Spring Courses

Primarily for Undergraduates

GRMN0110 Intensive Beginning German
Jane Sokolsoky
Students who wish to complete the GRMN 0100-0200 sequence in one semester may do so by enrolling in GRMN 0110 for two semester course credits. There are six hours per week in small drill sections conducted by fluent undergraduate teaching apprentices. Another three hours of class will be conducted by the faculty instructor. Students must register for both the lecture section and one conference.
CRN 24747 S01 TuTh 9:00-10:20
CRN 24748 C01 MWF 1:00-1:50
CRN 24749 C02 MWF 1:00-2:50

GRMN0200 Beginning German
Jane Sokolosky

A course in the language and cultures of German-speaking countries. Four hours per week plus regular computer and listening comprehension work. At the end of the year, students will be able to communicate successfully about everyday topics and participate in the annual film festival. This is the second half of a year-long course. Students must have taken GRMN 0100 to receive credit for this course. The final grade for this course will become the final grade for GRMN 0100. If GRMN 0100 was taken for credit then this course must be taken for credit; if taken as an audit, this course must also be taken as an audit. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by both the academic department and the Committee on Academic Standing.
CRN 24755 S01 MWF 11:00-11:50 & Tu 12:00-12:50
CRN 24756 S02 MWF 12:00-12:50 & Tu 12:00-12:50
CRN 24757 S03 MWF 1:00-1:50 & Tu 12:00-12:50

GRMN0400 Intermediate German II
Jane Sokolosky
An intermediate German course that stresses improvement of the four language skills. Students read short stories and a novel; screen one film; maintain a blog in German. Topics include German art, history, and literature. Frequent writing assignments. Grammar review as needed. Four hours per week. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0300. WRIT
CRN 24758 S01 MWF 10:00 -10:50 & Th 12:00-12:50
CRN 24759 S02 MWF 1:00-1:50 & Th 12:00-12:50

GRMN0600B Was ist Deutsch?
Thomas Kniesche
In this course we will examine some of the ideas and myths that became entangled with the emerging notion of a "German" identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some of the terms that we will discuss include 'Kultur,' 'Bildung', 'Freiheit' and 'Gesellschaft,' all of which have rich semantic histories. Conducted in German. Recommended prerequisite: one course in the GRMN 0500 series. WRIT
CRN 24751 S01 MWF 10:00-10:50

GRMN0990F Introduction to German Poetry
Zachary Sng
A survey of some major German-language poets from the 18th century to the present. We will cover some of the important periods and genres, but the emphasis will be on how to combine formal analysis with thematic discussion. Reading knowledge of German recommended but not required. Discussions and writing assignments in English, with original texts made available to those with German reading skills.
CRN 25228 S01 Tu Th 10:30-11:50

 GRMN1200D  Repetition: Kieregard, Nietzsche and Freud
Susan Bernstein
A study of the concept and the textual practices of repetition. We will consider the relation between repetition and transcendence, history, memory, and art. The course will focus on how the category and the event of repetition problematize identity, interpretation, and expression. Issues include religion and aesthetics of repetition (Kierkegaard); history and the eternal return (Nietzsche); repetition compulsion and the death drive (Freud). We will especially be interested in how the theme of repetition informs the way these thinkers write and what problems this poses to interpretation and understanding. In English.
CRN 25080 S01 MWF 2:00-2:50

GRMN1200E Collecting, Eating, Writing, Reading, Burning - Books
Thomas Schestag

Books are not only written in order to be read; they are also collected and destroyed, eaten, buried, and burned. This course looks at some of the myths and disenchantments surrounding books, focusing on German literature between 1800 and 1960. What is in a book? To unfold some of the religious, literary, philosophical, and political implications of this question, we will read and discuss various fragments and texts taken from the Bible, Quran, and Talmud, from Kafka, Brant, Cervantes, and Goethe as well as Jean Paul, Nietzsche, Rosenzweig and Benjamin, Brecht, Celan, and Borges. Taught in English. 
CRN 25081 S01 Tu Th 1:00-2:20

GRMN1450I The Letter of the Law
 Zachary Sng
A seminar investigating the relationship between literature and the law, with an emphasis on texts that explore the role of letters, notes, petitions, and other forms of writing’s circulation. Primary authors include Kleist, Hoffmann, Poe, and Kafka, and secondary authors include Freud, Lacan, Benjamin, and Derrida. Taught in English; no knowledge of German required.  
CRN 25229 S01 Tu Th 2:30-3:50

