Undergraduate Courses

Summer 2020

Language Courses

GER 100Y1 (GER) Introduction to German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L9901 MTWR 10-12 online

The GER 100Y language course is an introductory German course divided into two sections for students with no prior knowledge of the language. Based on a communicative and task-based approach, it is designed to develop proficiency in oral and written communication skills while providing students with knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of German-speaking countries. Students will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through a variety of stimulating activities. Vocabulary will be presented in the context of culturally significant issues. Topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, travel, health and fitness or studying abroad. Additionally, the course will provide students with a foundation in a number of basic grammatical structures and concepts. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In addition to preparation at home, regular class attendance is paramount in order to participate successfully in these activities.

GER 200Y1 (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L9901 MTWR 10-12 online C. Gerber / F. Müller

This language course will provide students with genuine communication experiences in order to deepen their understanding of German-speaking countries. It has been designed to further develop communicative proficiency in each of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The textbooks are motivating and encourage interest in culture and language through their unique approach to authentic material illustrating vocabulary in context, communicative functions of grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. All readings, videos, projects, and presentations in class explore historical, social, political, and popular topics while aspects of Germanic and North American cultures are being compared. Learning strategies and self-assessment are part of every chapter, allowing for differentiation among various types of learners. The topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, health and fitness etc. Cultural and linguistic variants of all three German-speaking countries are featured. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In order to participate successfully in these activities, preparation at home and regular class attendance are paramount.

Topics Courses

JGJ360H1 (ENG) Holocaust in Literature

Section Time Room Instructor
L9901 T 10-1, R 10-12 online A. Shternshis, D. Bergen

This course examines literary works written in different languages, in ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust, as well as those reflecting on the genocide in its aftermath. We focus on literature as a means of engaging with the unimaginable and on the cross analysis of eye-witness and memory writing.

Fall 2020

all rooms tba

Language Courses

GER 100Y/*102Y (GER) Introduction to German

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MTWF 9-10
L0102 MTWF 9-10
L0201 MW 10-12
L0301 MW 1-3
L0401 TR 10-12
L0501 TR 1-3
L5101 MW 6-8
L5201 TR 6-8

The GER 100Y language course is an introductory German course divided into two sections for students with no prior knowledge of the language. Based on a communicative and task-based approach, it is designed to develop proficiency in oral and written communication skills while providing students with knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of German-speaking countries. Students will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through a variety of stimulating activities. Vocabulary will be presented in the context of culturally significant issues. Topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, travel, health and fitness or studying abroad. Additionally, the course will provide students with a foundation in a number of basic grammatical structures and concepts. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In addition to preparation at home, regular class attendance is paramount in order to participate successfully in these activities.

GER 200Y (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MTWF 9-10
L0201 MW 2-4
L0301 TR 2-4
L5101 MW 6-8

This language course will provide students with genuine communication experiences in order to deepen their understanding of German-speaking countries. It has been designed to further develop communicative proficiency in each of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The textbooks are motivating and encourage interest in culture and language through their unique approach to authentic material illustrating vocabulary in context, communicative functions of grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. All readings, videos, projects, and presentations in class explore historical, social, political, and popular topics while aspects of Germanic and North American cultures are being compared. Learning strategies and self-assessment are part of every chapter, allowing for differentiation among various types of learners. The topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, health and fitness etc. Cultural and linguistic variants of all three German-speaking countries are featured. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In order to participate successfully in these activities, preparation at home and regular class attendance are paramount.

GER 300Y (GER) Intermediate German II

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12
L0201 TR 1-3
L5101 MW 6-8

This language course will provide students with genuine communication experiences in order to deepen their understanding of German-speaking countries. It has been designed to further develop communicative proficiency in each of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The textbooks are motivating and encourage interest in culture and language through their unique approach to authentic material illustrating vocabulary in context, communicative functions of grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. All readings, videos, projects, and presentations in class explore historical, social, political, and popular topics while aspects of Germanic and North American cultures are being compared. Learning strategies and self-assessment are part of every chapter, allowing for differentiation among various types of learners. The topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, health and fitness etc. Cultural and linguistic variants of all three German-speaking countries are featured. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In order to participate successfully in these activities, preparation at home and regular class attendance are paramount.

