Courses (catalog)

The sections for GERM 101, 102, and 103 are flexible for students to enroll in. If a student has a conflict between their MWF / TTH classes and a 5-day language class schedule, they can talk with Juliane Schicker (jschicker@carleton) to cross-enroll in 2 sections at the same time.

  • GERM 100: What Can a Body Do?

    What is a body? Who decides what is normal? What is beautiful? In this course, we will examine theories and portrayals of the body in art, literature, philosophy, and film. We will ask what comes to be known as natural or the norm and how deviations from that norm are represented. Ultimately, we may ask not simply what a body is, but what do bodies evoke? What can a body do? Works include visual art from Grünewald, Dürer, MadC; films from Wiene, Murnau, Sanders-Brahms; and readings from Rilke, Kafka, Bovenschen, Siebers, and Fuchs in English translation. Discussion in English.

    6 credit; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2018 · Seth Elliott Meyer
  • 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 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2018 · Juliane Schicker, Seth Elliott Meyer
  • GERM 102: Elementary German

    Further study of the basic structural patterns of the German language. Prerequisites: German 101 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2019 · Juliane Schicker, Seth Elliott Meyer
  • GERM 103: Intermediate German

    Continuation of the study of basic structural patterns of the German language, and the reading and discussion of longer texts, films, and other media from German-speaking cultures.

    Prerequisites: German 102 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2019 · Juliane Schicker, Seth Elliott Meyer
  • GERM 105: Berlin Program: Beginning German in Berlin

    This course is designed for participants in Carleton's OCS Berlin program with little or no prior knowledge of German. Students will develop a basic foundation in the five skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and intercultural communication, with the goal of accomplishing a variety of basic everyday needs in Berlin. Topics will include communication with hosts, travel and transportation, shopping, and meals. Although students will be introduced to some fundamental grammar points, the emphasis is on the development of conversational abilities. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 150: The Sound of Germany: German Cultural History From Mozart to Rammstein

    In this course, we survey significant developments in German-language culture, broadly defined, from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century. Students of all disciplines and majors are invited to receive an overview of the culture of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, starting in the 1750s and tracing its impact into the present time. The course is based on literature, film, music, language, history, habits, news, etc., and surveys major figures, movements, and their influence on the world’s civilization. The course encourages critical engagement with the material at hand and provides the opportunity to compare it with the students’ own cultural background. Taught in English.

    6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2019 · Juliane Schicker
  • GERM 151: Soul Searching: Faust and the Devil in German Cultural History

    Would you sell your soul to the devil? In this course, we will explore the legend of Faust and portrayals of the devil from the Renaissance and Enlightenment to the present day, drawing on examples from classic and popular literature, film and music. Through the lens of the Faustian theme, students of all disciplines and majors are invited to survey key moments and figures in German-language culture and history. Taught in English.

    6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 175: Berlin Program: Berlin Field Studies in English

    Individually or in small groups, students will work on a major project that incorporates research done on-site in Berlin and during our travels. The main objective of the course is to interact with Berlin and Berliners (and Europe and Europeans). Possible topics include music, visual arts, immigration, media, politics, personal history topics, or Germany's role within Europe. Conducted in English. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 204: Intermediate German

    In this course, students build on their basic communication skills to engage in more in-depth spoken and written discussions of German-speaking literature and culture. By analyzing longer and more challenging texts, films and cultural media, continuing grammar review, and writing compositions, students acquire greater facility and confidence in all four language skills (writing, speaking, listening, and reading).

    Prerequisites: German 103 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2018 · Kiley Kost
  • GERM 205: Berlin Program: Intermediate Composition and Conversation

    This course is designed for students with intermediate proficiency in German, who wish to extend their knowledge of German language and culture through reading, discussions, and writing. Students will work on developing the ability to articulate opinions, exchange substantive information and to argue points of view; honing analytic and interpretive writing skills; and expanding their linguistic toolkit. The class format features discussions with grammar exercises interspersed as needed. Prerequisites: German 103 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 208: Coffee and News

    An excellent opportunity to brush up your German while learning about current issues in German-speaking countries. Relying on magazines, newspapers, podcasts, and streamings, students will discuss common topics and themes once a week to exchange their ideas over snacks with a small group of students. 

