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Introduction to the major theoretical approaches to the contemporary study of culture (literature, film, art and politics). GER 510 Literary Theory: An Introduction (3) This seminar will introduce students to contemporary literary and cultural theory in an effort to provide them with the methodological tools they need to undertake cutting-edge literary and cultural analysis themselves. German Studies in the U.S. has at least two defining characteristics. First, though, at least for those of us in German Departments, its emphasis is mainly on culture, it is genuinely interdisciplinary, attempting to explore how cultural products and practices (defined as extending far beyond the traditional canon of German literature) are constituted by and help to constitute history and politics. And, secondly, it advances its interdisciplinary analyses by drawing increasingly on new methodologies elaborated by Anglo-American and foreign cultural theorists. Among the theoretical approaches we may focus on will be formalism and structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, cultural studies, feminism, gender studies, and queer theory, and post-colonial theory. These new theories have profoundly transformed disciplines such as Anglo-American literary studies, comparative literature, women's studies, history, and anthropology, since the Seventies. In this course we shall find out if/how such theories could transform German Studies, too. The course is reading-intensive and students are expected to invest most of their time in reading and preparing for class discussions. Regular attendance and informed participation in class discussion will be required. This involves reading all assigned articles on a regular basis (20%); oral presentation of one weekly section (30%); second oral presentation that includes a sample analysis of the assigned texts (20%); and one 12-15 page paper due at the end of the semester (30%). German 51 0 will be the second unit in a three-course package intended to provide beginning graduate students with a set of correlated introductory courses. German 510 is the only wide-ranging course in theory offered by the Department for incoming students. This course will be offered once a year with 5 to 1 0 students (1 5 max) per offering.
GER 511: The Teaching of College German
The Teaching of College German
Theory, methods, techniques, materials, bibliography contributions of linguistics and psychology to language learning; methods of teaching post- secondary German. GER 511 The Teaching of College German (3) German 511 introduces students to the theory and methods of teaching German at the college level. It deals not only with techniques, materials, and bibliography of the field but also evaluates the contributions of linguistics and psychology to college-level language pedagogy. German 511 familiarizes students with current theories of foreign language education as they relate to post-secondary language acquisition. This course further includes the practical aspects of college-level teaching with special reference to problems related specifically to the teaching and learning of German. Evaluation procedures include examinations, research papers, and the preparation of sample teaching materials. German 511 is a required course for all German graduate students both at the M.A. and Ph.D. level. It is offered every year.
GER 513: German Phonetics and Phonology
German Phonetics and Phonology
This course examines German speech sounds and their organization into a linguistic system. GER 513 German Phonetics and Phonology (3)This course provides an overview of the major subfields of phonology as they apply to the German language. No prior knowledge of linguistics or phonology is assumed. Topics discussed include articulatory phonetics, the phoneme, distinctive features, and common phonological processes in German such as final devoicing, prosody, prosodic morphology and dialectal variation. The class will practice phonetic transcription of German and English. We will discuss common phonetic and phonological difficulties presented by German for native speakers of English. In addition to practical applications of phonetics, the class will investigate theoretical concepts such as the phoneme, distinctive features, lexical stress, the syllable and the prosodic foot. Reading assignments include scholarly articles employing different theoretical frameworks and excerpts from seminal works in the field. Frameworks to be discussed include derivational approaches and Optimality Theory. The class will also examine dialectal variation with a particular emphasis on differences between Low, Middle and Upper German dialects. Each students will make a presentation investigating the phonological system of a German dialect. Evaluation is based on problems, class presentations and a final research paper.
GER 514: German Syntax
This course provides an overview of morphosyntactic processes in German. GER 514 German Syntax (3)This course provides an overview of the major components of morphology and syntax as they apply to the German language. No prior knowledge of linguistics or morphosyntax is assumed. Topics discussed include the basic syntactic constituents in German, the verbal bracket and movement rules, German argument structure, the tense/mood/aspect system for German verbs, the connection between pragmatics and word order in German, and dialectal variation as it relates to German syntax. Emphasis will also be placed on how these different areas of German syntax are related to descriptive grammar rules as presented in many German language classes. Reading assignments include scholarly articles employing different theoretical frameworks, including minimalism, and excerpts from seminal works in the field. Evaluation is based on problem sets, two take-home exams and a research paper.
