German Studies

The Department of German Studies is a vibrant intellectual community with strong ties to the full range of critical inquiry that characterizes the humanities at Brown. It focuses its research and teaching on German literature, culture, and critical thought (from German Idealism and Romanticism to the Frankfurt School and beyond), with a comparative and transdisciplinary orientation. It offers both the B.A. and the Ph.D. in German Studies, affording its students – from beginning language learner to advanced doctoral researcher – the opportunity to combine their interests in the literary, cultural, and intellectual production of the German-speaking countries with a wide variety of complementary pursuits, including philosophy, aesthetics, history, music, cultural theory, psychoanalysis, and film, among others. The Department encourages this approach through its flexible yet rigorous curriculum; intense research and teaching collaboration with faculty in related Brown departments and from partner institutions in Europe; rich and varied course offerings in both German and English; as well as attractive study abroad opportunities in Berlin and Tübingen.

For additional information, please visit the department's website:

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GRMN 0100. Beginning German.

A course in the language and cultures of German-speaking countries. Four hours per week plus regular computer and listening comprehension work. At the end of the year, students will be able to communicate successfully about everyday topics. This is the first half of a year-long course whose first semester grade is normally a temporary one. Neither semester may be elected independently without special written permission. The final grade submitted at the end of the course work in GRMN 0200 covers the entire year and is recorded as the final grade for both semesters.

Fall GRMN0100 S01 16327 MWF 9:00-9:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S01 16327 T 12:00-12:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S02 16328 MWF 11:00-11:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S02 16328 T 12:00-12:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S03 16329 MWF 12:00-12:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S03 16329 T 12:00-12:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S04 16330 T 12:00-12:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0100 S04 16330 MWF 1:00-1:50(04) (J. Sokolosky)
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GRMN 0110. Intensive Beginning German.

Students who wish to complete the GRMN 0100-0200 sequence in one semester may do so by enrolling in GRMN 0110 for two semester course credits. There are six hours per week in small drill sections conducted by fluent undergraduate teaching apprentices. Another three hours of class will be conducted by the faculty instructor. Students must register for both the lecture section and one conference.

Spr GRMN0110 S01 24967 TTh 9:00-10:20(08) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0110 C01 24968 MWF 1:00-2:50 (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0110 C02 24969 MWF 1:00-2:50 (J. Sokolosky)
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GRMN 0120. German for Reading.

This course prepares students to read and understand German texts from a variety of disciplines and in various genres. This intensive introduction to German grammar and syntax is for students without prior knowledge of German, but also for those students with some background in German who wish to review and master German grammar. The student who successfully completes this course will have the necessary foundation for reading and translating texts from German into English.

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GRMN 0200. Beginning German.

A course in the language and cultures of German-speaking countries. Four hours per week plus regular computer and listening comprehension work. At the end of the year, students will be able to communicate about everyday topics and participate in the annual film festival. This is the second half of a year-long course. Students must have taken GRMN 0100 to receive credit for this course. The final grade for this course will become the final grade for GRMN 0100.

Spr GRMN0200 S01 24970 MWF 9:00-9:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0200 S01 24970 T 12:00-12:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0200 S02 24971 MWF 11:00-11:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0200 S02 24971 T 12:00-12:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0200 S03 24972 MWF 12:00-12:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0200 S03 24972 T 12:00-12:50(18) (J. Sokolosky)
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GRMN 0300. Intermediate German I.

Focuses on deepening students' understanding of modern German culture by reading texts and viewing films pertinent to Germany today. Intended to provide a thorough review of German grammar and help students develop their writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills. Frequent writing assignments. Four hours per week. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0200.

Fall GRMN0300 S01 16135 MWF 10:00-10:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0300 S01 16135 Th 12:00-12:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
Fall GRMN0300 S02 16136 Th 12:00-12:50(15) (B. Brand)
Fall GRMN0300 S02 16136 MWF 1:00-1:50(15) (B. Brand)
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GRMN 0400. Intermediate German II.

An intermediate German course that stresses improvement of the four language skills. Students read short stories and a novel; screen one film; maintain a blog in German. Topics include German art, history, and literature. Frequent writing assignments. Grammar review as needed. Four hours per week. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0300. WRIT

Spr GRMN0400 S01 24973 MWF 10:00-10:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0400 S01 24973 Th 12:00-12:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0400 S02 24974 Th 12:00-12:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
Spr GRMN0400 S02 24974 MWF 1:00-1:50(15) (J. Sokolosky)
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GRMN 0450. Intensive Intermediate German.

Open to students participating in Brown in Berlin or Tübingen, this is an intensive intermediate course which meets 20 hours per week for one month in Berlin. Students work on all four language skills through daily reading, writing and speaking assignments. The course introduces students to contemporary German literature, culture and politics. Prerequisite: GRMN 0300 or equivalent. May not be taken for credit by students who have completed GRMN 0400.

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GRMN 0500A. Cold War Germanys and the Aftermath.

The year 1990 unifies Germany and divides two decades in German history. The course investigates how self identification and the experience of present time were depicted in German literature and film in East and West in the 80s and 90s. Oral and written skills in German are furthered while deepening participants' understanding of Germany's cultural and social situation. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0400 or permission. WRIT

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GRMN 0500B. From Zero Hour to the Wende.

An exploration of postwar German culture through the study of literary and film texts. Oral and written skills in German are furthered while deepening participants' understanding of the prehistory of contemporary Germany. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0400 or permission. WRIT

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GRMN 0500E. The Presence of the Past: German Literature and Film (1945-present day).

Exploration of ways in which the German past, through cultural materials, including literature and film, played a role in the construction and deconstruction of the Berlin Wall, the two Germanys, and contemporary Germany. German oral/written skills are furthered while deepening participants' understanding of present-day Germany. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0400 or permission. WRIT

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GRMN 0500F. Twentieth-Century German Culture.

A broad exploration of twentieth-century German culture using many kinds of written and visual texts (e.g. literature, journalism, film, art). While continuing to work on all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) students will gain more intensive knowledge about German culture, society, and history. In German. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0400. WRIT

Fall GRMN0500F S01 16137 MWF 11:00-11:50(02) (B. Brand)
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GRMN 0600B. Was ist Deutsch?.

In this course we will examine some of the ideas and myths that became entangled with the emerging notion of a "German" identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some of the terms that we will discuss include 'Kultur,' 'Bildung', 'Freiheit' and 'Gesellschaft,' all of which have rich semantic histories. Conducted in German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0500 series. WRIT

Spr GRMN0600B S01 24975 MWF 10:00-10:50(03) (T. Kniesche)
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GRMN 0600C. From Faust to Freud: Germany’s Long 19th Century.

In the 19th century, a fundamental renegotiation took place about what it means to be German. Literary, aesthetic, and philosophical discourses played a decisive role in these deliberations on German identity. We will study seminal texts from these fields and discuss how they shaped German self-understanding in the 20th century and beyond. Readings by Goethe, Büchner, Stifter, Wagner, Nietzsche, Raabe, Fontane, George, Freud, among others. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0500. LILE

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GRMN 0750A. Faust and the Faust Legend.

Variations on the Faust theme focus on the role of knowledge in modern society. How do we define what we know? How do we accommodate knowledge with belief? What are the limits of human knowledge and can they satisfy us? Texts from the Reformation to the present: Marlowe, Calderon, Goethe, Turgenev, Mann, Bulgakov, Kerouac, Havel. In English. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS LILE

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GRMN 0750B. Tales of Vampirism and the Uncanny.