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 2 credit; S/CR/NC; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2018 · Juliane Schicker
  • GERM 210: What’s Under Your Bed: Ghosts, Germans, and the Uncanny

    This class explores creepy and uncanny texts from the German-speaking world in the fields of literature, music, and film to examine their connections to the particular cultural moments in which they emerged. Horror themes such as madness, death, and the supernatural will haunt our texts and discussions and will shed light on the state of society in its different epochs. Along the way, we will discuss forms, conventions, and styles that connect the broad diversity of our texts. We will refine written expression in German and develop the ability to express, discuss, and argue opinions.

    Prerequisites: Take German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 213: Staging Revolution

    From classic drama to concrete poetry, from epigrams to Instagram, how are revolutions and social movements spurred forward by the medium in which they are promoted? Not just literal revolution, but what literary revolutions themselves have resulted from such processes? Students will be exposed to many different kinds of texts and films of varying length, and challenged to ask the question: how is language being used here? Course goals include refinement of written and spoken expression, and further development of reading and listening skills. Readings/viewings from Schiller, Schnitzler, Lang, Brecht, Dürrenmatt, Sander, Bachmann, Jandl, Bernhard, Maron, Jelinek, Otoo, #metoo. Conducted in German.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2019 · Seth Elliott Meyer
  • GERM 215: Refugees Welcome? Debating Migration and Multiculturalism in Post-War Germany

    This class brings together diverse voices--journalists, philosophers, and political scientists, as well as authors and filmmakers--in order to trace Germany’s contested development to a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Starting with the “guest worker” program of the 1960s to the ongoing refugee crisis, Germans have asked themselves “What is ‘deutsch’?” We will explore Germany’s rich history of negotiating national identity through public discourse, including topics such as German-Turkish relations, Jewish emigration after the Cold War, and the role of Islam in modern Germany. We will focus on refining students’ reading skills: We will survey works from a variety of genres, expand our vocabulary, and explore different layers of German writing through contextualization, translation, analysis and discussion. We will hone our reading strategies for works of fiction and non-fiction, discuss the pros and cons of various (online) dictionaries, and review relevant grammar topics.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 216: German Short Prose

    The course introduces students to the joys and challenges of reading short German fictional and non-fictional texts of various genres from three centuries, including fairy tales, aphorisms, short stories, novellas, tweets, essays, and newspaper articles. We will read slowly and with an eye to grammar and vocabulary building, while also concentrating on developing an understanding of German cultural history. Texts and class discussions will be in German.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 221: (re/ex)press yourself: Sexuality and Gender in Fin-de-Siècle Literature and Art

    This course explores German and Austrian literature and art of the turn of the century (c. 1880-1920) with a focus on the topics of sexuality and gender. We will read, among others, Freud, Schnitzler, Wedekind, Hofmannsthal; study artists such as Klimt and Kokoschka; and listen to composers such as Mahler, Zemlinksy, and Schoenberg. Texts and class discussions will be in English.

    6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 233: Schiller!

    Why would people want to make, much less steal, a bust of a long-dead German author? What could he have done that inspired such admiration? This class introduces students to Friedrich Schiller "poet, philosopher, historian, and Carleton icon” with a focus on his groundbreaking dramatic work. We will analyze and occasionally also perform scenes from Schiller's contributions to the European stage, ranging from Storm and Stress plays to Classical and Romantic tragedies, to historical dramas. Students will consider Schiller's writings through the lenses of politics, family relationships, and revolution, and also explore his productive friendship with Goethe. Taught in English. 3 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 241: Crisis of Identity/Identity of Crisis: Introduction to German Jewish Literature and Thought

    This course draws on short literary and philosophical texts, poems and visual artworks to examine the historical and cultural conditions of the "golden age" of German Jewish literature and thought surrounding the First World War. In response to the religious and philosophical "crisis" of Jewish identity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we will explore what it means to live between two distinct cultural traditions,how this struggle impacts questions of authorship, cultural belonging and personal identity, and how critical engagement with the past helps to shape and determine our hopes and aspirations for the future. In English translation.

