Spring Courses

Primarily for Undergraduates

GRMN0110  Intensive Beginning German                                                                     Jane Sokolosky
An intensive, double-credit language course that meets five days a week for 9 hours and focuses on speaking, listening, reading and writing skills and the cultures of the German-speaking countries. At the end of the semester, students will be able to communicate successfully about everyday topics relating to the university, jobs, daily life and traveling. Ideal for undergraduate students interested in learning German for study abroad or for concentration requirements and for graduate students interested in starting their foreign language requirements. The course is designed for new students of German, regardless of any previous experience with German.

S01         MWF     1-1:50; 2-2:50
C01        TuTh      9-10:20
C02        TuTh     1-2:20

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 about everyday topics and participate in the annual film festival. This is the second half of a year-long course. Students must have taken GRMN0100 to receive credit for this course. The final grade for this course will become the final grade for GRMN0100.

S01         MWF      9-9:50, T 12-12:50
S02         MWF      11-11:50, T 12-12:50
S03         MWF      12-12:50, T 12-12:50

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: GRMN0300. WRIT

S01         MWF      10-10:50, Th 12-12:50
S02         MWF      1-1:50, Th 12-12:50

 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 GRMN0500 series. WRIT

S01         MWF      10-10:50

GRMN1200H  Writers in Exile:  Fascism in America                                        Kristina Mendicino
Having fled Nazi Germany, Ernst Bloch wrote of fascism from his latest location: “The masks of the Ku Klux Klan were thus the first fascist uniform, and its proclamations were the first to colour with their wishful images the 'revolution' from the right, the Lynch revolution. The beginning of the movement is instructive here.” And he was not the only one among the many diverse European writers in American exile to be reminded of the political, social, technocratic, and economic formations s/he was seeking to escape.  Even Thomas Mann, the erstwhile guest at the White House and bourgeois advocate of democracy in America, aroused the suspicions of the FBI and his public enemies, ultimately finding himself provoked to view in Cold War politics tendencies toward a “fascist dictatorship.” In this course, we will closely read a selection of the texts that emerged from German writers in exile with a view to their implications regarding fascism and American culture.  In English.
S01        Th        4-6:30

GRMN 1320P Friends and Adjuncts: J. P. Hebel, Kafka, Benjamin, Sebald  
Benjamin Brand
He was a favorite He was a favorite among seminal German writers and thinkers such as Goethe, Kafka, and Walter Benjamin. Nonetheless, Johann Peter Hebel’s work remains largely unknown outside of German-speaking countries and is generally ignored by the academy. In this seminar we will read Hebel’s poetry and prose alongside some of the seminal works of those who wrote and thought with him as unexpected friends or adjuncts. In English.
S01        MWF      11-11:50                                                                        


GRMN1440V  Armut/Poverty                                                                                          Thomas Schestag
, according to a legend told by Diotima in Plato’s Symposium, is the son of Poverty – Penia – and Resoure – Poros –. Poverty is the other side of the development of (economic, linguistic) wealth and riches. Our seminar will unfold certain aspects of (the love for) this other side. Readings include texts by Bonaventura (Apologia pauperum/Defense of the Mendicants), Hans Sachs (Die tugentreich fraw Armut), Heinrich Heine (Die schlesischen Weber), Franz Grillparzer (Der arme Spielmann); fairy tales by the Grimm brothers; Karl Marx; Bertolt Brecht (Vom armen B.B.), Walter Benjamin (Erfahrung und Armut), and Martin Heidegger (Die Armut).
S01         TuTh      10:30-11:50    


GRMN 1440Y Return to Sender:  Love, Letters, and Literature                        Benjamin Brand
This seminar investigates the relays between the postal system (18th – 20th century) and German literature, philosophy, as well as love. We will read selected correspondence and literary prose emulating or reflecting the epistolary form. Writers include Goethe, Kafka, Bachmann, and Celan. In English.
S01         TuTh     9-10:20

GRMN1892     Kafka and the Philosophers                                                                  Gerhard Richter
Kafka’s writings take as a central concern the philosophical interpretability of what we call literature. What is one to make, for instance, of a text that begins with a protagonist awakening one morning to realize that he has been transformed into a monstrous vermin? Or another awakening protagonist unexpectedly detained by officers waiting in his apartment? For Kafka, “correct understanding of something and misunderstanding of the same thing are not entirely mutually exclusive.” We will study some of Kafka’s greatest texts alongside key attempts at interpreting Kafka philosophically, including Benjamin, Adorno, Derrida, Deleuze/Guattari, and Agamben.  In English; diverse fields welcome.
S01     M     3-5:30

GRMN1900K  Heinrich Heine und Deutschland                                                   Thomas Kniesche 
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) has filled many roles in the history of German culture: a poet who wrote some of the most “Romantic” poems in the German language; an author who effortlessly switched between journalistic and literary writing; and a “wound” (Theodor W. Adorno) that cannot stop refusing to heal. We will conduct extensive readings from Heine’s poetic, essayistic, and narrative oeuvre which will result not only in a better understanding of the development of post-classical German literature, but also in a deeper knowledge of German culture as a whole.

S01         MWF      2-2:50

SWED0200  Beginning Swedish                                                                                         Ann Weinstein
Swedish 200 is a continuation of Swedish 100, with the same goals, materials and methods. It may also be suited to students with some prior background in Swedish.
S01         TuTh  4-6:30

Primarily for Graduates

GRMN2340D      Nietzsche's Philology                                                                         Thomas Schestag
In September 1869, Friedrich Nietzsche delivers his inaugural lecture as a professor of philology at the University of Basel: Homer und die klassische Philologie. Our seminar will reconsider the Homeric question as it unfolds in Giambattista Vico (Scienza nuova), and Friedrich August Wolff (Prolegomena ad Homerum); its transformation in Nietzsche’s inaugural lecture; and the continuous quest for philology in Nietzsche’s later writings.                                                

S01           W   3-5:30

GRMN2661L      Speaking of Appearance:  Phenomenology and Its Fictions
                                                                                                                                                 Kristina Mendicino
How does Husserl’s oeuvre open other ways to think through the relation of language and phenomena than those admitted by the traditions of predicative logic he receives? In Erfahrung und Urteil, for example, he turns to the one of the foundational problems that lies at the basis of all cognizant experience: the original apprehension of all the givens we take for granted, from objects of experience to the ways in which we tend to get a grip on them, will have always been forgotten. Hence, he seeks to retrace the passive syntheses that form the preconditions for every thesis on the world and every intentional cognitive act. For Husserl, this radical pre-logical and pre-ontological questioning of origins—which would be further pursued in important, divergent ways by Heidegger and Derrida, among others—should issue into a firmer establishment of logic. But the investigation that follows rests on a fiction— “wir machen eine Fiktion eines Subjektes,” Husserl writes in his introduction—and phenomenology, thus becomes contingent, at least in part, upon poetics in a fashion that opens other inroads into the analyses and methodological innovations that Husserl performs, which we will pursue in this course via close readings of Husserl’s writing, among others, such as Sextus Empiricus, René Descartes, and Samuel Beckett, who poses the question in The Unnameable: “These notions of forebears, of houses where lamps are lit at night, and other such, where do they come to me from?”   In English.
S01           F     3-5:30 







GRMN0200 Beginning German