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German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses - Fall 2017

GERST 5070 TEACHING GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
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 6070 PROSE OF THE WORLD: 19TH C. LETTERS (also COML 6894, ROMS 6070)
4 credits. Taught in English.  All texts available in English. 
          T 2:30-4:25, P. Fleming
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.

GERST 6090 POETOLOGIES & DRAMATURGIES AFTER 1945
4 credits.  Anchor course. Taught in German. 
          M 2:30-4:25, E. Siegel
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.

GERST 6131 GERMAN PHILOSOPHICAL TEXTS (also PHIL 6030)
1-4 credits, variable. Taught in English. Prerequisite: basic reading (not necessarily speaking) knowledge of German. 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 6175 EMPATHY: AFFECTS AND SOCIALITY IN LITERATURE AND THEORY (also COML 6136)
4 credits. Taught in English. 
          R 2:30-4:25, A. Schwarz
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.

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

GERST 6355/4355 SIEGFRIED KRACAUER: IMAGES AND HISTORY (also ROMS 4350/6350)
4 credits. 
          M 2:30-4:25, E. Traverso
As an outstanding figure of critical theory in the twentieth century, Siegfried Kracauer left an astonishingly rich work spanning from literature to the sociology of mass culture, from film criticism to the philosophy of history.  The common thread that runs through his prismatic works is the conception of image as a key for penetrating an 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, from Ernst Bloch to Erwin Panofsky.

GERST 6780 PERSECUTION AND THE ART OF WRITING (also ARTH 6780, COML 6661, GOVT 6785, JWST 6780)
4 credits. 
          W 2:30-4:25, G. Waite
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.

GERST 7530 INDEPENDENT STUDY
1-4 credits.  Permission of instructor required.  Enrollment limited to graduate students. 
          Hours to be arranged.  Staff.
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.

GERST 7531 COLLOQUIUM
2 credits. 
          F 2:30-4:25, P. Gilgen
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).