The German Immersion program will be offered in the Spring 2014 semester, therefore Basic German (101-102) will not be offered in the fall of 2013.  Students interested in the Immersion course should contact Professor Franz Kempf early in the fall semester.

German Immersion:   Intensive study (12 credits) of a foreign language helps to create a highly effective and exciting learning environment for those who wish to achieve a high degree of proficiency in the shortest possible time. German immersion is designed to enable students with little or no previous experience in German to complete two years of college German within five months (spring semester at Bard, plus June in Germany for 4 additional credits). To achieve this goal, students take fifteen class hours per week during the semester at Bard, and twenty hours per week during June at Collegium Palatinum, the German language institute of Schiller International University in Heidelberg. Each participant will be able to enroll concurrently in one other course at Bard. This will allow the student to pursue a more balanced study program or to fulfill certain requirements (e.g., First Year Seminar).



GER 110   Transitional German

Stephanie Kufner

. T W Th F

10:30 - 11:30 am



This course is for students with varied backgrounds in German whose proficiency is not yet on the level of Ger 201. While the emphasis will be on a complete review of elementary grammar, all four language skills (speaking, comprehension, reading, writing), as well as cultural proficiency, will be honed. Extensive comprehension, speaking and vocabulary training exercises in the Language Lab as well as at home will be combined with conversational practice, reading, writing simple compositions, and the dramatization of modern German texts. Successful completion of this accelerated course (covering 3 semesters’ worth of material) will allow students to continue with German 202 in the Spring of 2014.  Optional: additional tutorials.  Class size: 20



GER 187   The Ring of the Nibelung

Franz Kempf


. . W . F

. . . . F

10:10 - 11:30 am

12:00 -6:00 pm




A study of Richard Wagner’s cycle of four immense music dramas. A story about “gods, dwarves (Nibelungs), giants and humans, it has been read and performed as a manifesto for socialism, as a plea for a Nazi-like racialism, as a study of the workings of the human psyche, as forecast of the fate of the world and humankind, as a parable about the new industrial society of Wagner’s time.” As we travel down the Rhine and across the rainbow and on through the underworld, our tour-guides will be the Brothers Grimm, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, as well as the anonymous authors of the medieval epic, the Nibelungenlied and of the Old Norse Poetic Edda. Musical expertise neither expected nor provided. Taught in English. Students with an advanced proficiency in German are expected to read the libretti in the original.  Class size: 18 Since experiencing opera as performance is crucial, only students who commit to the following screenings in Weis Cinema (starting at 12:30 PM) will be permitted to enroll in this course:

F 9/13 and F 11/8 Rhinegold (Met / Bayreuth versions): 163 / 143 minutes

F 9/20 and F 11/15 Valkyrie: 241 / 214 min

F 9/27 and F 11/22 Siegfried: 253 / 226 min

F 10/4 and  F 12/6 Twilight of the Gods: 281 / 249 min



GER 201 A  Intermediate German I

Thomas Wild

M T . Th .

10:30 - 11:30 am



For students who have completed a year of college German (or equivalent). The course is designed to deepen the proficiency gained in GER 101 and 102 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. Selected 20th-century literary texts and audivisual materials, including an unabridged comedy by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.   Class size: 18



GER 220   German Literature in Seven Dates

Thomas Wild

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm



This course offers seven relevant access points to German literature and history between the 18th and 21st centuries. The starting points of these explorations will be dateable events, such as January 1774 when Goethe establishes his literary fame after six somnambulant weeks of writing The Sorrows of Young Werther, or November 1949 when Hannah Arendt first revisits Germany after the Second World War. A date is the temporal center around which a singular work crystallizes. The constellation of dates this course creates will also reflect on pivotal (German) traditions of conceiving history itself (Nietzsche, Benjamin). Readings further include Kant's What is Enlightenment?, Kleist's Penthesilea, Büchner's Danton’s Death, Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries, as well as Hungerangel by the German Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller. The "dated" A New History of German Literature (2004) will furnish apposite background reading. Taught in English.  Class size: 18



GER 405   Exit Metaphysics-Enter Sauerkraut: Nineteenth-Century German Literature

Franz Kempf

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 303


"Exit Metaphysics, enter Sauerkraut" is the phrase frequently used to describe the development of nineteenth-century German literature from "Romanticism" to "Naturalism". The phrase also alludes to the overwhelming experience shared by the majority of intellectuals and writers at that time: the awareness of the loss of security that idealistic philosophy had provided and the attempt to find new absolutes. We will investigate the evolution and the various facets of this experience as it manifests itself in literature through a close reading of selected works (novels, novellas, poems, and plays) by Grillparzer, Nestroy, Grabbe, Hebbel, Heine, Morike, Droste-Hulshoff, Keller, Stifler, C.F. Meyer, Fontane, Schnitzler, Wedekind, Hauptmann. Conducted in German.  Class size: 15