GER 202

 Intermediate German II

Stephanie Kufner

 T W Th   8:50 am-9:50 am




For students who have completed three semesters of college German (or equivalent). The course is designed to deepen the language proficiency by increasing students' fluency in speaking, reading, and writing, and adding significantly to their working vocabulary. Students improve their ability to express their own ideas and hone their strategies for understanding spoken and written communication. We will discuss various materials on questions around multiculturalism and migration in Germany, and we will read and analyze the novel "Soharas Reise" by contemporary award-winning writer Barbara Honigmann. Class size: 18



GER 314

 Life and Other Dreams

Jason Kavett

M  W    11:50 am-1:10 pm




There is waking life, and then there is another "stage" on which dreams take place, as Sigmund Freud memorably wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams. In this course, we will read influential and compelling dream narratives, with a focus on German-language literature and culture. How are dreams narrated, and how is their relation to the rest of life conceived? What is the logic of dreams according to Freud, and how does Freud interpret dreams? We will consider the role of language in both the representation and analysis of dreams. As a counterpoint, we will read troubling scenes of awakening in order to advance our own "Interpretation of Waking Up". Texts we will read include Genesis 37-45, Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, Kafka's notebooks, Adorno's Dream Notes, selections from Mann's Magic Mountain, and Walter Benjamin's Berlin Childhood around 1900. Films by Herzog and Hitchcock. Students will work regularly on creative and critical writing assignments in order to gain confidence and skill in writing in German. Conversations in class will be oriented toward making the transition from Intermediate II or the equivalent to the 300-level, while the course is also appropriate for students who have already taken a 300-level course. Taught in German. Review and expansion of German grammar and vocabulary.  Class size: 18



GER 331

 Poetry and Philosophy

Thomas Wild

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 107



Cross-listed: Philosophy  Is there something like a sensory reasoning? Who has the capacity to formulate the unspeakable? How can we address  with words  the crisis of language? Is humor a thought or a sentiment? Poetry and philosophy have for centuries offered fascinating responses to such questions  not least in the German tradition. Poets, philosophers, and poetic thinkers from Goethe, Kant, and Schiller, to Hölderlin, Heidegger, and Rilke, or from Heine, Nietzsche, and Kafka, to writers of the Avant-Garde, and on to Benjamin, Brecht, and Arendt have all had something to say on these questions. The beauty and precision of their language(s) will foster our analytical vocabulary and will (we hope!) inspire ambitious and playful writing experiments and provoke a semester of joyful conversations with these thinkers of and in the German language. Conducted in German.  Class size: 14



GER 428

 Baroque Mourning & Melancholy: text & image

Jason Kavett

M  W    3:10 pm-4:30 pm




The German Baroque is perhaps best known for the presence of mourning and melancholy in its literary texts. Writers in 17th-century Germany inherited and transmitted Medieval and Renaissance theories of affect during a time of political and religious tumult as they developed a new literary language. 20th-century readers of Walter Benjamin's decisive study, The Origin of the German Mourning Play, have looked to the Baroque as a primal scene of modernity. Yet few readers of Benjamin have read his sources, while Baroque specialists have tended not to take "theory" into account. In this course we will read key poems and plays from the German Baroque period in dialogue with passages from Benjamin's study. We will attempt to define the concepts of mourning and melancholy for ourselves, and in doing so consider associated concepts in the Baroque/Benjamin constellation: the sovereign, the doctrine of Saturn, and allegory. In lyric poetry, we will consider the themes of transience and vanity. We will then turn to visual art, and study Albrecht Dürer's Melencolia I together with Panofsky and Saxl's important essay on this work. Finally, we will read W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn, in order to reflect on the traces left by the Baroque in late 20th century literature. Authors we will read include Gryphius, Lohenstein, Tscherning, Luther, Benjamin, Panofsky, and Sebald. Taught in German. Class size: 16



Cross-listed courses:



IDEA 225

 1989: Art, LitERATURE & Politics IN  Transition

Alex Kitnick

Thomas Wild

M  W    1:30 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 201



Cross-listed: Art History; German Studies  8 credits   According to the political scientist Francis Fukuyama 1989 marked the "end of history." The so-called triumph of Western-style capitalism and liberal democracy, frequently represented by the fall of the Berlin Wall, meant that there would be no more struggle and no more contestation: a single ideology would now dominate the world. But is this true? Today we find ourselves in a world in urgent need of re-imagining the ways we wish to live together. The radical shift in the political order marked by 1989 had both temporal and spatial effects: in addition to a new sense of "contemporaneity," the fall of borders called forth an imagination of a globalized "whole earth." It was in the context of this new world order that visual artists, writers, and theorists began to offer alternative narratives to this global shake-up. Focusing on questions of history, identity, memory, and site, for these cultural figures 1989 marked less the "end of history" than the emergence of new stories. Does the current historical moment of 2017 with its re-emergence of aggressive nationalism, authoritarian government, and threat to plurality confront us with another turning point to possibly bookend the momentum of opening, diversity, and new beginnings after 1989? This course will seek to map the connections between post-1989 practices and their wider historical moment up to the present. We will discuss, among others, artworks by Hans Haacke, Hito Steyerl, and Ilya Kabakov, poetry and prose by Ingo Schulze, Terezia Mora, and Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller as well as theoretical writings by Bruno Latour, Jean-Luc Nancy, William Kentridge, and édouard Glissant. The class will scrutinize pivotal films created in response to 1989, and we will visit with contemporary artists and filmmakers. In concert with our weekly class conversations, this course will foster various formats of presentations and collaborative work, combining analytical and creative modes of engaging with the diverse materials.  Class size: 22



HIST 184

 Inventing Modernity

Gregory Moynahan

M  W    11:50 am   1:10 pm

RKC 115



Cross-listed: German  Studies; Italian Studies



HIST 2701

 The Holocaust, 1933-1945

Cecile Kuznitz

 T  Th 1:30 pm-2:50 pm






Cross-listed: German  Studies; Human Rights; Jewish Studies



HIST 3234

 Your Papers Please?

Gregory Moynahan

   Th    1:30 pm-3:50 pm

HEG 106




Cross-listed: German  Studies; Human Rights; Science, Technology, Society