Please check OCI for course schedules and up-to-date information.
Advanced German, Contemporary Germany
GMAN 152 (L5, taught in German)
An advanced language and culture course focusing on contemporary Germany. Analysis and discussion of current events in Germany and Europe through the lens of German media, including newspapers, books, TV, film radio, and modern electronic media formats. Focus on oral and written production to achieve advanced linguistic skills.
Pre-1945 German Culture and History
GMAN 162 (L5, taught in German)
Once upon a time, long before Tolkien, Disney, or Rowling, two brothers named Grimm published a collection of fairy tales that went on to have an immense cultural impact throughout the world. German children grow up with these fairy tales and they play a huge part in German culture even today. The Grimm fairy tales are the textual point of departure for a multi-faceted, integrative exploration of this popular and influential genre through time. Students explore fairy tales by Wilhelm Hauff and Ludwig Bechstein, as well as traditional cultural theories of the German fairy tale, psychoanalytic and pedagogical interpretive approaches, and contextualization of this genre in cultural and social history. The focus is on the role that the literary fairy tale played in German culture throughout history and the impact German fairy tales still have today.
Introduction to German Lyric Poetry
GMAN 173 (L5, taught in German)
The German lyric tradition, including classic works by Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, Eichendorff, Heine, Mörike, Droste-Hülshoff, Rilke, George, Brecht, Trakl, Celan, Bachmann, and Jandl. Attention to the German Lied (art song). Development of advanced reading, writing, speaking, and translation skills.
Vienna 1900-1938 (graduate/undergraduate)
GMAN 323 / GMAN 714
The Vienna of 1900—of Freud, Schnitzler, Strauss, Hofmannsthal, Kraus, Musil, Mahler, Schönberg, Klimt, Schiele, and Wittgenstein—has become the stuff of myth. For good reason: at the turn of the 20th century, the capital of the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual Habsburg Empire became a focal point for experimentation in literature, fine art, architecture, music, film, psychology, and philosophy.
In this course, we will examine the emergence of new aesthetic strategies and the development of psychoanalysis; we delve into questions of representation and language. How do the artists of the time thematize the pressures of urbanization, secularization, ethnic conflict, cosmopolitanism, sexuality, gender, and consciousness? Continuing into the interwar period, we examine the collapse of empire and its ramifications for architecture, urban planning, and artistic representation. The post-1918 period, leading up to the rise of fascism in the early 1930s and Austria’s Anschluss, witnessed the emergence of progressive social ideals in the public sphere, from childcare to public housing projects. Women writers move to the forefront as chroniclers and analysts of squalid living conditions, rising anti-Semitism, and gender disparities.
Walter Benjamin’s Critical Theory (graduate only)
Careful analysis of central texts in Benjamin’s oeuvre in the context of his philosophical, political, and literary reading.
Graduate Proseminar in German Literature (graduate only)
Field-specific introduction to the history and methods of the field of German in a comparative and interdisciplinary context, with emphasis on project design and professionalization. Specific topic(s) in the form of case studies chosen by proseminar participants and first- and second-year graduate students in German. Focus on cornerstone works of literature and emerging fields in the context of established critical approaches. Proseminar participants and the faculty proseminar leader collaboratively teach and design individual meetings. Strongly encouraged for first- and second-year graduate students in German. The fall 2019 topic is Critical Methodologies of Literature and Theory.