Yiddish Studies

Departmental Office: 415 Hamilton; 212-854-3202
https://germanic.columbia.edu/

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Mark Anderson, 405 Hamilton; 212-854-3666; mma2@columbia.edu

Language Instruction: Jutta Schmiers-Heller, 403A Hamilton; 212-854-4824; js2331@columbia.edu

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures is considered one of the very best in the country. Many of the faculty specialize in the study of German literature and culture from 1700 to the present. German majors acquire proficiency in examining literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original, as well as critical understanding of modern German culture and society. Particular attention is given to German-speaking traditions within larger European and global contexts. Courses taught in translation build on Columbia’s Core Curriculum, thereby allowing students to enroll in upper-level seminars before completing the language requirement.

All classes are taught as part of a living culture. Students have ample opportunities to study abroad, to work with visiting scholars, and to take part in the cultural programs at Deutsches Haus. In addition, the department encourages internships with German firms, museums, and government offices. This hands-on experience immerses students in both language and culture, preparing them for graduate study and professional careers.

Upon graduation, German majors compete successfully for Fulbright or DAAD scholarships for research in Germany or Austria beyond the B.A. degree. Our graduating seniors are highly qualified to pursue graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences, as well as professional careers. Former majors and concentrators have gone on to careers in teaching, law, journalism, banking and consulting, international affairs, and communications.

German literature and culture courses are taught as seminars integrating philosophical and social questions. Topics include romanticism, revolution, and national identity; German intellectual history; minority literatures; Weimar cinema; German-Jewish culture and modernity; the Holocaust and memory; and the history and culture of Berlin. Classes are small, with enrollment ranging from 5 to 15 students.

The department regularly offers courses in German literature and culture in English for students who do not study the German language. The department also participates in Columbia’s excellent program in comparative literature and society.

Advanced Placement

The department grants 3 credits for a score of 5 on the AP German Language exam, which satisfies the foreign language requirement. Credit is awarded upon successful completion of a 3000-level (or higher) course with a grade of B or higher. This course must be for at least 3 points of credit and be taught in German. Courses taught in English may not be used for language AP credit. The department grants 0 credits for a score of 4 on the AP German Language exam, but the foreign language requirement is satisfied.

The Yiddish Studies Program

The Yiddish Studies Progam at Columbia University, the global leader in Yiddish scholarship and teaching, focuses on the experiences and cultural efflorescence of Ashkenazic Jewry over a thousand years and five continents. It is a perfect exemplar of Columbia’s interests in global and transnational study, weaving together language, literature, and culture in a way that echoes the best of Columbia’s justly famed humanities programs.

The program in Yiddish studies offers both the undergraduate Major and Concentration, in addition to graduate studies leading to the Ph.D. In both the undergraduate and graduate program, emphasis is placed not merely on acquiring linguistic proficiency and textual study, but also viewing Yiddish literature in a larger cultural and interdisciplinary context. The graduate program, the only degree-granting Yiddish Studies Program in the United States, is considered one of the world’s most important, with its graduates holding many of the major university positions in the field.

Students of Yiddish have ample opportunities to enhance their studies through a number of fellowships. The Naomi Fellowship, a fully-subsidized Yiddish Study Abroad program allows students to explore Yiddish culture and history in Israel and Poland. The Irene Kronhill Pletka YIVO Fellowship enables students to expand on their archival research skills in New York. Upon graduation, our majors compete successfully for Fulbright and other prestigious scholarships, and are highly qualified to pursue careers in humanities, social sciences, as well as artistic and professional careers.

Students work with faculty in Germanic languages, Jewish studies, history, and Slavic studies to broaden their understanding of the literature, language, and culture of Eastern European Jewry. The Yiddish Studies Program is also closely affiliated with the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, which offers diverse programming and other fellowship opportunities. Classes are small, and instruction is individualized and carefully directed to ensure that students gain both a thorough general grounding and are able to pursue their own particular interests in a wide-spanning field. The program also offers classes taught in translation for students who do not study Yiddish. The Yiddish programming, such as lectures, monthly conversation hours, Meet a Yiddish Celebrity series, as well as the activities of the Yiddish Club of Columbia’s Barnard/Hillel allows students to explore Yiddish culture outside the classroom.

The German Language Placement Exam

The German Language Placement exam is offered periodically to those students who already speak the language, in order to determine to determine their proficiency level (A, B or C). For more information, and for the latest exam dates, please click here

The German Language Program

First- and second-year German language courses emphasize spoken and written communication, and provide a basic introduction to German culture. Goals include mastery of the structure of the language and enough cultural understanding to interact comfortably with native speakers.

After successfully completing the elementary German sequence, GERM UN1101 Elementary German Language Course, I-GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II, students are able to provide information about themselves, their interests, and daily activities. They can participate in simple conversations, read edited texts, and understand the main ideas of authentic texts. By the end of GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II, students are able to write descriptions, comparisons, and creative stories, and to discuss general information about the German-speaking countries.

