Chair: Professor John Roger Paas
Professors: Sigrun D. Leonhard, John Roger Paas, Anne C. Ulmer
Visiting Assistant Professor: Kai Herklotz
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Chair: Professor John Roger Paas
Professors: Sigrun D. Leonhard, John Roger Paas, Anne C. Ulmer
Visiting Assistant Professor: Kai Herklotz
In our changing global environment, communication is the key to understanding other peoples and cultures. Our goal in German is to provide students with the proficiency needed to read German works in the original and/or to live and study in a German-speaking country. Since the fall of the Wall and the establishment of the European Union as an economic and political power, the question of German identity has again come to the forefront, and German philosophical and literary foundations are crucial to an understanding of the country and to the role it plays in the world. Our upper-level courses introduce students to important writers and thinkers such as Goethe, Schiller, Kafka, Brecht, and Rilke as well as to the German cinema and past and current cultural trends.
Language Courses: Language courses 101, 102, 103, and 204 are a sequential series of courses designed to prepare the student in the basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) through the study of grammar, literature, and culture, and to provide the foundation for pursuing advanced work in language and literature. German 205 (taught overseas) and 207 are designed to develop the student’s spoken and written mastery of the language through compositions and intensive oral work based on cultural and literary topics. Admission to these courses is determined either by appropriate CEEB or placement test scores, or by successful completion of the previous course in the sequence.
Literature/Cultural Courses: We examine a wide range of works for both their aesthetic and human values. Our literature courses have a number of goals: to refine and expand students’ linguistic ability, to give students access to some of the greatest works of literature, to broaden their cultural understanding, to improve their ability to engage in critical analysis, and to help them better understand themselves and the human condition. In class discussions attention is focused on universal themes and concerns within the broad context of German culture. In all courses numbered 250 and above the readings and discussions will be in German. The prerequisite for these courses is German 204 or the permission of the instructor.
Sixty-six credits including one language class (German 205 or 207); Literary and Cultural Studies 245 (best taken during the junior year); normally German 231; three literature/culture courses in German; and the integrative exercise. Courses 101, 102, 103, 204 and 210 do not count toward the major. In addition at least six credits are required in literature other than German, read in the original language or in translation. Majors are encouraged to take other related courses in fields such as history, philosophy, religion, classics, and art or music history, in order to gain further perspectives in their literary studies. A special major involving German literature and another discipline may sometimes be arranged upon consultation with the department.
Programs Abroad: Participation in Carleton German Programs or in another approved foreign study program is highly recommended for students majoring in German. Students interested in a program aboard that is not affiliated with Carleton should consult with a faculty member in German and with the Director of Off-Campus Studies.
Language Houses: Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language by living in the Language House where they can organize and participate in numerous cultural activities. Each year a language associate from Germany resides in the house.
Certificate of Advanced Study in Foreign Language and Literature: In order to receive the Certificate of Advanced Study in German students must satisfactorily complete the following: 36 credits beyond 103, of which at least twenty-four will be taught in the target language; 18 of these credits may be obtained in advanced language courses (German 205, 207 or 210). The remaining courses may be from the German section or from a list of approved courses offered by other departments (philosophy, history, linguistics, music, etc.) Although courses for the certificate may be taken on a S/CR/NC basis, "CR" level work will not be sufficient to satisfy course requirements. No more than twelve credits from non-Carleton off-campus studies programs may be applied toward the certificate.
