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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 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)
101 Beginning German I German instruction endeavors to foster cross-cultural competence by infusing historical knowledge, cultural artifacts, and social structures into the very first lesson. Auf geht’s!, the instructional materials for both German 101 and 102, as well as for GERM 201, sets as its goals intercultural understanding and intercultural communicative competence. While the former goal refers to the ability to analyze and think critically about the effects that culture, language and worldview have on each other, the latter describes the ability to interact with people from another country and culture in a foreign language in a way that is satisfactory to themselves and the other and that shows an awareness of the specific meanings, connotation, and the historical and social context of the target language. (Offered annually)
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)
201 Intermediate German I Instruction at the 200-level continues along the same lines as that on the 100-level in that intercultural competence is the overriding goal. Completing the Auf geht’s! course materials, GERM 201 both solidifies and expands upon students’ linguistic proficiency and challenges them to be intercultural learners. (Offered annually)
202 Intermediate German II Fourth-semester German is designed to develop further the skills acquired in previous semesters. Moving beyond the Auf geht’s! curriculum, the thematic content of GERM 202 varies from year to year, but possible topics include German detective stories (Krimis), or radio plays. Intercultural competence plays a prominent role in course work as students conceive and design of intercultural projects to present their knowledge of culture in a public forum. (Offered annually)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
450 Independent Study
COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH (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)
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)
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)