This course compares literary texts of horror and haunting in English and German Romanticism. The psychoanalytic foundations of vampirism are discussed to enable students to boldly go beyond mere fandom and engage these texts on a more sophisticated level. Readings by Walpole, Coleridge, Poe, Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann and others. In English. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS WRIT

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GRMN 0750C. Crime Fiction: The Global Hyper-Genre.

Twenty-five percent of all new literary books worldwide are crime fiction. As a means of a society to reflect upon itself, crime fiction reflects how certain cultures deal with the dialectics of threatening and securing civic order, how they depict mentalities, traditions, topographies, or cultural chance. In English. FYS

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GRMN 0750D. The Poetics of Murder: Crime Fiction from Poe to the Present.

In this course, we will trace the literary and cinematic depiction of mystery and mayhem from the earliest manifestations of the genre to the present. Texts will include examples from the "Golden Age," the hard-boiled mode, the police procedural, and historical crime fiction. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS WRIT

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GRMN 0750E. Reading Film: An Introduction to German Cinema.

What is it that fascinates us about cinema? What desires and drives have held us in thrall to the moving image? This seminar introduces you to writing about film, not just within the specific field of media studies but within the humanities as a whole. We will examine 12 filmic examples (ranging from early silent film to contemporary popular cinema) alongside a selection of theoretical and historical readings. The course will impart the basic skills needed to write in a critical, reflective, and rigorous way about film. For those interested in film in the context of any humanities field. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS WRIT

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GRMN 0750F. Historical Crime Fiction.

There is almost no time period that has not been covered by historical crime fiction. From ancient Egypt and Rome to 18th century China, historical crime fiction has complemented and contested our knowledge of history. In this seminar, we will do some extensive time travel and explore how crime fiction explores the past and challenges our understanding of bygone times. Readings of texts by Ellis Peters, Umberto Eco, Peter Tremayne, Lindsey Davis, Alan Gordon, Robert van Gulik, Laura Rowland, among others. LILE FYS WRIT

Fall GRMN0750F S01 16138 TTh 9:00-10:20(08) (T. Kniesche)
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GRMN 0900B. Great Works from Germany.

Cultural and historical analysis of some of the most significant German texts from the past two centuries. Writers: Lessing, Thomas Mann, Günter Grass, Christa Wolf. Philosophers: Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud. Sections: Enlightenment and its limits, liberation and oppression, and love and death. Students will give one presentation in class and write a final essay. In English.

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GRMN 0900C. Introduction to German Literature.

This survey course will give a historical overview of the main periods and genres of literature in German from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. We will also consider how literature relates and contributes to the cultural, intellectual, and political history of Germany. In English. WRIT

Spr GRMN0900C S01 24976 TTh 10:30-11:50(09) (Z. Sng)
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GRMN 0900D. History of the Holocaust (JUDS 0902).

Interested students must register for JUDS 0902.

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GRMN 0990B. The German Novel in the 19th and 20th Century.

The modern and postmodern German novel provides some of the most intriguing reading in the history of Western culture. From 19th century realism to 20th century postmodernism, these authors have commented on political events, provided historical hindsight, analyzed the German psyche, and initiated literary innovations that would have a profound impact on world literature and captivate readers worlwide. Works by Fontane, Kafka, Hesse, Mann, Grass, and Sebald, among others. In English. LILE

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GRMN 0990C. Introduction to Scandinavian Literature.

An introduction to major works of Scandinavian writers, painters and filmmakers over the past 150 years. Figures include Kierkegaard, Ibsen, Strindberg, Munch, Hamsun, Josephson, Sodergran, Lagerkvist, Vesaas, Cronqvist, August and Vinterberg, as well as children's books by Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson. In English. LILE

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GRMN 0990D. The German Novel From Classicism to Realism.

What is a novel, and how did it emerge as such a dominant genre in the course of the 18th and 19th centuries? This course introduces some of the most important German prose works prior to the 20th century, including texts by Goethe, Novalis, Hoffmann, Droste-Hülshoff, and Stifter. We will begin with the novel's earliest classical forms, follow its development in tandem with genres such as the fantastic tale and the novella, and end with a discussion of realism. All readings and discussions in English; no German language proficiency required. LILE

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GRMN 0990E. The Rhine River: An Aesthetic, Environmental, and Political History.

From Hölderlin to Hugo, cannonballs to canalization, this course examines representations of Europe's most important waterway in the modern period. Although it has long been seen as a "natural" border between France and Germany, the Rhine River has been anything but undisputed. Both the French and German nationalist movements claimed the river as their own, spawning a bi-lingual catalogue of songs, poems, and historical legends. We will approach the Rhine from an interdisciplinary perspective, with readings from economists, environmentalists, historians, and cultural studies scholars. We will be aided by a vast array of primary source material. Taught in English.

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GRMN 0999M. Marx and Money in Modern Germany.

No critique of capitalism has been more enduring than Karl Marx's nineteenth-century account of European finance and industry. We will engage Marx's work alongside a close reading of the societies Marx sought to critique. We will also contextualize the work of Marx's contemporaries and successors, including Engels, Simmel, Sombart, as well as look at the continuation of the "capitalism debate" in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Our focus on the societies in which these writings emerged, allows for a less obstructed view onto these economic and social ideas. Issues of religion, gender, politics, militarism, and globalism will be considered. In English.

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GRMN 1090. Advanced Written and Spoken German.

Designed to increase the range, fluency, and accuracy of idiomatic expression through written and oral practice, and to improve students' reading skills of progressively more difficult authentic texts from a variety of subject areas. Discussions, group projects, and oral reports. Review of selected grammar topics, systematic vocabulary building. Not to forget: "Deutsch macht Spass!" In German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0600 series. WRIT

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GRMN 1200C. Nietzsche - The Good European.

Nietzsche prided himself on his transnational identity. He loved German literature and was himself a writer of the first rank. Yet he was critical of the culture and the politics of his nation and he loved the literatures and cultures of many other nations. We will study his philosophical works with a view to his criticisms of Deutschtum and his affirmation of other traditions—starting with the Greeks, for by profession he was a classicist. We will also study Nietzsche's journeys—for he was convinced that the places in which he thought and wrote were essential to his thinking and writing. Enrollment limited to 40.

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GRMN 1200F. Waiting.

What are we doing when waiting? Is waiting a deed or activity at all? Is to wait the same as to await? And what does it mean to wait (or not to wait) for answers to such questions? This seminar will approach (in order to unfold) the question of Waiting in religious texts (waiting for God or the messiah in the psalmist, the gospels, and letters of Paul); in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot; in Siegfried Kracauer’s Die Wartenden; in literary texts by Hebel, Kafka and Musil; in philosophical essays and aphorisms by Nietzsche, Heidegger and Blanchot. In English. WRIT

Fall GRMN1200F S01 16168 TTh 10:30-11:50(13) (T. Schestag)
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GRMN 1320A. German Aesthetics from Lessing to Heidegger.

A survey of some of the most important German-language contributions to theories of art. Authors include Lessing, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, and Heidegger. Emphasis will be on how aesthetics intersects with literary theory and the idea of critique, and also how it contributes to discussions about knowledge, subjectivity, and power. All readings in English translation.

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GRMN 1320D. Goethe.