The intermediate German sequence, GERM UN2101 Intermediate German I-GERM UN2102 Intermediate German II, increases the emphasis on reading and written communication skills, expands grammatical mastery, and focuses on German culture and literary texts. Students read short stories, a German drama, and increasingly complex texts. Regular exposure to video, recordings, the World Wide Web, and art exhibits heightens the cultural dimensions of the third and fourth semesters. Students create portfolios comprised of written and spoken work.

Upon completion of the second-year sequence, students are prepared to enter advanced courses in German language, culture, and literature at Columbia and/or at the Berlin Consortium for German Studies in Berlin. Advanced-level courses focus on more sophisticated use of the language structure and composition (GERM UN3001 Advanced German, I-GERM UN3002 Advanced German II: Vienna ); on specific cultural areas; and on literary, historical, and philosophical areas in literature-oriented courses (GERM UN3333 Introduction To German Literature [In German]).

In Fulfillment of the Language Requirement in German

Students beginning the study of German at Columbia must take four terms of the following two-year sequence:

GERM UN1101Elementary German Language Course, I
GERM UN1102Elementary German Language Course, II
GERM UN2101Intermediate German I
GERM UN2102Intermediate German II

Entering students are placed, or exempted, on the basis of their College Board Achievement or Advanced Placement scores, or their scores on the placement test administered by the departmental language director. Students who need to take GERM UN1101 Elementary German Language Course, I-GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II may take GERM UN1125 Accelerated Elementary German I & II as preparation for GERM UN2101 Intermediate German I.

University Study in Berlin

The Berlin Consortium for German Studies provides students with a study abroad program, administered by Columbia, which includes students from the other consortium member schools (Princeton, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Chicago). Under the guidance of a senior faculty member, the program offers a home stay with a German family, intensive language instruction, and study in regular German university courses at the Freie Universität Berlin.

For additional information on the Berlin Consortium, see the Study Abroad—Sponsored Programs section in this Bulletin, visit the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, or consult the program's office in 606 Kent Hall; 212-854-2559; berlin@columbia.edu.

Deutsches Haus

Deutsches Haus, 420 West 116th Street, provides a center for German cultural activities on the Columbia campus. It sponsors lectures, film series, and informal gatherings that enrich the academic programs of the department. Frequent events throughout the fall and spring terms offer students opportunities to practice their language skills.

Grading

Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward the major or concentration requirements.

Departmental Honors

Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year. For the requirements for departmental honors, see the director of undergraduate studies.


Professors

  • Mark Anderson
  • Stefan Andriopoulos (Chair)
  • Claudia Breger
  • Jeremy Dauber
  • Andreas Huyssen (emeritus)
  • Harro Müller (emeritus)
  • Dorothea von Mücke (on sabbatical, AY20-21)
  • Annie Pfeifer
  • Oliver Simons (on sabbatical, AY20-21)

Senior Lecturers

  • Wijnie de Groot (Dutch)
  • Jutta Schmiers-Heller (German)

Lecturers

  • Agnieszka Legutko (Yiddish)
  • Silja Weber (German)

Major in German Literature and Cultural History

The goal of the major is to provide students with reasonable proficiency in reading a variety of literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original and, through this training, to facilitate a critical understanding of modern German-speaking cultures and societies. Students should plan their program of study with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible. Competence in a second foreign language is strongly recommended, especially for those students planning to attend graduate school.

The major in German literature and cultural history requires a minimum of 30 points, distributed as follows:

GERM UN3001Advanced German, I (can be waived and replaced by another 3000 level class upon consultation with the DUS)
or GERM UN3002 Advanced German II: Vienna
GERM UN3333Introduction To German Literature [In German]
Select two of the following survey courses in German literature and culture (at least one of these must focus on pre–20th-century cultural history):
Survey of 18th Century German Lit: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang [In German]
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C
German Literature After 1945 [In German]
One course in German intellectual history
GERM UN3991Senior Seminar
The remaining courses to be chosen from the 3000- or 4000-level offerings in German and Comparative Literature–German in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is not required for the major. Students interested in a senior thesis or research project may do so through independent study with a faculty member over one or two semesters.


Major in Yiddish Studies

The program is designed as a combination of language and content courses. First- and second-year Yiddish language courses emphasize spoken and written communication, and provide a basic introduction to Eastern European Jewish culture. Goals include mastery of the structure of the language and enough cultural understanding to interact comfortably with native speakers.

After second-year Yiddish language courses are completed, students should feel sufficiently comfortable to begin to work with Yiddish literature in the original. Upper-level undergraduate/graduate courses are designed to accommodate students with a range of Yiddish language experience, and intensive language summer study abroad, such as the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program (the Yiddish Studies program at Columbia offers the fully-subsidized Naomi Fellowship for students of Yiddish), or other academic summer programs, is also encouraged for improvement in language acquisition and comprehension.

The goal is to provide students with reasonable proficiency in reading a variety of literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original and, through this training, to provide them with a critical understanding of Yiddish-speaking culture and society.

