Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2020

Language Courses

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

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MW 9-11  online synchronous  L. Côté-Pitre
L0102 WF 8-10  online synchronous  F. Müller
L0201 MW 11-1  online synchronous  V. Curran
L0301 MW 1-3  online synchronous  Y. Aly
L0401 TR 10-12  online synchronous  A. Warren
L0501 TR 1-3  online synchronous  Y. Aly
L5101 MW 6-8  online synchronous  J. Evjen
L5201 TR 6-8  online synchronous  M. Harutyunyan

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  D. Khamseh
L0201 TR 1-3  online synchronous  H.-S. Kim
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 400HF (GER) Advanced German I

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

This is a synchronous online 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 260Y (YID) Elementary Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 MWF 3-4  online synchronous  S. Hoffman

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.

Yiddish is old and new, pious and rebellious, stateless but international. It was born about a millennium ago in what is today Germany, called Ashkenaz in Jewish texts, and has traveled wherever Ashkenazim traveled, immigrated, exiled. Yiddish is still spoken as a native language by more than a million people, and is studied and spoken by Jews and non-Jews around the world who want to access the vast legacy of literature, music, religious and folk traditions, politics and history, theater, film, and humor that exist only in Yiddish. Yiddish is a Germanic language, so it is relatively easy for English-speakers to learn.

You will not regret opening the door to Yiddish, I promise! In this course, you will acquire basic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in Yiddish. You will learn to talk and write about yourself and your interests, surroundings, friends & family. You will also learn about the history, sociology and culture of Yiddish and how Jewish life of the past centuries is reflected in the language. We may start a correspondence with Yiddish students somewhere else. As you can see from the grading system, active classroom participation is very important. You will learn more by bravely speaking with some errors than by staying silent. Please help ensure that other students feel comfortable doing the same. Homework assignments are given daily and are always due the next class. There will be occasional quizzes, mainly “take-home.”Some themes or modes of communication may come easier to you than others. I am always happy to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the class, or to give you additional help that you might need.

 The last class will be dedicated to presentations of a small creative project. The main idea is that you get a chance to create something that will be useful to you outside of class, whether personally, academically,or professionally. Some past projects have been:translation of a historical document or a Dr. Seuss book, deciphering an old family letter, performing a song, a poem, or a skit, a cooking project, a computer game. You may want to work on your project individually or in a group. I will ask you to evaluate some of your own effort and achievement, to guide me in providing you with a final grade.Please don’t hesitate to email or call me with any questions, concerns, comments, etc.

GER 360HF (YID) Intermediate Yiddish

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 1-2, F 12-2  online synchronous  M. Borden

This course will build on the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in Elementary Yiddish. Emphasis will shift slightly towards reading, listening and speaking. We will read poetry and selections from classic literature, working through the second half of the College Yiddish textbook while consulting a variety of materials from the Yiddish school system in its heyday, the 1940s and 50s. You will write compositions and summaries, acquire new vocabulary words, listen to recordings, watch films, and give presentations. We will sing and play games, often! We will also go on a tour of Yiddish-speaking Toronto (past and present), using archival Yiddish materials as our guide to understanding our local Yiddish landscape. This course will be conducted in Yiddish, using English only when necessary.

Topics Courses

GER 275HF (ENG) Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 4-6 (Tutorials R 3-4, 4-5, 5-6) online synchronous 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 305HF (GER) Introduction to German Literature II

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 M 3-5, W 3-4 online synchronous 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
 L0101  F 10-12  online synchronous  E. Lange

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 323HF (GER) Weimar Culture & Beyond

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 M 10-12  online asynchronous C. Lehleiter

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
L0101 T 3-5 online asynchronous C. Lehleiter

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 361HF (ENG) Yiddish Literature in Translation

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 R 11-1 online synchronous S. Hoffman

An overview of the major figures and tendencies in modern Yiddish literature and culture from the beginning of the 19th century to the present, featuring readings of modern 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 370HF (GER) Business German I

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

This synchronous online course will provide students with an exciting opportunity to learn about and experience German business culture, all awhile helping them strengthen and develop their cross-cultural competencies, as well as intercultural communicative skills and sensitivity. Students will learn how to competently engage in business communications, as well as navigate phone and email etiquette. In addition, participants will work on compiling their own job application portfolio. The course will further help participants build and expand their German speaking, hearing, reading and writing skills relevant to various professional contexts and prepare them for the Goethe-Zertifikat B2. An authentic German textbook, as well as regular exploration of relevant media and top German financial and business magazines alongside exciting hands-on projects make this course a valuable learning experience for anyone who wishes to prepare themselves for successfully navigating the global business community. Prerequisites: GER272H OR GER300/301. 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 410HF (ENG) Introduction to German Intellectual History

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 1-3 online synchronous 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.

First Year Seminars

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

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 W 10-12 online synchronous J. Noyes

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 W. Ohm
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 tba

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 T 1-3 online asynchronous C. Lehleiter
Tutorial Time Room Instructor
 R 1-2  online asynchronous  tba

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 321HS (GER) 19th Century German Literature

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101 M 2-4 tba

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
L0101  W 3-5 tba

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.

First Year Seminars

GER 195HS (ENG) Cities, Real and Imagined

Section Time Room Instructor
L0101  M 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.