arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences
Search

Current Courses

Sort by: TitleNumber
Filter by:
GERST 1109 : FWS: From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1121 : FWS: Writing Berlin
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1170 : FWS: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
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?
View course details
Description
GERST 1210 : Exploring German Contexts I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1210 : Exploring German Contexts I
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1220 : Exploring German Contexts II
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1220 : Exploring German Contexts II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1230 : Expanding the German Dossier
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 1230 : Expanding the German Dossier
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2000 : Germany: Intercultural Context
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2000 : Germany: Intercultural Context
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2020 : Literary Contexts and Texts: The Myth of 1968
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
1968 marked a turning point in German history. Protesting students upended the social, cultural, and political order with a utopian vision of revolution that ended in a decade-long wave of domestic terrorist violence. This intermediate language course examines four primary texts in four different media (historical fiction, avant-garde film, popular music, multimedia art) that treat the myth of 1968. As we study these texts in historical context, we will expand our oral and written command of idiomatic German through systematic grammar review and enriched vocabulary practice.
View course details
Description
GERST 2040 : Perspectives on German Culture
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2040 : Perspectives on German Culture
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2060 : German in Business Culture
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 2700 : Introduction to German Culture and Thought
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.  
View course details
Description
GERST 3075 : Print Matters
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
German Print Culture from the Medieval to the Modern employs texts and images in the Kroch Rare Books and Manuscripts Library and Herbert Johnson Museum of Art as a prism to study how printing transformed everyday life in German-speaking Europe by making verbal and visual literacy possible for almost any member of society. Thematic units: Book-Making before the Printing Press; The Printing Press and Reformation; Endless War and Serialized Satire; Romanticism and the Birth of Children's Literature; Bourgeois Book Culture and Political Unification; Popular Press and Propaganda. All discussion, readings, and writing in German.
View course details
Description
GERST 3080 : German Life Style Going Digital
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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).
View course details
Description
GERST 3225 : Bestseller
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Who read what, how, and why in the past? Is reading today categorically different? How does globalization affect what is read by many people locally? Is the vast segment of so-called popular literature merely a product of the "culture industry," or could kitsch, for example, be understood as something more subversive? This class investigates the emergence and historically varying constructions of "imagined communities" of German-speaking readers. Looking at examples of bestsellers from Martin Luther to the present, the course offers an overview of literary and cultural history with a focus on: the history of literacy; literary institutions like authorship, publishing houses, libraries, and literary criticism; the (often gendered) differentiation between high and low/mass culture; various print media; genres like the romance novel, SciFi serials, mysteries, and dystopic thrillers.
View course details
Description
GERST 3350 : Kafka in Context: Trials of Modernity
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 3525 : New German Cinema
Crosslisted as: ARTH 3535, PMA 3525, VISST 3535 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 3550 : Political Theory and Cinema
Crosslisted as: COML 3300, GOVT 3705, PMA 3490 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
An introduction (without prerequisites) to fundamental problems of current political theory, filmmaking, and film analysis, along with their interrelationship.  Particular emphasis on comparing and contrasting European and alternative cinema with Hollywood in terms of post-Marxist, psychoanalytic, postmodernist, and postcolonial types of interpretation.  Filmmakers/theorists might include: David Cronenberg, Michael Curtiz, Kathryn Bigelow, Gilles Deleuze, Rainer Fassbinder, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Marleen Gorris, Werner Herzog, Alfred Hitchcock, Allen & Albert Hughes, Stanley Kubrick, Fredric Jameson, Chris Marker, Pier-Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Robert Ray, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, George Romero, Steven Shaviro, Kidlat Tahimik, Maurizio Viano, Slavoj Zizek.  Although this is a lecture course, there will be ample time for class discussions.
View course details
Description
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: Description
GERST 3581 : Imagining Migration in Film and Literature
Crosslisted as: AMST 3581, COML 3580, PMA 3481, VISST 3581 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.   
