Graduate Courses

Spring 2022 

GER1000H S German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text
Time: Thu 2-4, Room: EM205
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. Please consult syllabus here.

GER1540H S Revolution, War, and Terror: The Representation of Suffering and the Psychology of Aesthetics
Time: Tue 1-3, Room: VC211
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, the concepts with which we will engage 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. A visit to the excellent collection of relevant materials owned by U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book library is planned as part of the course program.

GER1661H S Modernism in Context
Time: Mon 12-2, Room: NF205
Instructor: John Zilcosky
This course will examine the major writers of German and Austro- Hungarian modernism in the context of their age. We will pay particular attention to literary modernism’s relation—sometimes contentious, sometimes symbiotic—to philosophy and psychoanalysis (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud). Authors discussed will likely include Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Robert Musil, Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Schnitzler, and Hermann Hesse.

JGC1855H S Critical Theory – The French-German Connection
Time: Wed 2-4, Room: VC215
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.

GER6000H S Reading German for Graduate Students
Time: Fri 2-4, Room: AH302
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.