questions about the course or appropriate placement. 

     Prerequisites: GERMAN 101 or appropriate score on the placement exam. Open to first-year students. 

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 402.)

  • GERMAN 112 - Second Semester Dutch

    (4 credits)

    MTWR 9:55 am – 10:45 am

    Course Description: Continuation of GERMAN 111/GERMAN 311. All required course materials will be provided.

    Prerequisites: GERMAN 111 or appropriate score on the placement exam. Open to First-Year Students.

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 312.)

  • GERMAN 203 - Third Semester German

    (4 credits)

    • SEC 001: MTWR 11:00 am – 11:50 am
    • SEC 002: MW 3:00 pm – 5:10 pm

    Course Description: German 203/403 is designed to give you the opportunity to explore language as it is embedded in the culture. You will explore mostly contemporary but also historical aspects of the cultures of the German-speaking world through a journey through major cities and regions of Austria, Germany, or Switzerland. This course will review main grammar concepts from first-year German, but prior knowledge of these concepts is assumed. You need to have completed German 102 or achieve an appropriate score on the placement exam to enroll. Testing consists of chapter quizzes – there is no midterm or traditional final exam. You will complete writing and reading assessments, as well as oral projects. During the second half of the semester, you will sign up for a “mini- seminar” of your choice. These weeklong seminars substitute for regular class meetings and permit students to explore specific interests in German language, linguistics, literature, and culture/history. Class participation is expected, and attendance is required. This course cannot be audited. See the UW Book Store for required materials. The same textbook is used in third- and fourth-semester German. Contact the course supervisor, Dr. Jeanne Schueller (jmschuel@wisc.edu), with any questions about the course or appropriate placement.  

    Prerequisites: GERMAN 102 or appropriate score on the placement exam. Open to First-Year Students. 

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 403.)

  • GERMAN 204 - Fourth Semester German

    (4 credits)

    • SEC 001: MTWR 9:55 am – 10:45 am
    • SEC 002: MTWR 11:00 am – 11:50 am
    • SEC 003: MW 3:00 pm – 5:10 pm

    Course Description: German 204/404 is a continuation of German 203. You need to have completed German 203 or achieve an appropriate score on the placement exam to enroll. This course reviews German grammar but prior knowledge of these concepts is assumed. The course is designed to give you the opportunity to explore language as it is embedded in the culture. You will explore mostly contemporary but also historical aspects of the cultures of the German-speaking world through a journey through major cities and regions of Austria, Germany, or Switzerland. Testing consists of chapter quizzes – there is no midterm or traditional final exam. You will complete writing and reading assessments, as well as oral projects. During the second half of the semester, you will sign up for a “mini- seminar” of your choice. These weeklong seminars substitute for regular class meetings and permit students to explore specific interests in German language, linguistics, literature, and culture/history. Class participation is expected, and attendance is required. This course cannot be audited. See the UW Book Store for required materials. The same textbook is used in third- and fourth-semester German. Contact the course supervisor, Dr. Jeanne Schueller (jmschuel@wisc.edu), with any questions about the course or appropriate placement. 

     Prerequisites: GERMAN 203 or appropriate score on placement exam. Open to First-Year Students. 

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 404.)

  • GERMAN 214 - Fourth Semester Dutch

    (4 credits)

    MTWR 12:05 pm – 12:55 PM

    Course Description: Continuation of GERMAN 213/313. All required course materials will be provided.

    (This course is also offered to graduate students for 3 credits as GERMAN 314.)

  • GERMAN 249 - Intermediate German: Speaking and Listening

    (3 credits)

    • SEC 001: MWF 12:05 pm – 12:55 pm          Instructor: Julie Larson-Guenette
    • SEC 002: MWF 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm              Instructor: Katerina Somers

    Course Description: This course serves as a cultural and linguistic geography of German-speaking regions of the world. Drawing on contemporary audio and video materials, students will deepen their appreciation of German as a diverse spoken language by recognizing how speakers vary their use of sound structures, vocabulary, and grammar according to social situations. Two important components of this course are explicit instruction of the sounds of German (phonetics) and communication strategies that will support students’ abilities to effectively participate in conversation as active listeners and speakers of German. 

