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GERST 1109 : FWS: From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
How did bawdy tales of peasants using magic to climb the social ladder get transformed into moral lessons for children?  The answer lies in Romanticism and its appropriation of the imagination as a force for social transformation.  As Romantics edited older tales for juvenile consumption they wrote new ones for adults. This new fiction created the matrix for modern pop genres like fantasy, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and gothic horror.  To understand this paradigm shift in modern culture, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts the Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and academic scholarship on the topic.
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GERST 1109 : FWS: From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
How did bawdy tales of peasants using magic to climb the social ladder get transformed into moral lessons for children?  The answer lies in Romanticism and its appropriation of the imagination as a force for social transformation.  As Romantics edited older tales for juvenile consumption they wrote new ones for adults. This new fiction created the matrix for modern pop genres like fantasy, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and gothic horror.  To understand this paradigm shift in modern culture, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts the Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and academic scholarship on the topic.
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GERST 1118 : FWS: Let's Play!
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Why do we play games and why do we have fun with them? What makes us winners and losers? This course will explore various approaches to games and humans at play. We will try to understand why people play and why they prefer some games to others. Interdisciplinary in nature, the class will offer readings from areas of sociology, psychology, history, mathematics, and cultural studies (just to name a few). By reading and analyzing and playing with Nabokov, Hesse, Zweig, Berne, Huizinga, and Schenkel we will make connections between games, national identity, gender, class, and intelligence, and will construct arguments about various scholarly and fictional written and cinematic texts.
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GERST 1118 : FWS: Let's Play!
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Why do we play games and why do we have fun with them? What makes us winners and losers? This course will explore various approaches to games and humans at play. We will try to understand why people play and why they prefer some games to others. Interdisciplinary in nature, the class will offer readings from areas of sociology, psychology, history, mathematics, and cultural studies (just to name a few). By reading and analyzing and playing with Nabokov, Hesse, Zweig, Berne, Huizinga, and Schenkel we will make connections between games, national identity, gender, class, and intelligence, and will construct arguments about various scholarly and fictional written and cinematic texts.
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GERST 1170 : FWS: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
A basic understanding of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is a prerequisite for participating in critical debates in the humanities and social sciences. Our seminar will explore key terms in the revolutionary models of critical analysis these thinkers pioneered: historical materialism, post-metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis.  This will mean articulating points of contrast as well as convergence.  Discussions and writing exercises will focus on texts that created the discursive framework for critiquing society and culture today.  Our method will proceed from the premise that critical reading, thinking, and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique.  The question that guides that method will be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we view as natural, inevitable, or universal?
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GERST 1170 : FWS: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A basic understanding of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is a prerequisite for participating in critical debates in the humanities and social sciences. Our seminar will explore key terms in the revolutionary models of critical analysis these thinkers pioneered: historical materialism, post-metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis.  This will mean articulating points of contrast as well as convergence.  Discussions and writing exercises will focus on texts that created the discursive framework for critiquing society and culture today.  Our method will proceed from the premise that critical reading, thinking, and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique.  The question that guides that method will be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we view as natural, inevitable, or universal?
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GERST 1210 : Exploring German Contexts I
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Students develop basic abilities in listening, reading, writing, and speaking German in meaningful contexts through interaction in small group activities. Course materials including videos, short articles, poems, and songs provide students with varied perspectives on German language, culture, and society.
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GERST 1210 : Exploring German Contexts I
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students develop basic abilities in listening, reading, writing, and speaking German in meaningful contexts through interaction in small group activities. Course materials including videos, short articles, poems, and songs provide students with varied perspectives on German language, culture, and society.
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GERST 1220 : Exploring German Contexts II
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Students build on their basic knowledge of German by engaging in intense and more sustained interaction in the language. Students learn more advanced language structures allowing them to express more complex ideas in German. Discussions, videos, and group activities address topics of relevance to the contemporary German-speaking world.
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GERST 1220 : Exploring German Contexts II
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students build on their basic knowledge of German by engaging in intense and more sustained interaction in the language. Students learn more advanced language structures allowing them to express more complex ideas in German. Discussions, videos, and group activities address topics of relevance to the contemporary German-speaking world.
