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German (GERM)

Chair: Professor Laura Goering (Russian)

Professors: Julie A. Klassen, Sigrun D. Leonhard, John Roger Paas, Anne C. Ulmer

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 Bachmann, as well as to the German cinema 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), 206, 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 completion of the previous course in the sequence with a grade of C- or better.

Literature 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 in the original language, 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.

Requirements for a Major:

Sixty-six credits including German 206 and/or 207; Literary and Cultural Studies 245 (normally taken during the junior year); two survey courses (231, 260, 261, 351, 354, 355 or 356), one of which from before and one after 1900; and the integrative exercise. Courses 101, 102, 103, 110, 204, 205 and 210 do not count toward the major. In addition to the major 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 a Carleton or in another approved foreign study program is highly recommended for students majoring in German. Students interested in a program aboard that is not affliated 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 fulfill the general requirements (refer to Academic regulations) in the following course distribution: 36 credits beyond 103, of which at least eighteen will be taught in the target language; two of those three courses may be advanced language courses (205, 206 or 207). Courses remaining 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, "D" or "CR" level work will not be sufficient to satisfy course requirements.

German Courses

GERM 100. The Image 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., S/CR/NC, AL, 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, FallStaff

GERM 102. Elementary German Further study of the basic structural patterns of the German language. Prerequisite: German 101, or appropriate placement score. 6 cr., ND, WinterStaff

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, SpringStaff

GERM 110. German for Reading Knowledge A thorough introduction to the basic structures of the German language. Intended for students who need a fundamental reading knowledge of German. 6 cr., ND, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 204. Intermediate German Critical reading and discussion of selected German plays and short stories. Prerequisite: German 103, or appropriate placement score. 6 cr., ND, FallStaff

GERM 206. Composition and Conversation Short texts, films, video clips and other cultural materials serve as the basis for discussions of contemporary German and Austrian culture. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., ND, WinterS. Leonhard

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, SpringA. Ulmer

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. Formerly GERM 310 2 cr., S/CR/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringA. Ulmer

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, FallS. Leonhard

GERM 230. From Gutenberg to Gates: The History and Practice 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, SpringR. Paas

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, WinterR. Paas

GERM 232. The Forest in German Literature and Culture We will examine stories, fairy tales, poetry, art, music, and other cultural documents to understand the forest as an important natural and symbolic phenomenon in the relationship of humans to nature in German-speaking societies. Over-arching themes include the rise of environmental sensibility, alienation through technology, and responses to environmental threats. In English translation. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 241. Minority Voices in German Literatures An examination of German texts by authors who have not been considered members of the traditional ethnic German majority, such as Turkish-Germans, Afro-Germans, and Jewish-Germans. We will explore such issues as the experiences of minority groups in German-speaking countries (whether as citizens or non-German nationals), the question of identity, the role of mother tongue and/or dialect in shaping German language usage, reactions of the majority society, and the issue of citizenship. 6 cr., AL, RAD, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 260. Community and the Individual: German Literature and Life, 1780-1900 This survey of German literature examines significant works of prose, poetry, and drama in their cultural contexts, by authors ranging from Goethe and Novalis to Storm and Rilke. Besides gaining a sense of genre traditions and literary epochs, participants will also explore the tensions between individuals and the changing social and political order. Specific factors to be considered include the artist's role in society, high culture versus popular culture, German identity, censorship, and the dreams of nationhood. Prerequisite: German 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 261. Visions of Reality: Germany in the Twentieth Century The twentieth century saw profound changes in the perception and representation of reality. In this course, we will explore the aesthetic, cultural and political visions of "reality" and the impact they had on the individual and on German society. What are the concepts of time and space? Of history? How are individual/culture/society represented? We will look at avant-garde and mainstream movements in different media such as literature, film, the visual arts, and architecture. Some secondary readings in English. Prerequisite: German 206 or equivalent. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 268. Trials and Tribulations in Translation Various aspects of justice and law (Gerechtigkeit and Recht) are central to many literary works in German. What is guilt? What is justice? Is there such a thing as innocence? Who decides? We will focus on both societal and individual existential views of these topics, as seen through several novels and plays. Authors will include Kafka, Lenz, Frisch, Dürrenmatt and others. 6 cr., AL, SpringA. Ulmer

GERM 278. Sport, Identity, and Nationalism Sport is a central activity in societies and modern collective life that functions as a vehicle for identity formation by providing people with a sense of difference and a way of classifying themselves and others; sport as a performance shapes national identity and generates meaning in an increasingly global spectacle. In this course, we will look at such sports and sport venues as boxing, soccer, cricket and the Olympics: we will examine how theories of nationalism are connected to concepts of race, class, and the aesthetics of the body. In English translation. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 280. Holocaust: Memory and Representations This course explores how the Holocaust is remembered and represented in contemporary cultural media: film, literature, documentaries, comics, museums, and memorials. We will look at differences between first-and second generation survivor testimonies, fictional treatments, and public memorializations. How are events remembered and memorialized and in what way? Who can legitimately remember? What different modes of representation are permissible, appropriate or desirable? These are the questions this course tries to answer. In translation. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 295. Berlin: The Metropolis and the Culture of Modernity After WWI, Berlin emerged as a place of a new consciousness and new rhythms of sensual and intellectual life and saw profound changes in the perception and representation of time and space. In theoretical essays, literature, art and film, Berlin will provide the starting point from which we will expand to study many facets of twentieth century modernity in terms of city life (leisure time, amusement parks), emerging media (photography and film), gendered notions of urban space, politics, and art. Reading and discussions are in English. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 350. Two Countries-One Nation-Germany and the Cold War The fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of one German State in 1990 has caused a debate. Does this event reflect a "reunification" of "two countries that belonged together" or, is this a "unification" of two disparate political and cultural units that have evolved since WWII. We will address this question within the context of the debate on German identity and nationalism. We will explore literature, film, theater, social and cultural politics, along with a special emphasis on the phenomenon of the "Grenzgänger" who transcendends the physical and intellectual boundaries between the two German States. Prerequisite: German 206 or the equivalent. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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, SpringS. Leonhard

GERM 354. Studies in Twentieth Century Prose and Poetry An examination of the modern novella and lyric, including works by such authors as Kafka, Brecht, Hesse, Rilke, George, Hofmannsthal, Mann, Fisch, Wolf, Bäll, Frischmuth, Kaschnitz and others, in their historical and cultural context. Prerequisite: German 204 or equivalent. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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, WinterJ. Klassen

GERM 360. The Song that Sleeps in Everything: German Poetry through the Ages Starting with the Baroque era, we will examine German poems as expressions of the literary movements that gave birth to them. Since the class will focus on each poem as representative of an aesthetic code grounded in specific literary movements, this class is also an excellent introduction to German literary history. We will read the poems, discuss them, listen to recordings and do our own lyrical or dramatic readings. Selections will include poems set to music, as well as twentieth century Cabaret. Interested students may also try their hand at translation. Prerequisite: German 204 or equivalent. 6 cr., AL, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GERM 400. Integrative Exercise Examining an aspect of German literature across eras or genres. 6 cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,WinterStaff