  • GERMAN 258 - Intermediate German: Reading

    (3 credits)

    • SEC 001: MWF 8:50 am – 9:40 am
    • SEC 002: MWF 9:55 am -10:45 am          Instructor: Jeanne Schueller

    Course Description: This course is designed to acquaint you with German literary, cultural, and historical texts and provide an overview of cultural developments in German-speaking countries. An important goal of this course is to offer explicit instruction on reading strategies to help students improve their comprehension of a range of texts. In German 258, you will recognize different genres (text types) and identify applicable reading strategies; implement critical reading skills for reading and comprehending different genres and written registers; identify, define, and implement vocabulary related to the topics covered in class; situate a text within its cultural and historical contexts in the German-speaking world; demonstrate the ability to read autonomously; and select and interpret a text based on individual academic interests. Two books and a course pack are required and can be purchased at the UW Book Store. All other materials will be available on Canvas. 

  • GERMAN 262 - Intermediate German: Writing

    (3 credits)

    • SEC 001: TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am
    • SEC 002: TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

    Course Description: Fairytales, murder mysteries, film reviews, and … resumes? Welcome to Intermediate German Writing! In this class, students will expand and enhance their writing skills in German by exploring a variety of different text types and genres reflecting the diversity of the German-speaking world. Daily course participation will involve active in-class discussion as well as collaborative and individual writing activities. Learners will work with authentic texts, music, and film, and they will also engage with synonyms, regional variations, and register to develop the skills to express themselves effectively and creatively in German. Through the composition of a variety of text types, from the practical to the fanciful, course participants will expand their individual comfort zone and improve their own communication skills as well as comprehension of written texts. Materials and in-class discussions will be in German. 

  • GERMAN 272 - Nazi Culture

    (3 credits)

    MW 12:05 pm – 12:55 pm (+ discussion section)          Instructor: Pamela Potter

    Course Description: Was Nazi Germany the incarnation of evil in the modern world? Did its culture consist only of propaganda? How did everyday Germans conduct their lives in the Third Reich? This course introduces students to the conditions that led to the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933 and then examines how Nazi policies influenced daily life. We will consider both the culture of everyday life – gender relations, religion, education, consumer culture –and the more traditional domains of high and low culture: music, theater, film, radio, art, architecture, and literature. The course aims to identify common misconceptions about life and culture in Nazi Germany, to gain a deeper understanding of the workings of its cultural policy and use of media, and to assess whether there is anything we can identify as a distinct “Nazi culture.”  

    All readings are in English and will be available on Canvas. There will be a mid-term and final examination, as well as additional weekly assignments due in the sections.  The honors section, taught by Professor Potter, is open to students in the honors program. 

  • GERMAN 275 - Kafka and the Kafkaesque

    (3 credits)

    TR 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm          Instructor: Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge

    Course Description: Singing mice, torture machines, academic monkeys, bureaucracies run amok, and of course giant insects: Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is an author whose impact on world literature cannot be overestimated. He is perhaps the only German-language author whose has become an adjective–and certainly the only German-language author with an imaginary airport named after him by The Onion!  In this course, we will engage with Kafka’s puzzling, challenging, and frequently very funny works as well as the international body of authors, visual artists, musicians, and film-makers he has inspired, from My First Kafka to Orson Welles, Yoko Tawada to graphic novelists Peter Kuper and David Zane Mairowitz. Following Kafka’s wide-ranging interests, we’ll divide his works and the works of other “Kafkaesque” authors into 5 themes: work, law, colonialism, animals, and the absurd. 

    Because Kafka inspires such strong responses from thinkers, artists, and activists, the main assignments in this course ask you to “write,” “make,” and “do”—that is, write a paper on how the works have changed your thinking, make an artistic response to one of the works (film, music, painting, graphic novel, digital art…), and take an action to change one of the systems in which you find yourself, whether politically, in the institution of the university, or in broader social/cultural life. You’ll share each assignment with your fellow students and discuss what you chose and how you did it, bringing Kafka out of the classroom and into the world. 

    Authors/directors include: Sharon Dodua Otoo, Boots Riley, Yoko Tawada, Virginia Woolf, Hiyao Miyazaki, Haruki Murakami, Annette von Droste Hülshoff, Michael Götting, Jordan Peele, and W.G. Sebald. 