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GERST 1230 : Expanding the German Dossier
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Students continue to develop their language skills by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world. The focus of the course is on expanding vocabulary, reviewing major grammar topics, developing effective reading strategies, improving listening comprehension, and working on writing skills. Work in small groups increases each student's opportunity to speak in German and provides for greater feedback and individual help.
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GERST 1230 : Expanding the German Dossier
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students continue to develop their language skills by discussing a variety of cultural topics and themes in the German-speaking world. The focus of the course is on expanding vocabulary, reviewing major grammar topics, developing effective reading strategies, improving listening comprehension, and working on writing skills. Work in small groups increases each student's opportunity to speak in German and provides for greater feedback and individual help.
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GERST 2000 : Germany: Intercultural Context
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Students examine important aspects of present-day German culture while expanding and strengthening their reading, writing, and speaking skills in German. Materials for each topic are selected from a variety of sources (fiction, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet). Units address a variety of topics including studying at a German university, modern literature, Germany online, and Germany at the turn of the century. Oral and written work and individual and group presentations emphasize accurate and idiomatic expression in German. Successful completion of the course enables students to continue with more advanced courses in language, literature, and culture.
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GERST 2000 : Germany: Intercultural Context
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students examine important aspects of present-day German culture while expanding and strengthening their reading, writing, and speaking skills in German. Materials for each topic are selected from a variety of sources (fiction, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet). Units address a variety of topics including studying at a German university, modern literature, Germany online, and Germany at the turn of the century. Oral and written work and individual and group presentations emphasize accurate and idiomatic expression in German. Successful completion of the course enables students to continue with more advanced courses in language, literature, and culture.
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GERST 2020 : Literary Contexts and Texts: The Myth of 1968
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
1968 marked a turning point in German history. Protesting students upended the social, cultural, and political order with a utopian vision of revolution that ended in a decade-long wave of domestic terrorist violence. This intermediate language course examines four primary texts in four different media (historical fiction, avant-garde film, popular music, multimedia art) that treat the myth of 1968. As we study these texts in historical context, we will expand our oral and written command of idiomatic German through systematic grammar review and enriched vocabulary practice.
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GERST 2040 : Perspectives on German Culture
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course aims at sharpening your awareness of personal and cultural subjectivity by examining texts in a variety of media against the backdrop of cultural, political, and historical contexts.  We will focus on improving your oral and written expression of idiomatic German by giving attention to more sophisticated aspects of using enriched vocabulary in a variety of conversational contexts and written genres. Materials will include readings in contemporary prose, newscasts, research at the Johnson Art Museum, and interviews with native speakers on a topic of contemporary cultural relevance.
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GERST 2040 : Perspectives on German Culture
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course aims at sharpening your awareness of personal and cultural subjectivity by examining texts in a variety of media against the backdrop of cultural, political, and historical contexts.  We will focus on improving your oral and written expression of idiomatic German by giving attention to more sophisticated aspects of using enriched vocabulary in a variety of conversational contexts and written genres. Materials will include readings in contemporary prose, newscasts, research at the Johnson Art Museum, and interviews with native speakers on a topic of contemporary cultural relevance.
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GERST 2060 : German in Business Culture
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Learn German and understand German business culture at the same time.  This is a German language course that examines the German economic structure and its major components: industry, trade unions, the banking system, and the government.  Participants will learn about the business culture in Germany and how to be effective in a work environment, Germany's role within the European Union, the importance of trade and globalization, and current economic issues in Germany.  The materials consist of authentic documents from the German business world, TV footage, and a Business German textbook.
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GERST 2700 : Introduction to German Culture and Thought
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Big names, Big ideas, and Big events are associated with German culture and thought: Luther, Faust, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Mozart, Beethoven, Kant, Hegel, Goethe, Einstein, Kafka and Thomas Mann; Enlightenment; World Wars and Reunification; European Union, and Migration and Refugees:  In this course, we shall cover the broad spectrum of both the long tradition of German culture and thought, and examine the wide range of political, literary, sociological, and artistic topics, themes, and questions that are of urgent contemporary concern for Germany, Europe, and beyond. Guest lecturers will introduce you to the wide and exciting field of German Studies. Topics include: the age of enlightenment; literatures of migration and minorities; avant-garde art; philosophy, aesthetics, and critical theory; Weimar and War; Holocaust and its Aftermath; film and media; genres of literature: novel, novella, short story, lyric poetry, anecdote, autobiography; literature and politics; literature and the environment; digital humanities and literatures/fictions of cyber space. In addition, this course will introduce you to the techniques of critical analysis and writing. Authors include among many others: Goethe, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Adorno, Freud, Kafka, Kluge, Marx, Thomas Mann, Rilke, Goetz.  
