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The demands of the 21st century require future leaders to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of cultural differences and the ability to negotiate those differences in successful and productive ways. To this end, the German Area Studies Program focuses on training learners in functional language abilities and functional cultural abilities. Functional cultural abilities can be described as developing intercultural competence. The skills leading to this competence include the ability to function as informed and capable interlocutors with educated native speakers in the target language; to reflect on the world and themselves through the lens of another language and culture; to comprehend speakers of the target language as members of foreign societies and to grasp themselves as Americans – as members of a specific culture; to learn to relate to other members of their own society who speak another language other than English. Instruction at all levels fosters the following skill sets: functional language abilities, critical language awareness, interpretation and translation, historical and political consciousness, social sensibility and aesthetic perception.

With intercultural competence as its guiding principle, the program offers both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary minor. The minor requirements stress both thorough linguistic and cultural instruction to ensure that students develop the competency and skill sets described above.

disciplinary, 6 courses
The disciplinary minor in German Area Studies is comprised of six courses originating from the German curriculum. Students wishing to complete a disciplinary minor in German area studies must take two semesters of German language beyond GERM 102 or its equivalent; GERM 301; and three further courses in German literature and culture. One of these culture courses may be a GERE course (German culture taught in English), while the other culture course must be an upper-level German course. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the minor.

interdisciplinary, 6 courses
The interdisciplinary minor in German Area Studies is made up of six courses: three required courses and three electives. The required courses would originate from the German curriculum. Students choosing an interdisciplinary minor in German area studies must take at least two semesters of German language beyond GERM 102: GERM 201 and 202, or their equivalent. Moreover, students are required to take GERM 301, Introduction to German Area Studies I. Beyond these courses, students are expected to take three electives. Two of the three electives must address one of the topic areas (cultural legacies, historical heritages, and intellectual traditions); the third should examine one of the other two topic areas. The electives should be chosen from the cross-listed courses. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the minor.

Cultural Legacies
ARTH 226 Northern Renaissance Art
ARTH 250 20th-Century European Art: Reality Remade
ENG 287 Film Histories I (1895–1935)
ENG 368 Film and Ideology
ENG 376 New Waves
MDSC 224 Age of Propaganda I
MDSC 225 Age of Propaganda II
MUS 130 Beethoven: The Man and His Music
MUS 160 The Symphony
MUS 203 History of Western Art: Baroque and Classical (1600–1800)
MUS 204 History of Western Art: Romantic and Modern (1800–1950)
REL 401 Literary and Theological Responses to the Holocaust

Historical Heritages
HIST 237 Europe Since the War
HIST 238 The World Wars in Global Perspective
HIST 269 Modern Germany 1764–1996
HIST 272 Nazi Germany
HIST 276 The Age of Dictators
HIST 325 Medicine and Public Health in Modern Europe
POL 243 Europe after Communism
POL 245 Politics of New Europe
REL 270 Modern Jewish History
REL 271 History and Impact of the Holocaust

Intellectual Traditions
HIST 253 Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 256 Technology and Society in Europe
HIST 301 The Enlightenment
PHIL 373 Kant
POL 265 Modern Political Philosophy

GERM 101 Beginning German I German instruction endeavors to foster inter-cultural competence by infusing historical knowledge, cultural artifacts, and social structures into the very first lesson. Kontakte, the instructional materials for both German 101 and 102, is a communicative-based text that offers many opportunities for intercultural investigation. Instruction is designed to improve all skill areas of language acquisition through level-appropriate reading, writing, listening, and oral assignments. (Offered annually)

GERM 102 Beginning German II This course is a continuation of GERM 101 and continues to pursue the goals established above. Prerequisite: GERM 101 or the equivalent. (Offered annually)

GERM 201 Intermediate German I Instruction at the 200-level continues along the same lines as that on the 100-level in that functional linguistic and cultural abilities are the goals of the course. The text used in GERM 201 is Stationen and will take students on a tour of key locations in German-speaking Europe to introduce them to the broad cultural offerings of these diverse regions. (Offered annually)

