Undergraduate Courses

This page contains synopses of Fall 2021 course offerings. A complete schedule and more detailed descriptions can be found in the Georgetown Schedule of Classes.

GERM 001 – Introductory German: Contemporary Germany 
Part I of Level I. The two-course sequence of Level I introduces students to various aspects of the German-speaking world as a way of enabling them to begin building communicative abilities in German in all four language modalities: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Instruction proceeds from guided to more creative and independent work. The courses incorporate a variety of activities that are based on a range of topics, text types, and different socio-cultural situations. Through diverse collaborative and individual tasks, students begin to find personal forms of expression that are based on these materials. Students learn basic strategies for reading, listening, and writing, and for participating in every-day conversations. In the process they become familiar with and learn to use with some confidence the major sentence patterns and grammatical features of German as well as high-frequency vocabulary of everyday life. Integration of current technology (e.g., the Internet, e-mail, video) familiarizes students with the German-speaking world while at the same time enhancing language learning.

GERM 002 – Introductory German: Contemporary Germany (Cooper Dougherty)
Part II of Level I. The two-course sequence of Level I introduces students to various aspects of the German-speaking world as a way of enabling them to begin building communicative abilities in German in all four language modalities: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Instruction proceeds from guided to more creative and independent work. The courses incorporate a variety of activities that are based on a range of topics, text types, and different socio-cultural situations. Through diverse collaborative and individual tasks, students begin to find personal forms of expression that are based on these materials. Students learn basic strategies for reading, listening, and writing, and for participating in every-day conversations. In the process they become familiar with and learn to use with some confidence the major sentence patterns and grammatical features of German as well as high-frequency vocabulary of everyday life. Integration of current technology (e.g., the Internet, e-mail, video) familiarizes students with the German-speaking world while at the same time enhancing language learning. 

GERM 011 – Intensive Basic German: Contemporary Germany (Joe Cunningham)
In the intensive track, the two-course sequence of Level I is taught in one semester. The course introduces students to various aspects of the German-speaking world as a way of enabling them to begin building communicative abilities in German in all four language modalities: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Instruction proceeds from guided to more creative and independent work. The course incorporate a variety of activities that are based on a range of topics, text types, and different socio-cultural situations. Through diverse collaborative and individual tasks, students begin to find personal forms of expression that are based on these materials. Students learn basic strategies for reading, listening, and writing, and for participating in every-day conversations. In the process they become familiar with and learn to use with some confidence the major sentence patterns and grammatical features of German as well as high-frequency vocabulary of everyday life. Integration of current technology (e.g., the Internet, e-mail, video) familiarizes students with the German-speaking world while at the same time enhancing language learning.

GERM 021 – Intermediate German: Experiencing the German-Speaking World
This course is the first half of the two-part course sequence at Level II. The course is organized topically to familiarize students with contemporary life in the German-speaking world. In Intermediate I, students explore the following themes:

Where home is: What does “Heimat” mean?
National pride – a German debate
From art to kitsch: the cultural city of Vienna


The primary text type that is used at this level to explore each theme is the story, — personal, public and literary stories. Students typically encounter each text first in class and then engage it further out of class in preparation for subsequent in-depth thematic discussions in class. Class discussions often involve role play and/or group work as a way to enhance conversational and negotiating abilities. The course’s emphasis on improving students’ ability to narrate, compare and contrast, express opinions, and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing lays the groundwork for the historical treatment of stories and histories in Level III.

GERM 032 – Intensive Intermediate German: Experiencing the German-Speaking World (Anja Banchoff)
In the intensive track, the two-course sequence of Level II is taught in one semester. The course is organized topically to familiarize students with contemporary life in the German-speaking world. In Intensive Intermediate, students explore the following themes:

– Where home is: What does “Heimat” mean?
– National pride – a German debate
– From art to kitsch: the cultural city of Vienna
– Nature, people, environment
– Fairy tales
– The German-speaking world through the eyes of a foreigner


The primary text type that is used at this level to explore each theme is the story, — personal, public and literary stories. Students typically encounter each text first in class and then engage it further out of class in preparation for subsequent in-depth thematic discussions in class. Class discussions often involve role play and/or group work as a way to enhance conversational and negotiating abilities. The course’s emphasis on improving students’ ability to narrate, compare and contrast, express opinions, and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing lays the groundwork for the historical treatment of stories and histories in Level III.