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GERST 3070 : Challenge of Literary Language
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Why do literary texts insist on bending (and even breaking) the rules that govern everyday language? Could we improve our mastery of colloquial German by accepting literature's challenge and investigating how it manipulates language in unconventional ways?  We'll take an inductive approach to answering these questions by engaging in close and sustained textual analysis of poetry, prose, and plays that fascinate as well as frustrate.  The course is designed to help you transition to advanced study in German, so we will also learn the terminology of poetics, rhetoric, and genre as we practice creating the oral and written texts (Referate und Seminararbeiten) that form the core of any seminar in Germanistik.
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GERST 3080 : German Life Style Going Digital
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this course, we will encounter German culture of today in and through Web 2.0. No technical knowledge is required since, in the process, a solid base of knowledge concerning the use of media will be constructed. This knowledge will then be applied practically through discussing aspects of German culture visible in the WWW. The highlight of the course will be an intercultural encounter with a German Class from the University of Osnabrück using Web 2.0 applications. In the produced content, students will become part of the Web 2.0 in German through an intercultural discussion of German life visible in the World Wide Web (WWW).
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GERST 3215 : Performance Theater & Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
With Schiller's famous treatise on the stage as moral institution, the theater starts to fullfil a moral, pedagogical, public task. The landscape of German theater is unique because of a political commitment to (and subsidies for) this, the maybe most social art form. The course will explore the particular history of German theater and the texts that form its aesthetic and theoretical basis (Schiller, Brecht). How does the form of the drama change with historical and political changes (from identification or catharsis to alienation and participation)? How does theater change when not "text" but "performance" becomes a focus, pushing against the 4th wall, and spilling onto the streets? Authors/performers include: Friedrich Schiller, Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek, Kathrin Röggla, Christoph Schlingensief, René Pollesch, She She Pop, LIGNA, Geheimagentur, Rimini Protokoll.  
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GERST 3290 : Mean Streets: German Crime and Detective Fiction
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This class surveys the history and contemporary developments of crime and detective fiction in German. In addition, we may read a number of theoretical reflections on the figure of the detective, the history of police detection, and the literary crime and detective genre(s). The historical development of, and theoretical reflections on, the crime genre in the Anglo-Saxon world will serve as points of comparison. We may also discuss relevant movies and radio plays, investigate their relation to "literature," and analyze the specificity of each medium as well as its representational affinity with crime and detection. The readings will for the most part be in German and may include such authors as Gilbert Adair, Richard Alewyn, Friedrich Ani, Jakob Arjouni, Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Bloch, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Bracharz, Raymond Chandler, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Friedrich Glauser, Wolf Haas, Peter Handke, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Paulus Hochgatterer, Philip Kerr, Georg Klein, Alfred Komarek, Siegfried Kracauer, Ross MacDonald, August Gottlieb Meißner, Astrid Paprotta, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas De Quincey, Ulrich Ritzel, Ferdinand von Schirach, Friedrich Schiller, Hansjörg Schneider, Martin Suter, Jan Costin Wagner.
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GERST 3515 : Cinema of the Weimar Republic
Crosslisted as: PMA 3514, VISST 3515 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course introduces the cinema of the Weimar Republic (1918-33), a golden age of German cinema comparable to the classical Hollywood era. During this period, the German film industry developed a variety of influential aesthetics, from the Expressionism of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to the New Objectivity of Berlin – Symphony of a Metropolis. Situating the classic films, directors, and stars of the Weimar era within the cultural upheavals of the period, we will discuss the aftereffects of WWI; representations of class and gender; discourses of nature and technology; relationships between aesthetics, spectatorship, and politics; and processes of industrialization, urbanization, and globalization. Students without experience in film studies are welcome—the course will also double as an introduction to discussing and analyzing film.