The second pillar of the Yiddish program is an intimate exposure to the literature and culture of the Yiddish-speaking Jewry. That exposure is achieved through several courses in Yiddish literature, which, although they may cover a variety of subjects or proceed from a number of methodological and disciplinary orientations, share a rigorous commitment to analyzing and experiencing that literature within an overarching historical and cultural framework.

These courses in Yiddish literature, culture and Jewish history will provide students with a solid interdisciplinary foundation in Yiddish studies. Inevitably and necessary, these courses, whether taught in Yiddish, English, or in a combination of the Yiddish text and English language instruction – cover the sweep of Yiddish literary history from the early modern period to today.

Students should plan their program of study with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible. There is a prerequisite of two years of Yiddish, or equivalent to be demonstrated through testing.

The Major in Yiddish Studies requires a minimum of 30 points, distributed as follows:

  1. Two courses of advanced language study (6 points); YIDD UN3101, YIDD UN3102
  2. Three courses in Yiddish literature (9 points); e.g. YIDD UN3500, YIDD GU4420
  3. At least one course related to a senior thesis (3 points);
  4. Four related courses, at least one of which is in medieval or modern Jewish history (12 points); e.g. HIST UN4604, YIDD GU4113.

A senior thesis is required for the Major in Yiddish Studies. Students interested in a senior thesis or research project may do so through independent study with a faculty member over one or two semesters. Students must conduct original research, some of which must take place in the Yiddish language, and are required to submit a culminating paper, of no less that 35 pages.

Elective courses: Elective courses can be taken at Columbia as well as at affiliated institutions such as the Jewish Theological Seminary, Barnard College, New York University, etc. Columbia’s arrangements with the joint degree appointing program at JTS, i.e. JTS and GS Joint program with List College, offers students exposure to a wide variety of courses on Yiddish and Yiddish-related topics taught by experts in the field of Yiddish and comparative Jewish literature such as Profs. David Roskies and Barbara Mann.

Thanks to the consortial arrangements with other universities in the New York area (Barnard, NYU, Yale, Penn, etc.) students both in Columbia College and General Studies, can take courses at these institutions for degree credit, which allows for student exposure to experts in twentieth-century Soviet Yiddish literature, Yiddish women’s writing, Yiddish literature in Israel, and much more (Profs. Gennady Estraikh, Kathryn Hellerstein , and Hannan Hever). These arrangements allow students to have, if they so choose, an even broader intellectual experience than the already broad interdisciplinary opportunities available to them via the courses offered by the faculty on the Interdisciplinary Committee on Yiddish at Columbia.

Language courses need to be taken at Columbia.

Honors options: Departmental Honors in Yiddish Studies can be granted to a total of 10% of the students graduating with the Major in Yiddish Studies in a given year across both Columbia College and General Studies.


Concentration in German Literature and Cultural History

The concentration in German literature and cultural history requires a minimum of 21 points in German courses.

GERM UN3333Introduction To German Literature [In German]
At least one of the period survey courses in German literature and culture
Survey of 18th Century German Lit: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang [In German]
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C
German Literature After 1945 [In German]
GERM UN3991Senior Seminar
The remaining courses to be chosen from the 3000- or 4000-level offerings in German and Comparative Literature in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Concentration in Yiddish Studies

The concentration in Yiddish studies requires a minimum of 21 points, distributed as follows:

  1. Two courses of advanced language study (6 points); YIDD UN3101, YIDD UN3102
  2. Two courses in Yiddish literature (6 points); e.g. YIDD UN3500, YIDD GU4420
  3. Three related courses, at least one of which is in medieval or modern Jewish history (9 points); e.g. HIST UN4604, YIDD GU4113.

Special Concentration in German for Columbia College and School of General Studies Students in STEM fields

The special concentration in German requires a minimum of 15 points.

GERM UN3333Introduction To German Literature [In German]
At least one of the period survey courses in German Literature and Culture
Survey of 18th Century German Lit: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang [In German]
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C
German Literature After 1945 [In German]
GERM UN3991Senior Seminar
Two courses to be chosen from the 3000- or 4000-level (taught in German or English) offerings in German and Comparative Literature German in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Comparative Literature-German

CLGR UN3000 Grimms' Fairy Tales: Power, Gender & Narrative. 3 points.

Although the first volume of the Grimms’ Children Stories and Household Tales was published more than 200 years ago, their fairy tales continue to enchant readers. In this course we will not only study the Grimms’ fairy tales themselves, but also examine their origins and their social, ideological, and political contexts in 19th-century Europe. We will work with fairy tale theory (narrative, psychoanalytic, historical) and discuss the function of the tales as folklore as well as their status as children’s literature. Alongside the “original” Grimms’ tales—a concept that we will discuss—a major portion of the course will engage the legacy of the fairy tales and the way they have been appropriated by others, particularly from a critical, feminist perspective.

Points of emphasis will include: how writers in the first half of the 20th century politicized the tales in the battle for social change during the time of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany; how the tales were reinterpreted in different national traditions and historical periods; how the fairy tale become a mass culture icon in Disney’s film versions; and how contemporary writers like Margaret Atwood continue to employ tales in questioning and challenging traditional constructions of gender.

