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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 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 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 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 2020 : Literary Contexts and Texts: The Myth of 1968
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Students in this intermediate course read and discuss a number of works belonging to different literary genres by major German-speaking authors such as Kafka, Walser, Brecht, Mann, Frisch, Dürrenmatt, Bachmann, and others. They explore questions of subjectivity and identity in modern society, of human existence as existence in language, and of the representation of history in literary texts. Activities and assignments focus on the development of reading competency in different literary genres, the improvement of writing skills including the accurate use of idiomatic expressions, the expansion of students' German vocabulary, and the systematic review of select topics in German grammar.
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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 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 3290 : Mean Streets: German Crime and Detective Fiction
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This class aims at surveying the history and contemporary developments of crime and detective fiction in German. In addition, we will 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. Moreover, the class will also discuss a number of 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, Ernst Bloch, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Bracharz, Raymond Chandler, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Friedrich Glauser, Wolf Haas, Peter Handke, Heinz Werner Höber, Paulus Hochgatterer, Philip Kerr, Georg Klein, Alfred Komarek, Siegfried Kracauer. Cameron McCabe (Ernest Borneman), Georg M. Oswald, Astrid Paprotta, Thomas De Quincey, Ulrich Ritzel, Ferdinand von Schirach, 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: Description
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 4100 : The Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Topic: "Berlin Stories: Urban Life and History". Berlin's central role in the twentieth century makes it a unique place for assessing crucial junctures in the history of modern Germany. This seminar will focus on key moments in Berlin's tumultuous transformation over the course of the twentieth century—the Golden Twenties, the 1960s, and the years around 1989—to examine how narrative conventions and media affect the way we think and write about history and urban life. We will discuss specific ways in which the experience of urban spaces has shaped memory and narrative; the relation between history and storytelling; and the ways in which narrative can help articulate forms of subjectivity and modes of political engagement that are unique to metropolitan life.
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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: Description
GERST 4355 : Siegfried Kracauer: Images and History
Crosslisted as: GERST 6355, ROMS 4350, ROMS 6350 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
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 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 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 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:
Since the 1950s, many of the important poetological reflections by German-speaking authors were produced in the context of lectures upon receiving prizes, at universities or simply in the public sphere.  This course examines 1) changing notions of the author as public intellectual or media figure and the ongoing and evolving relationship between author and society; 2) the intertextual web between these programmatic statements in terms of problems of language; questions of representation, fictionality and documentation; the politics of poetry and prose after 1945; subjectivity and history.  Authors include Gottfried Benn, Paul Celan, Theodor W. Adorno, Ingeborg Bachmann, Hubert Fichte, Christa Wolf, Martin Walser, Durs Grünbein, Rainald Goetz, Ulrich Peltzer, Kathrin Röggla, W. G. Sebald, Feridun Zaimoglu/Ilja Trojanow, Juli Zeh, Ann Cotten.
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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: Description
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 6355 : Siegfried Kracauer: Images and History
Crosslisted as: GERST 4355, ROMS 4350, ROMS 6350 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
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 is derived from the political philosopher Leo Strauss, who provides our initial analytic, methodological, and theoretical model. But we extend it beyond Straussian ideological positions and we include Art unrestricted to Written philosophy and literature, as in 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," and hence "writing between the lines," has a millennial history dating back to archaic times in probably all known cultures. We focus on more recent manifestations across disciplines, periods, and places. Examples include Gramsci (Prison Notebooks), Hegel (as read by Left-Hegelians and by Marx), and Lessing (on the Free Masons), but also Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, and their legacies.
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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:
Bi-weekly workshop series on a range of interdisciplinary topics sponsored by the Institute for German Cultural Studies that include invited speakers to present and discuss their work-in-progress from outside and from within the University.
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