Graduate Courses

Fall 2022 

GER1050H F Methods in Yiddish
Time: Tue 1-3, Venue: MY440
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.

GER1051 Methods and Texts in Yiddish Studies 
Time: Tue 1-3, Venue: MY440
Instructor: Anna Shternshis
The course is designed as an intensive Yiddish language training. The goal is to teach German speakers to read, write and speak in Yiddish. The curriculum relies on the German language skills of the students, and focuses on differences between Yiddish and German grammar and vocabulary. Upon the completion of the course, students should be able to read Yiddish literary texts with a minimal use of dictionary.
Note: Graduate students can take the course in preparation for their Yiddish competency test.

NOTE: this course takes place at the same time and in the same place as GER1050, to enable those who previously enrolled GER 1050 with another instructor to now enroll a new course.

GER1210H F Medieval German Romance
Time: Wed 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructor: Markus Stock
This course is an introduction to medieval German literature, using the greatest love romance of medieval Germany as an example: Tristan and Isolde by Gottfried von Strassburg. Part of a new wave of chivalric literature in early 13th-century Germany, this text is a key document for the establishment of a new, refined aristocratic culture following French models. It tells a story of adventure and adulterous love, but also of coming-of-age, self-realization, and the legitimacy of art in an aristocratic world. The course focuses on one of the integral texts of the medieval German literary canon. Ample room is reserved for the comparison of the German versions to related accounts in other languages (incl. French and Old Norse). Through short introductory modules on Middle High German, the course also enables students without previous exposure to medieval German to read and interpret the texts in their original language. The course fulfills the departmental requirement in Middle High German.

GER1820H F SLA in Theory and Practice
Time: Tue 10-12, Room: OH323
Instructor: Stefana Gargova
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 in post-secondary environments. Participants will gain a critical understanding of major SLA theories, methods, and techniques with a focus on lesson planning, task design, feedback & assessment, as well as on distinctive features of online language instruction. Assignments will include lesson-planning, class observation reports, and task design. Students will apply the learned techniques through micro-teaching and peer-teaching exercises. The overall objective of this course is to provide participants with pedagogical tools and meta-linguistic awareness that will allow them to become competent, attentive, and reflective language instructors.

GER6000H F Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Fri 2-4, Room: HS100
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.

Courses in Cognate Departments

Spring 2023

GER1000H S German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text
Time: Thu 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructors: Team taught, Coordinator: John Noyes
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.

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. Goethe himself called it an incommensurable production. Georg Lukacs stated that the content of Faust is the fate of all humanity. Alexander Pushkin called it an Iliad of modern life. And Leo Löwenthal pointed to the importance of Goethe’s play for critical theory. 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. German speakers will read the text(s) in the original. English translations are available.

GER1490H S Kanonkritik– Or how to decenter the German canon and engage with the margins
Time: Tue 1-3, Room: OH323
Instructor: Azadeh Sharifi
What is the canon of German literature? Who is part of the German canon? And who is not part of it? When for example the famous literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki published “Der Kanon” (2002), an anthology of outstanding German literature (Romane), his selection contained mainly male (white) German writers and poets. The selection (and also the following anthologies of novels, plays, essays, and stories) set off a controversial debate that has over the course of the past 20 years become more complex. It is not Reich-Ranicki selection itself but rather the actuality of the canon, what is still taught in schools and universities as outstanding German literature.

In this course, we will engage with the canon from a postcolonial and intersectional approach in order to understand the circumstances of the “center” as well as learn how to decenter it at the same time.

GER6000H S Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Fri 2-4, Room: HS100
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.

JGC1855H S Critical Theory – The French-German Connection
Time: Wed 3-5, Room: BT319
Instructor: Willi Goetschel
This course examines central theoretical issues in contemporary thought with particular attention to the role that the “Frankfurt School” and its affiliates such as Benjamin, Kracauer, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas and others play in the context of modern German social and cultural thought. In France, thinkers like Foucault, and Derrida respond to this tradition and enrich it. The course explores in which way the continuing dialogue between these thinkers informs current critical approaches to rethinking issues and concerns such as theorizing modernity, culture, secularization, multiculturalism, and the vital role of cultural difference.

Courses in Cognate Departments