  • GERMAN 276 - Grimm to Gryffindor: German Fairytales Reimagined

    (3 credits)

    MWF 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm          Instructor: Melissa Sheedy

    Course Description: From wolves to witches, Rumpelstiltskin to Rapunzel, the German fairy-tale tradition is filled with rich imagery, familiar themes, and political and social subversion. Of enduring popularity and as constant subjects of reimagination and revitalization, German tales and their retellings serve as a unique lens through which to view the social, political, and cultural contexts in which they were produced. Through these texts, we will glimpse the underlying perceptions and values regarding family, gender, nation, nature, religion, and society, both in the first half of the 19th century and in the Germany of the last 25 years. With an eye to depictions of gender and gender roles as well as to conceptions of the environment and civilization, we will critically engage with these works and contextualize them within the social and political landscapes that shaped them. Our investigations will center on tales and their retellings in a variety of forms, with a special focus on fairytales by women writers. In recognizing and analyzing the Märchen’s influences in literature, art, music, poetry, and pop culture, we will begin to appreciate the fairy-tale’s enduring legacy and its place within German literary and cultural history. This course counts as a cognate course for the German major. 

  • GERMAN 276 - Global Migrants & Refugees in Literature and Film

    (3 credits)

    TR 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm          Instructor: B. Venkat Mani

    Course Description: You’ve been reading about refugees and migrants on social media and in the news, but don’t know where to start? You have some familiarity with the topic but want to engage with it through literature, film, and music on a global scale? Then this is a course for you.  The main aim of this course is to discuss how migrants and refugees shape and transform the world we live in.  

    Migration continues to be a highly contested topic in the world today. In 2016 the number of people living outside nations of their birth was highest in recorded human history. For 2020, the United Nations’ High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates 82.4 million forcibly displaced people around the world. The Covid-19 global pandemic brought new challenges. Humans living in refugee camps, detention centers, or simply separated from their loved ones due to closing of international travel were impacted all over the world. The proliferation of refugees and stateless people in the world has coincided with the resurgence of exclusive nationalism, and divisive rhetoric centered on securing and insulating borders. In Europe and North America, immigration has defined the demographic make-up of specific nations for centuries. Especially since the end of the Second World War, waves of mass-migration have had a major impact on politics, society, and culture, giving rise to forms of aesthetic expression in literature, film, and music. 

    In this course, we will give human faces to statistics through their stories. We will engage with “migration” as a concept and a lived reality of our world, as a social, cultural, political, and historical phenomenon. In addition to discussing migration as a journey from the nation of birth to the adopted nation of residence we will discuss migration as a multidirectional, multi-lingual movement of ideas. The focus of our course will be migration into Germany, but we will compare and contrast it with migrations into US and UK.  

    What is so special about the German migration history in the 20th century? How does migration change the social fabric of Germany and other European nations? How has migration enriched literature, culture, music, food, and sports? How do racial, ethnic, religious, and other forms of discrimination pose challenges to inclusion of German/ European migrant subjects? What is the difference between willful and forced migration? How do we understand refugee narratives? These and other questions will be central to this course.  

    We will discuss how the understanding of migration in the Euro-American world has changed in the 20th and 21st  centuries. We will analyze how migration as an experience is manifested in literature, cinema, and music, and how issues of identities and difference, tolerance and acceptance, nationalism and cosmopolitanism form and inform societies today. Most importantly, we will explore how categories such as home and elsewhere, the self and the other, belonging and cultural citizenship find expression in contemporary nations. 

  • GERMAN 278 - Berlin-Istanbul Connections

    (3 credits)

    MW 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm          Instructor: Nâlân Erbil Erkan

    Course Description: Love Berlin and Istanbul but cannot travel? Here is a course for you! This course is about two great cities: one entirely in Europe and one half in Europe and half in Asia. Berlin and Istanbul are connected by histories of political power, cultural exchange, and in the twentieth century by Turkish migration into Germany. The course starts with post WWII guest worker movement into West Germany and spans what is now the fourth generation of Turkish-Germans making Berlin the third largest Turkish city in the world after Ankara and Istanbul. 

     We will focus on Turkish-German food such as Döner kebab, Turkish-German rap and hip-hop, films, literature, sports (soccer), and social media influencers from the Turkish-German community. The course will offer students the opportunity to understand how the Turkish presence has influenced and transformed the German-speaking world and more generally how migration from outside Europe shapes the cultures of European cities. 

    To this end, we will watch and discuss films like Kebab Connection, artists such as Eko Fresh, film makers such as Fatih Akın, controversial soccer players such as Mesut Özil and many more. Berlin and Istanbul will form the backdrop of our course.  

