German Studies



Assistant Professors:  Knott, Machtans, Associate Professor Atherton, chair

The Major in German Studies

The major consists of at least nine semester courses (36 semester hours) in German Studies at or above the 200 level and at least two 400-level courses from German Studies in German taken at Connecticut College.  Two courses from German Studies in English or the group of German Studies-related courses may be counted toward the major if departmental guidelines are followed.

               Normally, no more than four courses taken at another institution may be counted toward the German Studies major.  Proficiency in spoken German at the intermediate mid level of the ACTFL proficiency standards is required.

The Minor in German Studies

The minor consists of at least six semester courses (24 semester hours) in German Studies at or above the 200 level, and at least one 400-level course from German Studies in German taken at Connecticut College.  One course from German Studies in English or the group of German Studies-related courses may be counted toward the minor if departmental guidelines are followed.  Normally, no more than two courses taken at other institutions may count toward the minor.

               Courses selected from the section "German Studies in English" or "German Studies-Related Courses" may count toward the major or minor when departmental guidelines are followed.  These include obligatory participation in a German discussion Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) section if offered and completion of specified readings and written assignments in German.

               Students are strongly encouraged to utilize the resources of the Language and Cultural Center, including satellite broadcasts of German television programs and newscasts.  The Department possesses an extensive collection of video and audio cassettes for classroom and individual use.  Other means of improving German language and cultural proficiency include residence in Knowlton, meals at the German table, and German conversation hours on campus.  Off campus opportunities include intensive summer language programs; study abroad at selected institutions; participation in the Connecticut-Baden-Württemberg academic exchange program with the universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Konstanz, Stuttgart and Tübingen, among others; the IES programs in Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna; and internships in Austria, Germany, or Switzerland.  Students are encouraged to apply for a limited number of John S. King Memorial Travel Grants for summer study in Germany.

Learning Goals in the German Studies Major

The major in German Studies cultivates in its students a deep engagement with their environment organized around three concentric concentrations:  language competence, cultural competence, and critical competence.  These are not sequential stages but simultaneous aspects of our broad-based educational program within the framework of the liberal arts.

LANGUAGE COMPETENCE

On completion of the major, students will attain the ″intermediate-mid″ level of spoken competence according to the standards published by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  At this level, a speaker can initiate conversation and carry out basic communicative tasks in various familiar social situations.  Intermediate speakers can negotiate everyday transactions effectively without recourse to English, and travel confidently throughout the German-speaking world.  Student′s comprehension and reading skills will be generally higher than their spoken level, including the ability to read newspapers and magazines as well as shorter fiction.

CULTURAL COMPETENCE

Advanced linguistic fluency involves more than just grammatical and lexical competence.  The advance registers of a language require correct usage within a variety of social and cultural contexts.  This dimension of learning we call ″cultural competence.″  The major in German Studies organizes cultural competence around a series of cultural keystones.  These keystones are distributed throughout the German Studies curriculum.  Students learn to identify and examine the fundamental forces that have shaped German Culture, ranging from historical events and  individuals, to political concepts and forms of social organization, to major literary, artistic, and philosophical trends.

CRITICAL COMPETENCE

Critical competence comes from understanding how culture both shapes and is shaped by the values it produces and enforces.  Critical competence is, in the first instance, the ability to analyze and evaluate critically the ways in which the foreign culture′s texts, symbols, events, and institutions occur in debates and controversies that generate its identity and values.  At the same time, critical competence is also the cross-cultural application of these analytical skills to evaluate the values of one′s own culture as they emerge in their differences from the foreign culture one studies.  While this is the goal of all our more advanced courses, students achieve this personally and pragmatically through a period of immersion and intellectually through an independent study or a senior dissertation.  The major in German Studies, offers students various paths to cultivate linguistic, cultural, and critical competence, in pursuit of this goal and in fashioning themselves into independent-minded, engaged, and intelligent adults in the 21st century.

Courses

A.     German Cultural Studies in English

GERMAN STUDIES  110  INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE AND MIND  This is the same course as English/Hispanic Studies/Linguistics 110.  Refer to the Linguistics listing for a course description.