GER 400HF (GER) Advanced German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12

This course is aimed at students with a high level of competence in German. Building on material covered in GER 100/200/300, it offers advanced studies of German language, including text-based analysis and with a focus on improving communication skills. It includes a systematic review and expansion of grammar and stylistics, and additional emphasis lies on vocabulary building. The course is partly based on newspaper articles, literary texts, films and websites.

GER 260Y (YID) Elementary Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MWF 3-4

This course is an introduction to the Yiddish language and culture of Ashkenazic Jews. It will begin to prepare you to be able to express yourself in Yiddish, acquire strategies to learn Yiddish independently by developing your ability to understand the structure of the language and to cue in on the features of spoken and written Yiddish.

GER 360HF (YID) Intermediate Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 1-2, F 12-2

This course will build on the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in beginner’s Yiddish. Emphasis will shift slightly towards reading, listening and speaking. We will read selections from folk tales, Glatshteyn’s Emil un karl (or another text), and finish College Yiddish. You will write compositions and summaries, acquire new vocabulary words, listen to recordings, watch films, and give presentations. We will sing and play games. We will also go on a tour of Yiddish-speaking Toronto (past and present).

Topics Courses

GER 275HF (ENG) Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Section Time Room Instructor
W 4-6 W. Goetschel

This is an introductory course to the thought of K. Marx, F. Nietzsche, and S. Freud and their pioneering contributions to the understanding of the individual and society in modernity. Readings include selections from writings of the early Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Capital, Nietzsche’s critique of culture, academe, and nationalism, and Freud’s theory of culture, his views on the psychopathology of everyday life, on the meaning of dreams, symptoms, the return of the repressed, and what it might mean to live in a free society. [Taught in English and open to students across disciplines.]

GER 290HF (ENG) Global Issues: German Contexts

Section Time Room Instructor
T 5-7 S. Soldovieri

The movement of cultural products, material goods, capital, people, ideas, and information across national border s has resulted in a new quality of global inter dependency. The course examines the contemporary character of globalization with a special focus on its environmental impacts in German-speaking contexts. We consider artistic, cultural, technological, and social practices in German-speaking and global contexts that explore questions of sustainability and a livable future. The course is highly recommended as preparation for students interested in participating in the Department’s iPRAKTIKUM Internationalization & Experiential Learning internship program – particularly for placements with futurGenerator organizations in Germany. (Visit: https://german.utoronto.ca/ipraktikum/)

GER 305HF (GER) Introduction to German Literature II

Section Time Room Instructor
M 3-5, W 3-4 J. Noyes

This course provides an introduction to German literature and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Within a chronological framework, we will read and analyze excerpts from representative works of major German writers. Some of the literary texts will be complemented with examples selected from the visual arts, music and film. Throughout the course, our focus will be on three sets of questions: 1. What is the leading question of the text? 2. What are the formal means that the authors employ in order to express their concerns and to conceptualize the topic under discussion? 3. What is the historical and cultural context of the text? By asking these questions, we will not only strive to come to a better understanding of individual works, but also of German literature, its developments and themes. However, although the structure of this course is governed by literary periods, it will also be our aim to question their validity and definition. We will approach the texts with a combination of close readings and broad historical and cultural perspectives. Among the authors we will discuss are Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Joseph von Eichendorff, Franz Kafka, Irmgard Keun and Ilse Aichinger. In addition, we will work on our reading techniques for primary and secondary literature and improve our research skills in the university library system. Sessions involve class discussions, group work, readings, and occasional lectures.

