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German Course Descriptions
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GM120f Gaga and Kafka: Writing the Self Why does Lady Gaga have a tattoo of a letter written by German modernist author Rainer Maria Rilke? Why is a letter that Franz Kafka wrote to his father published as a piece of literature? Through stories, pamphlets, music, and philosophical texts we investigate voices, forms, and content as the means through which authors make public their political, religious, or gendered identity. We uncover the continuities between writing the self today—via 140-character tweets or the choicest picture on Facebook—and the writings that have made literary stars or political martyrs of authors past. Conducted in English. Four credit hours. L,W1. SHAHAN
GM125f Elementary German I Introductory course for students with little or no previous knowledge of German. Development of all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Communicative and interactive acquisition of grammar and vocabulary via study of contemporary life in the German-speaking countries. Audiovisual materials and integrated multimedia accompany textbook instruction. Four credit hours. A. KOCH
GM126s Elementary German II Continuation of Elementary German I to further develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Communicative and interactive acquisition of grammar and vocabulary via study of contemporary life in the German-speaking countries. Audiovisual materials accompany textbook instruction and integrated multimedia. Prerequisite: German 125 or appropriate score on the German placement exam. Four credit hours. SHAHAN
GM127f Intermediate German I: Structures in Cultural Contexts Grammar review at the intermediate level with continued practice of speaking and listening skills, readings and interactive communication based on topics from German culture and literature, emphasis on practical uses of the language. First introduction to extended readings and writings in German via cultural contexts. Prerequisite: German 126 or appropriate score on the German placement exam. Four credit hours. SHAHAN
GM128s Intermediate German II: Readings in Cultural Contexts Continuation of Intermediate German I. Practice and review of written and oral communication skills emphasizing formation of correct, idiomatic structures. Strives to build reading skills and to introduce a variety of cultural ideas and contexts through selection of literary and cultural readings/viewings in German. Preparation for transition to in-depth study in a variety of areas of German studies. Prerequisite: German 127 or appropriate score on the German placement exam. Four credit hours. A. KOCH
GM129f Conversation Group Review and practice for students at the intermediate level. A selection of written, visual, and audio German language and culture sources will provide the basis for discussion and conversation. Conducted in German. Does not count toward the language requirement or the German major and minor. May be repeated for credit. Nongraded. Prerequisite: German 126. One credit hour. FOROOTAN
GM130s Conversation Group Review and practice for students at the intermediate level. A selection of written, visual, and audio German language and culture sources will provide the basis for discussion and conversation. Conducted in German. Does not count toward the language requirement or the German major and minor. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: German 127 or, with permission, concurrent enrollment in German 126. Nongraded. One credit hour. FOROOTAN
GM151j Dungeons and Dragons: The Middle Ages in German Literature (in English) A selection of readings from the Middle Ages to the present. Particular focus on representations of medieval popular topics such as knightly adventures, magic, and voyaging, as well as changing cultural notions of class, gender, and love. Poetry and prose readings, alongside selections of popular operatic and filmic adaptations. Conducted in English. Three credit hours. L. H. KOCH
GM231f Introduction to German Studies This first course beyond the language sequence continues the emphasis on composition and conversation, as well as on oral presentations of research. Introduction to German Studies through examination of social and historical developments from the age of Luther to Germany's unification in 1990 as reflected in literature, art, politics, and philosophy. Emphasis on analysis of aesthetic and intellectual accomplishments representative of major periods in German, Austrian, and Swiss history. Prerequisite: German 128. Four credit hours. A. KOCH
[GM234] German Culture Through Film An introduction and exploration of German culture through analysis of German-language cinema from its inception in the 1890s through the post-unified cinema of the present. Focus of popular and avant-garde films and notions of mass culture, education, propaganda, entertainment, and identity formation. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: German 128. Four credit hours.
[GM237] The German Fairy Tale in Popular Culture (in English) Fairy tales permeate our culture on every level. Our fascination with Cinderella and Snow White are but two cases that help us understand how we think about ourselves and the world around us. Examines the role of the fairy tale (folktales, romantic variations, and Disney versions alike) in the construction of culture along with their adaptations in the media, comics, literature, art, and film. In analyzing the historical and social development of fairy tales as a genre, students are introduced to methods of literary analysis and cultural criticism. Counts toward the German major. Open to first-year students. Conducted in English. Four credit hours. L.