Selected readings of Goethe's theater plays, novels, and poetry. Explores the meaning of reading Goethe today, at the 250th anniversary of his year of birth, and investigates the activities around the celebration of this anniversary. Time permitting, we consider versions of Goethe's texts in film and other media. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1320E. Classical German Literature: Goethe und die Klassik.

The anthropology and aesthetics of Weimar Classicism. Readings of major works by Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, with discussion of selected texts by Herder, Humboldt, and Kant. In German. Pre-requisite: GRMN0600 or placement. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1320F. Eighteenth-Century German Aesthetics.

A survey of important aesthetic writings from the period, including some texts of Winckelmann, Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, and Hamann. Major questions to be treated include the role of imitation, the concept of form, the relationship between the beautiful and the good, and formation of aesthetic judgments. Course will conclude with selections from Kant's Critique of Judgment. In English.

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GRMN 1320G. Drama and Religion.

Lessing used the stage as his "pulpit" when forbidden to publish in religious disputes. Some dramatists addressed particular religious views in tragedies or satiric comedies; others staged religious themes more generally or in metaphysical imagery. We examine the variety, nature and context of these stagings in texts by major German authors: L. Gottsched, Gellert, Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Kleist, and Hölderlin. In English, with a German section (TBA) for those able and interested.

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GRMN 1320M. Die Literatur der deutschen Romantik.

German literature “around 1800” offers complex and fascinating reading experiences. The texts are haunted by Doppelgänger, ghostly appearances, dark secrets, and other forms of the uncanny but also present images of breathtaking beauty and stories of love and insanity. We will study these texts in the context of the beginnings of modernity, with all the uncertainties and upheavals these historical changes brought with them. Readings by Novalis, Tieck, Eichendorff, Hoffmann, Brentano, Chamisso, Fouqué, and others. In German.

Fall GRMN1320M S01 16169 TTh 1:00-2:20(10) (T. Kniesche)
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GRMN 1320N. Children and Childhood in Literature, Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis.

Children are question marks. They are around, but embody everything that is not yet: no language, no manners, no education. They are both a promise and a threat. This seminar follows their traces in Lesebuch für Kinder by Karl Philipp Moritz; in Jean Paul’s treatise on education, Levana; in letters between Hamann and Kant about the possibility of a Kinderphysik; in psychoanalytic essays (by Freud, Ferenczi, and Melanie Klein); in literary texts by Adalbert Stifter and Franz Kafka; in Clara and William Stern’s Die Kindersprache; as well as in Walter Benjamin’s Berliner Kindheit um 1900 and Proletarisches Kindertheater. In German.

Fall GRMN1320N S01 16171 TTh 2:30-3:50(03) (T. Schestag)
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GRMN 1330A. The Individual in the Age of Industry.

This seminar discusses the second part of the 19th century, which is distinguished by nation building, industrial revolution, advance of science, realism and belief in progress but also nihilism and cultural pessimism. We investigate how the new age of pragmatism and the “technological sublime” is reflected in short stories by major German writers such as Adalbert Stifter, Karl Gutzkow, Theodor Storm, Gottfried Keller, Wilhelm Raabe, Theodor Fontane, Arno Holz and Gerhart Hauptmann. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340A. Crime and Punishment- Introduction to German Mystery Texts and Films.

This course provides an exploration of German crime, detective and mystery texts and films ranging from the early 19th century to contemporary fiction. In addition to exercising hermeneutic skills, this course aims at improving proficiency in oral and reading comprehension, as well as speaking and writing skills, with an emphasis on vocabulary expansion, advanced Grammar review and stylistic development. This course is recommended for students interested in a combined introduction to literature and high-level language learning. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340B. Guilt Management: Postwar German Culture.

The central theme of postwar German Culture, from the so-called "Zero-Hour" in 1945 to postunification, was dealing with the Nazi past. We discuss how writers, filmmakers, and critics tried to establish a public discourse on guilt. Films and readings by Mitscherlich, Syberberg, Reitz, Müller, Grass, Christa Wolf, Sichrovsky, Biller, Chaim Noll, and others. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340C. Jahrhundertwende 1900.

Modernism and its discontents in German literature around 1900. Examines naturalism, Jugendstil, Dada, and early expressionism. Poetry, fiction, and drama by Nietzsche, Th. Mann, Stefan George, Rilke, Kafka, Wedekind, Hofmannsthal, Schnitzler, Hauptmann, and others. Operas by Wagner and R. Strauss. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340D. Modern German Prose, 1978-1998.

Since the end of the 1970s, East and West German prose has tended to concentrate more on everyday life than on the overbearing questions of memory that were so central to immediate postwar authors. The changing function of literature in Germany is explored by reading representative prose fiction by major authors such as Becker, Delius, Hein, Strauss, and Walser. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340I. Turn of the Century.

The most important issues in literature around 1900 will be discussed: the critique of language, media, psychoanalysis, urbanization, technical progress, the construction of the subject and a growing sense of isolation. Texts by Hofmannsthal, Rike, Schnitzler, Robert Walser, Georg Simmel, Freud, Nietzsche, Hermann Bahr and others. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340J. The Works of Franz Kafka.

We will read a selection of texts by Kafka (including short stories, a novel, and journal entries) in order to explore his importance for the aesthetics of modernity. Topics include: representation of the law, literature and religion, the role of the paternal, and guilt. Frequent short papers based on close reading of texts, and a longer final paper. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340K. Unmittelbar nach 1945: Literatur und Film in Deutschland.

Often called "Zero Hour," the period immediately following the end of the Second World War was one of turmoil and uncertainty in Germany. An enormous cultural production sprang up under extremely difficult conditions. Texts and films by Heinrich Böll, Wolfgang Borchert, Alfred Andersch, Wolfgang Staudte, Helmut Käutner, and others. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1340L. The Modern Period.

Explores the fascinating flowering of modernity in Germany, including the period around 1900 (adolescent Angst and the new Broadway version), Weimar culture (revolution, women's emancipation), Nazi culture, and exile literature in socio-historical context; including examples from film, art, and popular culture. Authors may include: Wedekind, Brecht, Kafka, T. Mann, Toller, Keun. In German. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or equivalent.

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GRMN 1340M. Kafka's Writing.

Writing--vocation or duty, gift or curse, poison or antidote? This course provides an introduction to Kafka's stories, novels, journal entries, and letters, with a focus on his complicated, tortured relationship to the idea and practice of writing. We will explore how the difficulties of this relationship generate an enigmatic, tragi-comic oscillation between hope and despair that continues to fascinate readers today. This is a writing-intensive course, and the frequent short assignments will involve drafts, revisions, and individual consultations, with the aim of getting you to think critically about your own relationship to writing about literature. In English. Enrollment limited to 40. First year students require instructor permission. WRIT

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GRMN 1340Q. Vergangenheitsbewältigung: German Literature of Memory.

This course will examine one of the most loaded terms in German Studies, "the coming to terms with the past" or rather "the mastering of the past", which concerns German strategies of dealing with the atrocities of World War II and the Holocaust. Thus, this course will focus on the literary engagements with issues of trauma, memory, and remembrance. Authors include Adorno, Celan, Klüger, Grass, Weiss, Wolf, Müller, Timm, Kluge, and Sebald. The course will also have a closer look at contemporary debates regarding "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" and the culture of memory in Germany itself. In German. Prerequisite GRMN 0600.

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GRMN 1340R. Literature and Multilingualism.