GER 323HF (GER) Weimar Culture & Beyond

Section Time Room Instructor
M 10-12 tba

The political instability of the Weimar Republic, fueled by the effects of the Global Economic Crisis, facilitated Hitler’s election in 1933. Yet at the same time it was a period of extraordinary political, social and artistic achievements. Expressionism, Dada, Neue Sachlichkeit, Bauhaus, and the Golden Age of German Film are some of the buzz words which belong to the legacy of Weimar. This course studies literary, historical, and artistic documents of this extremely significant period in German history.

GER 332HF (GER) Deviance, Madness, Outsiders in Literature

Section Time Room Instructor
T 3-5 J. Noyes

What does it mean to be sane? To be normal? To be human? Throughout modern history, writers have tested the limits of normal human experience by casting their protagonists into the depths of madness and following them through their trials, their elation, their despair. In a speech in 1970 Michel Foucault pointed out what he called “a curious affinity between literature and madness. Literary language is not constrained by the rules of everyday language. For example, it is not subject to the severe rule of constant truth-telling, any more than the teller is under the obligation to always remain sincere in what he thinks and feels. In short, unlike the words of politics or the sciences, those of literature occupy a marginal position with respect to everyday language.” Taking these ideas as our starting point, we will examine a number of texts written between 1800 and 1970. Our aim will be to analyze the literary descriptions of the limit experiences that separate sanity from madness. In the process, we will discuss topics such as truth and truth telling, exclusionary and assimilating practices for dealing with madness, discourses of containment, and how the outsider perspective of madness unsettles truth in literature.

GER 350HF (GER) German Visual Cultures

Section Time Room Instructor
R 4-8 tba

GER 370HF (GER) Business German I

Section Time Room Instructor
T 10-12, R 10-11 S. Gargova

This course has been designed to provide students with practical experience setting up their own company while reviewing and supplementing material from Deutsch im Berufsalltag with information from other authentic texts. This course meets three times a week. “The project” found in Deutsch im Berufsalltag will be used as guidelines for setting up a fictive German company.

GER 410HF (ENG) Introduction to German Intellectual History

Section Time Room Instructor
W 1-3 J. Zilcosky

German intellectual history has provided some of the most important statements in Western culture, from Kant to Hegel to Marx to Nietzsche to Heidegger to Freud to Adorno. The list could go on. In this course, we will examine key moments and themes from German intellectual history in its modern period—from the Enlightenment to the present. Taught in English and open to students across disciplines.

GER 430HF (ENG) Goethe’s Novels

Section Time Room Instructor
T 12-2 AH103 J. Noyes

From the moment he published his first novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werther, at the age of 24 to the appearance of Wilhelm Meister’s Wanderjahre three years before his death, Goethe’s novels set the tone for prose writing in German. His novels are daring, bold, experimental, never satisfied with repeating formula or meeting reader – expectations. In this course we will read all of Goethe’s novels. It is a cross-listed graduate and senior undergraduate course. The classroom language is English. Students in the German department are expected to read the novels in German. For students in Comparative Literature, all the novels are available in English translation.

First Year Seminars

GER 194HF (ENG) The Age of Reason & The New World

Section Time Room Instructor
W 10-12 J. Noyes

Spring 2021

all rooms tba

Language Courses

GER 100Y/*102Y/101HS (GER) Introduction to German

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MTWF 9-10
L0102 MTWF 9-10
L0201 MW 10-12
L0301 MW 1-3
L0401 TR 10-12
L0501 TR 1-3
L5101 MW 6-8
L5201 TR 6-8

The GER 100Y language course is an introductory German course divided into two sections for students with no prior knowledge of the language. Based on a communicative and task-based approach, it is designed to develop proficiency in oral and written communication skills while providing students with knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of German-speaking countries. Students will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through a variety of stimulating activities. Vocabulary will be presented in the context of culturally significant issues. Topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, travel, health and fitness or studying abroad. Additionally, the course will provide students with a foundation in a number of basic grammatical structures and concepts. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In addition to preparation at home, regular class attendance is paramount in order to participate successfully in these activities.