GERM 202 Intermediate German II Fourth-semester German is designed to develop further the skills acquired in previous semesters. Students will continue to work with Stationen in achieving these goals. (Offered annually)

GERM 301 Introduction to German Area Studies I This course represents students' first exposure to the field of German Area Studies. In addition to improving the students' ability to express their thoughts clearly, concisely, and correctly in spoken and written German, the class will introduce students to core issues of the field, i.e. the culture of German-speaking Europe in various forms and expressions. Besides learning about canonical texts and figures, students will also explore film, music, politics, and pop-culture as contributors to the culture of central Europe. In addition, the skills that constitute intercultural competence are also developed and honed via projects, for example the role of geography in the construction of German culture.  Prerequisite: GERM 202 or its equivalent, or permission of instructor. (Offered annually)

GERM 302 Introduction to German Area Studies II This class continues the work begun in GERM 301, in that it investigates the seminal issues of German Area Studies. Topics covered will vary from instructor to instructor, but the goal will remain the same: to acquaint students with central questions of the field, yet will do so with more depth and rigor than in GERM 301. Prerequisite: GERM 301 or its equivalent, or permission of instructor. (Offered annually)

GERM 370, 371 Special Topics The topic of these courses will be determined by the instructor. Possible topics include Immigranten literatur, Kafka, Romanticism, and the Image of America in German Culture. Prerequisite: German 301 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. (Offered annually)

GERM 450 Independent Study

GERM 456 1/2 Credit Independent Study

GERM 495 Honors

GERE 104 German Cinema This course will introduce students to all the major periods of German cinema and the historical contexts that gave rise to them: from silent "Orientals" and expressionist film in the Weimar Era to the propaganda film of Hitler's Third Reich, from postwar cinema that sought to reconstruct and rewrite national identity to transnational and queer cinema that sought to unhinge essentialism from German identity, and from the work of the great auteurs of New German Cinema and Turkish-German Cinema. By drawing out the complex relationship between politics and film, we will learn to appreciate and interrogate the role that film has played in shaping and being shaped by German history, society, and culture.

GERE 208 Guilt in German Literature Whether incest, murder, or betrayal, crime and the resulting guilt are recurring themes in the literature of German-speaking Europe. One genre in particular contains a high number of stories chronicling transgression and sin – the novella. The novella enjoys a prominent place in the literature of Central Europe and especially during the 19th century. We will conduct close readings of numerous creepy, eerie, and ghoulish novellas written by German-speaking authors over the past two hundred years. The course will have three main goals: to introduce students to major movements and significant voices of German-speaking Europe; to introduce students to the genre of the novella; and to investigate how guilt and punishment are represented in these texts.

GERE 212 The Cave of Western Thought This course is designed to question the ways in which (y)our world comes into being using the image of the cave to mine the mysterious depths of mind, soul, and being. Are we shackled in the belly of a mountain, as Plato contends in his “Allegory of the Cave,” until we realize Truth, or is Truth to be found in the dark and deep depths within Plato's cave?  What are the multifarious uses of the cave in literature that reference human experience, sensory and spiritual, and how and why does the cave come to represent such divergent themes of enlightenment, freedom, power, sense perception, love, and language? Taking cues primarily from the German-language literary tradition, we will also learn how philosophy has infused various literary periods and genres, from Medieval Epic to Modern Film.

GERE 213 Border, Nation, Identity With a focus on literature addressing two epochal events of the 20th century-the 1947 Partition of India/Pakistan and the 1990 Reunification of East/West Germany-this course takes a comparative approach to understand the nature of the national border. We will ask a myriad questions that interrogate the efficacy of national borders as markers of human identity. What is a national border and how is it drawn, how is it erased? What role do politics, religion, and language play in establishing a community within a border? What mythologies bring people together as a nation?  In which ways is a national border divisive? We will study these two moments in history primarily from the vantage pint of fictional literature, including novels, short stories, poetry and film. We will supplement our exploration of fictional texts with the study of treatises, essays, correspondence, speeches, and documentary photography and film. By reading fiction alongside non-fiction, we will be able to examine how a national border is simultaneously a thing of the imagination and of grave physicality.


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Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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