GERMAN STUDIES  243  A DIFFICULT PAST:  GERMAN HISTORY, 1850-2000  This is the same course as History 243.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

GERMAN STUDIES  253  DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS? SEXOLOGY AND SEX ACTIVISM  IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC  An examination of the ground-breaking work of Magnus Hirschfeld, sexologist and founder of the Institute of Sexual Research in Berlin. Topics include the history of sexuality rights activism, as well as works of artists, filmmakers, and authors who engaged critically, creatively, and politically with questions of gender and sexuality during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933).  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking. This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies 253.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 3 and is a designated Writing course.  S. Knott

GERMAN STUDIES  254  THE HOLOCAUST IN FILM AND LITERATURE  This course focuses on the globalization of Holocaust memory.  Students examine a variety of representations from different countries and in different genres.  We also probe underlying theoretical issues such as the relationship between history and memory, fact and fiction, trauma and writing/film making.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as Film Studies 254.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course is not open to students who have received credit for German Studies 252.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  255  DEATH AND DESIRE:  THE INVENTION OF HORROR IN EARLY GERMAN CINEMA  The films of Weimar Germany helped raise moving pictures to the status of a major form of modern art.  This course considers the visual, thematic, and political characteristics of Weimar cinema, tracing their consequences into the present day.  This is the same course as Film Studies 255.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  256  GERMAN CULTURE THROUGH FILM  An examination of the history and culture of post-1900 Germany through film.  Students will become acquainted with some of the most famous German films and situate them in their historical and cultural context.  Films include Metropolis, Triumph of the Will, Run Lola Run, Downfall, The Lives of Others, and The Baader-Meinhof-Complex Rational.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as Film Studies 256.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  K. Machtans

GERMAN STUDIES  258  GERMANY IN TRANSIT:  TRANSNATIONAL WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS  An exploration of the situation of migrants in Germany.  Focusing on protagonists who have allegiances to multiple places, texts and films question the existence of fixed national identities and highlight instead the fluidity of national belonging.  Authors and filmmakers include Akin, Özdamar, Kermani, and Tawada.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as Film Studies 258.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  K. Machtans

GERMAN STUDIES  260  BORDERLESS WORLDS?  EXPERIMENTAL TRAVEL, ART, AND LANGUAGE  An examination of the relationship between travel, creativities, and gender in transnational contexts with a German, Japanese, and English focus.  The course considers performance art, visual art, and literature, and critically engages the avant-garde across borders, beyond paradigms of “East” and “West.”  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Gender and Women's Studies 260.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  S. Harb, S. Knott

GERMAN STUDIES  261  TREES, RIVERS, AND PEOPLE:  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN GERMANY  An examination of changes in the conceptions of nature leading to the development of an environmental consciousness in Germany from the 18th through the 20th century.  Readings include texts from Kant, Heidegger, and Hans Jonas.  Topics include the state of nature, the forest, the Rhine, nudism, the Green party, and the city of Freiburg as environmental model.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 261.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  G. Atherton

GERMAN STUDIES  272  BERLIN  This interdisciplinary team-taught course will examine the history, culture, and architecture of the city of Berlin since the 18th century.  Readings in history, literature, and urban studies will focus on the Berlin of old Prussia and Bismarck through the Weimar era and the Nazi dictatorship up to the divided city of the Cold War and the Berlin of Reunification.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as History 272.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  Offered in alternate years.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7 and is a designated Writing course.  G. Atherton, M. Forster

GERMAN STUDIES  309  SEMINAR IN LITERARY TRANSLATION  This is the same course as Slavic Studies 309.  Refer to the Slavic Studies listing for a course description.

GERMAN STUDIES  402  THE GREENS IN EUROPE AND BEYOND  This is the same course as Environmental Studies/Government 493T/494T.  Refer to the Government listing for a course description.