    6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 247: Indo-European Folktales

    Since its publication in 1812, the Grimm Brothers' Children's and Household Tales found a readership that spanned countries, languages, and generations. Its universal appeal can be traced to its origins: it reflects not only the influence of early nineteenth century Germany, but also oral folklore traditions that go back thousands of years and range from as far away as Iceland, the Middle-East, and India. This course introduces students to a wide selection of these and other folktales from the Indo-European tradition as well as to numerous perspectives for understanding these folktales. We will examine the aesthetic, social, historical, and psychological values that these tales reflect, and will also discuss significant theoretical and methodological paradigms within folklore studies, including structural, socio-historical, psychoanalytic, and feminist perspectives. Finally, we will discuss the continuing influence of this folk tradition on popular and elite culture of our time. All readings, discussion, and coursework will be in English. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 253: In the Shadow of Goethe and Schiller: German Women Writers around 1800

    In the German literary sphere around 1800 female authorship was viewed as a transgression. At a time when Goethe and Schiller created texts that would soon dominate the German canon, women were routinely warned of the dangerous side effects of reading, and declared unfit to produce any work of literary merit. This course is structured around a diverse group of women writers who, while remaining under the radar of readers and critics, devised successful strategies for writing. We will analyze their poetic production, with particular attention to biography, gender, and society. Taught in German.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 3 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 254: Berlin Program: The World's a Stage -- Theater in Berlin

    This course is structured around the theater productions of the fall season in Berlin. Our group will attend six to eight performances of German language plays, ranging from the Enlightenment to the post-war period. In preparation for each outing, students will read and discuss the original play, and study its historical and literary context. In the course of the term, we will hone our skills as theater spectators and learn how to describe and critique different performance styles and directorial choices.

    Prerequisites: German 103 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 271: Iron Curtain Kids: Coming of Age in East Germany

    What was it like to grow up behind a wall, know Western music only through vinyl records from the black market, and revolt with HipHop, graffiti, and breakdance against a restrictive government? How did artists present life in block buildings, socialist youth groups, and a society without freedom of speech, travel, and expression? We will explore the youth culture of East Germany (1949-1989) through film, music, literature, and other media, compare it with today's world, and examine, e.g., Die neuen Leiden des Jungen W., Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, Beat Music, and the movie Russendisko. Conducted in German.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 275: Berlin Program: Berlin Field Studies in German

    Individually or in small groups, students will work on a major project in German that incorporates research done on-site in Berlin and during our travels. The main objective of the course is to interact with Berlin and Berliners (and Europe and Europeans). Possible topics include music, visual arts, immigration, media, politics, personal history topics, or Germany's role within Europe. Prerequisites: German 103 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 305: Berlin Program: Advanced Composition and Conversation

    This course is designed for students with advanced proficiency in German, who wish to extend their knowledge of German language and culture through reading, discussions, and writing. Students will work on developing the ability to articulate opinions, exchange substantive information and to argue points of view; honing analytic and interpretive writing skills; and expanding their linguistic toolkit. The class format features discussions with grammar exercises interspersed as needed.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 352: Spying and Surveillance in German Literature and Film

    Not limited to cell phone tapping or wartime intelligence, surveillance is a practice as old as sight itself. Its representations and reporting reach as far back as Actaeon and Diana and all the way forward to the NSA and Angela Merkel. In this course, students will undertake critical readings of surveillance and seminal portrayals of it from the history of German-language literature and film. We will examine the purposes surveillance has served throughout history, the effects it has had on people, the state, and technology, and the ways in which it has been aestheticized in modern fiction, press, and film. Conducted in German.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or the equivalent 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2019 · Seth Elliott Meyer
  • GERM 360: Song That Sleeps in Everything

    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.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 372: The Latest--Current Themes in German Literature, Film and the Media

    In this course, students will read and discuss a number of new works from the German-speaking countries that deal with important contemporary issues--the pressures of growing up and finding a job in uncertain economic times, the catastrophe of 9/11, the ever-present theme of finding love, immigrant perspectives, the challenges of aging, etc. We will examine novels and stories that deal with these topics, but also articles in magazines (Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and films, trying to understand how various genres and media differ in their approaches to our themes. At the center of our discussion there will thus be the question of what forms of expression a society finds for the formulation of its most urgent challenges, and how these texts take part in the public debate.

    Prerequisites: German 204 or the equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2018–2019
  • GERM 400: Integrative Exercise

    Examining an aspect of German literature across eras or genres. 6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2018, Winter 2019