Fall Courses

Primarily for Undergraduates

GRMN0100   Beginning German                             Jane Sokolosky, M Paninski, J Tabor, C Obst
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.
S01         MWF     9-9:50,   T 12-12:50      MWF    190 Hope 203; T JWalter Wilson 403
S02         MWF     11-11:50, T 12-12:50     MTWF  J Walter Wilson 201
S03         MWF     12-12:50, T 12-12:50    MWF    190 Hope 203; T JWW 501
S04         MWF     1-1:50, T 12-12:50         MWF    190 Hope 203

GRMN0300   Intermediate German I                                                  Jane Sokolosky/Daniel Lange
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.
S01         MWF 10-10:50, Th 12-12:50     MWThF   190 Hope 203
S02         MWF 1-1:50, Th 12-12:50          MWThF   Barus & Holley 163

GRMN0500F  20th Century German Culture                                                       Kristina Mendicino  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
S01         MWF 11-11:50    190 Hope 203

GRMN0750F  Historical Crime Fiction                                                                       Thomas Kniesche
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. LILE FYS WRIT
S01         TuTh 2:30-3:50     John Hay Library 315

GRMN1320C   Goethe's Children                                                                               Dennis Johannssen
The name “Goethe” looms large over modern German literature, but what are founding figures without the daughters and sons that question and challenge their authority? This course offers a broad introduction to Goethe’s life and works, focusing on themes and questions of youth and childhood in his writings. Readings include canonical works such as The Sorrows of Young Werther, Iphigenia in Tauris, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Faust, and Elective Affinities. We will also examine Goethe’s legacy by looking at musical, theatrical, and philosophical responses to images of youth and childhood in his works. [Taught in German; all students welcome.]
S01         TuTh 2:30-3:50      190 Hope 203

GRMN1320O Freudian Inspirations:  Psychoanalysis and the Arts                  Benjamin Brand
This course engages with the central concepts and motifs of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and how they relate to works of literature, art, and film. What do Sophocles, Ovid, and Hoffmann tell us when we read Oedipus Rex, The Metamorphoses, and The Sandman today? How does our understanding of these texts differ from or resemble Freud’s reading of them? And when we engage art that cites psychoanalytic concepts—such as Hitchcock’s Marnie or Lars von Trier’s Melancholia—do we recognize the Freud we encounter in our readings of his own texts? (In English; all students welcome)
S01        MWF 10-10:50am      Metacalf Research Bldg 104

GRMN1440G Talking Animals and the Politics of World Literature             Christine Ivanovic
We have encountered talking animals within literature for over four thousand years. Alongside the Fables of Aesop, there are comparable animal stories from Ancient Babylon, Egypt, and from the Indian-Arabian-Persian cultural space, whose distribution was just as far-reaching. Animal fables appear easy to understand and universally valid. But do we really understand what it means when animals talk in texts? This course will employ current approaches to human-animal-studies alongside concepts of world literature to examine why animals are made to talk, what functions animal stories have, and what the conditions for their dissemination are. [In English; all Brown students welcome.]
S01   TuTh 4-5:30pm         Sayles Hall 014

GRMN1440S    Grimms' Fairy Tales                                                                             Kristina Mendicino
“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 emerges from an unused sty who will incorporate the doctor’s own most intimate—and violent—desires. Finding more than one seeks in one's midst is among the core motifs of the Grimms' “Household Tales” that we will trace, following how they move writers of and on literature, psychoanalysis, critical theory, gender, nation, and race. Reading the Grimms, we may find: what was "once upon a time" is not finished, nor can these uncanny tales be domesticated.  In English.
S01         MWF 2-2:50      Smith Buonanno G18

GRMN1440U    Migrantenliteratur                                                                              Thomas Kniesche
Literature written by migrants and their descendants has become a vital part of post-war German language and culture. Since the arrival of the so-called guest workers in the 1950s, the Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union during the 1990s, and recent Syrian refugees, Germany has become an “Einwanderungsland” (a country of immigration) and an increasingly multicultural society. This has triggered anxieties and phobias, exploited by populist politicians and movements, but it has also profoundly changed the literary landscape. The class will explore the contributions of authors such as Rafik Schami, Feridun Zaimoglu, Emine Özdamar, Zafer Senocak, and others.  Taught in German.
S01         TuTh  10:30-11:50
      190 Hope 203

GRMN1440X    Stranger Things:  The German Novella                             Natalie Lozinski-Veach
Goethe’s famous description of the novella as an “unheard-of event” holds true to this day: scandals, murder, and the supernatural abound in this seminal German genre. Both meticulously structured and notoriously difficult to define, the novella as a form mirrors the paradoxes of its narratives. In this course, we will ask how form and content come together in the novella to engender strange occurrences that vacillate between everyday experiences and fever dreams. What is it about the German novella that creates such a particular sense of unease, and how does this genre mediate modern experience? [In English. All students welcome.]
S01         MWF 12-12:50      J Walter Wilson 201

GRMN1660Q  Film and the Third Reich                                                                 Dennis Johannssen
This course explores the cinema of the Third Reich as well as filmic responses to World War II and the Holocaust. Sections will be dedicated to propaganda films by Leni Riefenstahl and others; to the relationship between Third Reich cinema and Hollywood; to propaganda films produced by the Allied forces, and to movies about the Holocaust such as Shoah and Schindler’s List. We will discuss key concepts of film theory, cinema’s political efficacy, Holocaust representation in film, music, and language, and questions of trauma, commemoration, and victimhood. [Taught in English; students from diverse fields welcome.]
S01         TuTh 9-10:20    190 Hope 203