Has literature ever really been monolingual? Has it not spoken, from the outset, with a split tongue? We will examine a range of authors from the twentieth century in this seminar for whom speaking is always speaking otherwise: speaking about the other, speaking as other, something other than merely speaking. Literary examples might include Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Paul Celan, W. G. Sebald, Yoko Tawada. We will also look at a selection of theoretical writings from Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari, Freud, Benjamin, and others. In English. Reading knowledge of German helpful but not required. DPLL

Fall GRMN1340R S01 16332 MWF 1:00-1:50(06) (Z. Sng)
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GRMN 1340S. Eternal Returns and Vicious Circles, After Nietzsche.

The title of this course alludes to Friedrich Nietzsche’s “eternal return of the same,” which he famously called “the highest formula of affirmation,” and which later philosophers and thinkers, such as Pierre Klossowski and Martin Heidegger, would repeatedly return to. Yet Nietzsche’s discovery is not new, for it inflects, too, the thinking of the professional revolutionary, Louis-Auguste Blanqui, the returns of commodity production in high capitalism, and the poetic figurations of the big city found in nineteenth-century writers such as Charles Baudelaire. In this course, we will examine the problem of returns—temporal, political, economic, and poetic—in modernity.

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GRMN 1440A. Dada-Performance and Digital-Interactivity.

This course investigates the invention of performance art in German Dada and its legacy and further development in contemporary interactive art in digital media. Both phenomena are discussed with respect to their aesthetic, philosophical, and social roots and intentions. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1440C. Poetry and the Sublime.

We will examine some theories of the sublime, and read them alongside selected poets who take up certain related questions about representation, perception, and power. The goal will be to come to a better understanding of why the sublime is important as a category in thinking about the relationship between literature, philosophy, and history. Texts may include: Longinus, Schiller, Kant, and Paul de Man on the theory of the sublime, and poetry by Hölderlin, Wordsworth, Rilke, and Celan. In English; reading knowledge of German helpful but not required.

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GRMN 1440D. Modernity and Its Discontents: The German Novella.

After the failed revolution of 1848, the German bourgeoisie had to curb its desire to control the sphere of politics. At the same time, the effects of modernization started to manifest themselves in full force. We will discuss how the revolutionary changes of the second half of the 19th century in Germany were worked through in literature, and specifically in the realist novella. Readings by C.F. Meyer, Keller, Stifter, Storm, Raabe, Fontane, Mörike, and Heyse. In German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0600 series. LILE

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GRMN 1440E. Märchen.

Fairy tales in German are usually associated with the Grimm brothers, but there is a rich tradition of popular (Volksmärchen) and literary (Kunstmärchen) fairy tales going back further and continuing into the present. We read a representative sample, consider typical features of the genre, and discuss the role of Märchen in shaping ideology. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1440F. Lyric Poetry From the Middle Ages to the Present.

Broad exploration of German poetry, including intersections between poetry/music/art: spiritual/worldly (medieval troubadours, Baroque); classical Greece/modern Germany (Goethe, Schiller, romantics, art songs), poetry/politics (Heine, Brecht), expressions/symbols (Rilke, expressionism), poetry after Auschwitz (Celan, Bachmann), contemporary reflections on history (V. Braun), poetry between cultures (Turkish-German poets, hip-hop). Intensive reading, discussions and vocabulary building. In German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0600 series.

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GRMN 1440H. Projections of America.

Since its discovery, 'America' has served as a projection screen for a variety of images of the 'New World': as utopia, as harbinger of modernity, and as the origin of political, economic, and cultural imperialism. Readings of the changing and shifting image of America in German literary and journalistic texts from the 18th century to the present (Lenau, Goethe, Heine, Sealsfield, May, Frisch, and others). In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1440L. German Lyric Poetry: From Goethe to Heine.

A survey of German lyric poetry during what Heine calls "die Kunstperiode." Focus on rhetoric of the lyric: apostrophe, prosopopeia, metaphor, metonymy and allegory. Close reading, frequent writing assignments. Reading in German, class discussion in English.

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GRMN 1440N. Kunstmaerchen: the Literary Fairytale in the Nineteenth Century.

"Das Kunstmaerchen" or literary fairy-tale occupies a central place in the literature of late romanticism. Focusing on major examples from writers such as Tieck, Eichendorff, and Brentano, we will examine how the content and the representational structure of these texts contribute to debates on categories like the "natural," the "fantastic," and the "moral." In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1440O. Modern German Drama.

Explores the fascinating modern German dramatic tradition from the 19th century to the present, emphasizing plays that are still a part of the stage repertory today and authors that have exerted a strong international influence. Authors may include: Büchner, Wedekind, Brecht, Toller, Dürrenmatt, Frisch, Weiss, Heiner Müller. In German. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1440P. Heroes, Failures and Other Peculiar Characters-The German Novel from Goethe to Kafka.

Readings in the tradition of the German novel, including the Bildungsroman, Realism and modernist fiction. Consideration especially of failed heroes and the failure of the novel genre. Authors include Goethe, Hoelderlin, Novalis, Stifter, Fontane, Musil and Kafka. Readings and class discussions in English.

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GRMN 1440T. Ding-Gedichte/Thing-Poems.

Thing-poems do not only describe (animated or inanimate) things. They undo the strict separation between (designating) words and (designated) things. The seminar will pursue several aspects and implications of this undoing, for the state of language as well as for the state of things, with poems by Barthold Heinrich Brockes, Eduard Mörike, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Rainer Maria Rilke, Stefan George, Paul Celan, Unica Zürn, and Michael Donhauser. In German.

Spr GRMN1440T S01 25029 TTh 1:00-2:20(10) (T. Schestag)
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GRMN 1450A. German-Jewish Literature.

From emancipation to anti-Semitism and from the "Golden Age" to the Shoah, Jewish life in Germany has experienced extremes comparable to no other cultural exchange. In this class, we will explore the German-Jewish encounter by reading literary texts written by German-Jewish authors. Readings by Lessing, Mendelssohn, Heine, Kafka, Jurek Becker, and others. In English. LILE

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GRMN 1450B. Die Berliner Republik und die Vergangenheit.

The opening of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany brought with them a dramatic rethinking of both the past and the present of the German nation. Literature, film, architecture, visual art, and music have played important parts in this process. This course will consider a range of documents from the contemporary Berlin Republic and the way they negotiate the Cold War and Nazi pasts. All readings and class discussion in German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. LILE

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GRMN 1450C. National Socialism and the Shoah in Recent German Prose.

Since Germany's reunification in 1990, German discourse on National Socialism and the Shoah has changed significantly. With the generation of the eye-witnesses disappearing, the third generation after World War II renegotiated issues such perpetratorship, guilt, and responsibility on the one hand, wartime-suffering on the other. During the last decade, German literature represented voices from different generations/groups. This seminar will examine literature by Grass (b. 1927), Klüger (b. 1931), Timm (b. 1940), Schlink (b. 1944), Biller (b. 1960) and Erpenbeck (b. 1967) to situate these literary interventions within the framework of characteristic debates of the last few years. Enrollment limited to 40.

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GRMN 1450F. 20 Years After: The End of GDR and German Reunification.

