Fall Courses

Primarily for Undergraduates         

GRMN0100     Beginning German                
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. This is the first half of a year-long course whose first semester grade is normally a temporary one. Neither semester may be elected independently without special written permission. The final grade submitted at the end of the course work in GRMN 0200 covers the entire year and is recorded as the final grade for both semesters. Students who have a conflict with the Tuesday hour should contact the instructor.
Jonathan Fine   S01 MWF 9-9:50, T 12-12:50
Jonathan Fine   S02 MWF 11-11:50, T 12-12:50
Jonathan Fine   S03 MWF 12-12:50, T 12-12:50        
Jonathan Fine   S04 MWF 1-1:50, T 12-12:50                  

GRMN0300     Intermediate German I
Focuses on deepening students' understanding of modern German culture by reading texts and viewing films pertinent to Germany today. Intended to provide a thorough review of German grammar and help students develop their writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills. Frequent writing assignments. Four hours per week. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0200. Students who have a conflict with the Thursday hour should contact the instructor. 
Jane Sokolosky S01 MWF 10-10:50, Th 12-12:50     
Jane Sokolosky S02 MWF 1-1:50, Th 12-12:50

GRMN0500F   20th Century German Culture
A broad exploration of twentieth-century German culture using many kinds of written and visual texts (e.g. literature, journalism, film, art). While continuing to work on all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) students will gain more intensive knowledge about German culture, society, and history. In German. Recommended prerequisite: GRMN 0400. WRIT
Rebecca Haubrich    S01 MWF 11-11:50am
TBD                                S02 MWF 9-9:50am

GRMN0750F   Historical Crime Fiction 
There is almost no time period that has not been covered by historical crime fiction. From ancient Egypt and Rome to 18th century China, historical crime fiction has complemented and contested our knowledge of history. In this seminar, we will do some extensive time travel and explore how crime fiction explores the past and challenges our understanding of bygone times. Readings of texts by Ellis Peters, Umberto Eco, Peter Tremayne, Lindsey Davis, Alan Gordon, Robert van Gulik, Laura Rowland, among others.  In English.
Thomas Kniesche    S01 MWF 10-10:50am 

GRMN1200I   Show Trials:  The Aesthetics of Law in Literature and Film
J’accuse! Zola’s public denunciation of the French President, accusing him of anti-Semitism and unlawful imprisonment, has become emblematic for theatrical politics and dramatized trials. Even though their outcomes were decided in advance, the performance of show trials – from the Dreyfus affair to the Auschwitz trials and the prosecution of Saddam Hussein – have been indispensable for the political formation of society. In this course, we will analyze the literary, cinematic, and philosophical reception of such performative trials, ranging from Kafka’s Trial and Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem to Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc and Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg. In English.
Rebecca Haubrich   S01 MWF 2-2:50pm

GRMN1440S   Grimms’ Fairy Tales
"One doesn't know the sorts of things one has in one's house," says the servant girl in Kafka's "A Country Doctor," as a stranger, who will soon act violently towards her, emerges on all fours from an unused sty. The precarious moment of finding more than one seeks in one's midst is among the key motifs of Grimms' "Household Tales" that we will trace, following the way they move writers of literature, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. Reading the Grimms among others, we will find: what was "once upon a time" is not finished, nor can these uncanny tales be domesticated.  In English.
Kristina Mendicino   S01 MWF 1-1:50pm

GRMN1441G   Städtebilder
Cities mark sites of humans gathering and dwelling as political animals, bound to language. But while cities confirm this Aristotelian definition of human beings, they also expose its vulnerability. Cities have to be founded and surrounded by walls. They are in need of protection and driven by the desire to expand. What’s in a city? The seminar follows this question through the evocation of various cities and sites in texts by Hölderlin, Hebel, Heine, Stifter, Brecht and Benjamin; in photographs (of Paris) by Eugène Atget; in films by Walter Ruttmann (on Berlin), and Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas). Taught in German.
Thomas Schestag   S01 TuTh 10:30-11:50am   

GRMN1661K   Gesellschaftskritik im deutschen Gegenwartskrimi
Contemporary crime fiction in Germany in many cases (!) turns to and on certain kinds of crime that very much occur in the real world: From terrorism to crimes against the environment and from corruption in government and big business to the plight of migrants, crime fiction negotiates and re-writes problems that haunt our late-capitalist societies. Globalization and digitization often play a major role in these stories and a critique of these historical developments is part and parcel of the novels we will read. Taught in German.
Thomas Kniesche    S01 MWF 12-12:50pm

GRMN2661R   Poetry and Politics
Poets have been accused, persecuted, exiled from the Polis. They have been killed. Their poems have been burned and their ashes dispersed. Why does poetry provoke these lethal affects? What is at stake in a poem for the proclaimed integrity of the political sphere? Texts read and discussed in this seminar include Sophocles (in Hölderlin’s translations), Cicero’s public defense of the poet Archias; Thoreau and Arendt (on Civil Disobedience); Roman Jakobson (The Generation That Squandered Its Poets); poems by Velimir Chlebnikov and Osip Mandelstam (in Celan’s translations); and Georges Bataille (La haine de la poésie / L’Impossible). Taught in English.
Thomas Schestag   S01 T 1-3:30pm                     