GRMN1660O Contemporary Crime Fiction
Thomas Kniesche 
A "Krimi" in German can refer to a crime novel or an episode in a TV series. In recent years, German crime fiction has caught up to international crime fiction writing, both in terms of quality and quantity.TV productions also have become more sophisticated and innovative. After a brief overview of crime fiction in Germany, we will examine what is being written, read, and watched on TV today.Readings will include novels by Jakob Arjouni, Andrea Maria Schenkel, Wolf Haas, Friedrich Ani, and Uta Maria Heim, among others. We will watch and analyze episodes from Tatort and other TV series. In German. LILE
CRN 25082S01 MWF 1:00-1:50

GRMN1660P Having Beethoven Over in 1970
Rembert Hüser
In 1970, Beethoven arrives in Bonn to visit his birthplace.  A tour guide shows him around.  It is a journey that begins with the museum one knows, but which gets weirder with each subsequent room.  There is a jukebox in the basement.  A gully is burning.  There are strange utensils on display in the kitchen.  As the demarcation between documentary and fiction become blurry, we realize that somebody must have added more rooms to the original floorplan.  Our course will analyze TV crime series, Hollywood feature films, the Peanuts, radio pieces, and artworks surrounding Beethoven's bicentennial.  Taught in English.
CRN xxxx MWF 11:00-11:50

GRMN1890 Two Artwork Essays:  Martin Hediegger and Walter Benjamin
Gerhard Richter
Two of the most important meditations on the fate of art in modernity were written in 1936 by two very different thinkers: Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technical Reproducibility.” While Heidegger engages notions of unconcealment and world, Benjamin interrogates the transformative effects of film and the aestheticization of politics. We will examine these two inexhaustible essays closely, comparing their arguments and placing them in conversation with later works such as Derrida’s The Truth in Painting. In English. Motivated undergraduate and graduate students from various fields welcome.
CRN 25698 S01 M 3:00-5:30

GRMN1900I Fin-de-Siécle Literature
Kristina Mendicino
In this course, we will engage intensively with philosophical and literary texts around the fin-de-siècle or "Jahrhundertwende." Readings by authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Frank Wedekind, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Stefan George. In German.
CRN 25083 S01 F 3:00-5:30

Primarily for Graduate Students

GRMN2661B Hölderlin:  "Andenken"
Thomas Schestag
“Andenken” is among Hölderlin’s most famous and enigmatic poems. The poem not only provides the description of a certain place in time – a souvenir. It also poses the question of what memory is, and what memory has to do with poetry. What happens when remembrance takes place (in a poem)? The seminar will consider the ways in which texts written and read by Hölderlin are layered and folded into the poem. We will also discuss some of the diverse and incompatible readings or remembrances of “Andenken” (including Heidegger and Celan). Taught in English.
CRN 25084 S01 Th 4:00-6:30

GRMN2661E Under the Open Sky
Rembert Hüser/Thomas Schestag

The aim of this seminar is to explore the notion of "other worlds" in philosophy and art, whether the otherness is conceived in terms of necessity or contigency, creation or redemption, lapse into a technologically mediated barbarism or revolutionary transfpormation.  The starting point for this exploration is a personal feeling.  One day I relize that I exist in a world that no longer exists, although it had never crossed my mind that "my" world, as strange and inhospitable as it might have been, could come to and end.  As a result, I have turned into a ghost without noticing.  What shall I do?  Try to adapt to the new world?  Pretend nothing has happened?  Resist the disintegration of the old world?  Readings by Leibniz, Nietzsche, Bloch, Benjamin, Delueze, Meillassoux.  FIlms by Visconti and Godard.  Taught in English.  Students from various fields are welcome.  
CRN 26571 S01 Tu 4:00-6:30

[Note Bene:  Rembert Hüser is the Max Kade Visiting Professor of German Studies at Brown Univeristy during the Spring 2016 term.  He has been a Professor of Media Studies at the Goeth University Frankfurt, Germany since 2014. Prior to this, he taught Film and Media Studies at the University of Minnesota in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature.  His most recent publications are on cybernetics in Jame Bond title sequences, Kafka and what is left of the stolen Mona Lisa at the Lourve, the second part of the manifestos, cowboy pulp novels and melodrama, and video installations in petting zoos.]

GRMN0200 Beginning German