Fall 2020: CLGR UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 3000 001/13337 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Annie Pfeifer 3 44/50

CLGR GU4270 Paradigms of the European Novel. 3 points.

In the wealth of plots, characters, settings, descriptive details and narrative strategies it has generated over the course of three centuries, the European novel has proved to be one of the most inventive and resilient forms of Western literature.  Nonetheless, certain paradigms have predominated from the beginning, two of which will form the center of this course:  the illusion of a "true" story and the bourgeois family as an organizing narrative principle.  This course will analyze seven strikingly diverse European novels from Spain, England, France and Austria in order to show the continuity through variation of these two paradigms.   Students will read some of the major theorists of the novel (Auerbach, Watt, Bakhtin, Moretti), but the emphasis will be on developing a theory based on the novels themselves.  All readings and discussions in English, though reference will frequently be made to the particular linguistic and historical circumstances of the original texts.  Students will write weekly response papers to the literary and critical texts, do one in-class presentation, and write a final paper of 15 to 20 pages.

Fall 2020: CLGR GU4270
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4270 001/13443 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Mark Anderson 3 9/25

Comparative Literature-Yiddish

CLYD UN3500 Readings In Jewish Literature: Humor In Jewish Literature [In English]. 3 points.

Through an analysis of far-flung examples of comic Jewish literature created by Jews over three centuries and three continents, this course will attempt to answer two questions. First, are there continuities in Jewish literary style and rhetorical strategy, and if so, what are they? And second, can Jewish literature help us to understand the tensions between universality and particularity inherent in comic literature more generally? Works and authors read will include Yiddish folktales, Jewish jokes, Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, Philip Roth, Woody Allen, and selections from American television and film, including the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David.

Fall 2020: CLYD UN3500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLYD 3500 001/13141 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jeremy Dauber 3 19/40

CLYD GU4250 Memory and Trauma in Yiddish Literature (in English). 3 points.

Trauma has become a defining aspect of the modern Jewish experience, while the recently emerged memory studies shed a new light on how we remember the past, and understand memory. As Cathy Caruth observes in Trauma: Explorations of Memory (1995), “The traumatized, we might say, carry an impossible history within them, or they become themselves the symptom of a history that they cannot entirely possess.” This course examines how memory, especially memory of trauma, is explored in Yiddish literature, film, and beyond. It focuses predominantly on the works relating to the Holocaust and its impact on the first, second, and third generations, but it also engages with other kinds of memory and other kinds of trauma (pogroms, Chmielnitsky massacres, loss, death, etc.). It approaches the questions of memory and trauma from the perspective of gender, body, and identity, as well as postmemory. The course aims for students to discuss and critically engage with the works listed on the syllabus, in order to develop the skills of analytical, and abstract thinking, as well as the ability to express that critical thinking in writing. Texts will be
offered in English translation, no knowledge of Yiddish required.

Dutch

DTCH UN1101 Elementary Dutch I. 4 points.

Fundamentals of grammar, reading, speaking, and comprehension of the spoken language. During the spring term supplementary reading is selected according to students' needs.

Fall 2020: DTCH UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 1101 001/13160 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Wijnie de Groot 4 25/21

DTCH UN1102 Elementary Dutch II. 4 points.

Fundamentals of grammar, reading, speaking, and comprehension of the spoken language. During the spring term supplementary reading is selected according to students' needs.

Spring 2021: DTCH UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 1102 001/10250 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Wijnie de Groot 4 0/21

DTCH UN1201 Intermediate Dutch I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: DTCH W1101-W1102 or the equivalent.

Continued practice in the four skills (aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing); review and refinement of basic grammar; vocabulary building. Readings in Dutch literature.

DTCH UN1202 Intermediate Dutch II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: DTCH W1101-W1102 or the equivalent.

Continued practice in the four skills (aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing); review and refinement of basic grammar; vocabulary building. Readings in Dutch literature.

DTCH UN2101 Intermediate Dutch I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: DTCH UN1101-UN1102 or the equivalent.

Continued practice in the four skills (aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing); review and refinement of basic grammar; vocabulary building. Readings in Dutch literature.

Fall 2020: DTCH UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 2101 001/13163 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Wijnie de Groot 4 16/18

DTCH UN2102 Intermediate Dutch II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: DTCH UN1101-UN1102 or the equivalent.

Continued practice in the four skills (aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing); review and refinement of basic grammar; vocabulary building. Readings in Dutch literature.

Spring 2021: DTCH UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 2102 001/10251 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Wijnie de Groot 4 0/18

DTCH UN3101 Advanced Dutch I. 3 points.

Fall 2020: DTCH UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 3101 001/13192 M W 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Online Only
Wijnie de Groot 3 5/18

DTCH UN3102 Advanced Dutch II. 3 points.

see department for details

Spring 2021: DTCH UN3102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 3102 001/10252 M W 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Room TBA
Wijnie de Groot 3 0/18

DTCH UN3994 Special Reading Course. 1 point.