GERM 100. The Face in the Mirror: Searching for the Self Many writers have used fiction as a means of coming to terms with themselves and their identities at various points in their lives. This has been particularly true throughout this century in German-speaking countries, largely because of the impact of the two world wars. We will read (in translation) a number of twentieth century works by German, Swiss and Austrian writers, focusing on the quest for self-awareness. We will include such authors as Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Max Frisch, Barbara Frischmuth, Günther Grass and Christa Wolf, among others. Reading and discussion in English. 6 cr., WR; AI, WR1, FallA. Ulmer
GERM 101. Elementary German This course stresses a firm understanding of the basic structural patterns of the German language through reading, writing, speaking, and listening drills. For students with no previous knowledge of German or for those whose test scores indicate that this is the appropriate level of placement. 6 cr., ND; NE, FallStaff
GERM 103. Intermediate German Completion of the study of basic structural patterns of the German language, and the reading and discussion of a longer literary work. Prerequisite: German 102. 6 cr., ND; NE, SpringStaff
GERM 205. Berlin Program: Intermediate Composition and Conversation This course, taught by a native speaker, will focus on students’ reading, writing, and speaking abilities. The class format will feature mainly discussions with grammar exercises interspersed as needed. Students will write frequent papers and correct these papers themselves. 6 cr., ND; NE, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 207. Young Adult Literature The best current German-language literature for teen-aged readers treats serious topics with wit and sensitivity. These texts, many of which have won prizes, are linguistically accessible and written with flair. Readings and class discussions will be in German. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., ND; LA, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 209. Reading German This course is designed to help students make the transition to reading German texts of their own choosing in any academic discipline. Prerequisite: German 204, or the equivalent. 2 cr., S/CR/NC, ND; NE, SpringR. Paas
GERM 210. Coffee and the News This course is intended as a refresher course for students who have completed the basic language sequence and/or taken part in the German program. Practice in writing and speaking German. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 2 cr., S/CR/NC, ND; NE, IS, Fall,Winter,SpringK. Herklotz
GERM 216. Studies in German Cinema: Current Issues in Contemporary Film This course will be an introduction to Austrian and German film from the 1970s to the present. We will watch one or two films a week, and focus class discussions on such issues as the Third Reich and its impact on contemporary Germany (Fassbinder, Syberberg, Sanders-Brahms), the American dream in German culture (Wenders, Herzog), minorities in Germany (Fassbinder, Ottinger), literature into film (Schlöndorff), the role of women (Fassbinder, Sanders-Brahms, Ottinger, Dörrie) and other topics. We will discuss different genres, the notion of auteur cinema, and film in its double role of reflection and co-creator of ideology. 6 cr., AL; LA, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 219. German Film after World War II This course introduces postwar German cinema, emphasizing films in their socio-historical contexts while also providing an introduction to theoretical approaches and analytical tools for film analysis. Topics include: Remembering the Holocaust and WWII; terrorism; socialism and utopia; Berlin films and reunification; as well as race and migration. We will discuss a wide range of genres and styles, from New German Cinema to Turkish German comedy, from documentary to socialist musical. We will watch one or two films per week, accompanied by readings on specific films, German film history, and film analysis. All readings and class discussion in English. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 230. From Gutenberg to Gates: The History and Practice of Printing Gutenberg's invention of printing with movable type has had a far-reaching impact on the political, social, and intellectual development in the Western World. A similarly profound revolution is taking place today with the use of computers. This course focuses on the major developments in printing since 1450 against the relevant historical and social background. In addition to lectures and discussions there is a weekly "lab," in which students will gain first-hand knowledge of such techniques as woodcutting, engraving, etching, lithography, bookbinding, and papermaking. In English translation. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, AL; HI, Spring
GERM 231. Damsels, Dwarfs, and Dragons: Medieval German Literature Around the year 1200 German poets wrote some of the most lasting works in the Western literary tradition. It was a time of courtly love and Arthurian romances, and themes vary widely from love and honor to revenge and murder. Special attention is given to the poetry of Walther von der Vogelweide and two major epics: The Nibelungenlied and Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan and Isolde. In English translation. 6 cr., AL; HI, WinterR. Paas
