German Undergraduate Winter Courses

Winter 2018. Courses subject to change.
German 1G. Intro to Reading German 
German 2. Elementary German.
German 5. Intermediate German.
German 35. The Making of the Modern World
Wolf Kittler
Description and analysis of decisive events contributing to the world we are inhabiting. Various themes presented: City planning, war and industrial warfare, technology and media-technology, ideologies of modernity, and modern master theories  
German 101B. Advanced German.
Kelsey White
Speaking, listening, reading, and writing on an advanced level, while exploring contemporary German culture. Systematic review of grammar material. Additional focus on vocabulary building. Written and oral discussions based on newspaper articles, literary texts, German films, and websites. Topics will vary by quarter.
German 107A.  History of Culture.
Gisela Kommerell
Careful and close readings from the cultural history of German speaking countries. Materials, which may be revised each academic year, include documents from literature, philosophy, art, music, architecture, science, politics, and law. Taught in German.
German 190. Senior Seminar: Intensive advanced seminar on topic determined on quarterly basis. Taught in German.
This year's topic: Flüchtlinge -- Refugees
Elisabeth Weber

Course Description:
This course will study several distinct experiences of being a refugee in, to, and from Germany.
The class will explore issues such as living in fear of being apprehended as an undocumented immigrant; the agonizing wait for the decision of authorities granting political asylum; the daily struggles of life in asylum seekers’ residences in small and large German cities, working without the required permit, living in the home of a German family, seeking refuge from one’s life in a zone impacted by environmental catastrophe. We will explore the experiences of refugees through a number of media: a novel written from the perspective of a retired German university professor; a novel written by an Iraqi refugee; a film directed by a German-Kurdish filmmaker; a film directed in Japan by a German filmmaker; a comedy film; newspaper articles, and publications by a group of political activists.

German 210. Graduate Seminar in Literary Theory and Criticism
Kade Visiting Professor Alexander Honold (University of Basel)
Music and literature. (For advanced undergraduates only.)

Course Description:

Since antiquity, verbal and musical arts have always been in touch, related to each other through intense exchanges and cooperations: the poet as a singer of “cantos,” the importance of formal rules like repetition, reflection, and variation; the effects of sound and rhythm which do not seem to have clear semantic references, but still are “meaning something” to us, just to name a few examples. In order to observe and discuss the aesthetic differences and similarities of these two “neighbor arts,” the seminar will focus on four historical paradigms of music that have gained rich attention in literature: (1) J. S. Bach and the art of counterpoint: here we will examine novels by Thomas Bernhard (Der Untergeher/The Loser) and Richard Powers (The Gold Bug Variations); (2) the Viennese classics Mozart and Beethoven, seen through descriptions by E. T. A. Hoffmann (Don Juan) and Thomas Mann (Dr. Faustus); (3) the narrative voice in romantic songs (Schubert: Winterreise/Winter Journey) and (4) music in the age of politics (with selected chapters from William T. Vollmann’s Europe Centrale and with Julian Barnes’s The Noise of time, dedicated to Dmitry Shostakovich.