    All materials will either be in English translations or with English subtitles. Lectures and discussions will be in English. Prior knowledge of German and Turkish appreciated but not required. This course may be counted as a cognate toward the German major. 

  • GERMAN 285 - Intermediate Intensive (Honors) German: Language, Culture, Texts

    (6 credits)

    MWF 9:55 am – 11:50 am          Instructor: Melissa Sheedy

    Course Description: Fairytales, murder mysteries, graphic novels, and pop music … Welcome to Intermediate Intensive (Honors) German! In this class, students will expand and enhance their reading and writing skills in German by exploring a variety of different text types and genres. Daily course participation will involve active in-class discussion as well as collaborative and individual writing activities. Learners will work with authentic texts, music, advertisements, and film reflecting the diversity of the German-speaking world, and they will engage with topics such as identity and culture, science and technology, and crime and punishment to develop the skills to express themselves creatively and effectively in German. In tandem with a focus on proficiency in writing, students will also work with and develop strategies to make reading in German enjoyable and valuable. Through the reading and composition of a variety of text types, from the practical to the fanciful, course participants will expand their individual comfort zones and improve their own communication skills as well as comprehension of written texts. Materials and in-class discussions will be in German. 

  • GERMAN 325 - Topics in Dutch Literature: "De familie, geheimen"

    (3 credits)

    TR 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm          Instructor: Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

    Course Description: What makes a family? How can the family support its members, and how do they construct a collective identity? What factors make or a break a family? (Genetics? Shared history? Love? Commitment? Compassion? Shared values? ….) We will analyze well-known, (mostly) recent Dutch novels and films, to discuss their portrayals of different kinds of wonderful and horrible families, and the many kinds of love, joy, intrigue, mystery, and disaster that can occur.  

    As we read and discuss these novels and films, we will consider the role in general of the family in human culture, and we will consider the status of the family in Dutch cultures. Doing so will enable you to learn about diverse citizens of the Netherlands. We will also consider not just which issues the authors of these texts raise and what they say about them, but also how: what literary techniques do authors use to craft these texts, and what do the effects they fashion allow them—and the reader—to accomplish? And because looking at foreign/other families can help put one’s own experience into perspective, our discussions will allow each of us to reflect on and refine or further integrate our own views and values as they pertain to relationships, personhood, and our ideals and responsibilities as members of families and as citizens. 

  • GERMAN 352 - German as a Global Language

    (3 credits)

    MWF 11:00 am – 11:50 am          Instructor: Mark Louden

    Course Description: Although German-speaking countries were never major colonial powers, the German language was nonetheless brought to diverse parts of the world by immigrants. In this course we will consider the status of German in countries in which it is still actively spoken as a minority language: in North and South America, Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, and in Africa. We will analyze both socio- and structural linguistic aspects of the German (descended) varieties to identify similarities and differences. Of special importance will be the effects of language contact. Specific varieties we will investigate include Mennonite Low German, Brazilian Pomeranian, Pennsylvania Dutch, Hutterite German, Amish Swiss German, and Namibian German. Finally, we will compare the cases we discuss with the situation of German-speaking minorities in Italy, Belgium, and Denmark.

    All course materials will be provided on Canvas. This course will be taught in German.

    The main prerequisite for this course is having completed 249, 258, and 262 or the equivalent of 9 credits of third-year German before spring 2022.

  • GERMAN 362/385 - Musik in der deutschen Literatur

    (3 credits)

    TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm          Instructor: Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge

    Course Description: German culture is justifiably famous for its music: Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, and others fill concert halls around the world centuries after their deaths. And authors and artists today experiment with the boundaries between sound and text in spoken word, hip hop, and jazz. So it is no surprise that authors in the German-speaking world have been inspired by these musical trends and eras. This class will focus on the music IN literature across several historical eras. How do writers use music or musical ideas to express their passions, problems, and ideas? Does it shape their texts? Does music make more sense as a plot element in a short story than in a poem? Can a poem be more easily structured like a piece of music than a novel? We will reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of such interdisciplinary projects so that students can extend these considerations into their own work and across other media. Students are not required to have a music theory background or be able to read a score; this class will develop vocabulary for discussing musical works. You should be ready to do lots of listening, and you will also be asked to search for music that you think represents imaginary music in the texts. We will read texts in all genres from the 18th to the 20th century by authors including Franz Kafka, May Ayim, Bertolt Brecht, Amewu Nove Else Lasker-Schüler, and Paul Celan; our musical references include Beethoven, Mozart, Hindemith, Shostakovich, Bach, Paganini, and Wagner—and composers and authors brought in by students! You will have the opportunity to work out your ideas about the relationship between language and music and its impact on German culture in several (longer and shorter essays) and will be able to try out you adaptation skills in a creative project (one of: composing the imaginary music in a story, creating a “third translation” of a musical or literary text into a visual medium, or writing your own work inspired by a piece of music). Class participation is an essential part of your grade: you should be in class prepared and ready to challenge the way you think of language, music, and what it means to SAY something! 

    Honors students in this course should enroll under GER 385.

  • GERMAN 372 - Deutscher Film, deutsche Kultur

    (3 credits)

    MWF 12:05 pm – 12:55 pm          Instructor: Jeanne Schueller

    Course Description: This course is designed to broaden your knowledge of German culture through the analysis and interpretation of film. We will consider the historical and cultural contexts of each film and read thematically related fiction and non-fiction texts. The course will introduce you to several critically acclaimed German films that explore a range of topics and genres. I will provide you with materials to help you better understand the films, but I am also interested in your reactions to them – what you enjoy, how they make you feel, what you discover about the German-speaking world, and what you learn about yourself through the process and the semester. Film-specific terminology and aspects of film analysis will be introduced at the beginning of the semester to facilitate our discussion of the films. The films and readings will be in German. Some films have German or English subtitles, and others are in German with no subtitles. Assessments will include regular assignments on Canvas; short reflective writing assignments; a film review and an in-class presentation of a film; and active participation. Partner, small-group, and whole-class discussions will be in German. Class materials will be available for download from Canvas. Feature-length films will be viewed outside of class; some short films will be viewed together in class.

  • GERMAN 372 - Briefe als Medium

    (3 credits)

    MWF 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm          Instructor: Julie Larson-Guenette

    Course Description: In the era of smartphones, email, text messages, and status updates, letter writing may seem outdated, or even considered a “lost art”. But hashtags such as #snailmailrevolution and #penpalswanted suggest a renewed and growing interest in letter writing. As cultural artifacts, letters present us with a unique lens to experience the thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of individuals while revealing linguistic, social and historical insights of a given time and place. In this course, we will survey the rich tradition of letter writing among German-speakers with content centered on three main areas of inquiry: 1) the genre of the letter along with sociolinguistic and stylistic norms associated with letter-writing; 2) letters as a medium for sustained correspondence between individuals (Briefwechsel) and 3) letters as literary devices within texts. Course language (readings, class sessions, and assignments) is German with some supplementary resources in English. Course requirements including assessment criteria will consist of in-class participation, bi-weekly graded assignments, vocabulary quizzes, and a presentation of a final (individualized) project. 

  • GERMAN 372 - Flucht, Exil, Heimat

    (3 credits)

    TR 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm          Instructor: Sabine Mödersheim

    Course Description: In diesem Seminar lesen wir ausgewählte Beispiele deutschsprachiger Texte zum Thema Flucht, Exil, Heimat. Seit 2015 sind knapp eine Million Geflüchtete in Deutschland angekommen. Sie treffen auf Helfer, die oft selbst Fluchterfahrung der Kriegs-und Nachkriegszeit haben. Wir werden auf diesem Hintergrund untersuchen, wie die Gegenwartsliteratur sich zurückbezieht auf das literarische Exil deutschsprachiger AutorInnen zwischen 1933 und 1950 und welche Auseinandersetzungen mit Fragen nach Heimat, Zugehörigkeit, Sprache und Kultur sich darin spiegeln.

  • GNS 375 - God and Money

    (3 credits)

    TR 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm          Instructor: Adam Stern

    Course Description: What is the relationship between “God” and “money”? Why is the market guided by an “invisible hand”? And who in heaven and earth decided to stamp the dollar bill with the phrase: “In God we trust”? These questions will guide us as we explore the relationship between capitalism and religion. From Karl Marx to Walmart, and from the factory to the cubicle, we will think about the recurring interaction of these two seemingly separate domains. Did religion sow the seeds of capitalism? Does it support the reproduction of social inequalities, unjust labor practices, and exploitative economies? How have religious traditions and practices contributed to the critique of capitalism and the culture it created? Areas covered include classical social theories of religion and capitalism; contemporary examples of religious practice and capital accumulation; and the relationship between religious movements and social-economic justice. 

    GNS 375: God and Money counts as a cognate course toward the German major. Taught in English.

  • GERMAN 392 - German for Graduate Reading Knowledge II

    (3 credits)

    TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm          Instructor: Salvatore Calomino

    Course Description: This course providesfurther practice in reading and translating German expository prose in a variety of fields. At the start of the semester a review of both grammatical and syntactical topics vital to progress in reading will be combined with a discussion of selected chapters in R.A. Korb, Jannach’s German for Reading Knowledge. During the balance of the semester specific reading will be made available through both photocopy and internet sources. The goal for all participants will be enhanced practice and confidence in reading German at various levels of both scholarly and journalistic prose, in addition to developing a focus in reading for their specific research areas.

  • GERMAN 625 - Letterkunde der Lage Landen: "De familie, geheimen"

    (4 credits)

    TR 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm (+ discussion section)         Instructor: Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

    Course Description: What makes a family? How can the family support its members, and how do they construct a collective identity? What factors make or a break a family? (Genetics? Shared history? Love? Commitment? Compassion? Shared values? ….) We will analyze well-known, (mostly) recent Dutch novels and films, to discuss their portrayals of different kinds of wonderful and horrible families, and the many kinds of love, joy, intrigue, mystery, and disaster that can occur.  

    As we read and discuss these novels and films, we will consider the role in general of the family in human culture, and we will consider the status of the family in Dutch cultures. Doing so will enable you to learn about diverse citizens of the Netherlands. We will also consider not just which issues the authors of these texts raise and what they say about them, but also how: what literary techniques do authors use to craft these texts, and what do the effects they fashion allow them—and the reader—to accomplish? And because looking at foreign/other families can help put one’s own experience into perspective, our discussions will allow each of us to reflect on and refine or further integrate our own views and values as they pertain to relationships, personhood, and our ideals and responsibilities as members of families and as citizens.

  • GERMAN 651 - Introduction to Middle High German

    (3 credits)

    TR 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm        Instructor: Salvatore Calomino

    Course Description: This course will introduce students to Middle High German grammar and vocabulary with the goals of fluency and accuracy in reading medieval texts. Lectures and discussions will cover topics in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. During the course of the semester students will read Das Nibelungenliedand a representative selection from various genres of Middle High German literature. Class time will be devoted to translation and to discussion of grammatical/lexical topics. Participants will write mid-semester and final examinations. Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of German.Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • GERMAN 676/683 - Advanced Seminar in German: Kulturstadt Berlin

    (3 credits)

    M 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm        Instructor: Sonja Klocke

    Course Description: Feel like visiting Berlin and enjoying what this exciting city has to offer – but cannot travel? We will make it happen this spring 2022! I invite you to join me on this virtual trip to the cultural center of Germany, to Berlin. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, cultural events that take place (also) in an online format have proliferated. This allows us to visit a great variety of centers of culture in Berlin and to experience what they have to offer first-hand. We can go to see a play in a famous Berlin theater; stop at exciting museums and take tours, for example at he the Holocaust Memorial; go to readings of the most famous contemporary authors the various Literaturhäuser (literature houses) have to offer, which includes well-established authors as well as those who only arrived in Germany a few years ago and featured by the project Weiter Schreiben (Writing On); take a tour of the illustrious new synagogue in Berlin; learn about how the cultures of the world relate to Berlin at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Haus of the Cultures of the World); and visit cultural sites in Berlin streets that remind us, for example, of Germany’s colonial history or the division of the city between 1961 and 1989. This “trip” allows you to encounter these sites in Berlin and the most relevant topics of debate firsthand. In our discussions, we will learn how cultural products and the way authors, filmmakers, intellectuals and every-day citizens talk about these cultural products in Berlin form contemporary German identity – always in flux. All materials should be available online or will be made available on canvas. 

    Honors students in this course should enroll under GER 683.

  • GERMAN 727 - Where in the Academic World is SLA?

    (3 credits)

    TR 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm        Instructor: Monika Chavez

    Course Description: I was among the first in my field (‘German’) in the United States who was able to complete an ‘applied linguistics’ degree within a language (rather than an education or linguistics) department. Already then, the various entanglements of Second Language Acquisition as a field within the academic landscape became apparent to me. Even the name of the field was (Applied Linguistics, Language Pedagogy, Second Language Acquisition?) – and continues to be (are ‘second’, ‘language’, and ‘acquisition’ even meaningful or acceptable concepts?) – contested. Looking back, I realize that much has changed – and much has stayed the same: In terms of how the field of Second Language Acquisition has – depending on context – emerged as independent, interdisciplinary, or very much dependent on the goodwill of others; what areas of academic territory are gladly shared, which contested, and which prohibited within certain academic contexts; how academics – who are not engaged in the field – interpret what Second Language Acquisition is, does, and ought (not) to do; how those who are in the field, have demanded, celebrated, and rejected various ‘turns’; how major research conferences have emerged and SLA-focused research journals have multiplied, all accompanied by growing methodological, theoretical, and philosophical divisions; how SLA has developed out of related yet by now very distinct fields such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and education – to which SLA now entertains somewhat complex relationships; how the academic landscape remains indebted to traditions that are reluctant to make room for  ‘newcomers,’ even if they are close to half a century old; how the relationship between the teaching of culture & language on the one hand and SLA research on the other, has become characterized by contradictory and ambiguous attitudes that include affinity, inter-dependence, shared (real or perceived) suffering at the hands of other academic specializations, mild mutual disdain, and real or feigned ignorance of what each does, knows, and wants; and with what consequences matters of teaching as well as SLA theory, orthodoxy, and research agenda have become wedded to the dominant focus on the global language English. 

    Now that my faculty career is heading into its final stages, I would like to take stock together with those who are about to enter the profession. In this course, we will chart (not follow) the development/s of the field, its tenuous and firm footholds, its self- and other-perceptions, and the tangible and intangible dis/regard with which is held within academic structures. More than just an exercise motivated by curiosity, this course aims to enable participants to structure informed debates about the work that they do and would like to do; to envision and then articulate the full potential of the field; and to engage with colleagues inside and outside the field about areas of expertise and collaboration. 

    As part of course activities, we will read and discuss first-hand historic as well as contemporary accounts of researchers in SLA who share or insist on their perspectives of what the field is and is not and what activities, thoughts, or affiliations its adherents should or should not engage in. We will also analyze – through hands-on work – how and why specific research journals have emerged; how & why preferred research topics and methods have evolved within the same journal; how, why, and with effects ‘trends’ develop among research journals, conferences, dissertation topics; and how increasing demands on readers’ research literacy – largely not supported by a parallel change in graduate training –  has separated non-specialists (even those who teach language) from the work of SLA researchers.  We will also examine academic structures and their practical & ideological consequences for the field of SLA as well as those who work in it. Course participants will also engage in interviews and surveys to gauge diverse perspectives on and from within the field. Guest speakers will enhance the spectrum of opinions and experiences that we will be able to engage with.

  • GERMAN 755 - Old High German

    (3 credits)

    M 3:30 pm – 5:25 pm        Instructor: Katerina Somers

    Course Description: This course introduces students to the German language’s first historical attestations from the eighth and ninth centuries. Collectively these varieties are referred to as Old High German (OHG). We will examine OHG’s sounds, morphology and syntax. We will also consider the unique cultural context in which these texts were produced. The Early Middle Ages is an important period of transition for the German language in that until that point, literate German speakers wrote exclusively in Latin, while their vernacular had no written form and existed only as sound. Thus, the texts of the OHG corpus are the first evidence of the literalization of the German language. We will consider how the oral tradition and the Latinate tradition of literacy influenced their production. 

  • GERMAN 804 - Interdisciplinary Western European Area Studies Seminar

    (3 credits)

    W 3:30 pm – 5:25 pm        Instructor: B. Venkat Mani

    Course Description: We are living, once again, in times of forced migrations and refuge. For the year 2020, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimated that there were 82.4 million forcibly displaced people around the world—the highest number on record since the two World Wars. The proliferation of refugees and stateless people in the world has coincided with the resurgence of ethno-religious nationalism and divisive rhetoric centered on securing and insulating borders. The closing of international borders and the massive restrictions on visa processes amid the global coronavirus pandemic, all under the guise of protecting national public health and safety, is just the latest indication of the uncertain journey ahead for migrants and refugees around the world.  