GERM 101 – Advanced German I: Stories and Histories (Friederike Eigler)
This course is the first half of the two-part course sequence at Level III. The course is designed to provide students thorough exposure to contemporary historical and social issues in Germany from 1945 to the present. In Advanced I, the students explore the following two themes:

• Germany after 1945: end of war, division of Germany, rebuilding the country
• Two German states (1949-1989)

Drawing on the dual meaning of the German word Geschichte (i.e., history and story), the theme-oriented instructional units in Level III emphasize personal and public stories in German history, while connecting oral narratives with written narratives. Students improve their ability to narrate, compare and contrast and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing. Through the integration of all modalities, this course promotes accuracy, fluency and complexity in language use. The development of advanced reading and writing is considered the primary means for expanding students’ language abilities at this level of language instruction.

GERM 152 – Text in Context: Reading Germany (Verena Kick)
This course aims to familiarize students with academic forms of discourse in all modalities, particularly reading, writing, and speaking. It is a required course for German majors and strongly recommended for students who are planning to study abroad or are otherwise interested in using German in a professional environment (e.g., the business world, banking, non-governmental agencies, think tanks). Themes addressed in the course are likely to include some of the following topics: the role of German past in the German society today, the higher education scene in the German-speaking countries, the role of Germany in the European Union, environment protection, issues of migration and identity, political movements, etc.

Students will be guided to attain a level of accuracy, fluency, and complexity in German that should enable them to interact competently and comfortably in private as well as some public settings where they begin to address a range of issues in contemporary German public life. Accordingly, the course places particular emphasis on language use in public settings, referring to various socio-cultural and political issues or addressing how historical events and interpretations shape contemporary sensibilities and policies. Its particular focus is on language use in academic settings, so that students can perform the kinds of tasks that define academic work, in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It emphasizes individual progress since students are likely to have different language and learner profiles and therefore different needs.

GERM 161 – Issues and Trends (Marianna Ryshina-Pankova)
This three-credit Level IV course aims to develop the advanced literacy abilities of summarizing, interpreting and questioning, and presenting and substantiating arguments in professional and academic settings, primarily in speaking but also in writing, through the in-depth exploration of current political, social, and cultural issues in Germany as they are portrayed and discussed in major media outlets. This semester the course will focus on the following three contemporary issues (there might be adjustments):

Nationale Identität und Fußballpatriotismus: Redefinition of national identity in the post-war period and its expression in the context of soccer.
Demographischer Wandel: The changing demographics in Germany, particularly the ongoing debate regarding the declining birth rate;
Die Stationierung deutscher Streitkräfte im Ausland: Controversy concerning the role of German armed forces abroad, with particular focus on Afghanistan.

In order to develop students’ ability to discuss these issues at an advanced level, the language used in public to debate the issues will be examined and will serve as a model for student appropriation and eventual production. As with all Level IV courses in the Georgetown German Department, students’ language production moves from a primarily narrative focus to a more analytical and interpretive focus. Because of this framework and its emphases, this course in particular is seen as helpful preparation for the SFS oral proficiency exam.

GERM 167 – Liebe, Lust und Leidenschaft (Kessi Kuhn)
“Love” in all of its manifestations might well be the most popular topic of literature throughout all cultures and historical periods. Yet despite this universal appeal, notions and representations of love have changed (and continue to change) quite dramatically over time and across various cultures and subcultures. This course explores the literary and visual discourses on love and its manifestations in romantic relationships in selected German-language texts from the 18th century to the present. Based on these texts, we will discuss the class and gender-specific implications of the changing notions of “love” both for the individual and for society.

By reading independently and working collaboratively with texts and films, students will increase their understanding of textual organization and of academic language use in German. By the end of the semester, students will be able to read, describe, and interpret some of the best-known love stories in German; identify and comment on historically changing representations of love; draw on secondary literature for the analysis of literature and film; give oral presentations using a high register of German; and participate in a panel discussion.  

