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GERST 1109 : FWS: From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Douglas McBride
Jacy Tackett
Juan-Jacques Aupiais
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 1121 : FWS: Writing Berlin
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Ekaterina Pirozhenko
Germany's capital is a city that constantly reinvents itself. This course will offer a glimpse into Berlin's rich history in the 20th and 21st centuries—from the rise of the metropolis during the Weimar Republic to the rubble after WWII to today's multifaceted, multicultural, forward-looking capital. We will explore points of view, images, and perceptions of Berlin and its people in the literary productions of writers such as Siegfried Kracauer, Alfred Döblin, Kurt Tucholsky, Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Monika Maron, Wladimir Kaminer, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and Kathrin Röggla. We will discuss changing identities (nation, class, gender, and ethnicity, for example), consult works of literary critics and scholars, practice attentive reading and writing, and learn to construct evidence-based arguments of our own.
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GERST 1170 : FWS: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Patrizia McBride
Mariaenrica Giannuzzi
Jette Gindner
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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Grit Matthias Phelps
Sophia Leonard
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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Gunhild Lischke
Daniel Friedman
William Krieger
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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sander Oosterom
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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Douglas McBride
Soren Larsen
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 2040 : Perspectives on German Culture
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Leigh York
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 2019 Instructor:
Gunhild Lischke
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 3013 : German Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC)
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Julius Lagodny
This 1-credit optional course aims to expand the students' vocabulary, and advance their speaking and reading skills as well as enhance their knowledge and deepen their cultural understanding by supplementing non-language courses throughout the University.
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GERST 3080 : German Life Style Going Digital
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Grit Matthias Phelps
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 3350 : Kafka in Context: Trials of Modernity
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Anette Schwarz
Focus on Kafka's literary, theatrical, political, historical, religious, personal and intellectual environment and its impact on his literary productions. Topics of discussion include: the individual versus hierarchical systems (state, law, bureaucracy);  the individual and the arts (music, theater, literature); writing between life and death; finding a home in language; the animal in the human; the body between pain and pleasure; writing between wars. Seminar will also explore Kafka's enormous impact on modern film, drama and literature. Readings include his short stories and one novel.
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GERST 3525 : New German Cinema
Crosslisted as: ARTH 3535, PMA 3525, VISST 3535 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Erik Born
This course introduces the New German Cinema (1962-85), an influential movement of West German filmmakers including Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Alexander Kluge, Margarethe von Trotta, and Wim Wenders. Like the French New Wave, the New German Cinema is known not only for grappling with the nation's complex history, but also for experimenting with early multimedia forms. Watching the movement's celebrated films and reading its controversial texts, we will discuss the complex search for national identity after World War II; problems of authorship, genre, and cinematic traditions; and the changing conceptions of media and the public sphere. Students without experience in film studies are welcome—the course will also double as an introduction to discussing and analyzing film. Screenings in German with English subtitles.
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GERST 3561 : Freud and the Invention of Psychoanalysis
Crosslisted as: COML 3781, FGSS 3651, FREN 3560, ROMS 3560, STS 3651 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Tracy McNulty
Psychoanalysis considers the human being not as an object of treatment, but as a subject who is called upon to elaborate an unconscious knowledge about what is disrupting her life, through analysis of dreams, symptoms, bungled actions, slips of the tongue, and repetitive behaviors.  Freud finds that these apparently irrational acts and behavior are ordered by the logic of the fantasy, which provides a mental representation of a traumatic childhood experience and the effects it unleashes in the mind and body-effects he called drives.  As "unbound" energies, the drives give rise to symptoms, repetitive acts, and fantasmatic stagings that menace our health and sometimes threaten social coexistence, but that also rise to the desires, creative acts, and social projects we identify as the essence of human life.  Readings will include fundamental texts on the unconscious, repression, fantasy, and the death drive, as well as case studies and speculative essays on mythology, art, religion, and group psychology.  Students will be asked to keep a dream journal and to work on their unconscious formations, and will have the chance to produce creative projects as well as analytic essays.