GER 515: Introduction to German Applied Linguistics
Introduction to German Applied Linguistics
Introduction to the major areas of the broad field of Applied Linguistics as relevant to the study of German. GER 515 Introduction to German Applied Linguistics (3) This course provides an introduction to some of the major areas of Applied Linguistics as they apply to users of the German language. No prior knowledge of linguistics is assumed. Topics discussed include the acquisition of German by people who do not speak it natively, the teaching of German to people who do not speak it natively, the use of technology in the instruction of German, the relationships between users of German and German (Pragmatics) in both oral and written discourse, and the inter-relationships of society and culture, users of the German language, and the use of the German language in global and local contexts (Sociolinguistics). This is not a language course that focuses on the speaking and writing of German. The course will be conducted in either German or English. Reading assignments will include scholarly articles and excerpts from seminal work in the field. Students will work extensively on published and self-collected data, e.g. recordings of German classroom discourse, German conversations, German advertising. Evaluation is based on problem sets, seminar presentations, assigned readings, classroom participation, and written assignments. The course is required for students pursuing the German PhD Option in Applied Linguistics and may be selected to satisfy the core requirements for the M.A. in German. This course will be offered once each year with 15 seats per offering.
GER 530: The Frankfurt School & the Politics of Visual Aesthetics
3 Credits/Maximum of 999
The Frankfurt School & the Politics of Visual Aesthetics
3 Credits/Maximum of 999
The course examines the Frankfurt School's critical theories regarding visual strategies for representing and challenging urban consumer culture. The course will examine critical theories by members of the Frankfurt School regarding visual strategies for representing and challenging urban consumer culture. The course will center on German Marxist theories about how the rise of urban mass culture at the beginning of the twentieth century produced Modernist forms of visual representation. The course will examine how the spread of fashion-driven behavior had dramatic implications for aesthetic theory, film, architecture, and literature. The course will provide a survey of the most important works in the German critical tradition and the major thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School. These include Georg Simmel, Georg Lukacs, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas, among others. Students will learn how these modern theories relate to the German Idealist tradition, particularly Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche, as well as the history of German Marxism. Topics include the psychology of the metropolitan individual, the commodification of culture, money, and interpersonal relationships, the architecture of shopping, visual advertising through posters and photography, and cinema as a means of understanding social relations, as well as the role of visual media in public debate. The course will consider how modernist architecture, particularly from the Bauhaus school, redefined urban spaces and introduced new functionalist designs. The course will examine how Frankfurt School thinkers responded to the provocative design proposals presented by modernist architects. Students will examine specific modernist designs for consumer products to examine the relationship between the appearance of a commodity and its use, in order to understand how appearance and function are interdependent within modernism. In broad terms, class discussions will focus on such questions as: How does the relationship between the visual image and society change under industrial capitalism? What political functions do visual images have in consumer culture? What visual mechanisms does the "culture industry" deploy to organize public consciousness? What critical responses are available to visual artists within a mass-market economy? The course will provide students an historical understanding of early twentieth-century German consumer culture and its visual representation, while also offering them critical intellectual tools to understand the social and economic implications of visual images within consumer culture. The course will be taught in English with readings in both languages.