GERM 283 – Babylon, Berlin, Bauhaus – Weimar Germany in the 20th and 21st Century (Verena Kick)
In 2017, the German TV series Babylon Berlin became an international hit, bringing the Weimar Republic to viewers all over the globe. As the series’ title indicates, it takes place in Germany’s fast-paced metropolis. Lavish sets recreate the streets, cafés and nightclubs of 1920s Berlin and even a steam engine is headed towards the city in the opening scenes, just like in Walter Ruttmann’s 1927 silent film Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt. With a production budget of $44 million, it should not be a problem to bring Berlin and Weimar Germany from 1929 to viewers in 2018, right? But is it the historic Berlin of 1929? Then again, is there such a thing as an authentic depiction of bygone times?

To this end, we will explore Weimar Germany’s social, political and economic history, and its cultural innovations that would greatly influence not only the rest of the 20th century, but also the 21st century. To this day, Weimar Germany is remembered for its important contributions to Modernism in art, photography, architecture, literature, music and cinema. This includes movements such as Expressionism, Dada and New Objectivity, the German art school Bauhaus and prominent names, including Alfred Döblin, Bertolt Brecht or Fritz Lang.

GERM 392 – German Business Culture (Anja Banchoff)
This Level V course explores the effects of globalization on German business and society. Proceeding from the case study of a German-American business merger, students gain insights into the underlying cultural dimensions of the world of business in today’s Germany. Topics include international mergers, labor relations, and entrepreneurship in Germany. Content acquisition is coupled with a theme and genre approach. Extensive reading, writing component, group presentations, and individual research projects emphasize cross-cultural awareness.

GERM 445 – Fundamentals of Teaching towards Advanced Literacy in a Foreign Language (Joe Cunningham)
This graduate-level seminar focuses on developing requisite foundational knowledge and critical awareness of various practical approaches to foreign language instruction in the American educational context, particularly at the college level (e.g., communicative, task-based, ecological-semiotic, etc.). Students become informed about (1) cognitive, socio-cultural, linguistic, and affective factors influencing the principles and processes of learning, particularly instructed second language learning; (2) the historical, educational, institutional, and curricular context within which instruction takes place; (3) pedagogical approaches to developing adult learners’ second language ability; and (4) the roles they could and should take on as teachers in order to enhance student learning. (Qualified undergraduate students interested in teaching foreign languages may be allowed to enroll. Taught in English.)

GERM 043 – Witches in History, Myth and Fiction (Samantha Grayck)
The course investigates what is clearly one of the most disturbing and inexplicable occurrences in human history. Unlike the Holocaust, to which the witch hunts are frequently compared, the persecution of witches cannot be viewed as a relatively brief and unusually violent historical anomaly, since it continued over several hundred years; the witch hunts cannot be explained in the context of national specificity since they spanned almost the entire European continent and migrated to early America; nor can these events be blamed on any single “madman.” As a historical phenomenon, the witch persecution defies simplistic explanations and thus lends itself particularly well to the kinds of investigation this course intends. (Taught in English, HALC)

The following list contains samples of Level IV and V courses from recent semesters.

LEVEL IV

GERM 166 – Murder, Mystery, Madness (Marianna Ryshina-Pankova)
This course examines stories of crime, murder, and madness in 19th- and 20th-century German literature and film as expressions of the increasingly complex relationship among individuals and between the individual and the social order. It considers how German artists have used the medium of crime novellas, dramas, fiction, and film to explore the depths of human motivations and consciousness, of the quest for love, justice, and truth, as well as the desire for vengeance, manipulative power, and destruction. How rationality and madness, the mysterious and the evil are understood and depicted at different times will allow us a view into moral dilemmas and moral truths, as well as forms of complicity, culpability, and exoneration. The reading material includes texts from diverse genres (novels, plays, film/tv, essays) and literary periods (Romanticism, Realism, and the postmodernism of the post-war period). In sum, we will get to know some terrifically suspenseful, eerie, and unusual texts by well-known German-speaking authors of the 19th and 20th century, acquaint ourselves with some of the persistent philosophical questions they have raised, and learn about important literary periods and styles.

GERM 173 – Business in Germany (Anja Banchoff)
This course has a content focus on economic and business issues as related to today’s Germany. With all topics, emphasis is placed on cross-cultural comparisons between the U.S. and Germany. The content foci are explored through exposure to a variety of genres and close analysis of discursive practices prevalent in formal, business-oriented German. Students are guided towards acquisition of advanced language abilities as they examine textual organization features and expand their repertoire of specific technical vocabulary and grammatical structures necessary for making meaning in a business domain. 