The fall of the Berlin wall heralded the German reunification rather than the reformation of the GDR as an example of "democratic socialism." The 20th anniversary gives reason to discuss the development of Germany since 1990. Readings of Volker Braun, Christa Wolf, Thomas Brussig, Ingo Schulze, Clemens Meyer, Yadé Kara. Films: Goodbye Lenin, Das Leben der anderen, Willenbrock. Issues discussed: Cold War, Perestroika, Reunification, East-/West-German identity, Migration and Globalization. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission. DPLL LILE

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GRMN 1450G. Love and Death.

The course will examine the theme of love and death in four texts from around 1800: Lessing's Emilia Galotti, Goethe's Werther, Kleist's Penthesilea and Büchner's Woyzeck. We will focus on historical changes in the understanding and theory of emotions. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1450H. Images of America in German Literature.

What was, has been, and is America to Germans? Some believe America to be moving in the right direction, and others imagine America as thoroughly evil from the very beginning. Literature, however, does not say this or that. It displays complex images, plays with prejudices, idols, ideals, and stereotypes to show their inner mechanisms and conceptual limits. And, of course, it generates images and counter-images. By examining some canonical texts on this topic, the seminar reconstructs the major perceptions, attributions and ascriptions with which German authors over times have envisioned the United States – even without travelling there.

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GRMN 1640C. German National Cinema from 1917 to 1989, and Cold War Germanys in Film.

Examines three phases of German national cinema in competition with Hollywood's early dominance of film production, from the founding of the UFA in 1917 through National Socialist Cinema, the "New German Cinema," and the cinema of East Germany. Explores representations of Germanys during the Cold War, 1949-1989, a mythical Germany cast as the locus of "world evil." Weekly screenings. In English.

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GRMN 1660B. Berlin: A City Strives to Reinvent Itself.

Contemporary Berlin buzzes with energy, yet this metropolis is characterized by the legacy of fascism and divided government. The city as cultural space will be interrogated in interdisciplinary ways. Topics range from Weimar culture and Nazi architecture to the Cold War and German reunification. In English with possible extra session for students who have completed GRMN 0400 or higher. LILE

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GRMN 1660C. German Culture in the Nazi Era.

Explores the variety and the contexts of German cultural production during the Nazi era. We will examine party sanctioned mass-mediated culture in the Third Reich including literature, film, theater, and public spectacle; as well as "unofficial" cultural productions including exile literature, literature of "inner emigration," "degenerate" art, and concentration camp poetry. We'll inquire into the effects of the political ministration of culture in the Nazi era, asking to what degree continuities in cultural production were sustained after 1933, and investigating the hallmarks and the legacies of a distinctive "Nazi culture." Previous course work in German history and/or the Holocaust recommended but not required. In English. LILE

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GRMN 1660F. After Hitler: German Culture and Politics, 1945 to Present.

From the country that produced Hitler and the Holocaust to today's democratic, peaceful Germany, this course explores the enormous cultural and political transformations since 1945 in both German states and reunified Germany. Topics include: responses to the Nazi past, Germany and Europe, protest movements, migration patterns, women, popular culture, socialism in East Germany, political and intellectual debates, recent assertions that Germany is now a "normal" country. In English.

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GRMN 1660G. Kafka.

This course will analyze both the uncanny and comical aspects of Kafka's writings. It offers an exercise in literary analysis discussing methodological approaches as diverse as literary theory, media studies, and cultural studies. It also presents an overview of one of the twentieth century's most haunting writers who in many ways determined for our postmodern mind what we call "literature". In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1660H. Literary Discourse of Minority Cultures in Germany.

During the last thirty years or so, strong minority cultures have emerged in Germany. Writers from diverse cultural backgrounds have given voice to the problems and challenges of living among a dominant German culture that only reluctantly started to listen to their concerns. Authors discussed include Schami, Ören, Atabay, Dischereit, Monikova, Müller, and others. Focuses on questions of cultural and ethnic identity as expressed in and through literary texts. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1660I. Literature and Other Media.

When looking at literature and other media, the question is not, whether one will be replaced by the other, but rather, what one medium can do that the other cannot do so well or at all. Study of twentieth-century Media Theory Made in Germany with special emphasis on the relationships of literature to audio-visual media. Readings by Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno, Enzensberger, Kittler, Hörisch and others. In English.

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GRMN 1660K. Thinking After Philosophy.

What does it mean when, after Nietzsche, we speak of the "end of philosophy"? Contemporary critical discourse in many fields of the Humanities and social sciences is profoundly impacted by a skeptical break with philosophical traditions that can be traced back to 18th- and 19th-century Germany. This course will follow the development of this break through a range of major paradigms, schools, and critical methods from the time of Goethe to the twentieth century. All readings and class discussion in English. First year students require instructor permission to enroll. LILE

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GRMN 1660L. German Jews and Capitalist Markets in the Long Nineteenth Century.

This course focuses on the commercial lives of German Jews, 1789-1918. While the classic historiographical debates surrounding assimilation, emancipation, and anti-Semitism will not be ignored, our spotlight will remain on capitalist markets, where Germans and Jews most often encountered one another. Our study will begin and end in the Franco-German borderlands, with revolution and warfare. In between, we will traverse the German landscape, meeting, among others, bankers in Frankfurt, wine merchants in the Rhineland, and department store magnates in Berlin, all in an attempt to understand the complexities of cross-cultural (dis)integration. Readings and instruction in English.

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GRMN 1660P. Having Beethoven Over in 1970.

In 1970, Beethoven arrives in Bonn to visit his birthplace. A tour guide shows him around. It is a journey that begins with the museum one knows, but which gets weirder with each subsequent room. There is a jukebox in the basement. A gully is burning. There are strange utensils on display in the kitchen. As the demarcation between documentary and fiction become blurry, we realize that somebody must have added more rooms to the original floorplan. Our course will analyze TV crime series, Hollywood feature films, the Peanuts, radio pieces, and artworks surrounding Beethoven’s bicentennial. Taught in English.

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GRMN 1660R. Freud.

Introduction to Freud's theories of the unconscious and its manifestations, Freud's thinking on culture and aesthetics, his theory of sexuality, his view of religion, and of fascism. In English.

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GRMN 1660S. Mord und Medien. Krimis im intermedialen Vergleich.

The genre of the mystery novel has proven exceedingly productive in German speaking countries. At the same time, the new and the newest media have discovered the mystery genre as one of the most appealing narrative structures in contemporary culture. Readings of mystery narratives in book form, on television, on CD-ROM, and on the Internet. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600 or permission.

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GRMN 1660T. Germans/Jews, Deutsche (und) Juden.

From emancipation to anti-Semitism and from the 'Golden Age' to the Shoah, Jewish life in Germany has experienced extremes comparable to no other cultural exchange. Widespread philo-Semitism and the official taboo on anti-Jewish sentiments indicate that the relationship between Jewish and non-Jewish Germans today remains one of mutual nonunderstanding and distrust. Texts by Lessing, Mendelssohn, Heine, Kafka, and others. In English

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GRMN 1660U. What was Socialism? From Marx to "Goodbye Lenin".

The international socialist movement was born in Germany, and many of Germany's most important cultural figures were attracted to its striving for social justice. But socialism seems to have come to a tragic end. Course includes theoreticians such as Marx and Luxemburg, writers such as Heine and Brecht, and a focus on East German culture (film, art, literature) and its aftermath since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In English. LILE

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GRMN 1660V. Nietzsche.

This course will provide an introduction into Nietzsche's thinking. Discussion of the major works from The Birth of Tragedy and Beyond Good and Evil to Thus Spoke Zarathustra. No pre-requisites. In English.

