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German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy

Fall 2014

Graduate Courses - Fall 2014

4 credits.  Intended primarily for graduate students preparing to teach German.  Taught in German; readings are in English and German.
TBA, G. Lischke
Designed to familiarize students with current ways of thinking in the field of applied linguistics and language pedagogy.  Introduces different concepts of foreign language methodology as well as presents and discusses various techniques as they can be implemented in the foreign language classroom.  Special consideration is given to topics such as planning syllabi, writing classroom tests, and evaluating students' performance.  Participants conduct an action research project.


4 credits.  Anchor course. Taught in German.
T 2:30-4:25, E. Siegel
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.

1-4 credits (variable).  Prerequisite: Basic reading (not necessarily speaking) knowledge of German, and permission of instructor.  Open to upper-level undergraduates.
TBA, M. Kosch
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.

GERST 6411/4411 THE HOLOCAUST IN POSTWAR CULTURE (also FREN 4415/6415, GOVT 4786/6786, HIST 4233/6233, ROMS 4410/6410)
4 credits.  
T 2:30-4:25, E. Traverso
There is an astonishing discrepancy between our perception of the Holocaust as a central event of the twentieth century and its marginal place in postwar culture.  It is during those years, nevertheless, that the destruction of European Jews aroused an intellectual debate whose philosophical, political, and literary contributions constitute landmarks for contemporary culture and criticism.  The course will explore the reasons for such a discrepancy, reconstructing the steps of the integration of the Holocaust into our historical consciousness.  It will analyze some of the most significant attempts to think such a trauma made by German-Jewish exiles (Arendt, Adorno, Anders), the survivors of the Nazi camps (Améry, Levi, Celan, Antelme), as well as the public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (Sartre, Bataille, MacDonald, etc.).

GERST 6431/4431 MELANCHOLY LEFT: FROM MARX TO BENJAMIN (also FREN 4435/6435, GOVT 4496/6696, HIST 4234/6234, ROMS 4430/6430)
4 credits.
R 2:30-4:25, E. Traverso
The fall of "real socialism" in 1990 put an end to the experience of twentieth century Marxism.  Its ideas, debates and controversies could be viewed--historicized and revisited--in a different light.  The defeated revolutions of the past century put into question a teleological vision of history, engendering the decline of Marxist historiography and the simultaneous appearance of memory, a previously ignored concept for interpreting the past.  Outlining a symbolic shift from Matrx to Benjamin, this change has a melancholic favor that permeates many expressions of contemporary Left culture (from movies and autobiographies to historical and philosophical essays).  On the other hand, the emergence of Postcolonialism reopened the debate on the Eurocentric roots of Marx's thought and stimulated a new approach to some classical Marxist thinkers and historians such as Gramsci and L. L. R. James.  Taking into account both classical and contemporary texts, the seminar will analyze a reconfigured relationship between history and memory in the Left culture of our post-utopian age.

W 2:30-4:24, P. Gilgen
After having been reduced to a mere ideological formation of bourgeois origin, aesthetics has recently made a strong comeback in the field of theory.  This course probes the reasons for this historical change.  From the arguments of the critics we will derive a catalogue of criteria for a viable aesthetics in order to examine how contemporary aesthetic theory relates to cognitive theories, the historicity of art and taste (including specific practices and institutions), and the emancipatory potentials of ethics and politics.  Readings may include Adorno, Berger, de Bolla, Bourdieu, Noël Carroll, Cavell, Danto, Derrida, Dickie, Eagleton, Goodman, Guillory, Gumbrecht, Halsall, Luhmann, Lyotard, de Man, Walter Benn Michaels, Obrist, Ohmann, Scarry, Seel, Shustermann, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Williams and others.

4 credits.  Prerequisite: reading knowledge of German and English.
R 2:30-4:25, L. Adelson
New forms of German literature have been emerging for decades in the wake of transnational labor migration, and these innovations have only intensified since 1989.  Departing from an anachronistic sociological model that long interpreted this literature in terms of intercultural dialogue, this course juxtaposes prose fiction about cultural contact and critical theories of difference with two primary goals in mind.  1) Students will be introduced to representative examples of contemporary German literatures of migration, an aesthetic phenomenon whose scope, significance, and sophistication have New forms of German literature have been emerging for decades in the wake of transnational labor grown much faster than the critical resources used to address it.  2) Critical modes of conceptualizing cultural contact in Germany will be explored and compared, methodologically in relation to each other and analytically in tension with the literary field.  A primary focus on German literature of Turkish migration will be complemented by literary and analytical readings reflecting other transnational phenomena such as postsocialism, postcolonialism, globalization, and world literature.  Literary selections include works by authors such as Aras Ören, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Senocak, Kemal Kurt, Feridun Zaimoglu, Berkan Karpat, Doron Rabinovici, Barbara Honigmann, Maxim Biller, TORKAN, Sherko Fatah, Galsan Tschinag, Yoko Tawada, José Oliver, Zsuzsa Bánk, Christoph Hein, Urs Widmer, and Orhan Pamuk.  Course participants must possess excellent reading knowledge of German and English; discussion conducted in English.  Graduate-student status required; exceptions require instructor approval.

1-4 credits.  Prerequisite: permission of instructor.  Hours to be arranged.  Staff.

1-4 credits.     
F 3:00-5:00, P. Fleming 


Special Interest Courses for Graduate Students

3 credits. Intended for graduate students with no prior experience in German.  This course only offered in Fall.     
MWF 9:05-9:55, S. Klemm
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 only.