SWED0100  Beginning Swedish                                                                                          Ann Weinstein
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.
S01       TuTh 4-5:30       190 Hope 102

Primarily for Graduates

GRMN2661F     Textual Border Crossings:  Translational Literature            Christine Ivanovic
We will first attempt to discover what happens to a translation, as well as to the translator, when a text asks for asylum in the guest house of another language: “domestication” or “foreignization,” as Lawrence Venuti puts it? Or is it appropriation, acculturation, adoption? Or rather estrangement, alienation, defamiliarization? Next we will investigate different models of derivative, parasitic, and translational writing by authors as diverse as J. Franzen, E. Fried, Ch. Hawkey, E. Jelinek, Y. Tawada, P. Waterhouse, and others. Finally, we will examine translational writing as a means of decolonizing world literature.
S01      W 3-5:30pm        Salomon Center 203

GRMN2661K    Thinking Tradition                                                                               Gerhard Richter
Our modes of being in the world, along with our languages, institutions, and most fundamental assumptions and practices, are determined by the dead who preceeded us. Through close readings of key texts that address the rich and vexed concept of “tradition”—Arendt’s Between Past and Future, relevant passages from Heidegger’s Being and Time, Adorno’s “On Tradition” and pertinent sections from Negative Dialectics—we will address issues of fundamental significance to critical thought today. To interrogate the concept of tradition, we also will attempt to understand the stakes of Arendt’s and Adorno’s fundamentally divergent interpretations of Benjamin’s philosophy of history.  [Seminar will be taught in English. Graduate Students from diverse fields welcome.]
S01         M 3-5:30      111 Thayer, Watson Institute, 138


       Courses Offered Beyond German Studies that May Count Towards the Concentration

COLT1210: 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.
Susan Bernstein, Karen Newman   S01 MWF 1pm-1:50pm

ENGL1511X Capital and Culture
An introduction to the literature and culture of the Victorian period through the categories and questions of political economy: especially the making of the working class, finance, and industrialization. The objective is twofold: to examine novelists, poets, and prose writers in the light of Karl Marx's influential analysis of capitalist society, but also to contextualize and situate Marx as a Victorian, who lived in London for the majority of his life.
Benjamin Parker      S01 MWF 9am-9:50am

ENGL1761Q: W.G. Sebald and Some Interlocutors
The works of W. G. Sebald have received a huge amount of critical attention since his death in 2001, particularly from critics interested in the question of the ethics of literature after Auschwitz. But what is Sebald’s literary heritage, and who are his interlocutors? What internal and external connections do his works establish? Besides Sebald’s works, readings will include Stendhal, Kafka, Walser, Borges, Bergson, Resnais, Lanzmann. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. Enrollment limited to 20. Not open to first-year students.
Timothy RT Bewes         S01 TTh 2:30pm-3:50pm

HIST1230B: Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History: The Fin de Siecle, 1880-1914
A sequel to HIST 1230A focusing on radical intellectual and cultural currents that challenged and destabilized the assumptions of Victorian high culture during the fin de siecle. Through a careful reading of primary texts by Hobhouse, Nietzsche, Weber, and Freud. The course explores issues such as the rise of mass consumer culture, neoliberal and neofascist politics, philosophic irrationalism, psychoanalysis, and the woman question. WRIT
Mary Gluck S01 MWF 12pm-12:50pm

 HIST1240A Politics of Violence in 20th Century Europe
Europe's 20th century saw the emergence of forms of violence unthinkable in a world without mass politics. To better understand the changes in European states and societies that gave rise to total war and the violence associated with totalizing ideologies such as fascism and communism, we will read Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Fanon and others who sought to interpret violence as an extension of ideology. We will also read selections from more recent works by state leaders, historians and cultural figures from Ukraine to France, from Turkey to Great Britain who have reinterpreted past violence for present political ends.
Holly Case  S01 TTh 10:30am-11:50am

JUDS1820: Holocaust Literature
Readings in works of prose and poetry by victims and survivors of the Holocaust that portray experiences in ghettos, in concentration camps, and in hiding. Additional readings in works of the post-war era by survivors and their offspring. Discussion of the moral, psychological, religious, and cultural dimensions of the Holocaust and its ongoing impact on humanity. WRIT
David Jacobson   S01 MWF 11am-11:50am

MUSC1500A: Major Masters and Repertoires of Music: Bach
An examination of the life and work of Bach, including its placce in German church music, views of his contemporaries and explanation of hi manuscript and publishing history.
Louis Jodry       S01   TTh 9am-10:20am

PHIL0050: Aesthetics: Art and Morality
From Plato to the present, the power of the arts to trigger powerful emotions has been seen by some thinkers as a threat to morality, by others as a vital support. This debate raises such issues as whether aesthetic experience is a distinctive kind of experience and whether the creation and reception of art are autonomous activities free from the constraints of morality and politics. Beyond Plato, authors to be read will include such figures as Hume, Mendelssohn, Rousseau, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Ruskin, Tolstoy, Collingwood, Stanley Cavell, Martha Nussbaum, Alexander Nehamas, and others.
Paul D Guyer     S01 TTh 1pm-2:20pm