Graduate Courses

Fall 2023 

GER1820H F SLA in Theory and Practice
Time: TBA
Instructor: TBA
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.

GER1540 Revolutions
Time: Tue 1-3
Instructor: Christine Lehleiter

How do we feel the suffering of others? Can we identify with this suffering? How has suffering been represented in literature (and other media)? Is it morally permissible to represent suffering, and find pleasure in its depiction? Does the representation of suffering have a cathartic effect on the audience? How have authors engaged with the psychology and aesthetics of suffering? In this course, we will examine these and related questions by discussing literary texts from the 17th to the 19th century. We will also draw on theoretical texts ranging from eighteenth-century empirical psychology to today’s studies in the cognitive sciences. While the focus of the course is on materials from around 1800, we will engage with concepts that originate in both eighteenth-century and contemporary discourses. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests within the course’s conceptual framework, and final projects that investigate materials from outside the course’s specific time frame are possible.

GER1772 Kafka
Time: Wed 2-4
Instructor: John Zilcosky

This course examines the oeuvre of Franz Kafka, as it developed in a remarkably short period: from his 1912 “breakthrough” with “The Judgment,” to his middle years and The Trial, to the 1916-17 burst of writing around “A Country Doctor,” to The Castle and Kafka’s final stories before his death in 1924. We will consider also his newly released drawings and their significance — if any — for his writing.

GER1050H Methods in Yiddish
Time: Tuesdays 12-2
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.

GER1200 (cross listed GER426) Middle High German
Time: Mon 2-4
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

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

Spring 2024

GER1000H S 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.

GER1051Y  Yiddish for German Speakers
Time: Tue 1-3, Room: OH323
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.

GER1680 Earth Readings
Time: Tue 2-4
Instructor: Stefan Soldovieri

Environmental sciences help us understand natural process. They can tell us what is happening to the earth in the Anthropocene but are not equipped to tell us why. The Environmental Humanities seek to explain and transform the cultural and historical foundations of environmental crisis. The term Environmental Humanities has emerged as both a descriptive and aspirational designation. It describes existing aggregations across environmental philosophy, environmental history, ecocriticism, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, and political ecology, but it also seeks to integrate discourses produced in different disciplinary contexts. The Environmental Humanities have opened up new modes of interdisciplinarity both within humanistic fields and in conjunction with social and natural sciences – and enabled new engagements with public debates and policies bearing on environmental questions. This interdisciplinary work has become more and more urgent with the escalating climate crisis. The course explores cultural imaginings and interrogations of the Anthropocene across a range of media. Key readings in environmental humanities approaches including, ecocriticism, eco-feminism, energy humanities, posthumanism, animal and plant studies, cultural history and theory. Primary texts include literature, film and other cultural artifacts from the German context in particular.

JGC1855 Critical Theory
Time: Wed 3-5
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.

GER1750 Colonialism and After in German Literature
(cross-listed with GER430)
Time: Mon 2-4
Instructor: John Noyes

Beginning in the 1970’s German literature began to rethink its colonial past. Still trying to evaluate the brutality of Nazi government and the Holocaust, the relationship with the colonial past complicated the general picture of German history. Writers began to ask how to portray the colonial past. It immediately became apparent that the struggle to understand the colonial past set up interferences with the Nazi past and the cold-war present. As the present moved from the cold war to post-wall Germany and then neoliberal globalism, this struggle became even more complex. In this course we will follow literary experiments with the colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial past and present from roughly 1975 until the present. We will relate this to major moments in postcolonial and decolonial theory. Texts will include texts by Germans reconsidering colonialism, such as Uwe Timm Morenga (1978), Urs Widmer, Im Kongo (1996), Daniel Kehlmann, Die Vermessung der Welt (2005), Christian Kracht, Imperium (2012), but also writers from colonial or postcolonial backgrounds writing in German, such as May Ayim, Jean-Félix Belinga-Belinga, André Ekama, and others.

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