See department for course description

Spring 2021: DTCH UN3994
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 3994 001/11271 T 10:00am - 11:30am
Room TBA
Wijnie de Groot 1 0/10

Finnish

FINN UN1101 Elementary Finnish I. 4 points.

Fundamentals of grammar and lexicon. Building proficiency in aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing. Linguistic structures in the cultural context.

Fall 2020: FINN UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FINN 1101 001/15384 T Th 5:10pm - 7:00pm
Online Only
Heli Sirvioe 4 8/18

FINN UN1102 Elementary Finnish II. 4 points.

Fundamentals of grammar and lexicon. Building proficiency in aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing. Linguistic structures in the cultural context.

Spring 2021: FINN UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FINN 1102 001/10253 T Th 5:10pm - 7:00pm
Room TBA
Heli Sirvioe 4 0/18

FINN UN2101 Intermediate Course I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: FINN UN1101-UN1102 or the instructor's permission.

Continued practice in aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing; review and refinement of grammatical structures; vocabulary building. Readings include Finnish fiction and nonfiction.

FINN UN2102 Intermediate Finnish II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: FINN UN1101-UN1102 or the instructor's permission.

Continued practice in aural comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing; review and refinement of grammatical structures; vocabulary building. Readings include Finnish fiction and nonfiction.

German

GERM UN1101 Elementary German Language Course, I. 4 points.

Upon completion of the course, students understand, speak, read, and write German at a level enabling them to communicate with native speakers about their background, family, daily activities, student life, work, and living quarters. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/13224 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Varol Kahveci 4 10/15
GERM 1101 003/13321 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Xiran Lu 4 14/15
GERM 1101 004/13319 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4 18/15
GERM 1101 006/13322 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Skye Savage 4 13/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/10254 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
4 0/15
GERM 1101 002/10255 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 0/15
GERM 1101 003/10256 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4 0/15

GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1101 or the equivalent.

Students expand their communication skills to include travel, storytelling, personal well-being, basic economics, and recent historical events. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/13323 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Luca Arens 4 7/15
GERM 1102 002/13325 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Carl Claussen 4 11/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/10257 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
4 0/15
GERM 1102 002/10258 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
4 0/15
GERM 1102 003/10259 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4 0/15

GERM UN1125 Accelerated Elementary German I & II. 8 points.

Equivalent to GERM V1101-V1102.

This intensive semester provides all of elementary German enabling students to understand, speak, read, and write in German. Topics range from family and studies to current events. Conducted entirely in German, requirements include oral and written exams, essays, German-culture projects, and a final exam.

GERM UN2101 Intermediate German I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent.

Complete grammar review through regular exercises. Wide range of texts are used for close and rapid reading and writing exercises. Practice in conversation aims at enlarging the vocabulary necessary for daily communication.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/13327 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Didi Tal 4 11/15
GERM 2101 002/13328 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Hazel Rhodes 4 11/15
GERM 2101 005/00399 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 4 11/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/10261 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 0/18
GERM 2101 002/10262 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
4 0/18

GERM UN2102 Intermediate German II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2101 or the equivalent.

Language study based on texts concerning culture and literature. Assignments include compositions in German and exercises of grammatical forms, both related to the texts. Class discussions in German provide oral and aural practice.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/13331 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Cosima Mattner 4 8/15
GERM 2102 002/13330 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Silja Weber 4 8/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/10263 M T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
4 0/18
GERM 2102 002/10264 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 0/18

GERM UN2125 Accelerated Intermediate German I, II. 8 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 Elementary II

Accelerated language study as preparation for Study Abroad in Berlin.

GERM UN3001 Advanced German, I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the Director of the German Language Program's permission.

Designed to follow up the language skills acquired in first- and second-year language courses (or the equivalent thereof), this course gives students greater proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing German, while focusing on topics from German society today through German newspapers and periodicals.

Fall 2020: GERM UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3001 001/13334 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 3 13/15

GERM UN3333 Introduction To German Literature [In German]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the equivalent.

Examines short literary texts and various methodological approaches to interpreting such texts in order to establish a basic familiarity with the study of German literature and culture.

Fall 2020: GERM UN3333
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3333 001/13335 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Claudia Breger 3 13/25

GERM UN3442 Survey of 18th Century German Lit: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang [In German]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERMUN3333

We will be studying the Enlightenment, Storm and Stress and the Culture of Sensibility and German Classicism in light of this period’s reading cultures. (Goethe, Gessner, Schiller, Kant, Lichtenstein, Bürger, Lenz, Karsch, Klopstock, Hölderlin, Kleist).  Readings and discussions in German.

GERM UN3445 German Literature After 1945 [In German]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM W3333 or the director of undergraduate studies' or the instructor's permission.

A survey of major literary texts of postwar Germany, including the so-called "rubble" literature, Group 47, GDR, New Subjectivity, minority voices and Holocaust memory. Works by Celan, Sachs, Dürrenmatt, Böll, Bachmann, Th. Bernhard, Wolf, P. Schneider, Schlink, Sebald.

