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. Franz Kempf 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. Franz Kempf 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

Thomas Wild

M T  Th 10:30 am-11:30 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: 16



GER / LIT 287

 The Ring of the Nibelung

Franz Kempf

 T  Th     10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 203



See Literature section for description.



LIT 318

 Hannah Arendt: Political Thinking and the plurality of languages

Thomas Wild

 T            4:40 pm-7:00 pm

HEG 308



See Literature section for description.



GER 320

 Modern German Prose

Franz Kempf

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 307



A survey of great works of mainly twentieth-century prose, including Novellen, Erzählungen, parables and other short forms. Detailed literary analysis will be combined with the discussion of the social, political and historical contexts of each work and interspersed with frequent creative writing assigments. Readings to include E.T.A. Hoffmann, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Thomas Mann, Robert Walser, Heinrich von Kleist, Walter Benjamin, Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Ilse Aichinger, Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard, Jenny Erpenbeck, Yoko Tawada and others. Conducted in German.   Class size: 16



GER 426

 Kleist's Worlds

Thomas Wild

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm




This seminar is dedicated to the works and worlds of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811), one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking writers of German literature. We will discuss a core selection of his plays (Amphitryon, Penthesilea, Der zerbrochene Krug), prose works (Marquise von O., Michael Kohlhaas), and essays (Marionettentheater). Our course will explore the historical constellations from which Kleist’s writings emerged, in particular European enlightenment and its discontents (Diderot, Molière, Goethe, Kant, Brentano) as well as intriguing contemporary responses – also to the myth of Kleist – up to our days by prominent poets and thinkers such as Heine, Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, Aichinger, Mayröcker, Brasch. Kleist’s enthralling works inspired the worlds of theater, music and not the least of modern poetics and literary theory; we will closely analyze respective productions, compositions, and debates.   Class size: 18