GER 200Y/201HS (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MTWF 9-10
L0201 MW 2-4
L0301 TR 2-4
L5101 MW 6-8

This language course will provide students with genuine communication experiences in order to deepen their understanding of German-speaking countries. It has been designed to further develop communicative proficiency in each of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The textbooks are motivating and encourage interest in culture and language through their unique approach to authentic material illustrating vocabulary in context, communicative functions of grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. All readings, videos, projects, and presentations in class explore historical, social, political, and popular topics while aspects of Germanic and North American cultures are being compared. Learning strategies and self-assessment are part of every chapter, allowing for differentiation among various types of learners. The topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, health and fitness etc. Cultural and linguistic variants of all three German-speaking countries are featured. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In order to participate successfully in these activities, preparation at home and regular class attendance are paramount.

GER 300Y/301HS (GER) Intermediate German II

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12
L0201 TR 1-3
L5101 MW 6-8

This language course will provide students with genuine communication experiences in order to deepen their understanding of German-speaking countries. It has been designed to further develop communicative proficiency in each of the four language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The textbooks are motivating and encourage interest in culture and language through their unique approach to authentic material illustrating vocabulary in context, communicative functions of grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. All readings, videos, projects, and presentations in class explore historical, social, political, and popular topics while aspects of Germanic and North American cultures are being compared. Learning strategies and self-assessment are part of every chapter, allowing for differentiation among various types of learners. The topics cover areas such as introducing and talking about oneself, shopping, telling time and recounting a day, family life, describing and renting an apartment, health and fitness etc. Cultural and linguistic variants of all three German-speaking countries are featured. Class periods will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In order to participate successfully in these activities, preparation at home and regular class attendance are paramount.

GER 401HS (GER) Advanced German 2

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12

This course is aimed at students with a high level of competence in German. Building on material covered in GER 100/200/300, it offers advanced studies of German language, including text-based analysis and with a focus on improving communication skills. It includes a systematic review and expansion of grammar and stylistics, and additional emphasis lies on vocabulary building. The course is partly based on newspaper articles, literary texts, films and websites.

GER 260Y (YID) Elementary Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MWF 3-4

This course is an introduction to the Yiddish language and culture of Ashkenazic Jews. It will begin to prepare you to be able to express yourself in Yiddish, acquire strategies to learn Yiddish independently by developing your ability to understand the structure of the language and to cue in on the features of spoken and written Yiddish.

GER 460HS (YID) Advanced Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 1-2/ F 12-2 S. Hoffman

Advanced reading, writing, vocabulary and conversation. Study of poetry, short fiction and memoir literature by Zeitlin, Bergelson, Gladshteyn, Sholem Aleichem and I.B. Singer. Selected advanced grammatical topics presented in conjunction with the study of texts. (Conducted entirely in Yiddish.)

Topics Courses

GER150HS (ENG) German Culture & Civilization

Section Time Room Instructor
T 1-3 C. Lehleiter
Tutorial Time Room Instructor
R 1-2

This is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of the contemporary cultural, social, economic, and political life of the German-speaking peoples in their historical and international context. Intended for students who are relatively unfamiliar with German culture, the course demonstrates the diverse ways students may understand and interpret “things German” [Taught in English and open to students across disciplines.]

GER 205HS (GER) Introduction to German Literature I

Section Time Room Instructor
M 1-3/W 1-2 W. Goetschel

This course offers an introduction to the study of literature in German. It is aimed at students who have been studying German language for 3 semesters, and are continuing with their 4th semester concurrently with the course. It is intended as a continuing course in language competence, but also an introduction to reading literature in German. We will be reading a number of short literary texts and a few non-fiction texts, specifically with the aim of expanding your working knowledge of the German language, and familiarizing yourself with the subtleties of literary language. As such, the course is meant to provide a transition from the study of language to the topic-based literature courses offered in undergraduate studies in German. Students will receive training in how to read and analyze texts, and how to understand “grammar at work” in literature. Classes will involve reading, discussions, group work, and exercises. Reading assignments will be in German. As far as possible, the classroom language will be German.