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GERST 3545 : Screening the Middle Ages
Crosslisted as: COML 3113, MEDVL 3545, PMA 3545, VISST 3545 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Today, the legacy of the Middle Ages can be found everywhere, from the game of chess to Game of Thrones, the parliament to the university, the Crusades to the Vikings, the nostalgia for tradition to the very concept of modernity. This course explores the function of the medieval past through the lens of modern visual culture, as part of an emerging field known as "Medievalism." Along with readings of classic theories of Medievalism (Huizinga, Balázs, Panofsky, Bazin, McLuhan, Eco), screenings will put auteur films (Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc, Bergman's Seventh Seal, Kurosawa's Ran) in dialogue with popular culture (from Monthy Python to A Knight's Tale) in order to raise the question of a Global Middle Ages.  
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GERST 3580 : Nineteenth Century Philosophy
Crosslisted as: PHIL 3250 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Survey of nineteenth century philosophy.
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GERST 3590 : Kant
Crosslisted as: PHIL 3230 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
An intensive study of the metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of the Critique of Pure Reason. Some editions of the course may also consider Kant's ethical views as laid out in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and related works.
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GERST 3620 : Introduction to Critical Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 3541, ENGL 3920, GOVT 3636 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Shortly after the last election, The New Yorker published an article entitled "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump was Coming." This course examines what the Frankfurt School knew by introducing students to Critical Theory, beginning with its roots in the 19th century (i.e., Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche) and then focusing on its most prominent manifestation in the 20th century, the Frankfurt School (e.g., Kracauer, Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse), particularly in its engagement with politics, society, culture, and literature (e.g. Brecht, Kafka, and Beckett).  Established in 1920s at the Institute for Social Research, the assorted circle of scholars comprising the Frankfurt School played a pivotal role in the intellectual developments of post-war American and European social, political, and aesthetic theory: from analyses of authoritarianism and democracy to commentaries on the entertainment industry, high art, commodity fetishism, and mass society. This introduction to Critical Theory explores both the prescience of these diverse thinkers for today's world ("what they knew") as well as what they perhaps could not anticipate in the 21st century (e.g., developments in technology, economy, political orders), and thus how to critically address these changes today.
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GERST 4100 : The Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This seminar explores 1) how texts try to move; how they attempt to create or shape (artistic, political) movements, 2) how texts attempt to capture political movements. We will study flyers and leaflets (the first mass medium in the 15th century), manifestos, and theses from Luther via Marx and Engels and the First Women's Movement, to the New Social Movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the end of the GDR. What rhetorical means are employed to provoke, and inflame? Is there an art of the manifesto? What programs and positions are proposed (and were these realized in the course of history)? How do these 'small forms' displace the difference between "text" and "context" which implies a clear dividing line between writing and history?
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GERST 4210 : Existentialism or Marxism
Crosslisted as: COML 4251, GOVT 4015, ROMS 4210 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The most intense public encounter between Existentialism and Marxism occurred in immediate post-WWII Europe, its structure remaining alive internationally. Existentialist questions have been traced from pre-Socratic thinkers through Dante, Shakespeare, and Cervantes onward; just as roots of modern materialism extend to Epicurus and Lucretius, or Leopardi. This course will focus on differing theories and concomitant practices concerned with "alienation," "anxiety," "crisis," "death of God," "nihilism," "rebellion or revolution." Crucial are possible relations between fiction and non-fiction; also among philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. Other authors may include: Althusser, de Beauvoir, Beckett, Büchner, Camus, Che, Dostoevsky, Fanon, Genet, Gide, Gramsci, O. Gross, Hamsun, Heidegger, Husserl, Jaspers, C.L.R. James, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Lagerkvist, Lacan, Lenin, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Mishima, G. Novack, Nietzsche, Ortega, Pirandello, W. Reich, Sartre, Shestov, Tillich, Unamuno. There is also cinema.