View course details
Description
GERST 3610 : Fables of Capitalism
Crosslisted as: COML 3542, GOVT 3606 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the stories, literary examples, and metaphors at work in elaborating the modern economic subject, the so-called "homo oeconomicus." We will examine material from Locke, Smith, Defoe, and Mill through Marx, Nietzsche, Brecht, and Weber, up to current the neoliberal subject and its critiques (Foucault, Bataille). The course focuses on narrative and figurative moments in theoretical texts as well as crucial literary sources (novels, novellas, and plays) as they collectively develop the modern economic paradigms of industry, exchange, credit-debt, and interest. The course thus addresses both literary and theoretical sources, particularly the stories and examples told to justify the liberal order as well as its guiding metaphors such as the invisible hand; Schuld as both debt and guilt; investment (in oneself, in one's future); and the intersection of religious and secular economies.
View course details
Description
GERST 4100 : The Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Topic: "At the Borders of Language: German Poetry" The course is based on an historical survey of German poetry. We will examine the conventions and limits of the genre as well as the specific uses of language that German poetry has developed. What mode of saying is involved in lyric poetry? How is it distinguished from the epic and the dramatic genres, respectively? In order to answer these questions, we will closely read a wide array of poets, including such seminal figures as Hölderlin, Goethe, Schiller, Meyer, Trakl, Rilke, Benn, Brecht, Celan, Bobrowski, Bachmann as well as contemporary poets.
View course details
Description
GERST 4245 : Critical Thinking and Literary Methods
Crosslisted as: COML 4995, ROMS 4245 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4260 : The Animal
Crosslisted as: COML 4240, ENGL 4260, GOVT 4279 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4285 : Introduction to Medieval German Literature
Crosslisted as: MEDVL 4285 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4290 : Spinoza and the New Spinozism
Crosslisted as: COML 4090, GOVT 4769, JWST 4790 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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).
View course details
Description
GERST 4370 : Topics in German Philosophy
Crosslisted as: GERST 6241, PHIL 4240, PHIL 6240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Discussion of an advanced topic in German philosophy.
View course details
Description
GERST 4411 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, FREN 4415, GOVT 4786, HIST 4233, JWST 4410, ROMS 4410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
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:
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."
View course details
Description
GERST 4510 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
View course details
Description
GERST 4520 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
View course details
Description
GERST 4530 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4530 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4540 : Honors Thesis
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 4540 : Honors Thesis
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
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:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 5070 : Teaching German as a Foreign Language: Principles and Practices
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 6040 : Tragic Modernity
Crosslisted as: COML 6135 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The tradition of tragic thought has had an enormous impact on theories of modernity. This seminar will explore the ways in which models of the tragic (and tragedy) have influenced the formation and theoretical orientation of disciplines such as literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality studies, performance studies and law. Central questions for inquiry: why does Modernity still refer to prominent figures of Antiquity--such as Antigone and Oedipus--when discussing social--and kinship relations?  How does tragic thought help us articulate fundamental problems of belonging, community, identification, emotional bonds, questions of power and its performative force on stage and in matters of state?  Authors include: Hölderlin, Aristotle, Sophokles, Lessing, Shakespeare, Freud, Heidegger, Butler, Loraux, Derrida, Scheler, Nietzsche, Vernant, Kristeva, Bowlby, Benjamin, Heiner Müller, Botho Strauss. Readings and discussion in English.
View course details
Description
GERST 6131 : German Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4003, PHIL 6030 Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 6160 : Spaces of Literature
Crosslisted as: COML 6130 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 6235 : Intensity: Recent Critical Models
Crosslisted as: COML 6033 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Critical-aesthetic models about the role of art and literature in the search for the  active, good, or just life are increasingly under pressure by the conditions of late capitalism, which assimilates ideas that once promised alternative ways of seeing or being: intensity, (a) liveness, singularity, presentness, fiction, documentation, subversion, even contemporaneity, autonomy, or action/activism have  become norms for self-formation and team-work, for erasing the present by banking on futures. This seminar explores recent critical debates in German-speaking literary and art theory responding to this conundrum, attempting to rethink temporalities; notions of action and passivity; movements and collectives; the tension between autonomy and heteronomy; realism, fiction, facts, and documents. We will also investigate contemporary poetry and theater as major sites of experimentation.
