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German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy

Fall 2015

Graduate Courses - Fall 2015

GERST 5070 TEACHING GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES (CA-AS)
4 credits.  Intended primarily for graduate students preparing to teach German and undergraduate students interested in deeper understanding of language study and teaching.  Taught in German; readings are in English and German.
          TBA, G. Lischke
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.

GERST 6190 INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS THEORY (also COML 6185)
4 credits.
          R 2:30-4:25, P. Gilgen
Niklas Luhmann's systems theory is one of the great theoretical edifices of the last few decades.  Ostensibly a sociological theory, Luhmann's work arguably has had its most disruptive, and most enduring, influence in the humanities.  On the basis of his Introduction to Systems Theory, this course will provide a thorough examination of Luhmann's theoretical edifice and its theoretical building blocks, such as Talcott Parsons's systems theory, Heinz von Foerster's second-order cybernetics, George Spencer Brown's "calculus of decision," Gregory Bateson's theory of information, and Humberto Maturana's concept of autopoiesis.  In addition, we will trace the development of Luhmann's own theory and analyze closely several of Luhmann's other texts, such as Observations of Modernity, Ecological Communication, Love as Passion, and The Reality of the Mass Media.

GERST 6260 NUREMBERG
4 credits.  Anchor course for the 16th century.
          M 2:30-4:25, A. Groos
An introduction to Nuremberg in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with emphasis on its significance as an early modern urban center.  Topics include the city's development and social structure, pre- and post-Reformation attempts to fashion its image and history, public spectacle and imperial entries, literary and artistic humanism (Celtis and Dürer), social order and social conflict (Fastnachtsspiel, anti-Semitism) constructions of gender and marginal figures.  The last part of the course will deal with the reception of early modern Nuremberg from Goethe through the Romantics, including Wagner.

GERST 6310 READING ACADEMIC GERMAN I
3 credits.  Intended for graduate students with no prior experience in German. 
          MWF 9:05-9:55, W. Krieger
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.

GERST 6370 19th-CENTURY FICTION: THE REALIST PROJECT
4 credits.  Anchor course.
          W 2:30-4:25, A. Schwarz
Examination of programmatic concepts of Poetic Realism in literature and theory.  Special focus on the relationship between aesthetic theory and literary production (Hegel, Vischer, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche).  Course will discuss the tension between the "prosaic" and "poetic" by investigating the status of topics such as "love," "adventure," and domesticity; suburban and garden spaces; the aesthetization of "work" and the "reality" of industrialization.  Further attention will be paid to artistic developments that anticipate literary periods such as Naturalism, Expressionism and the Avant-garde.  Questions of nationalism, science, and generic issues will be discussed in comparison to European developments of Realism.  Seminar will also focus on contemporary re-elaborations of the Realist project: in relation to psychoanalysis, narrative theory, and current theories of memory, community, and spatial structures (architectonic or mnemonic).  Authors include: Hegel, Vischer, Tieck, Keller, Droste-Hülshoff, Freytag, Fontane, Schmidt, Meyer, Raabe, Nietzsche, Freud, Stifter, Storm.

GERST 6420 OPERATIC STATES: IMAGINING COMMUNITY IN MUSIC-DRAMA (also MUSIC 7223)
4 credits.             
          T 1:25-4:25, A. Groos
This seminar will explore how states and communities are represented in opera from the eighteenth century to the end of World War II.  Discussions will begin with representations of the absolutist state in baroque opera, examining its preoccupation with paradigms of good and bad rulership before turning to attempts in operas such as Die Zauberflöte and Fidelio to imagine implications of the absolutist legacy for civil society and the emerging bureaucratic state.  Other sessions will be devoted to nineteenth-century opera, focusing on responses to the French Revolution and the changing role of the masses and "the people" (Grand opéra, Wagner), before turning to the years immediately before and during World War II, ranging from the Zeitoper of the 1920s to alternative musical universes (Strauss) or Viktor Ullmann's König von Atlantis, composed in Theresienstadt concentration camp.

GERST 6850 GRAMSCI and CULTURAL POLITICS (also COML 6850, GOVT 6750)
          4 credits.T 2:30-4:25, G. Waite
The modern or postmodern, and increasingly global, capitalist system rules by overt violence and coercion in tandem with what Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) called the "non-coercive coercion" of "cultural hegemony."  This seminar has two basic aims: to introduce the basic political, theoretical, historical, and cultural writings of Gramsci  (which also requires attention to his main sources, e.g., Croce, Dante, Lenin, Marx, Machiavelli); and then to trace main directions of the Gramscian legacy in philosophy, political theory and practice, and cultural theory and practice (notably filmmaking).  This legacy includes the works of Aijaz Ahmad, Louis Althusser, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Norberto Bobbio, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Pier-Paolo Pasolini.  Our main primary texts will be Gramsci's pre-prison Writings, selections from his prison notebooks, and his letters from prison.

GERST 7530 INDEPENDENT STUDY
1-4 credits.  Prerequisite: permission of instructor.  Graduate student status.  
          Hours to be arranged.  Staff.
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.

GERST 7531 COLLOQUIUM
1-4 credits.
          F 3:00-5:00, P. Fleming
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.