GER 106

 BASIC Intensive German

Stephanie Kufner

M T W Th   8:50 am-11:10 am



8 credits   Basic Intensive German 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 August 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  (Need-based financial aid for the Berlin section of the course is available; please discuss further details with instructor.)   Class size: 20



GER / LIT 2704

 German Literature in 7 Dates

Thomas Wild

 T Th    4:40 pm-6:00 pm

OLIN 201


Cross-listed: German Studies  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?, Goethe's Faust, Büchner's Danton’s Death, Rosa Luxemburg's writing on revolution, as well as Hungerangel by the German Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller. The compendium  A New History of German Literature (2004) will furnish apposite background reading. Taught in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 22



GER 303

 Grimms’ MÄrchen

Franz Kempf

 T Th    10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 101


“Enchanting, brimming with wonder and magic, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are the special stories of childhood that stay with us throughout our lives,” writes translator and Grimm scholar Jack Zipes. Unfortunately, we seem to know these tales only in adaptations that greatly reduce their power to touch our emotions and engage our imaginations. Through a close reading of selected tales, with emphasis on language, plot, motif, and image, this course explores not only the tales’ poetics and politics but also their origins in the oral tradition, in folklore and myth. The course considers major critical approaches (e.g., Freudian, Marxist, feminist) and conducts a contrastive analysis of creative adaptations (Disney, classical ballet, postmodern dance) and other fairy-tale traditions (Perrault, Straparola, Arabian Nights). Creative and critical writing assignments. Conducted in German.   Class size: 20



GER 331

 Poetry and Philosophy

Thomas Wild

 T Th    11:50 am-1:10 pm



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: 16



GER 418

 German Expressionism

Franz Kempf

 T Th    1:30 pm-2:50 pm



Less a style than a Weltanschauung of a rebellious generation, German Expressionism – flourishing roughly between 1905 and 1925 – is generally seen as an artistic reflection of a common feeling of crisis whose origins can be sought, for instance, in the loss of a cohesive world view, especially in the wake of Nietzsche's pessimistic diagnosis; the disappearance of individualism in burgeoning urban centers; the hypocrisy of Imperial Wilhelminian Germany; the soulless materialism and the (self-) alienation of increased industrialization; and the collapse of Newtonian science. Readings will include works by Frank Wedekind, Gottfried Benn, Georg Heym, Else Lasker-Schüler, Kafka, Georg Kaiser, and Georg Trakl. Since Expressionism involved not just literature but painting, music, and film, we will also consider works by the Brücke- and Blaue Reiter-associations of painters, Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, and films such as Der letzte Mann, M, and Die Büchse der Pandora. Taught in German.  Class size: 15