Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2021

Language Courses

GER 100Y1/*102Y1 (GER) Introduction to German

Section Time Room Instructor
*L9901 MW 9-11 online synchronous S. Gargova
L9902 WF 8-10 online synchronous Z. Deng
L0101 MW 11-1 M:EM 108, W:NF 119 V. Curran
L0201 MW 1-3 TF 102 N. Roethlisberger
L0301 TR 10-12 TF 202 M. Harutyunyan
L0401 TR 1-3 TF 102 F. Roessler
L5101 MW 6-8 TF 202 A. Klee
L5201 TR 6-8 TF 201 J. Yang

This 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 200Y1 (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0201 TR 2-4 CR 404 S. Mostafa
L0301 WF 8-10 AH 107 F. Mueller
L519901 MW 6-8 online synchronous S. Gargova

This 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 300Y1 (GER) Intermediate German II

Section Time Room Instructor
L9901 MW 8-10 online synchronous E. Lange
L0101 TR 9-11 CR 406 A. Flicker
L5101 MW 6-8 TF 201 A. Popovich

This 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 400HF (GER) Advanced German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 10-12 NF 006 E. Boran

This is an advanced German language course 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 a focus on improving communication skills. The course design provides a systematic review and expansion of grammar and stylistics, with additional emphasis on vocabulary building. The course is based on a German textbook, engaging and reliable online platform, as well as a carefully curated selection of authentic newspaper articles, literary texts, films and websites. 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 260Y1 (YID) Elementary Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MWF 2-3 AH 103 E. Jany

This course is an introduction to the Yiddish language suitable for students with no prior Yiddish knowledge. You will begin by learning to read and write the Yiddish alphabet (the alef-beys), and will continue to develop your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills throughout the year via in-class conversations and activities, homework, and individual assignments. The goal of this course is to enable you to communicate and understand basic information in Yiddish, to expose you to the culture and history of Yiddish-speaking communities, and to provide you with a foundational understanding of Yiddish grammar. Throughout the course, songs, dialogues, artwork, and historical and literary materials will help you gain an appreciation for the language in a variety of authentic contexts. We will be using the communicative approach-based textbook In eynem. Please note that the first term of this course will be online via Zoom and the second term will be in-person.

GER 360HF (YID) Intermediate Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 12-1, F 10-12 NF 008 M. Schwartz

This course will build on the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in beginner’s Yiddish. Emphasis will shift slightly towards reading literature and conducting conversations. We will continue to work with In Eynem, completing the second volume of the book, with additional materials from College Yiddish. You will write compositions and summaries, acquire new vocabulary words, listen to recordings, watch films, and give presentations.

Topic Courses Fall

GER 197HF (ENG) Poets & Power: Art under the Nazis
*FYF (First-Year-Foundation) seminars exclusively for first-year students*

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 T 10-12 NF 235 J. Zilcosky

Did you know that Hitler was a failed artist? Goebbels a poet? Göring a collector of art? That there was an orchestra in Auschwitz? In this course, we will examine the ways in which politics and aesthetics intertwined in Nazism: the fascist cult of beauty; the theatrics of political propaganda; anti-Semitic entertainment films; and the eroticization of the Führer-figure. We will investigate this marriage of beauty and violence, and ask ourselves: What made the “Third Reich” so attractive to so many? Beginning with the great aesthetic movements from the pre-Nazi era, we will analyze Hitler’s 1937 ban on “degenerate,” modern art, as well as his return to Greek and Roman images of beauty. Throughout the course, we will consider some of the high points of German culture – in philosophy, music, and literature – and ask: How did a society that produced such works of genius also create Nazism and the Holocaust?

GER 290HF (ENG) Global Issues: German Contexts

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 T 1-3 AH 302 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
L0101 M 12-2, W 12-1 NF 006 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 310HF (GER) Contemporary Culture & Media

Section Time Room Instructor
L5101 T 6-8 CR 403 R. Laszlo

This course focuses on selected aspects central to contemporary German culture and society. Topics such as current political and societal debates, the production of art and culture, and the sentiment of the everyday life will be explored. Based on intriguing reading selections from various media, including news sources, literary works, columns, film and video, the course offers a diverse view of contemporary German life. Students will gain practice in all four language skills (reading and listening comprehension, writing, speaking) and have opportunities for creative work in addition to traditional assignments.

GER 336HF (GER) Focus on Berlin – What Lies Beyond the Wall

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 R 10-12 TF 201 E. Boran

Vor sechzig Jahren, am 13. August 1961, wurde fast von einem Tag auf den nächsten die berüchtigte Berliner Mauer hochgezogen, die danach Jahrzehnte lang das Schicksal aller Deutschen, vor allem aber der Berliner prägte – ein Symbol des Kalten Krieges und eine Trennlinie zwischen gegensätzlichen Ideologien, die das Land in zwei Teile spaltete. Am 9. November 1989 fiel die Mauer, und im Jahr darauf feierte Deutschland die Wiedervereinigung. Trotzdem scheint die Trennung bis heute nicht ganz überwunden, der Schatten der Mauer liegt immer noch über der Stadt. Die physische Mauer mag mehr oder minder verschwunden sein, eine mentale Mauer aber ist geblieben – ganz wie der Autor Peter Schneider 1982 vorhersagte: “Die Mauer im Kopf einzureißen wird länger dauern, als irgendein Abrissunternehmen für die sichtbare Mauer braucht.”