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GERST 4220 : Technologies of Verse
Crosslisted as: COML 4413, ROMS 4225, VISST 4221 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Poems disrupt the flow of reading. In so doing, rather than rendering them transparent, they call attention to their media – often the page or voice. This course will examine the experimental writing techniques of a set of German, French, and English poets from the 18th -20st centuries as they explored the potentialities of the media technologies that were innovative in their time, including books, radios, magazines, pre-cinematic devices. What kinds of reading techniques did these new poetic forms initiate? What were the political implications of the readability or audibility of the formats, materials, and technologies mediating verse vis a vis the publics they include and exclude? Poets include Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Stéphane Mallarmé, Charles Baudelaire, Ingeborg Bachmann, and the Dada and Oulipo movements.
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GERST 4355 : Images and History:Siegfried Kracauer
Crosslisted as: GERST 6355, HIST 4235, HIST 6235, JWST 4350, ROMS 4350, ROMS 6350 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
As an outstanding figure of critical theory in the twentieth century, Siegfried Kracauer left an astonishingly rich body of work spanning literature and the sociology of mass culture, film criticism and the philosophy of history.  The common thread that runs through his prismatic works is the conception of image as a key for interpreting life, society and history.  This seminar will reconstitute and analyze his intellectual trajectory from the Weimar Republic to his exile in New York, reading several fundamental texts, from his early essays on photography and dance to his more known theoretical works (From Caligari to Hitler, Theory of Film, and History: The Last Things Before the Last.)  It also will inscribe Kracauer into a historical context and an intellectual constellation shaped by his correspondence and friendship with other illustrious Jewish-German exiles, from Theodor W. Adorno to Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch to Erwin Panofsky.
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GERST 4375 : The Holocaust/History Writing
Crosslisted as: FREN 4375, FREN 6375, GERST 6375, HIST 4237, HIST 6237, ROMS 4370, ROMS 6370 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In the last decades, "Holocaust Studies" witnessed an extraordinary expansion, covering different fields of scholarship, from history to literature, from philosophy to aesthetics.  This seminar will retrace the major steps of Holocaust history writing.  It will analyze the classical debates between "intentionalism" and "functionalism," the discrepancies between the analytical approaches focused on the perpetrators and those focused on the victims, the inscription of the Holocaust into the broader context of war violence, and its comparison with the genocidal violence of colonialism.  Finally, it will investigate some methodological problems concerning the place of testimony in history writing and the permanent connections, both fruitful and problematic, between history and memory.  This means taking into account the entanglement of the most productive areas of Holocaust scholarship (Germany, France and the United States) as well as the relationship between the historiography of the Holocaust and other disciplines (memory studies, postcolonial studies, etc.).
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GERST 4413 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 6413, JWST 4913, JWST 7913, NES 4913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death  is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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GERST 4510 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 4520 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 4530 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The Reading Course is administered by the director of the honors thesis.  It carries 4 hours credit, and may be counted towards the work required for the German Major.  The reading concentrates on a pre-determined topic or area. Students meet with their honors advisor about every two weeks throughout the term.  Substantial reading assignments are given, and occasional short essays are written.
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GERST 4530 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The Reading Course is administered by the director of the honors thesis.  It carries 4 hours credit, and may be counted towards the work required for the German Major.  The reading concentrates on a pre-determined topic or area. Students meet with their honors advisor about every two weeks throughout the term.  Substantial reading assignments are given, and occasional short essays are written.
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GERST 4540 : Honors Thesis
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The thesis is to be written on a subject related to the work done in GERST 4530.  A suggested length for the thesis is 50-60 pages.
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GERST 4540 : Honors Thesis
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The thesis is to be written on a subject related to the work done in GERST 4530.  A suggested length for the thesis is 50-60 pages.
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GERST 5070 : Teaching German as a Foreign Language: Principles and Practices
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Designed to familiarize students with current thought and theories in the field of applied linguistics and language pedagogy.  Introduces different models of foreign language methodology and presents and discusses various practices for the foreign language classroom.  Special consideration is given to topics such as language acquisition phases, planning syllabi, creating tasks, designing classroom tests, and evaluating students' performance.  Participants conduct an action research project.
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GERST 6070 : Prose of the World: 19th C. Letters
Crosslisted as: COML 6894, ROMS 6070 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This seminar takes as its theoretical starting point Hegel's notion of the "prose of the world" to describe the modern age, and the 19th c in particular—an age no longer defined by the exception and heroes, but by the ascent of the average man, market forces, efficiency, industriousness, usefulness, and the regular rhythms of bureaucratic life and institutions. In opposition to the poetic-heroic, one now has the prosaic-common giving form to life's expression. We will explore theoretical investigations of "the prose of the world" (e.g., Moretti, Lukacs, Auerbach), the rise of social statistics, and crucial novels and novellas of the 19th c by authors such as Keller, Stifter, and Fontane in the European context of Dickens, Balzac and Flaubert.  