LEVEL V

GERM 250 – Green Germany (Marianna Ryshina-Pankova)
Germany has been seen as a country famous for its strong commitment to mastering environmental challenges, promoting initiatives to fight global warning, and developing groundbreaking environmental technologies.

Topics covered in the course include:
– What are the major literary texts that help us understand how Germany became a forerunner in environmental thinking and policy construction?
– How is climate change discussed in the German scientific and popular media discourse? What metaphors are used?
– How are national and international political mechanisms for fighting against climate change represented in the German press?
– What is the discourse of the local measures taken to foster environment protection and reduction of green gas emissions?
– What are the typical ways of representing individual voices of the German citizens involved in nature protection and sustainable use of energy?


This course explores the topic of environmentalism, climate change, and environment protection initiatives in Germany after 1945 to the present by focusing on a variety of written texts and media (2 feature films and a cartoon) that address the questions raised above.

GERM 255 – Isn’t It Romantic? (Astrid Weigert)
Ghosts, dwarves, mermaids, and souls sold to the devil – these are only a few of the creatures found in Romantic tales. This course explores the most fascinating and multi-faceted period in German literary and cultural history – Romanticism. Students will become familiar with the biographies, works, and aesthetic ideas of some of the major as well as some of the lesser-known authors of the period. The inclusion of music and the visual arts aims to offer a well-rounded picture of this important period.

The three content areas will be closely coupled with fostering academic-level language abilities, stressing close reading and interpretation. An emphasis on genre will enable a focused and productive approach to the texts in the course. Themes of the course include Uncanny Tales, Music and the Visual Arts, and the Romantic Theorist, Writer, and Critic.

GERM 257 – Alles Theater! (Astrid Weigert)
Theater – as an institution and aesthetic experience – has been a dominant force in German culture and has greatly influenced the concept of Germany as a Kulturnation.  This course links a socio-historical perspective on the German theater landscape with readings of plays from the late 18th-century to our 21st century and in-class performances of short scenes.

Topics to be explored include theater and nation, theater and social issues, and theater and gender.

We will draw on plays by a variety of playwrights from various periods– male, female, canonical, non-canonical – such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Georg Büchner, Elsa Bernstein, Berthold Brecht, and Maxi Obexer. In addition to the plays themselves, our texts will include select socio-historical overviews, playbills, reviews, videos of performances, (auto)biographies (excerpts), and secondary literature.

GERM 274 – Experiences of Modernity: Germany 1871-1990 (Peter C. Pfeiffer)
The course combines selected readings of non-fiction, historical accounts, political treatise, and literary works with a generous cross-section of films to look at some major cultural developments in Germany between the founding of the second empire in 1871 and the reunification of Germany in 1990. A particular focus will be on issues of modernity (and post-modernity) such as technological advances, urbanization, mass society, democratization, totalitarianism, migration, and globalized economic development.

Students will have extensive reading assignments and watch one to three movies every week. The readings will be complemented by writing assignments in three distinctive genres (narrative of a story-line; analytical interpretation of multiple non-fiction texts and films; evaluation of divergent positions) and a formal oral presentation of additional materials.

GERM 277 – All Eyes on Berlin: The German Metropolis in Film and Text (Verena Kick)
In this course we will look at Germany’s capital from two angles: as a site of film-making and as an inspiration for literary imagination. A modern metropolis like Berlin with its fast-paced lifestyle and its constantly developing infrastructure and architecture has always fascinated writers and filmmakers. In addition, as Germany’s capital of newspapers, publishing houses and film-making, Berlin also offered the necessary conditions for the production of texts and films and, even more so, was also always home to a mass audience eager to both read about their Berlin and to watch films taking place in their city. The way we see and imagine big cities today is informed by their literary and visual representations, particularly of the German capital and its turbulent history throughout the 20th century, including its current developments that still grant Berlin its status of the German metropolis. In this course, we will examine texts and films from the beginning of the 20th century up until today, including comparing visual and textual representations of Berlin.

GERM 279 – Austrian Literature after the Great War (Peter C. Pfeiffer)
Much of the attention that Austrian literature and culture has received has been focused on the grand fin-de-siècle burst of creative output from writers, architects, painters, scientist, and philosophers. Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal, Wagner, Klimt, Freud, and Wittgenstein are some of the illustrious names that time evokes. What is often forgotten in nostalgic views of that Viennese culture is the fact that many of these creative minds produced many of their works not before, but after the First World War which devastated the Habsburg Empire much more than the German Reich. While practically no warfare had occurred on German soil, the Habsburg Empire was sliced apart and reduced to an economically gutted and politically miniaturized version of its previous self.

