Graduate Courses

Spring 2018

GER1480H S Goethe’s Faust
Time: Wed 3-5, Room: OH323
Instructor: John Noyes, in English

We will engage in a careful reading of Goethe’s major work – what he called “Das Hauptgeschäft – the monumental drama “Faust.” Faust is arguably one of the most important myths of modernity. It occupied the poet for 60 years, and is one of the most complex pieces of theatre ever written, incorporating elements of classical drama, opera, even visions of mediality bordering on the cinematic. Through the lens of this work, students will gain familiarity with the emerging trends of German modernity in the turbulent years between 1770 and 1832.

GER 1550H S Origins: Myths of Beginning in German Literature and Thought
Time: Thu 12-2, Room: OH323, texts are provided in German
Instructor: Christine Lehleiter

In this course, we will examine myths of origin in German literature and thought with a specific focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The course is organized in three units: narratives about the origin of the individual (childhood and the novel of formation), narratives about the origin of man (monogenesis versus polygenesis, anthropology and race), and narratives about the origin of societies and groups (family, state, contract theory). We will read texts by Karl Philipp Moritz, Joachim Heinrich Campe, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schlegel and Sigmund Freud.

GER 1780H S Topics in German Film History: Women’s Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times
Time: Mon 3-7, Room: IN223, in English
Instructor: Angelica Fenner
Maren Ade’s recently acclaimed Toni Erdmann (2016) has brought renewed attention to women’s film authorship in Germany and a growing cadre of women directors making films that are engaging, intelligent, and deeply thought-provoking without being didactic. Their work accords with counter cinematic practices sometimes loosely identified under the ‘Berlin School’ moniker, which have emerged in response to the changing social and economic landscape following unification. Rejecting the mode of production and ideology underlying German blockbusters such as Downfall or The Lives of Others, some filmmakers have instead embraced realist aesthetics to explore everyday life worlds and subjectivities against the backdrop of eroded social democratic structures and post-Fordist labour policies.
            Via readings in feminist film theory, new materialism, animal studies, gender and queer theory, and cultural studies, we will place these compelling contemporary productions into conversation with those of pioneers the feminist film movement of the 1970s, such as Helke Sander and Ulrike Ottinger. Echoes of that movement are, for example, evidenced in the way Maren Ade has leveraged her success to draw public attention to imbalances within the German film industry and called for gender parity in the distribution of subsidies. With an eye towards both continuities and divergencies in aesthetics, mode of production, and culture, we will investigate to what extent recent German and Austrian directors, e.g. Barbara Albert, Angela Schanelec, Valeska Grisebach, Tanja Turanskyj, and others share among themselves and/or with an earlier generation a common focus on disparate experiences of gender, sexuality, intimacy, and precarity. How does their work accord with such labels as ‘oppositional,’ ‘subversive, or ‘resistant’, and in what ways does it enact intersectional alliances with feminist, queer, anti-heteronormative and anti-racist projects?

GER6000H S Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Tue 3-5, Room: VC212
Instructor: Viktoriya Melnykevych

In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German. This course is not intended for MA or PhD students in German.