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GERST 3581 : Imagining Migration in Film and Literature
Crosslisted as: AMST 3581, COML 3580, PMA 3481, VISST 3581 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Leslie Adelson
Sabine Haenni
What role should imaginative arts play in debates about transnational migration, one of the principal factors re-shaping community and communication today?  Focusing on literature and film from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with primary examples drawn from Germany, France and the United States—in relation to Turkey, Hungary, Tunisia, Iran, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and Japan—this course explores how creative arts rework the fabric of social life affected by migration.  Seminar-style discussion of assigned readings and viewings, with occasional lectures on other arts and regions.  Thematic units organized around key concepts such as borders and movement, ethnoscapes and citizenship, reading and viewing, labor and leisure, cityscapes and place-making, mediascapes and personhood, lawfulness and illegality, language and speech, art and perception.   
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GERST 4245 : Critical Thinking and Literary Methods
Crosslisted as: COML 4995, GERST 6245, ROMS 4245 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Paul Fleming
This seminar offers a systematic introduction to methods of literary interpretation from Romanticism to the present, with a particular emphasis on the German roots of hermeneutics and critical thought. At stake is the formation and development of literary criticism around 1800 with Schleiermacher's "universal hermeneutics" and Friedrich Schlegel's notions of the fragment and irony. The two main trajectories the seminar follows are: the hermeneutic-interpretative tradition beginning with Schleiermacher, proceeding through Dilthey, Nietzsche, and Freud, and ending with Gadamer's epochal work Truth and Method. The second trajectory addresses the Critical Theory in the guise of Marx, Lukacs, Kracauer, Adorno, and Benjamin. Finally, we will look at critical thought today in Germany and its two most influential representatives: Kittler and Luhmann.
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GERST 4260 : The Animal
Crosslisted as: COML 4240, ENGL 4260, GOVT 4279 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Peter Gilgen
In recent years literary representations and philosophical discussions of the status of the animal vis-à-vis the human have abounded.  In this course, we will track the literary phenomenology of animality.  In addition we will read philosophical texts that deal with the questions of animal rights and of the metaphysical implications of the "animal."  Readings may include, among others, Agamben, Aristotle, Berger, the Bible, Calvino, Coetzee, Darwin, Derrida, Descartes, Donhauser, Gorey, Haraway, Hegel, Heidegger, Herzog, Kafka, Kant, La Mettrie, de Mandeville, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Ozeki, Rilke, Schopenhauer, Singer, Sorabji, Sterchi, Stevens, de Waal, Wittgenstein, Wolfe.  A reading knowledge of German and French would be helpful.
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GERST 4285 : Introduction to Medieval German Literature
Crosslisted as: GERST 6285, MEDVL 4295 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Erik Born
This course introduces the canon of medieval German literature: lyric poetry (Minnesang), Arthurian romance (Gottfried's Tristan, Wolfram's Parzival, Hartmann's Iwein), and the heroic epic (Nibelungenlied). With a focus on twelfth-century courtly culture, we will investigate medieval problems of form, genre, and representation, as well as post-medieval approaches to materiality, hermeneutics, and textuality. Our larger questions, centering on the controversial concept of medieval alterity, will address the contested legacy of the Middle Ages in German modernity.
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GERST 4290 : Spinoza and the New Spinozism
Crosslisted as: COML 4090, GOVT 4769, JWST 4790 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Geoffrey Waite
Spinoza was excommunicated, wrote under death threats, and has remained a scandal to philosophy, psychoanalysis, politics, ethics, literature. "Every philosopher has two philosophies, his own and Spinoza's" (Bergson); and "the savage anomaly" (Negri) exerted profound influence on Marx, Nietzsche, Freud. We will introduce Spinoza and his legacy, from the "atheism controversy" in the eighteenth century to today's "New Spinozists," who have been developing anti-Kantian and anti-Hegelian formulations of burning contemporary questions. With Spinoza, we ask: "What is freedom, and whose power does it serve?" (Leo Strauss)-especially if "The new world system, the ultimate third stage of capitalism is for us the absent totality, Spinoza's God or Nature, the ultimate (indeed perhaps the only) referent, the true ground of Being in our time" (Jameson).
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GERST 4411 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, COML 6415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 6411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 4410, JWST 6415, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Enzo 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).