View course details
Description
GERST 6241 : Topics in German Philosophy
Crosslisted as: GERST 4370, PHIL 4240, PHIL 6240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Discussion of an advanced topic in German philosophy.
View course details
Description
GERST 6310 : Reading Academic German I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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.
View course details
Description
GERST 6315 : Posthumanism, Cybernetics, Systems Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 6186, STS 6131 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This graduate course is dedicated to an in-depth exploration of the recent emergence of Posthumanism as a new theoretical paradigm in cultural and literary studies. Hardly a unified theory, Posthumanism draws on a wide variety of precursors and inspirations—in the natural sciences, the philosophy and history of science, the social sciences, and different theory paradigms in the humanities. They all have in common the intention of transcending a worldview that is exclusively premised on human needs and measures. Thus, posthumanist theorizing in the widest sense includes many recent additions to the critical canon, such as eco-criticism and animal studies. It is the underlying hypothesis of this course that much posthumanist thinking is recapitulating—consciously or unconsciously—many of the insights of cybernetics and systems theory, and that tracking this genealogy helps in clarifying the stakes and challenges of posthumanist theory.
View course details
Description
GERST 6320 : Reading Academic German II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Emphasis on development of the specialized vocabulary of student's field of study.
View course details
Description
GERST 6340 : German Romanticism
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
View course details
Description
GERST 6515 : Culture of Weimar and Nazi Germany
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This anchor course focuses on major developments in the literature and culture of the German-speaking countries during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Topics to be discussed include the relationship between high-modernism, the avant-garde, and diverse forms of artistic engagement within the context of mass culture and mass politics; the articulation of gender, class, and racialized dimensions in cultural production and reception; and the challenge to traditional notions of authorship, representation, mimesis, and textuality mounted by the proliferation of text- and image-based mass media. Individual works will be drawn primarily from literature and drama, with a special emphasis placed on key concepts that helped define artistic production at this time (Expressionism, Dada, New Objectivity, Constructivism, montage, reportage, epic theater, etc.).
View course details
Description
GERST 6630 : Nietzsche and Heidegger
Crosslisted as: COML 6630 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This graduate seminar provides a basic introduction to the thinking of Nietzsche and Heidegger, and to the latter's interpretation and appropriation of the former. A major concern is the articulation of philosophy and politics, particularly in the case of Heidegger. We are also interested in the types of argumentation and styles of writing of both thinkers, including in light of the hypothesis that they were working in the ancient tradition of prudent exotericism, viz. that they never wrote exactly what they thought and that they intended their influence to come slightly beneath the level of conscious apprehension. We also consider their impact on the long list of intellectuals across the 'Left-Center-Right' spectrum, including (depending on seminar-participant interest): Adorno, Agamben, Bataille, Badiou, Bourdieu, Butler, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Gadamer, Irigaray, Klossowski, Löwith, Marcuse, Rorty, Leo Strauss, Vattimo, Zupancic.
View course details
Description
GERST 6960 : Rites of Contact
Crosslisted as: COML 6960, NES 6960 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
New forms of German literature emerged in the wake of transnational labor migration, especially after 1989. Taking leave of a sociological model that interprets this literature only in terms of intercultural dialogue, this course juxtaposes prose fiction about cultural contact and critical theories of difference with two primary goals in mind. Students will be introduced to representative examples of contemporary German literatures of migration, and critical modes of conceptualizing cultural contact in Germany will be compared in relation to each other and in tension with the literary field. Focus on German literature of Turkish migration complemented by readings reflecting other transnational phenomena such as postsocialism, postcolonialism, globalization, refugees, world literature.
View course details
Description
GERST 7000 : PIRIP Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
GERST 7000 : PIRIP Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: 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:
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." 
View course details
Description
GERST 7530 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
View course details
Description
GERST 7531 : Colloquium
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
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).
View course details
Description
GERST 7540 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Graduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
View course details
Description
GERST 7541 : Colloquium
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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).
View course details
Description