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GRMN 1660W. Early German Film and Film Theory.

We will study the interference/interface of cinema and theory in the 20th century. Includes analysis of classical German films and texts by critics such as Eisenstein, Balazs, Vertov, Arnheim, Kracauer, Benjamin. In English.

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GRMN 1661A. Race and Classical German Thought.

Thought about race has a complex history in modern intellectual culture; crucial paradigms regarding culture, identity, and biology have roots in the philosophy, science, and arts of eighteenth-century Germany. This course will give in-depth consideration to ideas and paradigms from classical German intellectual culture, and will trace their resonances within African, Francophone, French, and North American race theory in the twentieth century. All readings in English. Not open to first year students.

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GRMN 1661B. Music in German Letters.

In this course we will study figures and thematizations of music in German fiction, poetry and philosophy from the 18th to 20th centuries. We will also consider the convergence of music and poetry in the German Lied. Readings from Goethe, Hoffmann, Moerike, Heine, Nietzsche, Wagner, Adorno and Mann. In English; no prerequisites.

Fall GRMN1661B S01 16198 W 3:00-5:30(17) (S. Bernstein)
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GRMN 1661E. Germany, Alcohol, and the Global Nineteenth Century.

This course examines the German "long nineteenth century" through the lens of the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol. The cultural resonance of alcohol allows us to better situate Germany in an increasingly global context, where its exchange reflected broader patterns of modernization, social transformation, and nationalism. Whether brewing beer in Chinese Tsingtao, harvesting grapes in California's Napa Valley, or celebrating Purim with wine in Palestine, Germans engaged the nineteenth-century world through their own historical traditions and trades. Our endeavors will be aided by the remarkable "Alcohol and Addiction Studies" special collections at the John Hay Library.

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GRMN 1661F. Music, Religion, Politics (MUSC 1675).

Interested students must register for MUSC 1675.

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GRMN 1700A. Introduction to Yiddish Culture and Language (JUDS 1713).

Interested students must register for JUDS 1713.

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GRMN 1770A. Introduction to Yiddish Culture (JUDS 1713).

Interested students must register for JUDS 1713.

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GRMN 1800A. Berlin: Dissonance, Division, Revision (COLT 1813J).

Interested students must register for COLT 1813J.

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GRMN 1891. Reflections from Damaged Life: Freud, Adorno, Blanchot, Derrida.

“There is no right life within a wrong one,” Adorno wrote at the end of World War II, his gaze trained on the devastations of fascism and on the dark underbelly of capitalism’s culture industry. We will read four remarkable twentieth-century texts, all written in the shadow of historical or personal catastrophe, that thematize the possibility of thinking, writing, surviving, and acting in the context of a life that seems damaged: Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents; Adorno’s Minima Moralia; Blanchot’s The Writing of the Disaster; and Derrida’s The Work of Mourning. Taught in English. Curious students from diverse fields welcome.

Spr GRMN1891 S01 26133 M 3:00-5:30 (G. Richter)
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GRMN 1900A. The Weimar Republic (1918-1933).

Advanced students of German culture will pursue their own interests in researching this fascinating period in German culture and political history. Common readings, general discussions, and individual class presentations will facilitate the development of individual projects. Covered areas include literature, art, music, film, politics, etc. Required for concentrators, written permission required for others. Prerequisite: at least 3 100-level GRMN courses or equivalent. In German and English.

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GRMN 1900B. Sites of Memory.

The seminar explores the connection between representation and management of space and memory in the German context. Readings drawn from literary works, philosophy, public discourse about monuments and memorials, and so on. Assignments include individual presentations and final research project. Required for concentrators, open to others with instructor's permission. In English and German.

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GRMN 1900C. Cultural Industry and the Aesthetics of the Spectacle.

This course explores mass culture and distraction as conceptualized by the Frankfurt School. Readings and discussions will engage with the emergence of distraction as a specific category of experience; the function of entertainment in the culture industries of Nazi Germany; the critique of mass culture in post war Germany, and the reformulation of spectacle and distraction in Culture Studies and postmodern discourse. Readings: Schiller, Adorno, Benjamin, Kracauer, Debord, Baudrillard, Postman, Virilio, Norbert Bolz. In German.

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GRMN 1900D. Fleeing the Nazis: German Culture in Exile, 1933-1945.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933 this caused one of the biggest brain drains in history. We will trace the lives of leading experts in a variety of fields such as literature, music, philosophy, and the sciences and ask questions such as: Why did they leave? Where did they go? How did they do in their new environment? What did they say about their exile afterwards? Specific persons and places of exile will be studied according to the interests of the seminar participants. In German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0600 series. Open to seniors only.

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GRMN 1900E. Made in Germany - A Cultural History of Science, Technology, and Engineering.

In this seminar, we will examine the German technological imagination in literature and film. The material to be studied reaches from nineteenth and early twentieth century German Science Fiction to the history of engineering giants such as Volkswagen or BMW and will also include philosophical reflections of technology, the role of the German engineer as hero, and the image of the mad scientist. A field trip to Germany during spring break is planned. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 0600. Enrollment limited to 20; first year students require an instructor override prior to registering. LILE

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GRMN 1900J. Senior Seminar: Deutsche Gegenwartsliteratur.

Contemporary German literature is concerned with Germany after reunification, but also with other contemporary issues such as multiculturalism, mass migration, and globalization. In this class, we will discuss texts by younger authors and recent works by established writers. We will read essayistic, poetic, theatrical, and narrative texts, and we will assess what contemporary literature in German has to say about Germany, Europe, and the world of the 21st century. Readings by Durs Grünbein, Maxim Biller, Herta Müller, Juli Zeh, F. C. Delius, and others. In German. Pre-reqs: a 1000-level course.

Spr GRMN1900J S01 25033 MWF 2:00-2:50(07) (T. Kniesche)
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GRMN 1970. Independent Study.

Independent study on a particular topic related to German culture. In German or English. At the discretion of the instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

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GRMN 1990. Senior Conference.

Special work or preparation of an honors thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

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GRMN 2081A. Realism, Idealism, and Modernity (II) (PHIL 2080D).

Interested students must register for PHIL 2080D.

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GRMN 2320A. 1700.

Comparing language (rhetoric, style), literature (poetry, drama, novel), and other cultural phenomena (theater, dictionaries, emblem books, professionalization), we will consider shifts in cultural paradigms from the early modern to the modern period. Grimmelshausen and Gellert; Gryphius and Gottsched; Opitz and Haller. Readings in German. Discussion in German or English.

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GRMN 2320B. The Works of Heinrich Kleist.

Kleist's writings continue to pose interpretive and theoretical riddles for the modern reader nearly 200 years after their composition. We will read a selection of his major texts (dramatic, narrative, and journalistic) alongside some modern American and German criticism, covering methodological approaches such as deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and discourse analysis. Readings in German, with discussion in English.

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GRMN 2320C. Enlightened Laughter.

We follow the development of German comedy and theory of comedy and laughter from the late Baroque to the Enlightenment, comparing comedies and theoretical texts with foreign examples. What kind of laughter is appropriate for a bourgeois stage? A German stage? Why is laughing important? What kind? Texts by Weise, Prehauser, the Gottscheds, Gellert, J. A. Schlegel, Lessing, also Molière, Destouches, Farquahar, Graffigny. German texts read in German. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission.

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GRMN 2320D. Kafka in English.

