Germanic Languages

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Dorothea von Muecke, 410 Hamilton; 212-854-1891; dev1@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 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 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 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 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 (on leave, Fall 2021)
  • Stefan Andriopoulos (Chair)
  • Claudia Breger
  • Jeremy Dauber
  • Andreas Huyssen (emeritus)
  • Harro Müller (emeritus)
  • Dorothea von Mücke 
  • Annie Pfeifer
  • Oliver Simons 

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 UN3252 What is Fascism?. 3.00 points.

This course explores fascism through an interdisciplinary, trans-historical lens. Beginning with Germany’s Third Reich, we will examine fascism’s history and foundations in social, political, religious, and scientic developments. We will explore various theories—ranging from psychoanalytic to philosophical—which try to explain the rise and spread of fascism. To help conceptualize fascism, we will analyze its complex relationship with race, ideology, and nationalism, and in particular, its deployment of technology, aesthetics, and propaganda. We will apply our own working denition of fascism to the contemporary moment by analyzing current populist, authoritarian movements around the globe. Taught in English

Fall 2021: CLGR UN3252
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 3252 001/12750 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Annie Pfeifer 3.00 13/40

CLGR GU4000 Literature and Rhetoric (in German and English). 3.00 points.

Not just since yesterday, the visual media have turned literature into a historical medium. We watch movies, play video games and read on tablets—if we read at all. Therefore, this class takes the opportunity to think about what is so specific about literature, since the literary text is not just a text, but an aesthetic medium. The theoretical readings and practical analyses aim at developing the theoretical basis for an “art of the text.” Each text starts at its very beginning: on paper or on a desktop, and it ends with images, emotions, and voices that a literary text can evoke. This journey leads to the rhetorical “common places” (topoi), that since antiquity have been used to map out the literary text—and the special way it creates worlds. Along the way, this class will provide a thorough outlook over classical rhetoric and literary aesthetic as well as modern and post-modern literary theory

Fall 2021: CLGR GU4000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4000 001/12810 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
3.00 5/25

CLGR GU4170 Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain: Morbidity, Modernity and Metaphysics. 3.00 points.

We will study how Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain explores, through its narration of disease, the intricate relationship between ethical concepts and moral norms, between bodily sensation and psychic dispositions, between metaphysical concepts and medical insight and innovation (the discovery of the x-ray and psychoanalytic treatment, for example), and between the institution of the tuberculosis sanatorium and its morbid and potentially rebellious inhabitants

Fall 2021: CLGR GU4170
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4170 001/11762 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Dorothea von Muecke 3.00 5/25

CLGR GU4215 SPIRIT/GHOSTS FR KANT-MARX(ENG). 3.00 points.

The seminar explores the central role of the magic lantern and of spiritualist notions in the philosophical theories of Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Marx. Lectures, discussions, and readings will be in English

Spring 2021: CLGR GU4215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4215 001/10248 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Stefan Andriopoulos 3.00 9/40

CLGR GU4250 Aesthetics and the Philosophy of History [In English]. 3 points.

This course offers an introduction to German intellectual history by focusing on the key texts from the 18th and 19th century concerned with the philosophy of art and the philosophy of history. Instead of providing a general survey, this thematic focus that isolates the relatively new philosophical subspecialties allows for a careful tracing of a number of key problematics. The texts chosen for discussion in many cases are engaged in lively exchanges and controversies. For instance, Winckelmann provides an entry into the debate on the ancients versus the moderns by making a claim for both the historical, cultural specificity of a particular kind of art, and by advertising the art of Greek antiquity as a model to be imitated by the modern artist. Lessing's Laocoon counters Winckelmann's idealizing approach to Greek art with a media specific reflection. According to Lessing, the fact that the Laocoon priest from the classical sculpture doesn't scream has nothing to do with the nobility of the Greek soul but all with the fact that a screaming mouth hewn in stone would be ugly. Herder's piece on sculpture offers yet another take on this debate, one that refines and radicalizes an aesthetics based on the careful examination of the different senses, especially touch and feeling versus sight.—The second set of texts in this class deals with key enlightenment concepts of a philosophical anthropology informing the then emerging philosophy of history. Two literary texts will serve to mark key epochal units: Goethe's Prometheus, which will be used in the introductory meeting, will be examined in view of its basic humanist program, Kleist's "Earthquake in Chili" will serve as a base for the discussion of what would be considered the "end" of the Enlightenment: be that the collapse of a belief in progress or the critique of the beautiful and the sublime. The last unit of the class focuses on Hegel's sweeping supra-individualist approach to the philosophy of history and Nietzsche's fierce critique of Hegel. Readings are apportioned such that students can be expected to fully familiarize themselves with the arguments of these texts and inhabit them.

Fall 2021: CLGR GU4250
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4250 001/11760 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Dorothea von Muecke 3 10/25

CLGR GU4420 Walter Benjamin. 3 points.

In recent years, Walter Benjamin has become one of the most quoted media theorists. His philosophy of technology is not as widely known as the concept of aura he developed in his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility. The contemporary relevance of his philosophy of technology lies in the fact that Benjamin establishes a connection between technology and different forms of habitation, and between the latter and the concept of habit (Gewohnheit), which is etymologically related to the concept of habitation (Wohnen). This enables a comparison of Benjamin’s approach with the philosophies of technology developed by Heidegger, Deleuze/Guattari, and Simondon, all of whom associate technology with the shaping of environments and the problem of poesis. In our seminar, we will reconstruct Benjamin’s media anthropology of technology through a close reading of his diaries and essays and compare it to philosophies of technology very much being discussed today.

Spring 2021: CLGR GU4420
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 4420 001/10249 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Annie Pfeifer 3 21/25

Comparative Literature-Yiddish

CLYD UN3000 Do you read Jewish? From Yiddish, to Yinglish, to Yiddler, in the US. 3.00 points.

Historically, Yiddish literature and culture was produced and consumed by people who were usually bi-lingual or multi-lingual, living in societies with a different majority language. Today, when only a small number of people read Yiddish fluently, most Yiddish literature and culture is consumed as translations or adaptations. Our course then, investigates, Yiddish literature and culture from the 20th and 21st centuries as a particularly fruitful site for thinking through questions of translation and adaptation theory by looking at writers such as I. B. Singer, and products of popular culture such as the musical Fiddler on the Roof/Fidler afn dakh or the movie Yentl . Through these readings we will investigate questions such as: What translation strategies were necessary for the world of Yiddish-speaking Europe to enter the realm of American-Jewish culture?

Spring 2021: CLYD UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLYD 3000 001/11273 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Sandra Chiritescu 3.00 7/15

CLYD UN3500 READINGS IN JEWISH LITERATURE: American Jewish Literature: A survey. 3.00 points.

This year has been designated the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Jewish life in America. In examining the work of some of the greatest Jewish writers to live in America – writers in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish, some well known, some less so – this course hopes to answer several related questions. How are the changing fortunes of American Jews reflected in their literary creativity? How does Jewish multilingualism – not only seen in different works, but within the same work – affect modes and styles of Jewish writing? And, perhaps most importantly, how does one define American Jewish writing in an age of increasingly complex affiliations and identifications among American Jews?

Fall 2021: CLYD UN3500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLYD 3500 003/13515 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Jeremy Dauber 3.00 1/25

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 2021: DTCH UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 1101 001/12751 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
253 International Affairs Bldg
Wijnie de Groot 4 20/21

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 2021: DTCH UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 2101 001/12752 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Wijnie de Groot 4 10/18

DTCH UN3101 Advanced Dutch I. 3 points.

This advanced course is a content-based language course, and is centered around the history of the Low Countries. Each week focuses on a specific era, such as the counts of Holland in the 13th century and the Reformation in the 16th century. Students will read texts about history and literature of the historical periods.


Students will read texts at home and discuss them in class, explore history-related websites and watch short video clips.


Attention will be paid to advanced grammar issues and vocabulary.

Finnish

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
Online Only
Heli Sirvioe 4 7/18

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.

Fall 2021: FINN UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FINN 2101 001/12754 T Th 5:10pm - 7:00pm
Room TBA
Heli Sirvioe 4 2/18

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.

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
Online Only
Isabelle Egger 4 13/15
GERM 1101 002/10255 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4 12/15
GERM 1101 003/10256 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4 13/15
Fall 2021: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/12763 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
4 1/15
GERM 1101 002/12764 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 5/15
GERM 1101 003/12765 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4 5/15
GERM 1101 004/12766 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
4 4/15
GERM 1101 005/12767 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
4 5/15

GERM UN1102 ELEMENTARY GERMAN II. 4.00 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.

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
Online Only
Luca Arens 4.00 13/15
GERM 1102 002/10258 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Skye Savage 4.00 14/15
GERM 1102 003/10259 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Nathaniel Wagner 4.00 10/15
GERM 1102 004/13329 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Carl Claussen 4.00 8/15
Fall 2021: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/12768 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4.00 1/15
GERM 1102 002/12769 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
4.00 6/15
GERM 1102 003/12775 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
4.00 6/15

GERM UN1114 Elementary Intensive Reading, II. 2 points.

Prerequisites: GERM V1113 or the equivalent.

This course does not fulfill any part of the language requirement for the bachelor's degree. Intensive readings of graded expository texts, with review of the essentials of German grammar.

Spring 2021: GERM UN1114
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1114 001/10260 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Silja Weber 2 2/20

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.

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
Online Only
Didi Tal 4 6/18
GERM 2101 002/10262 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Xiran Lu 4 12/18
Fall 2021: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/12784 M T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
4 4/15
GERM 2101 002/12789 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 9/15
GERM 2101 003/00054 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 4 9/15
GERM 2101 004/12790 M T F 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
4 2/15

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.

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
Online Only
Varol Kahveci 4 10/18
GERM 2102 002/10264 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Christopher Hoffman 4 8/18
GERM 2102 005/00681 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 4 8/15
Fall 2021: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/12794 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
4 9/15
GERM 2102 002/12800 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
4 8/15

GERM UN2521 Intermediate Conversation, I. 2 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent, or placement by the Director of German Language Program
Corequisites: GERM UN1201

Practice in idiomatic conversational German through discussion of a wide variety of topics.

Fall 2021: GERM UN2521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2521 001/12801 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Room TBA
2 7/15

GERM UN2522 INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATION II. 2.00 points.

Spring 2021: GERM UN2522
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2522 001/10266 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Online Only
Hazel Rhodes 2.00 3/18

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 2021: GERM UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3001 001/12755 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
3 15/15

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 2021: GERM UN3333
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3333 001/12756 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Stefan Andriopoulos 3 10/25

GERM UN3335 ADVANCD CONVERSTN & COMPOSTN I. 2.00 points.

Spring 2021: GERM UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3335 001/10267 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Amy Leech 2.00 10/18

GERM UN3443 Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN3333 or the director of undergraduate studies' or the instructor's permission.

This class will focus on 19th-century German literature (especially writers counted among the Romantics, the “Vormärz” and Realists) by analyzing changing concepts of art, music and literature during those times of great social and political change. We will closely read poems, pamphlets and short stories by Wackenroder, Tieck, Kleist, Hölderlin, Novalis, Brentano, Eichendorff, Heine, Büchner, Möricke, Keller, Marx, Nietzsche and Fontane.

Spring 2021: GERM UN3443
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3443 001/11258 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Mark Anderson 3 8/25

GERM UN3444 SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN3333 or UN3334 or the director of undergraduate studies' or the instructor's permission.

In this survey, we will cover turn-of-the-century literature, Expressionism, the Weimar Republic, and the exile period. The focus will be on literature in its social contexts: close readings of key works will be framed with a broader introduction to the period’s cultural history. Authors include Schnitzler, Wedekind, Lasker-Schüler, Musil, Thomas Mann, Irmgard Keun, and Kafka.

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The course is taught in German.

Fall 2021: GERM UN3444
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3444 001/13997 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Oliver Simons 3 0/25

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
Online Only
Claudia Breger 3 22/25

GERM UN3991 SENIOR SEMINAR. 3.00 points.

This discussion-based seminar will focus on German Romanticism. It is open to seniors and other advanced undergraduate students who have taken the Introduction to German literature or an equivalent class. Readings include texts by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Bettine von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, Justinus Kerner, Edgar Allan Poe, and others. Readings and class discussions will be in German.

Spring 2021: GERM UN3991
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3991 002/18003 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Stefan Andriopoulos 3.00 4/15

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.

Fall 2021: GERM GU4000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4000 001/12757 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 3 2/25

GERM GU4532 GERMAN CINEMA: WEIMAR. 3 points.

Analysis of film classics such as Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, M, Dr. Mabuse, The Blue Angel and others. Specific topics of discussion include shell shock, the modern metropolis, spirit photography, hypnotism, the "New Woman," the mass ornament. All readings and class discussions are in English. All films have English subtitles.

Fall 2021: GERM GU4532
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4532 001/12758 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Stefan Andriopoulos 3 8/40

Swedish

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
Online Only
Heli Sirvioe 4 8/15

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.

Fall 2021: SWED UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SWED 2101 001/12759 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Heli Sirvioe 3 5/18

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 2021: YIDD UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1101 001/12760 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Agnieszka Legutko 4 6/18

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!

Spring 2021: YIDD UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1102 001/10274 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Noa Tsaushu 4 5/18

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!

Fall 2021: YIDD UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 2101 001/12761 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Noa Tsaushu 4 0/18

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 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.

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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. 

Fall 2021: YIDD GU4675
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 4675 001/12809 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Agnieszka Legutko 3 5/20

Of Related Interest

German (Barnard)
GERM BC3009News and Views
GERM BC3050German Migrant Literature