Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2021

Language Courses

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

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 9-11  online synchronous V. Abletshauser
L0102 WF 8-10  online synchronous S. Mostafa
L0201 MW 11-1  online synchronous  V. Curran
L0301 MW 1-3  online synchronous S. Mostafa
L0401 TR 10-12  online synchronous V. Shewfelt
L0501 TR 1-3  online synchronous G. Zhao
L5101 MW 6-8  online synchronous  J. Evjen
L5201 TR 6-8  online synchronous  S. Sun

This synchronous online introductory German course is for students with no prior knowledge of the language. It is a year course divided into two sections. 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 off- and on-line activities, both during live meetings and on the reliable online platform accompanying the textbook. 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. Vocabulary will be presented in the context of culturally significant issues. Additionally, the course will provide students with a foundation in a number of basic grammatical structures and concepts. Live online sessions will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises. In addition to preparation at home, regularly participating in and attending the online sessions is paramount in order to successfully complete the course.

GER 200Y (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 WF 8-10   online synchronous  T. Wilczek
L0201 MW 2-4   online synchronous  C. Gerber
L0301 TR 2-4   online synchronous  S. Gargova
L5101 MW 6-8   online synchronous  R. Laszlo

This synchronous online intermediate German language course builds on skills acquired in beginner’s German. It is a year course divided into two sections and is designed to provide students with genuine communication experiences while reviewing and further developing participants’ linguistic and cultural competencies. Students will have a chance to practice and enhance their German speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills by engaging with a variety of texts and media during live classes, as well as on the reliable online platform accompanying the textbook. The themes in the textbook provide a springboard for various online activities, assignments, and vocabulary building tasks. All class readings, videos, projects, and presentations will 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. Students will further practice grammatical structures and acquire vocabulary that will allow them to express opinions, agreements, and disagreements in communicative situations encountered in work, school, and travel. By learning about German, Austrian, and Swiss cities featured in the textbook and supporting materials, students will get to explore regional differences in German-speaking countries. Regular online meetings will be devoted mostly to communicative and interactive exercises and group work. In order to successfully participate in these activities, independent work and preparation are paramount.

GER 300Y (GER) Intermediate German II

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 8-10  online synchronous  E. Lange
L0201 TR 1-3  online synchronous D. Khamseh
L5101 MW 6-8  online synchronous  A. Flicker

This synchronous online intermediate German language course builds on GER200Y. It is a year course divided into two sections and focuses on effective oral and written expression, hearing and reading comprehension, in-depth review of grammar as well as the study of more complex structures. Through engagement with a variety of readings, videos, and films on important historical, cultural, social, and political topics in German-speaking countries, students will have the opportunity to practice grammar and vocabulary in embedded and culturally relevant contexts. The aim of this course is to equip students with the skills to understand extended speech, to read articles on contemporary problems, to describe personal experiences and to explain viewpoints on topical issues in speech and in writing. The textbook offers engaging culture topics, authentic readings, contextualized grammar and a reliable online platform. Regular online meetings will be devoted to communicative and interactive exercises and group work. In order to successfully participate in these activities, independent work and preparation are paramount.

GER 401HS (GER) Advanced German 2

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12 online synchronous W. Ohm

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  online synchronous  E. Jany

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 online synchronous 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
 L0101 asynchronous online asynchronous C. Lehleiter

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
L0101  M 1-3/W 1-2  online synchronous 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 290HS (ENG) Global Issues: German Contexts

Section Time Room Instructor
 L0101 M 4-6  online synchronous  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 322HS (GER) Kafka in Context

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101  W 3-5 J. Noyes

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
L0101  T 3-5  online synchronous 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 372HS (GER) Business German 2

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101  T 10-12/R 10-11  online synchronous S. Gargova

This synchronous online course is a continuation of German Business Culture II. It 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 of speaking, listening, reading and writing with special emphasis on selected German business topics. Participants will engage with various authentic text and media from the textbook, online platform, relevant social media accounts, as well as top German business magazines. Regular online meetings will be devoted to communicative and interactive exercises and group work. In order to successfully participate in these activities, independent work and preparation are paramount.


Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 S. Soldovieri

The course provides a curricular complement to placements in the Department’s internationalization and experiential learning initiative, iPRAKTIKUM, which provides U of T students with high-impact work and community-engaged, work-related placements in the GTA and in German-speaking countries. The placements are designed to deepen linguistic, cultural, and analytical skills acquired in the classroom in work-related environments, create an awareness of the translatability of academic knowledge to other contexts, promote global competency, and foster links to the community. Students who have completed or are completing an iPRAKTIKUM placement are eligible for GER391. Typically, students complete the placement in the summer and enroll in GER391 in the fall term. Other arrangements are possible in consultation with iPRAKTIKUM administrators and the undergraduate coordinator. Students must seek advising before being admitted to the course. The course learning objectives and assessments are formulated on an individual basis and are designed to build on and deepen the internship experience and associated reflective activities (eJournals, mentorship meetings, etc.). Course requirements may include poster presentations, podcasts, research papers or projects, post-placement interviews, peer-to-peer mentoring, and other forms of assessment and reflection.

GER 431S (ENG) Goethe’s Novels

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 F 10-12 online synchronous 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 195HS (ENG) Cities, Real and Imagined

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101  R 10-12  online synchronous 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.