German Department


Courses of Study

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. Bradley
[GM125J]    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. Three credit hours.
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. Ellis
GM127f    Intermediate German I: Exploring German Studies An investigative and experiential course focused on content/disciplinary practices in the field of German Studies and different forms of (non-)digital storytelling, GM127 is an introduction to extended readings and writings in German via cultural contexts. Leads students toward understanding the intersections of the German-speaking world and their studies at Colby via modular exploration of the field of German Studies (that is, by equipping students with the tools for analysis of aesthetic and intellectual accomplishments representative of major periods in German, Austrian, and Swiss history, the course will enable students to address the question What constitutes German Studies?) and through different forms of storytelling. Humanities lab course. Prerequisite: German 126 or appropriate score on the German placement exam. Four credit hours. Ellis
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. Bradley
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. Siemann
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. Siemann
[GM151]    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.
[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.
GM236s    ConTexts in German Culture Introduction to critical analysis of select genres from German, Austrian, and Swiss cultures. Topics vary but through deepening of close reading skills of written, performed, and visual texts, this course examines socio-historical moments in their relationship to key notions and genres, including women writers, identity and crisis, comedy, fairy tales, and the canon. Focus continues on composition and conversation with development of critical, written, and interpretive analysis, and student presentations. Prerequisite: German 128 or equivalent. Four credit hours. Bradley
[GM237]    The German Fairy Tale in Popular Culture (in English) Fairy tales permeate our culture on every level. 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 or minor. Open to first-year students. Conducted in English. Four credit hours. L.
[GM244]    Reading the Short Story (in English) Short stories are difficult, consuming, and complex. This course is designed to facilitate close and attentive readings, emphasizing textual interpretation and concise writing to a diverse selection of modern short prose. Concerns will be: how to read and then write about short stories, and how to discuss multiple viewpoints as we examine themes, narratives, and style. Students are asked to think about story elements, including plot, setting, and character, and the way that grammatical features and figurative language shape the analysis of the text. Four credit hours. L.
GM252f    Mission Impossible: Multicultural German Literature and Film (inEnglish) 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. A. Koch
[GM263]    Weird Fictions (in English) This reading- and writing-intensive seminar considers the construction of the genre of science fiction (broadly defined). We will read short prose and novels from the 19th century to the present by authors such as ETA Hoffmann, Patrick Süskind, and Franz Kafka, and we will view films of Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, and others. In addition we will read texts that function as hybrid and complementary permutations of science fiction such as magical realism, speculative fiction, and utopian/dystopian fictions. Conducted in English. Four credit hours. L.
[GM264]    Kafka and his Contexts (in English) Franz Kafka (1883-1924) plays a major role in the construction of the modern and postmodern literary canon of the 20th century. We will read his short stories and parables, selected letters, and journal entries. We will approach Kafka both as an author who made inventive incursions into the universes of Romantic inspirations, including Heinrich von Kleist and E.T.A. Hoffmann, and as an influence on the narrative fictions of modernist and postmodernist authors who incorporated Kafkaesque elements, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Juan Rulfo, and Harukui Murakami. Conducted in English. Three credit hours. L.
GM297f    Women's Literary, Cultural, and Visual Production In this interdisciplinary course, we will concern ourselves with the intellectual production and development of women working in the German and Austrian contexts. Designed to explore the role of women, gender and representation, we will examine their artistic activities through historical, literary, and social movement frames. We will read women's writing, view their art, and watch their films. Topics include the development of a public female aesthetic that encompasses Afro-German women as writers, historians, and filmmakers; Expressionist artists such as Kollwitz and Modersohn-Becker; and authors that include but are not limited to Bachmann, Ayim, and Tawada. Students will also further deepen those skills necessary for critical thinking, writing, and speaking. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: German 128 or equivalent. Four credit hours. L. Ellis
GM297Bf    German Cinema: Past and Present (in English) An introduction and exploration of German-speaking cultures through analysis of German-language cinema from its inception in the 1890s through the post-unified cinema of the present. Focus on popular and avant-garde films and notions of mass culture, education, propaganda, entertainment, and identity formation. Particular emphasis on constructions of race and gender. Conducted in English. Open to first year students. Four credit hours. A, I. 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. Siemann
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. Siemann
GM342f    Contested Subjects in German Culture Introduction to critical analysis of contested subjects in German and German-speaking cultures. While topics vary, this course will refine close reading skills of written and visual texts, including poetry, works of art, drama, short stories, prose, and film that focus on culturally contested topics. Focus on critical, written and interpretive analysis, student presentations, and exposure to relevant cultural, theoretical, and historical sources. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: A 200-level German course. Four credit hours. Ellis
[GM346]    Jews of Germany, Past and Present Listed as Religious Studies 346. Four credit hours. H, I.
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. L. Ellis