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GERST 4473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4473, ANTHR 7473, GERST 7473, JWST 4473, JWST 7473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School."
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GERST 4520 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elke Siegel
Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 4530 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elke Siegel
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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elke Siegel
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 4635 : Authority and Anti-Authority: Kafka and Genet
Crosslisted as: COML 4622, ROMS 4635, ROMS 6635, SHUM 4635, SHUM 6635 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Aaron Schuster
A far-reaching distrust and crisis of authority seems to be coextensive with the European Enlightenment and modernity—but what is authority? Amidst the different attempts at definition and classification, at least one thing is certain: our relation to authority is never simple and straightforward, but is the site of intense fantasmatic activity, mixing guilt, defiance, respect, resentment, terror, justice, and love. The word itself is highly evocative, and part of its power lies in the halo of images and meanings it conjures. Our investigation of the problem of authority will be guided by two great writers of the twentieth century, rarely read together, Franz Kafka and Jean Genet.
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GERST 6160 : Spaces of Literature
Crosslisted as: COML 6130 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Anette Schwarz
The seminar will examine how space is represented in literary texts and pursue the question whether literary language can be connected to spatial features that are unique to prose, poetry and other poetic discourses. We shall review the tradition of literary representations of space by discussing topics such as "the aesthetics of space," "landscape-and garden architecture," "the sublime," "the relationship between corporeality and external worlds," "space and memory/commemoration," "distinctions between space, place, locale, psychic and physical spaces." Ranging from antiquity to contemporary literary and theoretical texts the seminar will approach "space" as a phenomenon that changes its shape with changing analytical or poetic approaches while simultaneously changing the shape of the inquiring or representing discourse. Other guiding questions will be: does literature take on spatial forms? Is poetic language dependent on spatial orientation? Does literature create space? Literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis will be the disciplinary spaces under discussion. Readings include Aristotle, Plato, Longinus, Kant, Goethe, Hölderlin, Novalis, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Stifter, Nietzsche, Benn, Heidegger, Freud, Rilke, Bernhard, Bachelard, Blanchot.
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GERST 6245 : Critical Thinking and Literary Methods
Crosslisted as: COML 4995, GERST 4245, ROMS 4245 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Paul Fleming
Description
GERST 6285 : Introduction to Medieval German Literature
Crosslisted as: GERST 4285, MEDVL 4295 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Erik Born
Description
GERST 6320 : Reading Academic German II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Dunham
Gunhild Lischke
Emphasis on development of the specialized vocabulary of student's field of study.
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GERST 6340 : German Romanticism
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Geoffrey Waite
This graduate seminar introduces major authors, themes, and problems in European--also German--literature, philosophy, art, and critical theory from ca. 1770 to 1830. This, our own, legacy includes: Europe and North America (including Haiti) between and in revolutions. Writers thus include: Toussaint L'Ouveture, Kleist, the Schegel brothers, Fichte, Schelling. Also Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Novalis, etc. So-called secondary literature includes: Marx and Engels on the "German ideology"; Lukács on the "flight from reality" and "Romantic philosophy of life: Novalis"; Freud on the "uncanny"; Heidegger on "the other beginning" and the "essence of human freedom" (in Hoelderlin, also in Schelling and Nietzsche); Adorno on "parataxis" (in Hoelderin); Balibar (on the "internal border" in Fichte); Paul de Man (on the "rhetoric of romanticism"); Lacoue-Labarthe& Nancy (on the "literary absolute," following W. Benjamin);"the absorption of the subject" in painting (M. Fried); the "war machine" (Deleuze & Guattari); and the "crisis of reproduction" (Althusser)--the latter also involving not only sexuality and class struggle in all known forms, but also reading and seeing, feeling, thinking and acting.
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GERST 6411 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, COML 6415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 4411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 4410, JWST 6415, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Enzo 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).
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GERST 7000 : PIRIP Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Paul Fleming
Description
GERST 7473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4473, ANTHR 7473, GERST 4473, JWST 4473, JWST 7473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School." 
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GERST 7540 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Peter Gilgen
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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GERST 7541 : Colloquium
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Patrizia McBride
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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