No description available.

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GRMN 2320E. Political Romanticism.

What, if anything, is political about Romanticism? We will read the literary and non-literary writings of British and German romantic authors, with a focus on their complex relationship to political ideas, political practice, and the very concept of "the political." We will also consider why the question of Romanticism's relationship to politics has been re-visited with such insistency in the 20th century. Authors include W. Wordsworth, P. B. Shelley, Coleridge, Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, and Kleist. All readings and discussions in English.

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GRMN 2330A. Vision and Narration in the 19th Century.

Explores the relationship between vision and techniques of linguistic representation in selected literary texts from late romanticism to the fin-de-siecle. Special attention will be paid to the idea of "realistic" representation and to problems that afflict both seeing and speaking in the texts. Authors include Kleist, Stifter, Storm, Keller, Hofmannsthal, Rilke, and Musil. Readings in German, discussions in English. Open to seniors with instructor's permission.

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GRMN 2340A. German Literature 1968-1989.

Discussion of major trends in literature in German: New Subjectivity, postmodernism, feminist literature, the role of mythology, post-histoire. Authors to be discussed include Botho Strauss, Elfriede Jelinek, Thomas Bernhard, W.G. Sebald, among others. In German.

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GRMN 2340B. Poetik der AutorInnen.

This course will examine postwar literary aesthetics as put forth in the so-called "Poetikvorlesungen" which several universities in German-speaking countries have instituted since 1959. These lectures have featured important contemporary authors thinking about their work - from poetic practices and aesthetic theories to biographic considerations and the technicalities of writing literature in today's world. In German.

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GRMN 2340C. German Modernism.

This seminar will explore German literary modernism from around 1880 to the 1930s. Schools and authors to be studied will include Naturalism (Hauptmann, Holz, Schlaf), Neo-Romanticism and Symbolism (Hofmannsthal, Rilke, George), Expressionism (Toller, Benn, Kaiser, Brecht), and New Objectivity (Kästner, Döblin, Fallada). In German. Required proficiency: GRMN 0600.

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GRMN 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.

Fall GRMN2450 S01 14739 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Spr GRMN2450 S01 23833 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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GRMN 2460A. German Literature 1945-1967.

Examines the literature and the literary debates in postwar Germany, East and West. Authors to be discussed include those of the Gruppe 47 and those excluded from the group in the West; Brecht, Seghers, Becher and the new generation in the East. Emphasis on cultural politics and the role of literature in postwar German society (the work of the mourning, political restauration).

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GRMN 2460C. Literature of the German Democratic Republic.

Against the background of the history of socialism in Germany, an intensive study of GDR authors and East German authors since reunification, with opportunities to explore other areas such as film and art. Authors may include: Brecht, Müller, C. Wolf, Reimann, Hein, Braun, Tellkamp. Readings in German, discussion in English or German.

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GRMN 2460D. Thomas Mann: Die Romane.

In this course, we will read and discuss Thomas Mann's novels, from Buddenbrooks (1900) to Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (1954). Emphasis on narratological analysis and historical contextualization. In German.

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GRMN 2500A. Rethinking the Bildungsroman (COLT 2520G).

Interested students must register for COLT 2520G.

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GRMN 2660A. On the Sublime.

Survey of major theories of the sublime from antiquity to modern times, with emphasis on German, British, and French texts from the 18th to 20th centuries. Authors to be read include Longinus, Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Neil Hertz. Readings and discussions in English, with optional readings in original languages provided. Open to seniors with instructor's permission.

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GRMN 2660C. Socialism and the Intellectuals.

The international socialist movement was born in Germany, and many of Germany's most important intellectuals were attracted to its striving for social justice. Against the background of 19th century politics and theory, the course focuses on the Weimar Republic, the cultural politics of the German Democratic Republic and the New Left in the Federal Republic, and developments since reunification. Authors may include Heine, Marx, Hauptmann, Brecht, Müller, C. Wolf. Readings in German, disucssions in English and/or German.

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GRMN 2660G. Reading (in) German Literature.

What is reading? We will discuss theories of reading from reader-response-theory to performativity and its history. Beginning with Goethe's novel "Werther," we will read German literature since the 18th century. We will focus on the emerging conditions and techniques of reading (extensity, accessibility, popularity) which still shape text-reader-relations and on the double-bind of reading as a bourgeois model for subject-formation alongside profound ambivalence towards its pleasures. Finally: How is our own experience and performance of reading German literature? In German.

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GRMN 2660H. Historicism, Photography, Film.

How does the emergence of photographic media--photography and film--affect concepts of historicity and historical experience? And how do philosophical concepts of history and historicity inform the aesthetics of film and of documentary film in particular? Taking Kracauer's critique of photography and Benjamin's work on film, photography and the philosophy of history as its point of departure and focusing on longitudinal documentaries from the former GDR, West Germany and Switzerland, this course proposes an inquiry into the relationship of photographic media and philosophical concepts of historicity. Readings and discussions in English. Open to graduate students. Juniors and seniors may enroll with instructor permission.

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GRMN 2660I. Torture in European Literature and Aesthetic Theory.

Alongside the history of actual torture runs the history of representations of torture. Throughout the centuries, literature has worked through many of torture’s manifestations. Texts range from the biblical scenes of crucifixion and punishment to modern forms of torture. Writers like E.T.A. Hoffmann, Mirbeau, Kafka, Améry and Sartre have reflected on torture. And aesthetic theory has taken various stances towards the depiction of torture in the arts, ranging from Winckelmann and Lessing to Adorno and Elaine Scarry. Our graduate seminar will read and discuss a selection of literary and theoretical texts covering the period from the mid-18th century until today.

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GRMN 2660O. From Hegel to Nietzsche: Literature as/and Philosophy.

This seminar has two aims. It will scrutinize Hegel's and Nietzsche's respective conceptions of literature, and it will analyze the particular use of literary texts in their writings. The choice of these two authors is based not only on the fact that they qualify as representatives of the trajectory of German philosophy in the 19th century. They also act as antagonists on systematic grounds: While Hegel seeks to outperform literature with philosophy, Nietzsche depicts human life as an "aesthetic phenomenon," arguably creating a "literary" mode of philosophy. Enrollment limited to 30.

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GRMN 2660P. The Essay: Theory and Praxis.

An essay, Lukács once said, is not yet form, but form on the way to becoming form. It is something in between: between art, science, and philosophy, between reason and intuition, between "precision and soul" (Musil). We will begin with the idea of the essay in Montaigne and Francis Bacon, and trace its development in Germany's intellectual and literary history from around 1870 till 1960. We will try to understand why, during this period, the essay became the preferred medium of thought and one of the dominant forms of reflecting on great Westerns narratives as well as important contemporary discourses.

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GRMN 2660Q. Freud and Lacan (ENGL 2900T).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2900T.

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GRMN 2661A. “Other Worlds”.

This seminar explores the notion of “other worlds” in philosophy and art. The starting point for this exploration is a personal feeling. One day I realize that I exist in a world no longer there, although it had never crossed my mind that “my” world, as strange and inhospitable as it might have been, could come to an end. I have turned into a ghost without noticing. What shall I do? Adapt to the new world? Pretend nothing has happened? Resist the disintegration of the old world? Readings by Leibniz, Nietzsche, Bloch, Benjamin, Deleuze, Meillassoux. Films by Visconti and Godard.

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GRMN 2661G. Frankfurt School Critical Theory.