GERM 240. German Nobel Laureates Since its inception in 1901 the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded numerous times to German authors. This course will introduce students to the shorter prose works of several of these Nobel Laureates, including Günter Grass, Heinrich Böll, Hermann Hesse, and Nelly Sachs. All readings and discussions in English. 6 cr., AL; LA, IS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 244. Berlin Program: Theater in Berlin This course will be structured around the theater productions of the fall 2009 season in Berlin. (A few films will be included). The class will read six to eight plays from different literary and historical periods, study their historical and literary context, and also see them performed in the theater. 6 cr., AL; LA, IS, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 246. Rebels, Revolutionaries, and Misfits This course focuses on several German literary figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who either were outsiders during their lifetimes or who actively fought against the establishment. The authors to be studied include Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich von Kleist, and Georg Büchner. In English translation. 6 cr., AL; LA, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 247. Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends From bedtime stories to Disney films to video games, narratives familiar to us as fairy tales, myths and legends are ever present. This course examines tales in multiple forms, including versions of oral tales, literary tales, feature and animated film, and popular culture manifestations. While the course has a special emphasis on the German tradition, we will also examine many stories (in all their forms) in traditions that have been in dialogue with European traditions, including the Arabian Nights, Disney films, and anime. In several cases we will also read contemporary literary rewritings of familiar tales. All readings and class discussion in English. 6 cr., AL; HI, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 249. Tense Affinities: A History of German Jewish Culture The tragedy of the Holocaust in the twentieth century often has overshadowed the long and lively history of German Jewish culture. This course will trace the historical developments of a diverse and complex German Jewish culture and the multiple ways in which it is intertwined with European and German mainstream culture from the Middle Ages to its revival in post-unification Germany. The readings include overviews of historical periods; the literary, political, and philosophical texts by major German Jewish authors; autobiographies; painting; graphic novels; and film. Conducted in English; with German material available upon request. 6 cr., HU, WR; HI, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 250. Tense Affinities: A History of German Jewish Culture The tragedy of the Holocaust in the 20th century often has overshadowed the long and lively history of German Jewish culture. This course will trace the historical developments of a diverse and complex German Jewish culture and the multiple ways in which it is intertwined with European and German mainstream culture from the Middle Ages to its revival in post-unification Germany. The readings include overviews of historical periods; the literary, political, and philosophical texts by major German Jewish authors; autobiographies; painting; graphic novels; and film. In German. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., HU; HI, IS, SpringKai Herklotz
GERM 295. Berlin: The German Metropolis Today Berlin is at the center of unified Germany and an evermore-united Europe. This course will trace the significance of Berlin for both Germany and Europe, taking a historical as well as comparative approach. Representations of Berlin in theoretical essays, literature, art and film, as well as Berlin as site of history, will provide the starting point from which we will explore many facets of twentieth century modernity, German-Jewish history, the Cold War, and the New Europe. Readings and discussions are in German. Prerequisite: German 204 or equivalent. 6 cr., AL; HI, IS, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 312. Rilke and His Circle Rainer Maria Rilke, perhaps the foremost poet of his century, lived among a variety of artists, thinkers, and writers. Among them are Rodin, Lou Andreas-Salome, and the Worpswede group of artists. We will follow the threads of Rilke's life and poetry, and see where they lead us. The course will center on Rilke's poetry and prose fiction, but will also include correspondence, and the works of some of Rilke's associates. Class discussions and primary readings will be in German (sometimes with English translations provided); some secondary readings may be in English. Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent. 6 cr., AL; LA, WinterA. Ulmer
GERM 345. Vienna: Dream and Reality The course will examine the beginnings of Modernism in Austrian culture, music, theater, philosophy, art and architecture, focusing on literature within its wider context. We will look at such thinkers and artists as Freud, Wittgenstein, Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Hermann Bahr, Karl Kraus, Robert Musil and Peter Altenberg; as well as the great musicians, architects and painters of the time. We will survey the history and culture of the period between 1870 and 1930, with our primary focus on the period from around 1890-1920. Lectures and discussions will be in German. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., AL; HI, IS, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 346. Viennese Culture on Site The first part of the course consists of a field trip to Vienna, Austria. We will spend two weeks going to museums and seeing the architecture and art we have discussed in German 345, including many works by such artists as Loos, Klimt, Schele and Kokoschka. The course will conlcude on campus when students will give oral presentations on topics selected in the fall term and investigated during the winter break trip. Prerequisite: German 345. 6 cr., AL, WR; HI, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 351. The Age of Goethe The literary movements of Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, and Classicism as seen through selected works of Goethe, Schiller, Lessing and Herder. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., AL; LA, Not offered in 2010-2011.
GERM 355. Topics in German Drama: Twentieth Century Theatrical Experiments We will read and discuss in German a range of plays which push the limits of theatrical possibilities. Possible playwrights include Georg Kaiser, Bert Brecht, Wolfgang Borchert, Rolf Hochhuth, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Thomas Bernhard, and perhaps a twenty-first century writer. Videos of play productions and our own dramatic readings of scenes will help us explore some of the century's theories of acting and staging. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., AL; LA, Not offered in 2010-2011.