[GM252] Mission Impossible: Multicultural German Literature and Film (in English) Introduction to German-speaking literature and film by writers and filmmakers of African (Ayim, Oguntoye), Japanese (Tawada), Jewish (Celan, Honigmann), Romanian (Müller, Wagner), Russian (Kaminer), and Turkish (Özdamar, Zaimoglu, Akin) backgrounds. Emphasis on contemporary literature, with background readings from the Enlightenment through the present. Examination of creative approaches to issues of migration, exile, and globalization, with focus on language politics, identity formation, gender, history and memory, and the multicultural city. Counts toward the German major or minor. Open to first-year students. Conducted in English. Four credit hours. L, I.
GM297f Business German Introduces students to the language and practice of business German. Students study the economic geography of German-speaking Europe, advertising strategies, marketing, management, banking, personnel relations, trade, and other topics relevant to business in Germany. Emphasis on developing correspondence and communication skills in a business environment. Students will register for the WiDaF test administered at the end of the semester. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: German 128. Three or four credit hours. A. KOCH
GM298s Comedy in Theory and Practice What spawns laughter on German-speaking stages? The genre of comedy is explored through major dramatists from the 17th to 20th century, including Lessing, Tieck, Kleist, Zuckmayer, Brecht, and Jelinek. Students will study forms, techniques, and theories of comedy and drama and relate each play to its broader cultural and political contexts. Weekly response papers, short critical essays, and a semester research paper. A part of the students' final projects consists of a performance of a one-act play or of a scene from one of the plays. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: German 128. Four credit hours. A. KOCH
GM329f Current Topics An informal weekly meeting for students at the advanced level for conversation practice. Source materials include newspaper and magazine articles, contemporary German film, television broadcasts and podcasts, along with other media. Conducted in German. Does not count toward the language requirement or the German major or minor. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: German 128. Nongraded. One credit hour. FOROOTAN
GM330s Current Topics An informal weekly meeting for students at the advanced level for conversation practice. Source materials include newspaper and magazine articles, contemporary German film, television broadcasts and podcasts, along with other media. Conducted in German. Does not count toward the language requirement or the German major or minor. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: A 200-level German course. Nongraded. One credit hour. FOROOTAN
[GM368] Sex, Madness, and Transgression A selection of texts from the Age of Goethe through the present, each prominently featuring the representation of acts of transgression: social, mental, or sexual. One of our guiding questions will therefore be how and for what purpose literature deals with cultural, political, and sexual norms and deviations. Texts include Büchner's Woyzeck, Schnitzler's Reigen, Dürrenmatt's Das Versprechen, Böll's Katharina Blum, and Jelinek's Die Klavierspielerin, as well as a number of theoretical sources. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: A 200-level German course. Four credit hours. L.
GM397f Loose Canons Introduces students to selections of representative authors and cultural texts from the Middle Ages to the 21st century; examines, at the same time, cultural implications and domination of literary canons. Focus on close and critical reading skills as well as examination of social and historical developments. A continuation of the practice of conversation and composition, as primary texts are read side by side with secondary and theoretical writings. Assignments include weekly response papers, short critical essays, student presentations, and a semester research paper. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: A 200-level German course. Four credit hours. A. KOCH
GM491f, 492s Independent Study Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Two to four credit hours. FACULTY
GM493s Seminar: Ideologies and Identities Critically assesses ways German art and culture engage with ideologies and questions of personal, cultural, and political concepts of identity. Among key ideas, the persistent "German question," along with notions of Heimat, regional and transnational belonging, gender, language politics, class, race. Discussions based on representative readings (poetry, prose, and drama), forms of artistic expression (music, visual art, and film), theory and secondary literature from the Enlightenment through the present-day Berlin Republic. Students write weekly response papers and short critical essays, participate in a writing workshop, complete a final research paper in German, and present research findings in a public symposium. Prerequisite: A 300-level German course and senior standing. Four credit hours. SHAHAN