Careful readings of key texts by members of the Frankfurt School, including Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Siegfried Kracauer, and others. Examination of the ways in which these writers transformed their conceptual roots (provided by such thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud) into a new set of concepts, premises, and strategies that came to be known as “Critical Theory” (a term invented by Horkheimer in 1937). Taught in English; students from a variety of disciplines welcome. (Seminar takes place also in conjunction with an international conference on the Frankfurt School at Brown during Fall 2016.)

Fall GRMN2661G S01 16200 M 3:00-5:30(15) (G. Richter)
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GRMN 2661H. Lenz-Legenden/Lenz-Legends.

Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz is a forgotten writer, yet a most influential and haunting presence throughout the centuries (since he was found dead, at age 41, in a Moscow street, in 1792). We will re-read Lenz’ pieces for theater (Der Hofmeister, Die Soldaten) as well as on theater (Anmerkungen übers Theater), including translations of, and writings on, Shakespeare. Readings will also include political and philosophical essays, linguistic and etymological studies from his Moscow years, and letters. The seminar’s second half includes remnants of encounters with Lenz in Goethe’s writings, Büchner’s novella Lenz, Celan’s Der Meridian and Oswald Egger’s Euer Lenz.

Spr GRMN2661H S01 25034 T 4:00-6:30(16) (T. Schestag)
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GRMN 2661I. German Romanticism.

An introduction to the key texts of German romanticism, alongside a selection of secondary commentaries. We will focus on the importance of the period for 20th-century developments in literary theory and criticism. Primary readings will include texts by Kleist, Novalis, Schlegel, Tieck, and Hoffmann, and secondary readings will be drawn from authors such as de Man, Jacobs, Hamacher, and Lacoue-Labarthe / Nancy. Reading knowledge of German recommended but not required.

Spr GRMN2661I S01 25035 Th 4:00-6:30(17) (Z. Sng)
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GRMN 2661J. Art, Philosophy, and Truth: A Close Reading of Benjamin's Essay on Goethe's Elective Affinities.

This course will be devoted to a close reading of one of the most rewarding, and also most intricate, essays about aesthetics written in the first half of the twentieth century, Benjamin’s 1924 essay on Goethe. Rather than discuss the pertinence of the interpretation Benjamin proposes of Goethe's famous novel, we will focus on the ideas he develops in relation to art and philosophy, and the conceptual distinctions he introduces, such as the distinction between commentary and criticism, or the distinction between an artwork's material content and its truth content.

Fall GRMN2661J S01 17100 T 4:00-6:30(09) (A. Duttmann)
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GRMN 2900. Theory and Methods of Foreign Language Teaching.

No description available.

Course usage information

GRMN 2970. Preliminary Examination Preparation.

For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the Registration Fee to continue active enrollment while preparing for a preliminary examination.

Fall GRMN2970 S01 14740 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Spr GRMN2970 S01 23834 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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GRMN 2980. Reading and Research.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

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GRMN 2990. Thesis Preparation.

For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the Registration Fee to continue active enrollment while preparing a thesis.

Fall GRMN2990 S01 14741 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Spr GRMN2990 S01 23835 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
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GRMN XLIST. Courses of Interest to Students Concentrating in German Studies.

Course usage information

SWED 0100A. Beginning Swedish.

Swedish 0100 is an introduction to both Sweden and Swedish, covering various aspects of Swedish history, art and society, as well as screening at least three Swedish films per semester. The course packet contains the text/workbook, Mål 1, with additional materials. We will cover one chapter of Mål per week, with quizzes every three weeks. There will be a midterm and a final exam, along with a short take-home project.

This is a small class, so your presence is absolutely required. Emphasis will be placed on speaking and understanding Swedish. Good will and good humor are required.

Fall SWED0100A S01 17083 TTh 4:00-6:20(09) (A. Weinstein)
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SWED 0200A. Beginning Swedish.

Swedish 200 is a continuation of Swedish 100, with the same goals, materials and methods. It may also be suited to students with some prior background in Swedish.

Spr SWED0200A S01 25966 TTh 4:00-6:30(16) (A. Weinstein)
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SWED 0300. Intermediate Swedish I.

Continuing Swedish.

Course usage information

SWED 0400. Intermediate Swedish II.

Continuing Swedish. Recommended prerequisite: SWED 0300.


Gerhard H. Richter


Omer Bartov
John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History

Susan Bernstein
Professor of Comparative Literature; Professor of German Studies

William C. Crossgrove
Professor Emeritus of German Studies and Comparative Literature

Katherine R. Goodman
Professor Emerita of German Studies

Frederick R. Love
Professor Emeritus of German Studies

Carol Jean Poore
Professor Emerita of German Studies

Gerhard H. Richter
Professor of German Studies; Professor of Comparative Literature

Thomas G. Schestag
Professor of German Studies

Michael P. Steinberg
Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History

Associate Professor

Thomas W. Kniesche
Associate Professor of German Studies

Zachary Sng
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Associate Professor of German Studies

Assistant Professor

Kristina C. Mendicino
Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Humanities

Senior Lecturer

Jane Sokolosky
Senior Lecturer in German Studies

Adjunct Lecturer

Ann C. Weinstein
Adjunct Lecturer in German Studies

German Studies

German Studies exposes students to the language, literature, and culture of the German speaking areas of Central Europe.  Concentrators combine intensive study of the German language with interdisciplinary studies by complementing courses from the German Studies core program with courses from other departments that deal with topics from the German cultural tradition. The quest for national identity that dominated German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been augmented by contemporary Germany's efforts to come to terms with its past and create new ways of dealing with diversity. Our curriculum therefore looks back at the German literary, cultural, and historical tradition, examining figures from Goethe or Christa Wolf to Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, alongside the “texts” of contemporary German media, including television, film, and music.  Most concentrators study abroad for one or two semesters.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

Many students elect to complete a double concentration, combining German Studies with one of the above areas, or with fields such as International Relations or Economics, Comparative Literature or History of Art and Architecture.

Knowledge of the German language is not required for declaring a concentration in German Studies. However, since language fluency is the basis for sophisticated understanding of German culture, students must meet a language requirement by the time they graduate.

Concentration Requirements

  • Nine courses beyond GRMN 0400 or GRMN 0450;
  • At least six of the nine courses must be at the 1000-level (or higher);
  • Two of the 1000-level courses must involve writing assignments in German, and students must obtain at least a grade of B in these courses;
  • At least five of the nine courses must be taken in the Department of German Studies (or four if a student spends a whole year in Germany on Study Abroad);
  • Completion of a Senior Seminar during the senior year (i.e. a course from the German Studies 1900 series) as part of the five courses within the Department of German Studies; and
  • If a student studies abroad for one semester, as many as four courses, in the case of two semesters, as many as five courses, from study abroad may count toward the concentration.


Candidates for honors will be expected to have a superior record in departmental courses and will have to be approved by the Department of German Studies. Honors candidates must take one additional course at the 1000-level from the German studies offerings and present an acceptable Senior Honors Thesis. The additional course may be used for preparation of the honors thesis. Students are encouraged to discuss their thesis topics with the concentration advisor no later than the third week of classes in Fall of their Senior year.

German Studies

The department of German Studies offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts (A.M.) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The A.M. degree is only awarded as a transitional degree for Ph.D. candidates and is not open for admission for non-Ph.D. applicants.

For more information on admission and program requirements, please visit the following website: