German Literature and Cultural History

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Annie Pfeifer, 409 Hamilton; 212-854-8986; ap750@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 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 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 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 2022)
  • Stefan Andriopoulos (on leave, AY2022-2023
  • Claudia Breger (Chair)
  • Jeremy Dauber (on leave, AY2022-2023)
  • Andreas Huyssen (emeritus)
  • Harro Müller (emeritus)
  • Dorothea von Mücke (on leave, Spring 2023)
  • Annie Pfeifer
  • Oliver Simons 

Senior Lecturers

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

Lecturers

  • Agnieszka Legutko (Yiddish)
  • Simona Vaidean (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):
Literature in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C (GER)
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
Literature in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C (GER)
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
Literature in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Romanticism, Revolution, Realism [In German]
SURVEY OF GERMAN LIT:20C (GER)
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 2022: CLGR UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLGR 3000 001/11947 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
516 Hamilton Hall
Annie Pfeifer 3 44/40

Comparative Literature-Yiddish

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 2022: DTCH UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 1101 001/11948 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
254 International Affairs Bldg
Wijnie de Groot 4 20/18
DTCH 1101 002/11949 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Pieter Lauwaert 4 8/15

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 2022: DTCH UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 2101 001/11950 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
254 International Affairs Bldg
Wijnie de Groot 4 15/18

DTCH UN3101 ADVANCED DUTCH I. 3.00 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

Fall 2022: DTCH UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 3101 001/11951 M W 1:15pm - 2:30pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Wijnie de Groot 3.00 0/18

DTCH UN3994 Special Reading Course. 1 point.

See department for course description

Spring 2022: DTCH UN3994
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
DTCH 3994 001/13968 T 10:30am - 12:00pm
351b International Affairs Bldg
Wijnie de Groot 1 2/5

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 2022: FINN UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FINN 1101 001/11975 T Th 5:10pm - 7:00pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Heli Sirvioe 4 4/18

German

GERM UN1101 ELEMENTARY GERMAN I. 4.00 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. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the four language skills--listening, speaking, reading and writing--within a cultural context. Daily assignments and consistent work are necessary in order to achieve basic communicative proficiency. Daily assignments and consistent work are the basis for achieving basic communicative proficiency

Spring 2022: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/13971 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
616 Hamilton Hall
Silja Weber 4.00 11/15
GERM 1101 002/13974 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Silja Weber 4.00 14/15
GERM 1101 003/13975 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Didi Tal 4.00 12/15
Fall 2022: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/11952 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
609 Hamilton Hall
Iloe Ariss 4.00 0/15
GERM 1101 002/11953 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
609 Hamilton Hall
Romney Walker Wood 4.00 5/15
GERM 1101 003/11954 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4.00 11/15
GERM 1101 004/11956 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Young Na 4.00 5/15
GERM 1101 005/11957 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Evan Parks 4.00 7/15

GERM UN1102 ELEMENTARY GERMAN II. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1101 or the equivalent.
Prerequisites: GERM UN1101 or the equivalent. Students expand their communication skills to include travel, storytelling, personal well-being, basic economics, and recent historical events. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the four language skills--listening, speaking, reading and writing--within a cultural context. Daily assignments and consistent work are necessary in order to achieve basic communicative proficiency

Spring 2022: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/13976 M W Th 8:40am - 9:55am
315 Hamilton Hall
Varol Kahveci 4.00 13/15
GERM 1102 002/13977 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
253 International Affairs Bldg
Xiran Lu 4.00 12/15
GERM 1102 003/13978 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4.00 19/21
GERM 1102 004/13979 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Simona Vaidean 4.00 10/15
Fall 2022: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/11958 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Simona Vaidean 4.00 5/15
GERM 1102 002/11959 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
609 Hamilton Hall
Simona Vaidean 4.00 11/15
GERM 1102 003/11960 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Maiken Kaczmar 4.00 6/15

GERM UN2101 INTERMEDIATE GERMAN I. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent.
Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent. Intermediate German UN2101 is conducted entirely in German and emphasizes the four basic language skills, cultural awareness, and critical thinking. A wide range of topics (from politics and poetry to art) as well as authentic materials (texts, film, art, etc.) are used to improve the 4 skills. Practice in conversation aims at enlarging the vocabulary necessary for daily communication. Grammar is practiced in the context of the topics. Learning and evaluation are individualized (individual vocabulary lists, essays, oral presentations, final portfolio) and project-based (group work and final group project)

Spring 2022: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/13982 M W Th 8:40am - 9:55am
316 Hamilton Hall
Luca Arens 4.00 8/18
GERM 2101 002/13983 M T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4.00 4/18
Fall 2022: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 002/11963 M W Th 10:10am - 11:25am
313 Hamilton Hall
Simona Vaidean 4.00 9/15
GERM 2101 003/11964 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
302 Alfred Lerner Hall
Carl Claussen 4.00 10/15
GERM 2101 004/00112 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
302 Milbank Hall
Irene Motyl 4.00 4/15

GERM UN2102 INTERMEDIATE GERMAN II. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2101 or the equivalent.
Prerequisites: GERM UN2101 or the equivalent. Intermediate German UN2102 is conducted entirely in German and emphasizes the four basic language skills, cultural awareness, and critical thinking. A wide range of topics (from politics and poetry to art) as well as authentic materials (texts, film, art, etc.) are used to improve the 4 skill. Practice in conversation aims at enlarging the vocabulary necessary for daily communication. Grammar is practiced in the context of the topics. Learning and evaluation are individualized (individual vocabulary lists, essays, oral presentations, final portfolio) and project-based (group work and final group project)

Spring 2022: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/13986 M W Th 8:40am - 9:55am
318 Hamilton Hall
Skye Savage 4.00 12/18
GERM 2102 002/13987 M T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
568 Alfred Lerner Hall
Silja Weber 4.00 7/18
GERM 2102 004/00141 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
302 Milbank Hall
Irene Motyl 4.00 11/15
Fall 2022: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/12682 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
568 Alfred Lerner Hall
Uta Habbig 4.00 7/15
GERM 2102 002/12683 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Laura Tedford 4.00 6/15

GERM UN2521 INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATION I. 2.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent, or placement by the Director of German Language Program
Corequisites: GERM UN1201
Prerequisites: Completion of GERM UN1101 and UN1102 or the equivalent This 2-point conversation group is designed for students who are now taking Intermediate German UN2101 or who wish to maintain their spoken German at least at the advanced intermediate level. The course is designed to improve your ability to speak and understand and manage German in everyday situations; to provide opportunities to participate in conversational situations on any topics you are interested in; to strengthen and acquire skills to understand German spoken at normal conversational speed; to expand active and passive vocabularies speaking skills; and to maintain a certain level of written German through short written activities. This course does not count towards the language requirement

Fall 2022: GERM UN2521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2521 001/11965 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Didi Tal 2.00 6/15

GERM UN2522 INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATION II. 2.00 points.

Prerequisites: Completion UN2101, or the equivalent This 2-point conversation group is designed for students who are now taking Intermediate German UN2102 or who wish to maintain their spoken German at least at the advanced intermediate level. The course is designed to improve your ability to speak and understand and manage German in everyday situations; to provide opportunities to participate in conversational situations on any topics you are interested in; to strengthen and acquire skills to understand German spoken at normal conversational speed; to expand active and passive vocabularies speaking skills; and to maintain a certain level of written German through short written activities. This course does not count towards the language requirement

Spring 2022: GERM UN2522
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2522 001/13988 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Laura Tedford 2.00 8/18

GERM UN3335 ADVANCD CONVERSTN & COMPOSTN I. 2.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the equivalent This two-point course is designed to strengthen both oral and written communication and the ability to engage in critical analysis in German. Students will develop interpretative skills needed for communicating questions, ideas, and opinions; build vocabulary; interact comfortably with various forms of media; and communicate new skills through discussions, various writing assignments, and a presentation. This course does not fulfill degree requirements

Spring 2022: GERM UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3335 001/13989 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
318 Hamilton Hall
Cosima Mattner 2.00 10/18

GERM UN3001 ADVANCED GERMAN I. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the Director of the German Language Program's permission.
Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the Director of the German Language Program's permission. German UN3001 is an ambitious socio-cultural exploration of Berlin. 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 through the lens of Germany’s capital, Berlin. The course represents a gateway class to literature courses. This course counts towards the major and concentration

Fall 2022: GERM UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3001 001/11966 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 3.00 12/15

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 2022: GERM UN3333
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3333 001/11967 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
315 Hamilton Hall
Dorothea von Muecke 3 13/25

GERM UN3442 Literature in the 18th and 19th Centuries. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: GERMUN3333
Prerequisite OR Corequisite: GERMUN3333 This class will provide an introduction to the rich and varied forms of literary production between 1750 and 1900 by focusing on the culture of Sensibility, the Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, Romanticism, the “Vormärz” and Realism. We will situate major literary innovations of the 18th century in the context of changing reading and theater cultures and focus primarily on Lessing’s innovative domestic tragedy, and on poems and an epistolary novel by Goethe. Then we will discuss the literary production of the 19th century by analyzing changing concepts of art, music and literature during those times of great social and political change. We will study (and translate) poems, and read pamphlets and novellas by Tieck, Kleist, Hölderlin, Novalis, Brentano, Eichendorff, Günderrode, Droste-Hülshoff, Heine, Büchner, Mörike, Keller and Fontane. **This course is taught entirely in German

GERM UN3675 German Literature In World Context [In English]. 3 points.

The course explores how literary texts of the last two centuries have problematized the relationship between the human and its "other" through the portrayal of various kinds of artificial, semi-human beings. From puppets that come alive to automatons that act (almost) like people to monsters that resemble—but also threaten—their human creators: the literary imagination of the Romantic and modern periods is full of creatures that challenge traditional notions of human identity, agency, and sovereignty. We will discuss the literary strategies that serve to stage these challenges and simultaneously ask about the historical conditions that make their emergence possible.

Course materials include texts by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kleist, Brentano, Arnim, Poe, Shelley, Meyrink, Rilke, and others, as well as films by Wegener and Lang. 

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 2022: GERM UN3780
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3780 001/13990 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
516 Hamilton Hall
Claudia Breger 3 24/25

GERM UN3991 SENIOR SEMINAR. 3.00 points.

The senior seminar will focus on one momentous book: Thomas Mann’s breakthrough novel Buddenbrooks (1901), which earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. But we will use this book as a prism to explore German society at the height of its power at the turn of the century: the rise of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century, capitalism, anti-Semitism, gender relations, Wagner and Wagnerism. A guiding question will be the relation between storytelling and family life, and to what extent the “decline of a family” implies the demise or even the death of the traditional European realist novel. In addition to Mann’s novel, students will read short texts by Schopenhauer, Wagner, Freud, Kafka and Rilke. Readings and discussion in German

Spring 2022: GERM UN3991
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3991 001/13991 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Mark Anderson 3.00 7/25

GERM GU4141 Race and Germany. 3.00 points.

This seminar gives in-depth consideration to shifting ideas and paradigms about race in German culture by tracing their associations with colonialism, slavery, eugenics, Nazism, and the contemporary rise of right-wing populism. In order to explore these evolving and sometimes interrelated notions of race and racism, this seminar brings together a study of anti-Semitism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, and other forms of racism. In addition to its study of prejudice, this seminar examines the experiences of minoritized communities in the German-speaking world. How do “non-white” Germans challenge German historical narratives and models of identity? How do discourses of race, discrimination, and solidarity politics contribute to contemporary understandings and misunderstandings of racism in Germany?

Fall 2022: GERM GU4141
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4141 001/13947 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Sat Alfred Lerner Hall
Annie Pfeifer 3.00 5/25

GERM GU4350 German Film After 1945. 3 points.

Topic/Focus: Feelings

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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.

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

Fall 2022: GERM GU4350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4350 001/11968 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Claudia Breger 3 15/25

GERM GU4670 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud (in English). 3 points.

Along with Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud have radically altered what and how we know; about humans, language, history, religion, things and life. Because their thought has shaped our sense of ourselves so fundamentally, Michel Foucault has referred to these three authors as discourse-founders. As such they will be treated in this class. Special attention will be paid to the affinities and competition among their approaches. Secondary sources will be subject to short presentations (in English) of those students capable of reading German.

Fall 2022: GERM GU4670
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 4670 001/11970 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Oliver Simons 3 30/35

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 2022: SWED UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SWED 1101 001/11974 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
406 Hamilton Hall
Heli Sirvioe 4 9/18

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!

Spring 2022: YIDD UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1101 001/13995 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 4 8/18
Fall 2022: YIDD UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1101 001/11972 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 4 11/18

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 2022: YIDD UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1102 001/13996 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 4 7/18
YIDD 1102 AU1/18563 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 4 2/2
Fall 2022: YIDD UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 1102 001/13203 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 4 2/18

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!

YIDD UN3333 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 UN3520 Magic and Monsters in Yiddish Literature [In English]. 3 points.

A Serious Man, the 2009 movie by the Coen Brothers opens with a Yiddish folk tale featuring a dybbuk. Dybbuks, golems, magicians, and monsters haunt not only Yiddish literature but also the contemporary cinema, as illustrated by such recent films as The Unborn and The Possession. Why are we so attracted to dybbuks, spirit possession, magic, and monsters in the twenty-first century? This course will focus on magic, monsters, dybbuks, demons, and golems in Yiddish literature and beyond, including film and popular culture. We will approach the supernatural motif from the perspective of gender, body, and performance studies, and will explore the questions of memory, trauma, and identity. The aim of the course is to encourage students to discuss and critically engage with the various texts and film adaptations listed on the syllabus in an attempt to answer the following questions: In what ways do these works explore, interrogate with, and reflect on human experience? What do they tell us about the powers of good and evil? How relevant are they in the twenty-first century? The course puts emphasis on developing the skills of critical, analytical, and abstract thinking in relation to the discussed works, as well as the ability to express that critical thinking in writing. No knowledge of Yiddish required.

YIDD GU4995 Exploring Yiddishland: Culture in Time and Space. 3.00 points.

Modern Yiddish culture and literature developed and flourished in the so-called Yiddishland, a land without borders located in Eastern Europe across Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Rumania, etc. But the heart of Yiddishland was in prewar Poland: in Warsaw, Vilnius (now Lithuania), Krakow, and Lublin. The course will center on four cities in which Yiddish culture and literature blossomed before the Holocaust, and examine key figures of modern Yiddish literature associated with these places, such as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Kadya Molodowsky, Mordechai Gebirtig, Abraham Sutzkever, Yankev Glatshtayn, and others. Employing gender and comparative approach as analytical lenses, we address the following questions: What role does space play in culture production? How does our familiarity with space impact our perception of literature and culture? The texts and class discussion will be in English. The course will have a digital humanities component: we will engage in Mapping Yiddish Europe through Locus Tempus

Fall 2022: YIDD GU4995
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
YIDD 4995 001/12687 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Agnieszka Legutko 3.00 8/25

Of Related Interest

German (Barnard)
GERM BC3009News and Views
GERM BC3010Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany and Austria
GERM BC3224Germany's Traveling Cultures
GERM BC3050German Migrant Literature
GERM BC3105Comical Expression in Multicult Lit/Film