In this course, students will read works of the great writers of the time against the backdrop of this devastation. Schnitzler, Kraus, Broch, Kafka, Veza Canetti, Hofmannsthal, Roth, Bettauer, Horvarth, Werfel, Zweig, and Musil all published significant parts of their works during this time. Reading these authors should be freed from always referencing the fin-de-siécle. Especially in the US, there is a tendency to think of Viennese culture in a sentimentalized way, promoted in part by such books as Carl E. Schorske’s Fin-de Siècle Vienna (1979). Focusing on the post-war context, this seminar will highlight the conflictual nature of much of the literary works and how they try to address the ruptures of the First World War experiences and its aftermath.

As usual for level V courses, there will be occasions to hone language skills by writing descriptive and interpretive essays (in a process-writing, multi-draft manner) and formal spoken German through structured oral presentations.

GERM 294 – Five Decades of Tatort (Friederike Eigler)
Der Tatort, literally ‘the scene of the crime,’ is the longest running and most popular German police series; anniversaries like the screening of the 1000th Tatort are widely celebrated events. Furthermore, Tatort has been credited with reflecting social and cultural changes in German society over the past five decades. This close tie between a fictional police series and social history is in part the result of the public broadcasting system (comprised of many regional stations) that produces Tatort and that has to pay close attention to a mainstream television audience. Unlike other police series, Tatort is shot in many locations throughout Germany and even Austria and Switzerland, each featuring a local pair of detectives.

The course investigates this unique lens on German society, by focusing on the following aspects:
– Introduction to the history and regional concept of Tatort, with special emphasis on the successful relaunch of the series in the early 2000s.
– Reasons for the popularity of the series across generations; fan culture; synergy effect of websites and social media.
– Introduction of new investigative methods and types of detectives: blue collar (Schimanksi), women (Odenthal and others), ethnic minorities (Baltic and others).
– Changing crime scenes, ranging from interpersonal and familial conflicts to global crime networks and terrorism. 

GERM 321/521 – Systemic Functional Linguistics (Marianna Ryshina-Pankova)
Linguists, language educators and researchers of literature and culture conduct discourse analysis for a variety of purposes: to capture writing and literacy development, to characterize teacher-student classroom interaction, to describe social practices at various institutions, or to reveal aspects of an author’s style. This course introduces students to the socioculturally-oriented analysis of language using Hallidayan systemic functional linguistics (SFL) as an approach that enables discourse analysts to systematically account for the connections between grammar, discourse, and social activity no matter what their research data are: learner written texts, spoken conversations, institutional documents, or literary discourse. The course will cover the fundamental conceptual and methodological tools the SFL approach makes available for such an analysis.

The course will start with the overarching assumptions about the SFL model of language as social semiotic and then explore its specific theoretical constructs, such as genre, register, metafunctions, and the grammatical systems that are used to encode them. Three fundamental questions will underlie our exploration: How is language structured for use? What choices do language users make? How do these choices function in various contexts of use? Throughout the course, participants will be discussing studies that demonstrate how the analytical constructs and tools can be applied to the analysis of language data in various contexts. We will examine studies of oral and written texts in diverse registers and genres, aspects of second language acquisition at various educational and performance levels, second/foreign language pedagogy, curriculum development, teacher education, and assessment. Those interested in literary texts will discover how the approach can shed new light on the study of literature as a phenomenon of languaging in a particular way. (Taught in English.)

GERM 323 – The Beat Goes On: German-US Poetry (Max Kade writer-in-residence Nika Pfeifer)
In the 1940’s, ‘Beat’ poetry took off in New York City and on the West Coast and by the early 1950’s, San Francisco became the heart of the movement. The so-called San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat and Black Mountain College poets influenced writers also in the German speaking world inspiring the works of writers such as Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Ernst Jandl, Wolfgang Bauer, Jürgen Ploog, Jörg Fauser, nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, Rolf Schwendter, and many others.

The course focuses on transatlantic ‘Beat’ influences and the relevance of different generations in light of political turmoil, linking socio-historical, transnational and transcultural perspectives (of literature / on the circulation of poetics). Drawing on Thomas Antonic’s academic research on US-American and Austrian Beat connections, we will also assess the impact of recent works by active beat poets like ruth weiss, Neeli Cherkosvki and younger artists influenced by beat aesthetics. The course includes readings mapping German speaking writers and particular facets of their works connected to American Beat literature and in-class creative writing exercises. In addition to the literary readings, texts will include selected socio-historical overviews, reviews, videos of performances, documentaries, (auto)biographies (excerpts), and secondary literature. The course combines the acquisition of knowledge with refining and improving students’ advanced language abilities towards an academic level of German. Students will become more sophisticated users of German through genre-specific written and oral tasks such as summaries, creative rewrites/ remixes of texts, and brief performances.

GERM 353 – Schwarz und Deutsch sein (Verena Kick)
In this course, we will engage with texts and films that focus on Black German experiences in Germany in the 20th and 21st century. Germany still often considers itself as a homogenous and predominantly white country, even though diverse cultures have always been part of the German nation as well – and not only since the first migrant workers moved to former West Germany in the decades after WWII. Black people, for instance, have been part of the German population long before Germany acquired colonies in Africa and in the Pacific in the late 19th century. For instance, in the first half of the 18th century, Anton Wilhelm Amo was an African philosopher who completed dissertations at the Universities of Halle and Wittenberg where he eventually also became an instructor. While German colonial practices shaped the encounters with Black people in the latter half of the 19th century, in first half of the 20th century, it would be the major historical and political shifts in Germany that would impact Black lives in multiple ways: While Black people, such as Josephine Baker, would come to work and live in Germany after WWI, the rise of right-wing nationalism and racism also wanted to remove these Black lives. This double movement of embracing and rejecting Black people would continue also after WWII, when African American GIs were seen as heroes, liberating concentration camps and helping to rebuild German towns, while their partners and children experienced social shaming. In the former GDR, the situation was not that different: Sharing communist ideals, East Germany pursued connections with African states, including Angola, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Yet, racial equality within the borders of the GDR was not a given. Only in the 1980s, the descendants of the generation of “occupation babies” founded an Afro-German movement that still exists today. 

Students will read and watch works by Black German, white German, and African American authors, including poems, short stories, autobiographies, and a graphic novel. In engaging with these works, the goal of this course is not just to simply acknowledge the presence of Black Germans, but to question the construction of race, its intersections with gender and class, and how the idea of Blackness in Germany shifted during the past 150 years due to social, historical and political changes.

GERM 379 – Tradition und Moderne: D-A-CH (Astrid Weigert)
German-speaking Europe continues to exhibit a fascinating array of diverse regional cultures that reflect often quite profound differences in such areas as language variation, geography, climate, religion, history, literature, music, and food. This Level V course will explore representative regional cultures in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with an emphasis on tracing the origins of regional traditions and observing their changes in practice, meaning, and reception into the 21st century. Course materials will include films, literary texts, historical texts, biographies, visual materials, and journalistic articles. Course content is closely linked with genres and language features that are prevalent in German academic settings.

GERM 393 – Writing Our Selves, Writing Our Times (Marianna Ryshina-Pankova)
This course focuses on autobiographical writings in the three distinct genres of diaries, letters, and reflective essays, both through readings and through creative writing in these genres. All three genres have a particularly rich tradition in German culture in the 19th and 20th century. By selecting topics representative of a particular period, by including writers who pursued diverse intellectual and professional pursuits, and by providing multiple perspectives on a range of social, ethical, and artistic issues, the course aims to provide a richly textured understanding of a person and his or her time. (Authors include the philosopher Hannah Arendt, the writer Franz Kafka, and the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, among others.)  At the same time, students will gain awareness of the complex dialogic nature of autobiographical writings. The course fosters this insight through careful textual analysis, the discussion of pertinent scholarship on autobiographical genres, and through engaging students in their own creative writing with the goal of helping them to develop a voice of their own in German.

GERM 394 – Images of Childhood (Mary Helen Dupree)
Ever since the Grimm brothers published their famous collection of Kinder- und Hausmärchen in 1812, images of childhood have been a crucial part of the literature and culture of the German-speaking world. Drawing on this tradition, German and Austrian writers, artists, and filmmakers have used children to represent innocence and morality as well as brutality and horror. For writers such as Frank Wedekind and Walter Benjamin, childhood offers an outsider’s perspective from which to examine and critique society. Similarly, coming-of-age narratives about children and adolescents form the basis of much literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Meanwhile, youth culture, in part imported from America, has played an enormous role in shaping postwar German and Austrian culture.

