Graduate Courses

Fall 2019

GER1000H F German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text
Time: Thu 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructors: Team taught, Coordinator: tba
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. Please consult syllabus here.

GER1050H F Methods in Yiddish
Time: Tue 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.

GER1780H F The Countercinema of the Berlin School and Beyond
Thu 10-12 (Seminar), IN313 & Thu 6-8 (Screening), Media Commons Theatre, in English
Instructor: Angelica Fenner
The moniker ‘Berlin School’ references a heterogenous body of German films whose directors first gained sustained attention for their subtle approach to tracking dramatic social changes in the new “Berlin Republic,” following transfer of the governmental seat of power from Bonn to its pre-World War II location. Resisting the temptation to deliver escapist narratives to a public struggling with the erosion of the social welfare state under the pressures of globalization, these directors have instead pursued an uncompromising realism focusing in exacting and uncanny detail upon the forms of subjectivity, both ordinary and extraordinary, produced among different social groups and classes. We’ll engage methodologies from phenomenology, performance studies, theories of affect, practices of the everyday, post-Bergsonian/Deleuzian philosophies of temporality and duration, feminist film theory, genre theory, and the aesthetics of cinematic realism. These readings accompany our exploration of the proposition that this movement, taken as a whole, constitutes a counter cinema, one whose auteurist ambitions accord with concurrent transnational art cinema practices and retraces its lineage to the Nouvelle Vague and the New German Cinema. Directors covered include M. Ade, T. Arslan, V. Grisebach, B. Heisenberg, C. Hochhäusler, U. Köhler, C. Petzold, A. Schanelec, and M. Speth, with occasional screenings of intertextually pertinent global art films. All films are subtitled and class discussions (including course readings) conducted in English.

GER1820H F The Teaching and Learning of German
Time: Tue 2-4, 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.

JGC1855H F Critical Theory – The French-German Connection
Time: Wed 3-5, Room: Seminar Room 319, 3rd floor, Centre for Comparative Literature
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 Levinas, 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.

GER6000H F Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Fri 3-5, Room: CR106
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.

Spring 2020

GER1200H S Introduction to Medieval Studies
Time: Wed 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructor: Nicola Vohringer
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.

GER1540H S Literature and Science
Time: Mon 12-2, Room: OH323
Instructor: Christine Lehleiter

In recent decades, much work has been undertaken in disciplines such as the history of science and literary studies with the goal to develop a clearer picture of the relationship between science and literature and of its historical development. We will study this work with a particular focus on literature and science around 1800. Among the authors that we will discuss are Moritz, Goethe, Humboldt, Novalis, and Dilthey.

GER1722H S Kafka
Time: Tue 2-4, Room: OH323
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. Alongside these primary texts, we will consider some classic readings of Kafka by critics such as Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Elias Canetti, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze / Félix Guattari.

GER1771H S Visions of the Anthropocene
Time: Fri 2-4, Room: OH323
Instructor: Stefan Soldovieri
The course explores cultural imaginings and critical interrogations 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. Increasingly, attention is also being directed to a critical examination of the place of the earth in the Humanities. Readings in ecocriticism, environmental humanities, cultural history and theory; primary texts include literature, film, and other cultural artifacts.

GER6000H S Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Fri 3-5, Room: CR106
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.