GER 532: Holocaust and Visual Culture
Holocaust and Visual Culture
This course studies how art, literature, film, and other media can provide a perspective on one of the most horrific events in human history, the Holocaust: the genocidal murder of more than six million men, women, and children (mostly Jewish) under the Nazi regime during World War II. The course examines the theoretical questions involved in any attempt to capture what appears to be beyond comprehension in terms of moral outrage and the sheer scale, inhumanity, and bureaucratic efficiency of the violence perpetrated by the Nazis. This course examines formal approaches of depicting the Holocaust in literature and film, as well as photography, museum installations, and memorials. Topics to be discussed include include memorialization (Holocaust museums and memorials), mass murder of the disabled, national guilt, survivor's guilt, stigmatization, and the ethics of historical representation. The course will analyze cinematic strategies for representing the unrepresentable, dark humor about the Holocaust, the persistence of the past, Nazi propaganda, Holocaust photography, trauma theories, graphic novels, the Nuremberg trials, survivor memoirs, representations of the Nuremberg Code and the International Bill of Norms, and possibilities for art after Auschwitz.
GER 534: History of German Film and Photography
History of German Film and Photography
This course will examine the history, theory, and practice of German photographic and moving picture technology from its origins to the digital age. The course will be structured around important innovations in visual technology, including: 1) the pre-history and invention of photography, 2) pre-cinematic moving pictures (Anschütz), 3) the invention of cinema (Skladanowsky Bros.), 4) sound and color innovations, 5) video, digital, and installation work. The aim of the course is to provide an historical overview of visual culture in which the radical shifts inaugurated by new technologies are examined in terms of their aesthetic, philosophical, and political impact. In the German context these shifts have been examined by important theoreticians of visual culture (most notably Arnheim, Balácz, Benjamin, Kracauer, and Flusser) whose work has changed the way we think about our relation to images. Practitioners in the German sphere have been no less influential: from Ottomar Anschütz's pre-cinematic experiments with moving pictures to the very first public demonstration of cinematic technology (the Skladanowskys' bioscope, one month before the Lumières' first show) to the avant-garde animation of the Weimar period; from the narrative and design innovations of the Expressionist filmmakers to the rich and varied independent films of the New German Cinema to the radical documentarians of the past decade. By providing students with an understanding of German innovations in and responses to new technologies this course will ground readings of particular works historically. In broad terms, class discussion will consider questions such as: What is the aesthetic status of the photographic image in relation to painting? What is the ontological status of the photograph as a chemical imprint of light? How do these new technologies lend themselves to political action? How is the spectator differently constructed by these technologies? In what way is the still image integral to the moving image-and what implications do these have for our perception of time? What is the new role of the image in mass, consumer culture (subversive or complicit)? How do the formal and technical affordances of the film-based image contribute to the construction of national, race, and gender identities, to spectator desires, and to new aesthetic categories? Readings will be available in German and in English. Class discussion will be in English.
GER 540: Seminar in German Culture and Civilization
3-12 Credits/Maximum of 12
Seminar in German Culture and Civilization
3-12 Credits/Maximum of 12
Examination of special problems in German culture and civilization.
GER 561: German Literature of the 19th Century--From Biedermeier to Realism
German Literature of the 19th Century--From Biedermeier to Realism
Survey of major developments in German literature from the mid- to the late-19th century.
GER 571: German Literature from the Turn of the Century to 1945
German Literature from the Turn of the Century to 1945
Advanced survey of German literature from the era of Naturalism to that of Exile literature.
GER 572: Post-War and Contemporary German Literature
Post-War and Contemporary German Literature
Intensive survey of German literature from Gruppe 47 through the literature of the GDR and down to the present.
GER 581: Topics in Literary Genres
3-12 Credits/Maximum of 12
Topics in Literary Genres
3-12 Credits/Maximum of 12
Special studies in the German lyric, drama, short story, and novel.
GER 582: Topics in Germanic Philology and German Linguistics
3 Credits/Maximum of 12
Topics in Germanic Philology and German Linguistics
3 Credits/Maximum of 12
Special studies of modern or older Germanic languages.
GER 589: Technology in Foreign Language Education: An Overview
Technology in Foreign Language Education: An Overview
Approaches to the uses and research applications of multimedia and other educational technologies applied to the teaching of foreign languages. (also crosslisted with SPAN 589)