GERM UN3780 Berlin/Istanbul: Migration, Culture, Values (GER). 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

An intensive seminar analyzing questions of migration, identity, (self-) representation, and values with regard to the Turkish minority living in Germany today. Starting with a historical description of the „guest worker“ program that brought hundreds of thousands of Turkish nationals to Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, the course will focus on the experiences and cultural production of the second and third generations of Turkish Germans, whose presence has profoundly transformed German society and culture. Primary materials include diaries, autobiographies, legal and historical documents, but the course will also analyze poetry, novels, theater plays and films. In German.

Spring 2021: GERM UN3780
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3780 001/10268 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Claudia Breger 3 0/25

GERM UN3991 Senior Seminar. 3 points.

Prerequisites: one of the Introduction to German Literature courses and one upper-level literature course, or the instructor's permission.

Required of all German majors in their senior year. Lectures and readings in German. This course explores the manifold relations between the history of the radio and radio plays throughout the 20th century. It will trace the history and theory of radio plays including Hans Flesch, Bertolt Brecht, Friedrich Wolf, Günter Eich, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Peter Handke, among others. Discussions will be based on the close readings of the scripts and the analysis of the actual radio plays which will be made available as audio files. 

,

.

Spring 2021: GERM UN3991
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3991 001/10269 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Mark Anderson 3 0/15

GERM GU4000 Foreign Language Pedagogy. 3 points.

Registration is by permission of foreign language departments only.  Designed to offer training in foreign language pedagogy to teaching assistants (TAs) in the foreign language departments.

GERM GU4221 20th- and 21st-century German Theater and Performance Histories (in German). 3 points.

This course introduces students to the rich histories of modern and contemporary German-language theater and performance. The turn of the 20th century marks the emergence of modernist production styles beyond classical text-based theater, and the beginnings of the “performative turns” that were to shape avant-garde, postmodern and contemporary practices, as well as cultural theory beyond the institution of theater as such. The course familiarizes students with the analytic lens of performance studies, and deploys it to study theater and performance as part of larger cultural histories from the German Kaiserreich to the “Berlin Republic.” Both within the institutional space of the theater and beyond, 20th and 21st-century performance practices allow us to trace changing concepts of art and activism, norms and collective identities. From a comparative media studies angle, the course further underlines how theater and performance have functioned at the crossroads of different media, from the literary text (the prime enemy of much 20th-century theater and performance theory) to film and video, competitors which have become integral elements of live theater culture in the 21st century. In addition to a range of readings (theory, drama/ performance texts, reviews, etc.), we will incorporate audiovisual materials as much as possible (performance documentation where available plus related film materials). 


This course is taught in German.

GERM GU4350 German Film After 1945. 3 points.

Topic/Focus: Feelings

,

The course offers an introduction to German film since 1945 (in its European contexts) with a focus on ‘feelings.’ Methodologically highlighted by contemporary affect and emotion studies, feelings offer a lens for intersectional, multifaceted investigations of these cinematic histories. We will explore how feelings have been gendered and racialized; how they overlap with matters of sex (as closely associated with political revolt in Western Europe, while considered too private for public articulation in the socialist East, especially when queer); and how they foreground matters of nation and trauma (for example via the notions of German ‘coldness’ and inability to mourn the Holocaust). Simultaneously, the focus on feelings highlights questions of mediality (cinema as a prototypically affective medium?), genre and avant-garde aesthetics: in many films, ‘high-affect’ Hollywood cinema intriguingly meets ‘cold’ cinematic modernism. In pursuing these investigative vectors through theoretical readings and close film analysis, the course connects affect, gender, queer, and cultural studies approaches with cinema studies methodologies. The films discussed span postwar and New German Cinema, East German DEFA productions, the ‘Berlin School’ of the 2000s, and contemporary transnational cinema.

,

The course is taught in English. All readings and films will be available in translation/with subtitles.

Fall 2020: GERM GU4350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4350 001/13336 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Claudia Breger 3 15/20

GERM GR8121 PROSEMINAR-GERMAN LITERATURE: Circulation of Print Media: Rumor & World Literature. 3 points.

Proseminar for Graduate Students only.


This graduate class, taught in German, will explore how "rumor" and "world literature" emerged as two ostensibly opposite but closely related models to conceptualize the accelerated circulation of texts in print media around 1800. Specific attention will be paid to texts by Herder, Kant, Goethe, Büchner, Marx, Kleist, and others. We will also explore the parallels between new print formats in the nineteenth century and social media today.

GERM V1201 Intermediate German Language Course, I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM V1102 or the equivalent.
Corequisites: Recommended: GERM W1521.

Prepares students for advanced German language and literature courses. Topics emphasize contemporary German life and cross-cultural awareness. Daily assignments, video material, and laboratory work.

Swedish

SWED UN1101 Elementary Swedish I. 4 points.