B.      Language Courses

GERMAN STUDIES  101, 102  ELEMENTARY GERMAN  This year-long sequence (fall 101, spring 102)  provides students with a basic understanding of German in speaking, listening, reading, and writing through a variety of materials.  Upon completion of 101 and 102, Elementary German, students normally enroll in German 201.  Four hours of credit for each semester.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101 is a prerequisite for 102.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  201  LOWER INTERMEDIATE GERMAN  For students with two or three years of high school German or other previous experience with the language.  Reading and discussion of selected literary texts, grammar, composition.  Students progress from Course 201 to 202.  This course is not open to students who have received credit for German Studies 103, Lower Intermediate German.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  202  INTERMEDIATE GERMAN  This course strengthens vocabulary and grammatical expertise through conversation and writing assignments.  Focus on contemporary German society through the use of newspapers, films, songs, and texts.

               Prerequisite:  Course 201 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Normally offered second semester.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  Staff

C.    German Cultural Studies in German

GERMAN STUDIES  226  THEATER WORKSHOP  Development of aural/oral skills through the medium of play reading.  Practice in pronunciation and phrase intonation.  Individual analysis of phonetic difficulties.  The course culminates in a small-scale production.

               Two hours weekly; with additional individual sessions.  Open to students with two or more semesters of college German.  It may be taken concurrently with any intermediate or advanced German Studies course and may be repeated for credit.  Two hours credit.  Offered second semester.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  321  DEUTSCHLAND HEUTE  (GERMANY TODAY)  An exploration of the political and cultural developments in Germany today, with an emphasis on the main institutions, public debates, movements, and people that have shaped the country.  Topics include Germany's political structures and parties, society, economy, environmental issues, literature, film, music, architecture, and art.

               Prerequisite:  One 200-level course in German, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  K. Machtans

GERMAN STUDIES  322  FREUD AND NIETZSCHE:  INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY ANALYSIS  Selected works of literature and their social and historical background.  Introduction to genres, major literary movements and techniques of literary analysis.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or permission of the instructor.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  324  FROM THE GERMAN NOVELLE TO NOVEL FORMS OF WRITING  An exploration of the most influential writers and movements of German-speaking literary traditions and forms from the Novelle to contemporary works.  Emphasis on literature written after 1750 to the present, including authors such as Goethe, Bachmann, and Tawada.

               Prerequisite:  One 200-level course in German or permission of the instructor.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  425  FREEDOM AND REVOLUTION:  THE GERMAN ENLIGHTENMENT INTO ROMANTICISM  Nature, freedom, reason, feeling, these were the bywords of the enlightenment.  This course examines these concepts in the German context in representative works from the enlightenment through to Romanticism in the work of such authors as Goethe, Schiller, and Kant.

               Prerequisite:  A 300-level course, its equivalent,or permission of the instructor.  Offered in alternate years.  G. Atherton

GERMAN STUDIES  426  19th CENTURY GERMAN LITERATURE  The major literary movements and writers from Romanticism through Realism.

               Prerequisite:  A 300-level course, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Offered in alternate years.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  427  MODERN GERMAN LYRIC FROM RILKE TO CELAN  Through careful readings of lyric poetry by such figures as Rilke, Else Lasker-Schüler, Stefan George, Bertolt Brecht, to postwar poets such as Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Durs Grünbein, as well as prose discussions by these poets and other critics, we will attempt to understand how lyric poetry and cultural history inform one another.

               Prerequisite:  A 300-level course, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.   This course is not open to students who have received credit for German Studies 427A.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  431  TERROR IN GERMAN CULTURE:  RAF  The West German terrorist group Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) arose from the radical student movement of the late 1960s to provoke the gravest crisis in post-War German history in 1977.  It voluntarily dissolved in 1998.  We will study its role in West German culture using literature, film, the media and other documents.

               Open to juniors and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.  This course is not open to students who have received credit for German Studies 493G, 494G.  G. Atherton

GERMAN STUDIES  432  WEIMAR GERMANY:  VIOLENCE AND CULTURE  The opportunities and dangers facing any democratically organized modern society are exemplified in a compelling form by the experience of post-World War I Germany.  This seminar will consider literary, theoretical, and historical documents in order to clarify this turbulent period in German history and relate it to our contemporary situation.

