Students interested in studying German should note that Beginning German is only offered in an intensive format every spring semester. For more information please see the following description or contact Prof. Kufner directly.


GER 106: Beginning German Intensive is designed to enable students with little or no previous experience in German to complete three semesters of college-level German within five months: spring semester at Bard, plus four weeks in the summer at Bard College Berlin (upon successful completion carrying four additional credits). Students will meet ten hours a week (including a one-hour conversation class with the German language tutor). Outside of class, students will have the opportunity to connect and prepare for course work with innovative teaching and learning experiences online. The communicative approach actively involves students from day one in this class. As the course progresses, the transition is made from learning the language for everyday communication to the reading and discussion of classical and modern texts (such as Goethe, Heine, Kafka, Brecht) as well as of music and film. The concluding four weeks of the program will be spent at Bard’s sister campus in Berlin: Students will further explore German language and culture in a twenty hours per week course, which is accompanied by guided tours introducing participants to Berlin’s intriguing history, architecture, and vibrant cultural life. Students interested in this class must consult with Prof. Stephanie Kufner before on-line registration in December.   (Need-based financial aid for the Berlin section of the course is available; please discuss further details with instructor.) 



GER  202   

 Intermediate German II

Franz Kempf

.T W Th .

9:00 am -10:00 am




For students who have completed three semesters of college German (or the equivalent). The course is designed to deepen the proficiency gained in the German Intensive and the summer program in Berlin 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 films, including the cinematic classic Der blaue Engel and Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play Die Physiker. Please consult with the instructor if you are unsure about your proficiency level.  Class size: 20



GER / LIT  2194   

 Berlin: Capital of the 20th CENTURY

Thomas Wild


. T . Th .

. . W . .

3:10 pm -4:30 pm

6:30 pm -9:00 pm


LC 118/PRE 110


Cross-listed:  Literature, Environmental & Urban Studies  Throughout Germany's turbulent twentieth-century history, Berlin has been not only the capital of five different German states but also the continuous capital of German culture. In this course, we shall explore the interconnections between politics, art, and social life through manifold literary texts (e.g. Döblin, Nabokov, Baudelaire, Poe), major theoretical writings (e.g. Benjamin, de Certeau, Augé, Young), as well as through films (e.g. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Triumph of Will, Run Lola Run), architecture (Hitler's and Speer's plans for "Germania"), memorials (Holocaust memorial, Jewish Museum), and other visual art works (e.g. by Kollwitz, Grosz, street art). Our scrutiny of the significant changes in Berlin over the past century will focus on two historical thresholds: Around 1930, when the totalitarian regimes in Europe emerged, and around 1989, when this "age of the extremes" seems to come to an end, and our contemporary period with its compelling developments begins. Berlin can thus be called, in adaptation of Walter Benjamin's expression about Paris' significance for the 19th century, the capital of the 20th century. - Taught in English.   Class size: 18



GER  405   

 19th Century German Literature

Franz Kempf

. T . Th .

1:30 pm -2:50 pm

OLIN 307


"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: 12



GER  467   

 CorrespondEnces: Figures of Writng

Thomas Wild

. T . Th .

11:50 am -1:10 pm



“One alone is always wrong; but with two involved, the truth begins,” reads an aphorism by Friedrich Nietzsche. His criticism of the isolated genius thinker also proposes an alternative mode of thinking and writing: creative collaboration.  The seminar will explore several instances of such creative collaborations, e.g. Hannah Arendt and Hilde Domin, Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann. These intellectual relationships are also documented in letter exchanges, so that our seminar will unfold the word “correspondence” in a literal and in a figurative way.

In this sense, “Correspondence” exceeds the limits of a single literary text or a letter; its dynamics translates into poems, novels, essays, or theoretical writings. As a consequence, fundamental categories such as authorship, work, intertextuality, or addressing are called into question. Our seminar will continuously reflect upon those terms based on canonical writings of modern literary criticism, including Benjamin, and (to be read in English) Genette, Barthes, Foucault, Lévinas. The course intends to incorporate materials of the Hannah Arendt Library special collection at Bard College in order to explore some of the unknown intellectual relationships between the pivotal political thinker and German as well as American writers. Taught in German.  Class size: 16