German Studies

Berlin: Residence, Metropolis, Capital

The course offers an introduction to German history, politics, and culture as mirrored in the history of the old and new German capital. Berlin has always been a city of contradictions: from imperial glamour to proletarian slums, from the Roaring Twenties to Hitler's seizure of power. Emerging from the ruins of WWII Berlin became both the capital of Socialism and the display window of the Free World. After the fall of the wall, Berlin is still looking for its role in the center of a reshaped Europe.

Marx, Freud, Einstein: Forebearers of Modernity

Like no others, these three thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries have influenced the intellectual, historical, social and cultural development not only of Germany, but of the entire world. The course examines the works of these authors in the context of their own time as well as their continued importance in the present. Works by Brecht, Christa Wolf, Schnitzler, Kafka will also be considered. Taught in English.

Folk & Fairy Tale in German: Tradition, Structure, Artistry

The folk tales collected by the Brothers Grimm still exhibit all the principle characteristics and functions of oral literature, i.e. the reproduction of an audience's cultural identity and the securing of that identity. Nevertheless, these characteristics are still preserved in fairy tales written by specific authors for a reading audience. Examples of the latter are mainly from authors of Romanticism and Realism. Taught in German.

Second Year German II

Continuation of GERM 263. Development of interactional competence in German (sociolinguistic and socio cultural knowledge) to communicate and interact with speakers of German. The course is based on a student-centered, critical-thinking approach to language analysis/acquisition. Recommended Prerequisite(s): GERM 201 or GERM 263 or Placement Test.

National Socialism and Film

This course explores films made in Nazi Germany as well as films about Nazi Germany and the corresponding crisis of justice in the mid-twentieth century. We will analyze cinematic responses to the rise of the fascist movement, World War II, the Holocaust, and the post-war years. Particular attention will be paid to the value of film as propagandistic tool, ways in which it can configure and contest our image of national identity, and the relation between mass manipulation and mass murder. Taught in English.