GERM 403 – Ich und die Welt (Peter C. Pfeiffer)
The course investigates the particular contribution of the German literary tradition to the exploration of the self. In contrast to other European traditions, German literature can be viewed as focusing more pointedly on the experience of the individual rather than on depicting society at large. It is this perspective embedded in Germany’s cultural tradition that will guide the readings in this course which are drawn exclusively from canonical works of modern German literature.

The course provides students with a traditional literary historical perspective to provide students with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with canonical works in the German tradition and with some of Germany’s major underlying cultural traditions. The goal is to hone interpretive skills within a historical and systematic context and to have students develop the necessary written and spoken German to communicate such interpretation and their contexts in a convincing and appropriately complex style.

This is a seminar-style, reading intensive course that will focus its classroom activities on structured discussions of the texts while developing a broader historical/aesthetic framework for such readings. Frequent presentations by students on particular issues — such as comparisons between aspects of two works, introduction of additional works with reference to the ones read in class etc. — will provide additional starting points for student engagement. 

GERM 430 – Literature and Culture in the Weimar Republic (Peter C. Pfeiffer) 
This seminar-style course explores the incredible artistic and intellectual vitality of the Weimar Republic, the time between the end of World War I and the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Many of the works of architecture, art, literature, film, and philosophical thought that were created back then remain a standard for us today. 

We will read literature and essays, view films and consider artistic developments within the context of three interlocking spheres of experiences that characterize the Weimar Republic. First, we will look at the immediate post-war and revolutionary period with its often messianic understanding of future possibilities and pragmatic approaches to building a republic. Then we will look at the experience of socio-economic upheaval and instability caused by both hyper-inflation and mass unemployment. Finally, we will focus on political radicalization and increasingly violent conflicts within the political system.

GERM 455 – Scandalous Tales: The German Novella (Mary Helen Dupree)
In German novellas of the 18th through the 20th centuries, authors have found a space to explore and dramatize what Goethe termed “unheard-of events” (unerhörte Begebenheiten), from war stories to murder mysteries to Gothic and fantastic narratives. Eschewing the lengthy psychological studies and extended dialogues typical of longer novels, the German novella delights and confounds its readers with condensed accounts of mysterious and scandalous events. In fact, the word “novella” (in German, Novelle) is etymologically related to the word for “news” in many Romance languages. So, in a sense, novellas are the original “fake news!”

In this course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, we will analyze and compare novellas by German, Swiss, and Austrian authors from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Particular emphasis will be placed on how novellas approach the question of difference, as figured for example in depictions of outsiders, “exotic” settings, women, and the uncanny. Through an in-depth exploration of a key genre of German literary history, students will learn to recognize formal and stylistic differences in literary texts from different time periods, while expanding specialized vocabulary. Students will be expected to build on existing knowledge of German history and culture and make convincing arguments that relate aspects of literary texts to larger social, historical, and cultural trends.

GERM 461 – Contemporary German Literature (Peter C. Pfeiffer)
This seminar-style course is designed to familiarize students with various aspects of contemporary German literature since 1945, focusing on the relationship between literary form and social/historical context. The focus will be the pleasure of reading some outstanding examples of post-war German-language literature and the interpretive frameworks literature provides for readers. Thus, the course is a first encounter with the literary tradition as it is part of the educated discourse in German-speaking societies today. The topical focus of the course is supported by the development and honing of writing and presentational skills through regular short papers on the readings and presentations on additional books.

GERM 488 – Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (Joe Cunningham)
As computer-based technologies have taken on an increasingly central role in foreign language instruction, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is no longer a specialty area. Accordingly, this course serves as an introduction to the broader field of CALL and various techno-pedagogical applications that fall under this umbrella. Students will understand the growth of CALL in foreign language (L2) instruction, examine the pedagogical rationale for utilizing CALL, and evaluate various applications for L2 instruction. In addition to critical examination of learning technologies, students will develop their own abilities to utilize and apply technologies relevant to L2 instruction. There will be three major course assignments, and they will be showcased on a jointly-constructed class website. This course is taught in English and is for graduate students as well as advanced undergraduate students