GRMN2661S   What Was a Medium?
Scholars of literature, media, and aesthetics have weighed in from various viewpoints on the question “What is a medium?” This seminar takes a historical approach by examining how the medium and mediality were imagined prior to the 20th century. We will look at the history of the question itself: What was the “medium” for classical antiquity and the 18th-century (two historical moments on which we will focus)? How did it emerge from discussions about moderation, mediocrity, or mediation? Discussions and readings in English; students also welcome to work with texts in the originals.
Zachary Sng     S01 W 3-5:30pm

GRMN2661U   Passive Voices
At the latest since Aristotle’s Peri hermeneias, there has been talk of the pathos of language: “There are symbols in the voice of the affections (pathémata) in the soul.” Those affections should be, Aristotle says, the same for all humans, however divergent their voices. But upon these premises, the question would nonetheless arise: how might any passion be addressed or ascertained in this way, if each affect would always differ from any word that may be given of it? This course is devoted to the question of passion in language, with readings from Descartes, Spinoza, Büchner, and Musil, among others. 
Kristina Mendicino      S01 M 3-5:30pm

SWED0100 S01 Beginning Swedish
Swedish 100 is an introduction to both Sweden and Swedish, covering various aspects of Swedish history, art and society, as well as screening at least three Swedish films per semester. The course packet contains the text/workbook, Mål 1, with additional materials. We will cover one chapter of Mål per week, with quizzes every three weeks. There will be a midterm and a final exam, along with a short take-home project.  This is a small class, so your presence is absolutely required. Emphasis will be placed on speaking and understanding Swedish. Good will and good humor are required.
Ann Weinstein           S01 TuTh 4-5:30

 

Courses Offered Beyond German Studies that May Count Towards the Concentration

COLT 1210      Introduction to the Theory of Literature
An historical introduction to problems of literary theory from the classical to the postmodern. Issues to be examined include mimesis, rhetoric, hermeneutics, history, psychoanalysis, formalisms and ideological criticism (questions of race, gender, sexuality, postcolonialism). Primarily for advanced undergraduates. Lectures, discussions; several short papers. 
M. Redfield / P. Szendy 
S03, CRN 16520                                               

HMAN 2400P   The Idea of the University
What is the future of the university? Its very idea has undergone drastic changes, from the formulation of “academic freedom” in 1155 to what, under neoliberal capitalism, has been called the “uberfication of the university.” Our seminar is dedicated to key texts—from Kant to Derrida and Butler—in this history, focusing on topics such as the corporatization of universities, political protest, and the unconditional. Students will pursue collaborative inquiries into the idea of a university or jointly translate significant historical and theoretical documents; their research will be the foundation of a critical lexicon hosted on a dedicated webpage. 
G. Richter / P. Szendy 
S01, CRN 15358                                    

MUSC 1660A   Mahler's Century
This seminar will explore key works of Gustav Mahler in multiple contexts, including critical/interpretive traditions, conducting and performance practices, and the contexts of political, cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic history. Readings will include work of Sigmund Freud, Theodor Adorno, Carl Schorske, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler, and others; we will think about problems such modernism, orientalism, Jewishness, montage, noise, shock, and melancholy.
M.Steinberg  
S01, CRN 16702                                               

PHIL 0080        Existentialism
An introduction to philosophical thinking through the study of existentialist themes, including being oneself, loving others, the limits of morality, and the meaning of life in the face of suffering and death. Readings are drawn primarily from Schopenhauer, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus.
B. Reginster  
S01, CRN 16730                                            

PHIL 1710      17th Century Continental Rationalism
The course will focus on the principle of sufficient reason and involve a close reading of Spinoza's Ethics, along with other texts from Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, and some contemporary writers.
C. Larmore 
S01, CRN 16749                                            

PHIL 1720      Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
We will cover the main topics of Kant's masterpiece, including his third way between rationalism and empiricism, his approach to skepticism and idealism, his foundational approach to science and everyday experience, and his limitation of knowledge to leave room for practical faith. Prerequisites: PHIL 036017001710 or instructor permission.
P. Guyer    S01, CRN 16744                                              

PHIL 1910F    Schopenhauer's Ethical Thought
The course offers a detailed survey of Schopenhauer's ethical thought, including his views about the character of moral agency (e.g., free will), about practical reason and deliberation, about philosophical psychology (e.g., the nature of egoism, the nature of pleasure), and about substantive ethics (e.g., compassion, resignation, and the ethical significance of artistic contemplation). It is recommended that students have at least one other course in ethics.
B. Reginster    S01, CRN 16986