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GERST 6090 : Poetologies & Dramaturgies After 1945
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Novelists, poets, and dramatists have reflected on the act of writing and poetic practice for centuries. Since the 1950s, though, public reflections on literary work have become essential to the performance of authorship in new ways. Often at award ceremonies or on a constantly growing circuit of university lectures, German-speaking authors (have to) theorize practice. This seminar will explore contemporary literature through the lens of various emerging poetologies and dramaturgies, focusing on topics like: authorship after the 'death of the author,' art and society, subjectivity and realism, individual and collective, language and representation, fact and fictionality. Authors include Ingeborg Bachmann, Gottfried Benn, Paul Celan, Ann Cotton, Dietmar Dath, Hubert Fichte, Rainald Goetz, Ernst Jandl, Elfriede Jelinek, Alexander Kluge, Friederike Mayröcker, Thomas Meinecke, Ulrich Peltzer, Monika Rinck, Kathrin Röggla, Yoko Tawada, Feridun Zaimoglu.
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GERST 6131 : German Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4003, PHIL 6030 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Reading, translation, and English-language discussion of important texts in the German philosophical tradition. Readings for a given term are chosen in consultation with students.
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GERST 6131 : German Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4003, PHIL 6030 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading, translation, and English-language discussion of important texts in the German philosophical tradition. Readings for a given term are chosen in consultation with students.
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GERST 6175 : Empathy: Affects and Sociality in Literature and Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 6136 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Examination of affects at the intersections of aesthetics, ethics, politics, philosophy and psychoanalysis.  Points of inquiry: how are social feelings of empathy, solidarity and identification evoked in literature? Do we encounter different forms of empathy according to genre, type of narrative, social structures and historical context? How do literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis describe, support, nourish, undermine or construct concepts of sociality and social life with others? What affects are outside the social realm? What are the emotive forces of tragedy and trauma in theory and fiction?  Authors include: Aristotle, Burke, Lessing, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger, Freud, Massumi, Goethe, Kleist, Balzac, Kafka, Walser, Thomas Mann, Dostojewsky.
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GERST 6310 : Reading Academic German I
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course emphasizes the acquisition of reading skills in German, using a variety of prepared and authentic texts.  The follow-up course, GERST 6320 , Reading Academic German II, is offered in the spring.
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GERST 6320 : Reading Academic German II
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Emphasis on development of the specialized vocabulary of student's field of study.
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GERST 6355 : Images and History: Siegfried Kracauer
Crosslisted as: GERST 4355, HIST 4235, HIST 6235, JWST 4350, ROMS 4350, ROMS 6350 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
As an outstanding figure of critical theory in the twentieth century, Siegfried Kracauer left an astonishingly rich body of work spanning literature and the sociology of mass culture, film criticism and the philosophy of history.  The common thread that runs through his prismatic works is the conception of image as a key for interpreting life, society and history.  This seminar will reconstitute and analyze his intellectual trajectory from the Weimar Republic to his exile in New York, reading several fundamental texts, from his early essays on photography and dance to his more known theoretical works (From Caligari to Hitler, Theory of Film, and History: The Last Things Before the Last.)  It also will inscribe Kracauer into a historical context and an intellectual constellation shaped by his correspondence and friendship with other illustrious Jewish-German exiles, from Theodor W. Adorno to Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch to Erwin Panofsky.
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GERST 6375 : The Holocaust/History Writing
Crosslisted as: FREN 4375, FREN 6375, GERST 4375, HIST 4237, HIST 6237, ROMS 4370, ROMS 6370 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In the last decades, "Holocaust Studies" witnessed an extraordinary expansion, covering different fields of scholarship, from history to literature, from philosophy to aesthetics.  This seminar will retrace the major steps of Holocaust history writing.  It will analyze the classical debates between "intentionalism" and "functionalism," the discrepancies between the analytical approaches focused on the perpetrators and those focused on the victims, the inscription of the Holocaust into the broader context of war violence, and its comparison with the genocidal violence of colonialism.  Finally, it will investigate some methodological problems concerning the place of testimony in history writing and the permanent connections, both fruitful and problematic, between history and memory.  This means taking into account the entanglement of the most productive areas of Holocaust scholarship (Germany, France and the United States) as well as the relationship between the historiography of the Holocaust and other disciplines (memory studies, postcolonial studies, etc.).
