Courses Spring 2018

Undergraduate Courses Spring 2018

Please check OCI for course schedules and up-to-date information.

(jump to graduate courses)

GMAN 164

The History of the German Language

Theresa Schenker

Introduction to important historical and cultural developments in the German language through exemplary literary and cultural texts and objects. Students gain insight into early development of German language from Old High German to Middle High German and to Early New and New High German. Major literary works from each epoch are examined from the perspective of their use of language. Students also explore cultural and historical contexts which led to linguistic changes.

GMAN 201

Green Germany: History and Culture of Sustainability

Marion Gehlker

Exploration of the German environmental movement from the end of the 19th century to the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany to the post-war social movements from the 60s to the present. Topics include issues of sustainability in the context of the anti-nuclear, peace, and social justice movements; the formation of the Green Party; current criticism of industrial food production; bioethics; health; consumerism; the growth paradigm; and ecological justice. Investigation of positive alternatives.                     

GMAN 208 / HIST 254

Germany Unification to Refugee Crisis

Jennifer Allen

The history of Germany from its unification in 1871 through the present. Topics include German nationalism and national unification; the culture and politics of the Weimar Republic; National Socialism and the Holocaust; the division of Germany and the Cold War; the Student Movement and New Social Movements; reunification; and Germany’s place in contemporary Europe.

GMAN 246 / LITR 346

Ends of Enlightenment

Kirk Wetters

Kant’s question “What is Enlightenment?” traced through literature, philosophy, theory, and the arts. Classic theories through the mid-twentieth century from works by Rousseau, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Spengler, Schmitt, Weber, Adorno, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida. Theoretical work is paired with literature, art, and film.

GMAN 320 / GMAN 653 / FILM 418 / HUMS 207 / LITR 356

Scandinavian Cinema and Television

Katie Trumpener

Contemporary Scandinavian film and television examined in relation to earlier cinematic highpoints. Course explores regionally-specific ideas about acting, visual culture and the role of art; feminism and the social contract; historical forces and social change. Films by Bergman, Dreyer, Gad, Sjöström, Sjöberg, Sjöman, Troell, Widerberg, Vinterberg, von Trier, Ostlund, Kaurismäki, Scherfig, Kjartansson; as well as contemporary television series selected by students.

GMAN 367

On Comedy

Katrin Truestedt

Introduction to influential theories and paradigms of comedy from the German tradition. Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud play significant roles in a renewed philosophical interest in comedy, highlighted by thinkers such as Alenka Zupančič and Slavoj Žižek. We will read these authors together with exemplary works from the German comedy tradition from Kleist to Pollesch. Topics include central elements of comedy (such as contradiction, distance, repetition, alienation, excess, play); various models and theories of comedy (such as the comedy of law and the comedy of play); and their connection to larger cultural practices and political ideas.

Graduate Courses Spring 2018

GMAN 653 / GMAN 320 / FILM 418 / HUMS 207 / LITR 356

Scandinavian Cinema and Television

Katie Trumpener

Contemporary Scandinavian film and television examined in relation to earlier cinematic highpoints. Course explores regionally-specific ideas about acting, visual culture and the role of art; feminism and the social contract; historical forces and social change. Films by Bergman, Dreyer, Gad, Sjöström, Sjöberg, Sjöman, Troell, Widerberg, Vinterberg, von Trier, Ostlund, Kaurismäki, Scherfig, Kjartansson; as well as contemporary television series selected by students.

GMAN 712

Graduate Proseminar in German Literature

Kirk Wetters

GMAN 620 / CPLT 868

Speaking for Others: Advocacy in Law and Literature

Campe, Rudiger

Speaking for others (representing others) before a third party (judge or audience) is a basic constellation in Western literature rooted in legal, political, and religious practices. “Speaking-for-others” has been an alternative and can function as reinterpretation to our usual dual idea of communication (Me speaking to You about Something in the world, G.H. Mead). Readings address history and structure of speaking-for-others in three major sections: Ancient rhetoric and the Christian figure of speaking-for (Christ, the “paraclete”): Aristotle and Quintilian on rhetoric; Aeschylus, Eumenides; the Gospel of St. John. Political representation and speaking-for-others in (early) modern times: Hobbes and Rousseau on representation; Schiller, Don Carlos; Hölderlin, Empedocles. The critique of speaking-for-others in contemporary theory and literature: the Deleuze-Foucault debate on advocacy in the public space; Kafka, The Trial and related texts; Celan, Meridian and related poems; Canetti on literature as art of becoming-the-other.