GER 310HS (GER) Contemporary Culture & Media

Section Time Room Instructor
F 10-12

GER 321HS (GER) 19th Century German Literature

Section Time Room Instructor
M 2-4 C. Lehleiter

When in 1899 an anonymous writer sent the New Year’s card displayed above, he could look back at a century that had brought enormous changes for the territory that today is Germany. Fighting against Napoleon, Germany’s national feelings had been strengthened and a German state had emerged from a conglomerate of small duchies governed by absolutist rulers. Political revolts had challenged these absolutistic forms of government and had started to replace it with a democratic state of classes. The composition of German society had changed dramatically as a result of the industrial revolution which had replaced traditional manufacturing with mass production by machines and with private capital. The human suffering and social challenges triggered by the industrial revolution had led to new political movements like communism and socialism. Despite these challenges, however, the century had been shaped by the belief in progress and the optimism that new scientific discoveries would lead to a better life for Germany and mankind. In this course, we will study how German authors reflected on these changes in literary, political and philosophical texts. Our work in class will be shaped by class discussions, group work, and occasional lectures. Assignments and discussions will be in German.

GER 322HS (GER) Kafka in Context

Section Time Room Instructor
W 3-5 W. Goetschel

How do we know how to live life in the modern world, when none of our points of reference seem to hold any reliability or stability? How can we even be sure that we are human, and not some strange, deformed animal with consciousness? Are we perhaps moving through life in a dream, or a nightmare? For Kafka, the German-Jewish-Czech writer who lived most of his life in Prague, the only way to answer these and other similarly troubling questions was to make them the basis of his writing. His works offer a unique model for thinking about human life in the modern world, about consciousness, the body, dreaming and waking, the nature of the social world, and many similar issues. And embedded in his writing is a set of unique ideas about how to read literature. In this course we will set out in pursuit of his models and ideas.

GER 326HS (GER) Writing Memory

Section Time Room Instructor
T 3-5 H.-S. Kim

Prerequisite GER205H

German literature in the aftermath of World War II started from a new beginning, with many authors attempting to find a way of describing the shocking, nihilistic experience of war and devastation –  often taking their cue from foreign models or existentialist and traditional Christian trains of thought. This course offers an examination of this post-War literature and culture from ‘Zero Hour’ through to contemporary debates about the Holocaust and its memorization. Texts by authors such as Günter Grass, Herinrich Böll, Ulrich Plenzdorf, Christa Wolf, Peter Schneider, Bernhard Schlink, Peter Weiss, Zafer Senocak et al.

GER 361HS (ENG) Yiddish Literature in Translation

Section Time Room Instructor
W 10-12 A. Hoffman

An overview of the major figures and tendencies in modern Yiddish literature and culture from the beginning of the 19 th century to the present, featuring readings of mode rn Yiddish prose, poetry, drama and cinema. Students with knowledge of Yiddish are encouraged to read some original texts. [Taught in English and open to students across disciplines.]

GER 372HS (GER) Business German 2

Section Time Room Instructor
T 10-12/R 10-11 S. Gargova

This course is designed as a fourth year language course for students who have completed at least the first three years of college German or the equivalent. Course objectives are to increase the student’s proficiency in the four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) – with special emphasis on selected German business topics to help the student better understand the German business world.

GER 426HS (GER) Medieval German Language & Literature

Section Time Room Instructor
M 3-5

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.

First Year Seminars

GER 195HS (ENG) Cities, Real and Imagined

Section Time Room Instructor
R 10-12 H.-S. Kim

Cities have been described as places of desire and places of fear. They pulse with life, bringing together people from different class, gender, and ethnic backgrounds, simultaneously giving rise to a sense of freedom and oppression, a sense of belonging and alienation. This course will explore the city as a physical reality that shapes our lives, but is also a projection of our deepest imaginings. Through readings of philosophical and sociological texts by influential theorists of the city, we will consider various ancient and modern conceptions of urban space and subjectivity. Alongside these theoretical readings, we will also examine literary and filmic representations of the city as a space of desire, memory and power.