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GERST 6413 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 4413, JWST 4913, JWST 7913, NES 4913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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GERST 6610 : Fictions of Law: Literature, Philosophy, and Culture in the Long 18th Century
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the profound cultural and social changes that took place during the Enlightenment and their aftermath as reflected in German literature and philosophy. The main focus will be on the decay of old European norms and the establishment of new normative frameworks in the wake of the intensified functional differentiation of society that marks the 18th century. During this period, rule following and deviance are foregrounded in literature, ethics, and legal theory. Questions concerning the legitimacy of political change and revolution lead to a new understanding of the law; the state and society; the conscience of the individual; and the role of education and the arts.
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GERST 6760 : Alexander Kluge, the Writer
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Multi-medial archaeologist of violent pasts and quirky ambassador for better futures, Alexander Kluge first mixed historical documentary and experimental fiction in the 1960s. Best known for New German Cinema, social theory, and innovative television, he has published several thousand "new stories" since 2000. Focusing on old and new narrative fictions in tension with the author's work in other media, this seminar: 1) introduces students to Kluge's literary oeuvre and 2) explores formal aspects of his writing in relation to critical theories of time, history, labor, utopia, science fiction, the public sphere, and more. Readings are exemplary rather than comprehensive. Students must possess good reading knowledge of German and English and have high tolerance for quirks and quarks.  
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GERST 6780 : Persecution and the Art of Writing
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6780, COML 6661, GOVT 6785, JWST 6780 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Our title derives from the political philosopher Leo Strauss, who provides our initial analytic, methodological, and theoretical model. We extend beyond Straussian ideological positions to include art unrestricted to written philosophy and literature, namely: painting, music, cinema, and Reason of State. Persecution (via censorship or heterodoxy) is understood as being both externally imposed and internalized. "The double rhetoric" or "esotericism," hence "writing between the lines," has its millennial history since archaic times. After discussing practices (from before Plato to Machiavelli, Spinoza, Bayle, Toland, Swift) we focus on recent techniques of "concealing messages" across disciplines, periods, places. Examples include Lessing (on Free Masons), Hegel (as read by Left-Hegelians and by Marx), Gramsci (Prison Notebooks); also Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, Carl Schmitt, Strauss, Dickinson, and their legacies.  
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GERST 7000 : PIRIP Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor: Description
GERST 7000 : PIRIP Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
GERST 7530 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 7531 : Colloquium
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The course consists of a bi-weekly workshop series focusing on a range of interdisciplinary topics and sponsored by the Institute for German Cultural Studies (IGCS). Speakers include prominent scholars in the field of German Studies (understood in a wide, interdisciplinary sense) and advanced graduate students, who discuss their work-in-progress based on pre-circulated papers. Besides attending the workshops, course participants meet with the instructor for two additional sessions devoted to pursuing the ties between the topics and disciplinary fields showcased by the speakers and the students' own work. The course is thus intended both as a survey of disciplinary approaches in German and Humanities Studies and as a framework that allows graduate students to hone professional skills (presenter and panel respondent, newsletter contributor, etc).
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GERST 7540 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 7541 : Colloquium
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course consists of a bi-weekly workshop series focusing on a range of interdisciplinary topics and sponsored by the Institute for German Cultural Studies (IGCS). Speakers include prominent scholars in the field of German Studies (understood in a wide, interdisciplinary sense) and advanced graduate students, who discuss their work-in-progress based on pre-circulated papers. Besides attending the workshops, course participants meet with the instructor for two additional sessions devoted to pursuing the ties between the topics and disciplinary fields showcased by the speakers and the students' own work. The course is thus intended both as a survey of disciplinary approaches in German and Humanities Studies and as a framework that allows graduate students to hone professional skills (presenter and panel respondent, newsletter contributor, etc).
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