GER 367HF (ENG) Topics in Yiddish/German Literature & Culture

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 R 2-4 CR 405 R. Seelig

Shtetl: The Jewish Town in Modern Yiddish Literature & Culture

The shtetl is often invoked as a symbol of East European Jewish life before the Holocaust. But what exactly was the shtetl? Since the late nineteenth century, Jewish writers have mocked, satirized, mythologized and memorialized the shtetl, especially in Yiddish. This course explores manifold representations of the Jewish town—ranging from epic to ridiculous—and considers why the shtetl maintains a unique hold on the Jewish imagination.

GER 426HF (GER) Introduction to Medieval German

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 F 10-12 UC 67 M. 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.

Spring 2022

Language Courses

GER 100Y1/*102Y1/101HS (GER) Introduction to German

Section Time Room Instructor
*L9901 MW 9-11 online synchronous L. Lackner
L9902 WF 8-10 online synchronous L. Côté-Pitre
L0101 MW 11-1 TF 101 V. Curran
L0201 MW 1-3 TF 102 tba
L0301 TR 10-12 TF 202 V. Shewfelt
L0401 TR 1-3 TF 102 S. Mostafa
L5101 MW 6-8 TF 202 V. Curran
L5201 TR 6-8 TF 201 J. Evjen

This 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 200Y1/*201HS (GER) Intermediate German I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 2-4 TF 101 M. Harutyunyan
L0201 TR 2-4 CR 404 R. Laszlo
L0301 WF 8-10 AH 107 F. Mueller
L519901 MW 6-8 online synchronous S. Gargova

This 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 300Y1/*301HS (GER) Intermediate German II

Section Time Room Instructor
L9901 MW 8-10 online synchronous E. Lange
L0101 TR 9-11 CR 406 A. Flicker
L5101 MW 6-8 TF 201 T. Wilczek

This 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 TF 200 T. Wilczek

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 260Y1 (YID) Elementary Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MWF 2-3 AH 103 S. Edelhart

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.

Topic Courses Spring

GER150HS (ENG) German Culture & Civilization

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 T 1-3
Tut: R 1-2
NF 004
Tut: VC 215
J. Zilcosky

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.]

GER194HF (ENG) Our Vampires, Ourselves
*FYF (First-Year-Foundation) seminars exclusively for first-year students*

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 F 10-12 IN 312 E. Boran

Vampires are among the most fascinating figures of popular culture. Since Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) – and, in fact, well before that – they have been haunting the human imagination in various shapes and forms. But, of course, vampires have existed much longer than that – first in folktales and later, well before Stoker’s ominous Count, in German poetry. This course examines the figure of the vampire as a potent cultural metaphor showing how every age embraces the vampires it needs and gets the vampires it deserves. The goal is to teach students to reflect critically and independently on issues of self and society and to develop a structured approach to critical thinking in general. While focusing on what may be called the “Stoker paradigm”, we will go far beyond the portrayal of vampires as the absolute other. Students will have the opportunity to research individual topics to be presented in class.

GER 205HS (GER) German Literature I

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 M 1-3/W12-1 AH 302 W. Goetschel

This prerequisite course offers an introduction to work methods and skills pertaining to the study of German literature. As such, the course is meant to provide a transition from language to topic courses. Students will receive training in how to give a successful presentation, how to read and analyze texts, how to find secondary literature and how to write short papers. The course is required for majors and specialists and a pre-requisite course for most of the other topic courses. It should be taken as early as possible.

GER 220HS (ENG) German Literature in Translation

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 T 3-5 VC 212 J. Noyes

GER 270HS (ENG) Money and Economy

Section Time Room Instructor
T0101 M 1-3 VC 211 C. Lehleiter

In this course, we examine key literary, philosophical, and cultural texts, in order to understand how modern culture approaches problems such as property, debt, and exchange value.

GER 272HS (GER) Introduction to Business German

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 T 10-12/R 10-12 CR 404 S. Gargova

This course introduces students to basic concepts and vocabulary necessary for the German business context. All the language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) will be practiced in appropriate business contexts.

GER 326HS (GER) Writing Memory: Post 1945

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 12-2 TF 200 A. Sharifi

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 and others.

GER 340HS (GER) German Theatre Production

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 TR 10-12 TF 101 E. Boran

Prerequisite: GER200Y

This course focuses on reading, interpreting, contextualizing, rehearsing & staging a German play. In the process of the course, students become familiar with the different steps of a theater production – from read-through to tech- run & dress rehearsal. They take on various responsibilities that go along with any theater production, such as playbills, programs, costumes, set, sound & lights, dramaturgy, etc. Students will be introduced to basic acting & staging techniques and get acquainted to leading 20th century theories of theater.

[Plays staged to date: Die Physiker by F. Dürrenmatt (2010), Drakul(j)a by E. Boran (2012), Hochwasser by G. Grass (2015), Woyzeck by G. Büchner (2016). Coming up in 2019: Struwwelpeter]

GER 430HS (ENG) Open Topic in German Studies

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 F 1-3 NF 235 A. Sharifi

Course description tba.