               Prerequisite: A 300-level course in German.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  433  AFTER THE WALL:  GERMAN FILM AND LITERATURE  An examination of post-wall German literature and film.  Special emphasis on texts and films that deal with the legacy of the Nazi past, terrorism, the German Democratic Republic and unification; transnational German literature and film; and the representation of minorities.  Authors and filmmakers include Oliver Hirschbiegel, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Fatih Akin, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Judith Hermann, Jenny Erpenbeck, and Christian Kracht.

               Open to juniors and seniors.  Prerequisite:  One 300-level course in German, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  K. Machtans

GERMAN STUDIES  434  BEYOND THE WALL:  HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC  An exploration of the history and culture of the German Democratic Republic from its founding in 1949 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  Students encounter a selection of examples from literature, film, and music, and learn to analyze them in their historical, social, and political context.

               Prerequisite:  One 200-level or 300-level German course, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  435  TRANSNATIONAL CULTURES:  TURKS IN GERMANY  This course focuses on cultural productions that highlight the experiences of Turks in post-unification Germany.  How do these works engage in the construction of new German or transnational identities, crossing national, cultural, or perhaps also gender boundaries?  Course materials include literature, feature films, television broadcasts, stand-up comedy, news articles, and scholarly essays.

               Prerequisite:  One 200- or 300-level course, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  436  IMAGINING "AMERIKA"  An examination of German-American cultural exchange from the end of the 19th Century and into the 21st Century.  The course explores the ways "Amerika" is represented in German-language literature, film, and popular culture.  Texts include Kafka′s Amerika, Handke′s Der kurze Brief zum langen Abschied, and readings from Adorno and Anderson; films include Der verlorene Sohn and Schultze gets the blues.

               Prerequisite:  One 300-level German course, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  S. Knott

GERMAN STUDIES  437  POP GOES THE WORLD!  POP ART, LITERATURE, AND CULTURE IN THE GERMAN-SPEAKING WORLD  A critical analysis of the relationship of pop art to pop literature and its resonances in German-speaking cultures today.  Emphasis on debates surrounding ″high″ and ″low″ culture, the historical preconditions for the development of popular culture as we understand it today, and current trends in art, literature, and music.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  S. Knott

GERMAN STUDIES  468  ECO-CONSCIOUSNESS AND TRANSCENDENCE  This senior seminar explores German green culture and its relationship with attempts in German philosophy to discover ″higher realities.″  The course begins with a brief review of essential postures of the enlightenment, explores the tensions between earth-bound and spiritual salvation in Romanticism, and then reaches out toward Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the contemporary Green Movement.

               Prerequisite:  Two 300-level courses, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  C. Anderson

GERMAN STUDIES  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

GERMAN STUDIES  497-498  HONORS STUDY

D.  Foreign Language Across the Curriculum Courses

GERMAN STUDIES  243f  A DIFFICULT PAST:  GERMAN HISTORY, 1850-2000  This is the same course as History 243f.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

GERMAN STUDIES  253f  DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS? SEXOLOGY AND SEX ACTIVISM  IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 253f must concurrently register for German Studies 253.  S. Knott

GERMAN STUDIES  254f  THE HOLOCAUST IN FILM AND LITERATURE  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental texts in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 254f must concurrently register for Film Studies/German Studies 254.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  256f  GERMAN CULTURE THROUGH FILM  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental texts in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 256f must concurrently register for Film Studies/German Studies 256.  Staff

GERMAN STUDIES  258f  GERMANY IN TRANSIT:  TRANSNATIONAL WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participation in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 258f must concurrently register for Film Studies/German Studies 258.  K. Machtans

GERMAN STUDIES  261f  TREES, RIVERS, AND PEOPLE:  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN GERMANY  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 261f must concurrently register for German Studies 261.  G. Atherton

GERMAN STUDIES  272f  BERLIN  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental texts in German.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 272f must concurrently register for History/German 272.  This is the same course as History 272f.  G. Atherton, M. Forster

E.  German Studies-Related Courses

 

 

Art History 260

Government 277

Government 308

History 232

History 237

History 239

Philosophy 330B

Sociology 325

 

 

Early 20th Century Art

European Politics

Ethnic Conflict in Europe

Later Middle Ages: Christians, Muslims, and Jews

Early Modern Europe, 1500-1750

Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Kant

Foundations and Development of Sociological Theory