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the Swedish language as it is spoken in Sweden today. The class will also introduce important aspects of contemporary Swedish culture, historical figures and events, and Swedish traditions. Upon the completion of the course, students who have attended class regularly have submitted all assignments and taken all tests and quizzes should be able to:   provide basic information in Swedish about themselves, families, interests, food, likes and dislikes, daily activities; understand and participate in a simple conversation on everyday topics (e.g. occupation, school, meeting people, food, shopping, hobbies, etc.); read edited texts on familiar topics, understand the main ideas and identify the underlying themes; pick out important information from a variety of authentic texts (e.g. menus, signs, schedules, websites, as well as linguistically simple literary texts such as songs and rhymes); fill in forms requesting information, write letters, notes, postcards, or messages providing simple information; provide basic information about Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries (e.g. languages spoken, capitals, etc); use and understand a range of essential vocabulary related to everyday life (e.g. days of the week, colors, numbers, months, seasons, telling time, foods, names of stores, family, common objects, transportation, basic adjectives etc.) pronounce Swedish well enough and produce Swedish with enough grammatical accuracy to be comprehensible to a Swedish speaker with experience in speaking with non-natives. use and understand basic vocabulary related to important aspects of contemporary Swedish culture and Swedish traditions (e.g. Christmas traditions, St. Lucia, etc.).  Methodology The class will be taught in a communicative way. It will be conducted primarily, but not exclusively in Swedish. In-class activities and homework assignments will focus on developing speaking, reading, writing, listening skills, and a basic understanding of Swedish culture through interaction. Authentic materials will be used whenever possible.

Fall 2020: SWED UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SWED 1101 001/15282 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Heli Sirvioe 4 10/20

SWED UN1102 Elementary Swedish II. 4 points.

This course is a continuation of the introductory Swedish 101 course. It will introduce you to the Swedish language as it is used in Sweden today. You will also learn about aspects of contemporary Swedish culture, main events and figures in Sweden's history, and Swedish traditions. Upon the completion of the course, students who have attended class regularly, have submitted all assignments and taken all tests and quizzes should be able to: talk about themselves, families, interests, likes and dislikes, daily activities, education, professional interests and future plans in some detail; understand and participate in a simple conversation on everyday topics such as educational choices, subjects, plans for the weekend and the holidays, places to live, transportation, etc read and fully comprehend edited texts on familiar topics understand the main ideas and identify the underlying themes in original texts such as literary fiction, film, and newspaper articles write short essays on a familiar topic using the relevant vocabulary understand and utilize the information in a variety of "authentic texts" (e.g. menus, signs, train schedules, websites) carry out simple linguistic tasks that require speaking on the phone (e.g. setting up an appointment, asking questions about an announcement, talking to a friend) fill in forms requesting information, write letters, e-mails, notes, post cards, or messages providing simple information; provide basic information about Sweden including: Sweden's geography, its political system and political parties, educational system, etc. discuss and debate familiar topics recognize significant figures from Sweden's history and literary history use and understand basic vocabulary related to important aspects of contemporary Swedish culture and Swedish traditions and contemporary lifestyles in Sweden. pronounce Swedish well enough and produce Swedish with enough grammatical accuracy to be comprehensible to a Swedish speaker with experience in speaking with non-natives. Methodology The class will be taught in a communicative way. It will be conducted primarily, but not exclusively in Swedish. In-class activities and homework assignments will focus on developing speaking, reading, writing, listening skills and a basic understanding of Swedish culture through interaction. Authentic materials will be used whenever possible.

Spring 2021: SWED UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SWED 1102 001/10272 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Heli Sirvioe 4 0/15

SWED UN2101 Intermediate Swedish I. 3 points.

The goal of this course is to further develop the speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills you have acquired in the first year Swedish courses and broaden your knowledge about the Swedish culture and history. Topics emphasize contemporary Swedish life and corss-cultural awareness. In addition to the main text, newspaper articles, shorter literary texts, film, and internet resources will be used. Class will be conducted almost exclusively in Swedish. To succeed in this course, you must actively participate. You will be expected to attend class regularly, prepare for class daily, and speak as much Swedish as possible. Methodology The class will be taught in a communicative way. It will be conducted primarily, but not exclusively in Swedish. In-class activities and homework assignments will focus on improving and developing  speaking, reading, writing, listening skills, and deepening the students' understanding of Swedish culture through interaction and exposure to a broad range of authentic materials.

SWED UN2102 Intermediate Swedish II. 4 points.

The goal of this course is to further develop your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills and broaden your knowledge about the Swedish culture, history and literature. Topics emphasize contemporary Swedish life and cross-cultural awareness. Topics to be covered include Sweden's regions, the party and political system, major historical and cultural figures, and the Swedish welfare state. In addition to the main text we will use a selection of short stories, newspaper articles, films and audio resources available on the internet. Class will be conducted almost exclusively in Swedish. To succeed in this course, you must actively participate. You will be expected to attend class regularly, prepare for class daily, and speak as much Swedish as possible. Methodology The class will be taught in a communicative way. It will be conducted primarily in Swedish. In-class activities and homework assignments will focus on improving and developing  speaking, reading, writing, listening skills, and deepening the students' understanding of Swedish culture through interaction and exposure to a broad range of authentic materials.

