Graduate Courses

Fall 2017

GER1000H F German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text
Time: Thu 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructors: Team taught, Coordinator: Angelica Fenner
This team-taught course covers some of the seminal debates in theory relevant to advanced students of German. Students are introduced to key theory texts. They are confronted with processes of problem-formation in theoretical writing; they have the opportunity to weigh different kinds of theory debates against one another; they familiarize themselves with the components and structure of theoretical argument.

GER1050H F Methods and Texts in Yiddish Studies
Time: Mon 1-3, Room: JH235
Instructor: Anna Shternshis
This is the core course for the Field of Yiddish Studies, focusing on methods of analysis of major literary, historical, religious and sociological texts created in Yiddish language from 1500 until 2000. Conducted fully in Yiddish, the course trains the students   both in advanced understanding of the Yiddish civilization as well as how Yiddish societies incorporated cultures of neighbouring communities. The texts analyzed will include Tsena Urena (1616) (Woman’s Companion to the Bible), stories by Nakhman from Bratslav (1700s), works by Alexander Abramovich, Sholem Rabinowitch, Itskhok Perets, Dovid Bergelson, Yankev Gladshtein and others.

GER1200H F Introduction to Medieval Studies
Time: Fri 2-4, Room: AH302
Instructor: Markus Stock
This course offers an introduction to the German language, literature, and culture of the Middle Ages. We will read and translate Middle High German texts, study facsimiles of medieval manuscripts, and inquire into epochal cultural concepts like courtly love and chivalry as well as courtly and clerical designs of identity. Authors discussed will include Hartmann von Aue and Walther von der Vogelweide among others. The course fulfills the departmental requirement in Middle High German.

GER1771H F Topics in German Cinema Studies: Visions of the Anthropocene
Time: Tue 2-6, Room: OH323
Instructor: Stefan Soldovieri
The course explores cultural visions of the Anthropocene across a range of media, focusing primarily on examples from the German-speaking context. Our main concern will be to explore how producers of culture are negotiating the far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the planet’s geology and ecosystems that have led scientists to proclaim that we have entered into a new era of geological time. Readings in ecocriticism and cultural history and theory; primary texts include film, literature, and other cultural artifacts.

GER1820H F The Teaching and Learning of German
Time: Thu 10-12, Room: OH323
Instructor: Hang-Sun Kim
This course is designed to introduce students with little or no prior second language teaching experience to the theories and practices of second/foreign language learning and teaching. Students will gain a critical understanding of the major teaching methods and techniques used in universities today with a focus on German as a foreign language. The course is meant to equip students with the means to remain informed about the central debates taking place in the field of SLA/FL language theory and practice. Assignments will include lesson-planning, class observation reports, and the design of reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises. Students will apply the techniques learned through micro-teaching and peer-teaching exercises.
The overall objective of this course is to provide students with pedagogical tools and meta-linguistic awareness that will allow them to become successful language instructors.

GER6000H F Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Tue 3-5, Room: CR403
Instructor: Erol Boran

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.

Spring 2018

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

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
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 1775H S Topics in German Film History: Women’s Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times
Time: Mon 3-7, Room: TBA
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: UC212
Instructor: tba

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.