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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: 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.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
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 three semesters of German language beyond GERM 102, GERM 301, and two 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 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.
REQUIREMENTS FOR 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. Moreover, students are required to take GERM 301, Introduction to German Area Studies I. Beyond these courses, students are expected to take three electives. These electives should reflect the three areas of inquiry, namely cultural legacies, historical heritages, and intellectual traditions. Students can take a GERE course to satisfy the cultural legacy requirement. When choosing electives, students must select at least one course from each area. 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.
CROSS LISTED COURSES
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
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
HIST 253 Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 256 Technology and Society in Europe
HIST 301 The Enlightenment
PHIL 373 Kant
POL 265 Modern Political Philosophy
COURSES TAUGHT IN GERMAN (GERM)
GERM 101 Beginning German I German instruction endeavors to foster intercultural 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 212 Exploring 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 I 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.
GERM 213 Border, Nation, Identity: The Literature of partition and Reunification
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 n 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.
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 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 340 Introduction to German Literature and Culture I Germany, a country that forms the crossroads of Europe, has always been forced to define itself by the influences that have come outside, from other surrounding cultures. A study of the social, religious, and economic influences, as seen in the literature and other historical documents of Germany, this course introduces students to the rich and varied background of the nation from the period of the Völkerwanderungen to the Middle Ages to the Reformation to the beginning of Aufklärung. Prerequisite: GERM 301 or permission of instructor. (Offered every three years)
GERM 341 Introduction to German Literature and Culture II Beginning with the Aufklärung, this survey course treats epochs and major developments in the area of German literature and culture from the 18th century to the present. Individual representative texts (including plays, paintings, and films) are studied and discussed in terms of their aesthetic significance and their relation to the historical, cultural, and social contexts. The course develops critical and analytical skills through an intensive introduction to the study of German literature, culture, and political history. Prerequisite: GERM 301 or permission of instructor. (Offered every three years)
GERM 370, 371 Special Topics The topic of these courses will be determined by the instructor. Possible topics include Immigrantenliteratur, 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 495 Honors
COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH (GERE)
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 203 Narratives of Displacement The 20th century has been described as the age of refugees. Now, in the 21st century, displacement remains as pressing a concern as ever. This course examines how the fates of refugees are represented in German language media (literature and film as well as popular media) of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will explore how authors render into language the experiences of treacherous, transnational escape routes, refugee camps in no-man's lands, and the precarious legal status in host countries. In these narratives, Germany appears once as the murderous homeland before and during WWII and then, in more recent times, as the hoped-for refuge from persecution, war, and environmental catastrophes. Along the way, we will pay special attention to the ways in which narratives of displacement re-inscribe the refugee as an individual whose trajectory is not just a matter of profound loss but also an expression of political desires. We will explore the role literary and filmic representations might play in creating a sense of community of people living in various forms of exile. Furthermore, we will examine how race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class impact experience of exile.
GERE 205 Imagining the Self: the Bildungsroman This course focuses on German novels from the 18th through the 20th centuries and takes as its guiding concept the paradox of the Self: the Self is a stabilizing yet fluid construct. The Self, or a “stable” identity, is vital to feel secure in a volatile modern world; yet to secure a stable identity over time, one must constantly integrate the volatility of the world into the Self—the individual is forced to re-write and re-imagine his/her identity over time to remain a (seemingly) stable entity. Besides this paradox, the class will explore the mutually-constitutive dialogue between identity and culture, between the individual and society, and between aesthetics and intellectual currents from the Enlightenment through postmodernism. Along with critical literature on the Bildungsroman, we will read novels by Goethe, Novalis, Thomas Mann and Patrick Süskind. (Klaus, Spring, offered every three years)
GERE 206 Madness in Modernity The first decades of the 20th century constituted a period of great uncertainty that was felt across Europe. At this time, artists experimented with novel ways of articulating the uneasiness and angst that they themselves experienced and that they witnessed in their surroundings. The course focuses on the German-speaking countries of Europe and investigates the ways in which the art of that period registers potentially devastating shifts in the social, cultural, and epistemological tenets that define modern life. Students also integrate texts, paintings, and film into their inquiry. (Klaus, Spring, offered every three years)
GERE 208 Guilt and Punishment in German Culture Whether the crime is theft, incest, or murder, transgression and the resulting guilt and punishment have factored prominently in German-language novellas over the last two centuries. What are these crimes and what repercussions arise from them? What do these transgressions reveal about German-speaking Europe? Does this particular genre lend itself to tales of sin and despair? These and other questions guide this tour of these truly remarkable texts. (Klaus, Spring, offered every three years)
GERE 209 Decoding Fairy Tales: Histories, Origins, Structures Fairy tales are important cultural documents for German-speaking Europe. Over hundreds of years, fairy tales have been very influential, not only in literature but also in the shaping of culture. By learning about fairy tales, both classical and modern, we can recognize their historical and cultural backgrounds, as well as theoretical texts to decode these significant texts.