Yiddish

YIDD UN1101 Elementary Yiddish I. 4 points.

This course offers an introduction to the language that has been spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews for more than a millennium, and an opportunity to discover a fabulous world of Yiddish literature, language and culture in a fun way. Using games, new media, and music, we will learn how to speak, read, listen and write in a language that is considered one of the richest languages in the world (in some aspects of vocabulary). We will also venture outside the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, Yiddish organizations, such as YIVO or Yiddish farm, and so on. We will also have Yiddish-speaking guests and do a few digital projects. At the end of the two-semester course, you will be able to converse in Yiddish on a variety of everyday topics and read most Yiddish literary and non-literary texts. Welcome to Yiddishland!

Fall 2020: YIDD UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1101 001/13338 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Noa Tsaushu 4 7/18
Spring 2021: YIDD UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1101 001/10273 M T W Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Agnieszka Legutko 4 0/18

YIDD UN1102 Elementary Yiddish II. 4 points.

This course offers an introduction to the language that has been spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews for more than a millennium, and an opportunity to discover a fabulous world of Yiddish literature, language and culture in a fun way. Using games, new media, and music, we will learn how to speak, read, listen and write in a language that is considered one of the richest languages in the world (in some aspects of vocabulary). We will also venture outside the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, Yiddish organizations, such as YIVO or Yiddish farm, and so on. We will also have Yiddish-speaking guests and do a few digital projects. At the end of the two-semester course, you will be able to converse in Yiddish on a variety of everyday topics and read most Yiddish literary and non-literary texts. Welcome to Yiddishland!

Fall 2020: YIDD UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1102 001/13339 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Sandra Chiritescu 4 5/18
Spring 2021: YIDD UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1102 001/10274 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Noa Tsaushu 4 0/18

YIDD UN2101 Intermediate Yiddish I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: YIDD UN1101-UN1102 or the instructor's permission.

This year-long course is a continuation of Elementary Yiddish II. As part of the New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative, this class will be using new media in order to explore and research the fabulous world of Yiddish literature, language, and culture, and to engage in project-oriented activities that will result in creating lasting multi-media online presentations. In addition to expanding the command of the language that has been spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews for more than a millennium, i.e. focusing on developing speaking, reading, writing and listening skills, and on the acquisition of more advanced grammatical concepts, students will also get some video and film editing training, and tutorials on archival research. The class will continue to read works of Yiddish literature in the original and will venture outside of the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through exciting field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, YIVO, Yiddish Farm, and so on. And we will also have the Yiddish native-speaker guest series. Welcome back to Yiddishland!

Spring 2021: YIDD UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 2101 001/10275 M T W Th 12:10pm - 1:25pm
Room TBA
Agnieszka Legutko 4 0/18

YIDD UN2102 Intermediate Yiddish II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: YIDD UN1101-UN1102 or the instructor's permission.

This year-long course is a continuation of Elementary Yiddish II. As part of the New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative, this class will be using new media in order to explore and research the fabulous world of Yiddish literature, language, and culture, and to engage in project-oriented activities that will result in creating lasting multi-media online presentations. In addition to expanding the command of the language that has been spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews for more than a millennium, i.e. focusing on developing speaking, reading, writing and listening skills, and on the acquisition of more advanced grammatical concepts, students will also get some video and film editing training, and tutorials on archival research. The class will continue to read works of Yiddish literature in the original and will venture outside of the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through exciting field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, YIVO, Yiddish Farm, and so on. And we will also have the Yiddish native-speaker guest series. Welcome back to Yiddishland!

YIDD UN3334 Advanced Yiddish. 3 points.

May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: YIDD UN2101- YIDD UN2102 or the instructor's permission.

Reading of contemporary authors. Stress on word usage and idiomatic expression, discussion.

YIDD GU4101 Introduction To Yiddish Studies. 3 points.

The study of Ashkenazic Jewish culture from its beginnings to the present day.  Research tools; written and oral sources; trends in scholarship; scope of the field.

YIDD GU4675 Yiddish Life Writing: Autobiography, Memoir or Fiction" [in English]. 3 points.

This course will explore the borderlands between memoir, autobiography and fiction in life writing in Yiddish literature through the lens of the Eastern European Jewish experience. Employing gender and comparative approach as analytical lenses, we will read several autobiographical works and address the following questions: how to deal with problems of memory in personal narratives? How to distinguish between truth, self-fashioning, and fiction in autobiographical writing? What role does the immigrant experience play in Jewish autobiographical narratives? The texts and class discussion will be in English.


As part of the digital humanities initiative at Columbia, this course will contribute to the Mapping Yiddish New York (MYNY) project, a growing online archive documenting Yiddish cultural history of New York. Selected essays produced in this class will be featured on the MYNY website and students will acquire skills in digital publishing and scholarly research. 

Of Related Interest

German (Barnard)
GERM BC3012Telenovelas
GERM BC3224Germany's Traveling Cultures