    At this conflict-ridden and volatile moment at the beginning of the third decade of the twenty-first century, in this seminar we will engage with a variety of texts and historical contexts in the twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries that led to the creation of exiles, migrants, and refugees.  

    How do historical moments of forced migration and refuge impact our understanding of national and world literatures? How does an engagement with exilic and refugee figures broaden and deepen our comprehension of world literature? How does reading history and literature together enrich our understanding of aesthetic and political representations?  These questions will serve as catalysts for our seminar, as we explore the position and ambition of the novel as part of refugee narratives.  

    The aim of the seminar is threefold. First, by engaging with conceptual histories of the terms “exiles,” “migrants,” and “refugees,” we will develop a differentiated understanding of “willful” and “forced” migrations. Second, by juxtaposing German/European case studies with those from Asia and Africa, we will try to cultivate a global framework of literary and historical comparison. And third, by locating narratives of exiles, migrants, and refugees at the intersection of “world literature” and “global history”—two terms that have gained traction in the twenty-first century scholarship—we will locate fault lines of race, ethnicity, sexuality, language, and religion in histories of colonialism and globalization.  

    The course is offered in ENGLISH. All texts and discussions will be in ENGLISH. Knowledge of other world languages is most welcome.  

    Readings for the seminar include texts by thinkers and political theorists such as Hannah Arendt, Urvashi Butalia, Edward Said; historians such as Mark Mazower, Sebastian Conrad, Patrick Manning; theorists such Debjani Ganguly, Lital Levy, Aamir Mufti; and literary authors such as Anita Desai, Jenny Erpenbeck, Viet Thanh Ngyuen, and Abdulrazak Gurnah (2021 Nobel Prize in Literature). By considering historiographical and literary texts together, we will explore how authors and artists engage with historical events, and subvert, resist, or challenge dominant official narratives by providing alternative, “unauthorized” accounts.  

  • GERMAN 947 - Seminar in German Literature and Culture: Kultur und Oekologie

    (3 credits)

    M 3:30 pm – 5:25 pm        Instructor: Sabine Mödersheim

    Course Description: Natur und Umwelt spielen in der Literatur sowie in der Philosophie und den kulturellen Traditionen des deutschsprachigen Raums eine herausragende Rolle – vom Naturbegriff im Mittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit, in Aufklärung und Romantik bis zum wachsenden Bewußtsein des menschlichen Eingriffs in das Gleichgewicht der Natur, Umweltverschmutzung und -zerstörung sowie dystopischen und utopischen Entwürfen der Zukunft des Planeten im Anthropozän.  

    In diesem Kurs untersuchen wir ökokritische Modelle der Germanistik und Kulturwissenschaft und kontextualisieren Umweltthemen und das steigende gesellschaftliche Interesse an Fragen zur Ökologie und Nachhaltigkeit in deutschsprachiger Literatur, Film und Kunst. Dabei spielen z. B. auch Themenbereiche wie Migration und Dekolonisierung eine wichtige Rolle. 

  • GERMAN 960 - Seminar in German Linguistics: Deutsch als Globale Sprache

    (3 credits)

    MW 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm        Instructor: Mark Louden

    Course Description: Obwohl deutschsprachige Länder in der Vergangenheit kaum Kolonien besaßen, wurde die deutsche Sprache trotzdem von Auswanderern in diverse Teile der Welt gebracht. In diesem Seminar untersuchen wir die Stellung des Deutschen in Ländern, in denen die Sprache heute noch aktiv als Minderheitensprache gesprochen wird: in Nord- und Südamerika, Osteuropa und den Ländern der ehemaligen Sowjetunion und in Afrika. Soziolinguistische sowie auch strukturell-linguistische Aspekte der deutsch(stämmig)en Varietäten werden analysiert, um Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede aufzuzeigen. Kontaktlinguistische Phänomene werden von besonderem Belang sein. Spezifische Varietäten, die unter die Lupe genommen werden, sind MennonitischPlautdietsch, Brasilien-Pommersch, Pennsylvaniadeutsch, HutterischShwitzer (Amisches Schweizerdeutsch) und Namibia-Deutsch. Zum Schluss werden die behandelten Fälle mit den Situationen der deutschsprachigen Minderheiten in Italien, Belgien und Dänemark verglichen. Luxemburg wird auch in diesem Abschnitt behandelt.