110, 120 Elementary German (both sem)
Dialogues, reading selections from print and electronic sources, and grammar exercises for basic communication, a good understanding of the fundamentals of German grammar, and an introduction to the traditions and institutions of the German-speaking countries. For those with no previous training in German. German 110 or equivalent is prerequisite to German 120.
126 Intensive Elementary German (6 cred)
Accelerated, one semester language course for students who want intensive practice in grammar and acquiring basic speaking skills and who have had no previous training in German. Vocabulary quizzes, chapter tests, final. Equivalent of German 110 and 120.
230, 240 Intermediate German (both sem)
Literary and expository texts as well as audio-visual materials prepare students to read and discuss German fiction and non-fiction with understanding and enjoyment. Review of the chief aspects of German grammar. Stresses improvement of reading facility and vocabulary with continued practice in speaking and writing. Prerequisite for 230, German 120 or equivalent; for 240, German 230 or equivalent. German 240 fulfills the Humanities and Fine Arts Language requirement.
246 Intensive Intermediate German (6 cred)
A thorough review of grammar, reading and discussion of texts; emphasis on the cultural background of German-speaking countries. Equivalent of German 230 and 240. German 246 fulfills the Humanities and Fine Arts Language requirement.
285 Language Suite Conversation (both sem) (2 cred, with additional 1-cred Honors option)
Designed as part of the living-learning community in Thatcher Language House. Improves knowledge of the German language with emphasis on oral skills. Builds vocabulary, develops ability to understand and communicate more freely by focusing on social and cultural issues. (Fall 2009 Course Site: http://blogs.umass.edu/lktaylor/)
297A Crusades and the Image of Islam
The medieval Crusades and the image of Muslims and Islam in early historiography, theology, and literature, such as The Song of Roland, St. Bernard and Arabic accounts. How European views of Islam and the East contributed to European expansionism and self-definition. Conducted in English.
304 German Film: From Berlin to Hollywood (Gen. Ed.: AT)
A survey of prewar German cinema, including works of great directors who emigrated to the U.S., such as Lang, Murnau, and Lubitsch, followed by the Nazi cinema, post-war cinema in both German states, and in the international media context since German reunification. Conducted in English.
310, 320 Advanced German I, II
Expansion of vocabulary and extensive practice in speaking and writing, grammar review as needed. Prerequisite for 310, German 240 or equivalent; for 320, German 310 or equivalent.
311 Reading German Culture
Introductory course to increase reading comprehension and fluency. Selected literary texts, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisite: German 240 or equivalent.
341 Early German Culture (Gen. Ed.: HS)
A broad survey of medieval to early modern German social and cultural history of music, art, architecture and literature, including The Nibelungenlied and Hildegard von Bingen. Conducted in English.
365 Berlin: Global City
Berlin has long been a hub of musical, filmic, and literary activity. Since the fall of the Wall and Berlin’s reinstatement as the German capital, the city has led efforts to shape a new national identity and culture. Ongoing discussions about Germany’s ‘Leitkultur’—its so-called hegemonic culture—emanate in large measure from the metropolitan center. And yet, Berlin is also home to the country’s largest migrant population, and remains what it has long been: a city of varied cultural influences. In this course, we will examine how these cultural influences manifest themselves in the arts. In particular, we will focus on how Berlin is represented as a global city with connections to other cultural contexts, concentrating primarily on the city’s migrant and minority voices since the postwar period, specifically the last two decades. Course materials cover short stories, poems, and novel excerpts by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Wladimir Kaminer, and May Ayim, rap, jazz, and soul songs by Miss Platnum, Orientation, and Aziza-A, and documentary films such as Neukölln Unlimited. Furthermore, we will engage with festivals and art projects, like Placemaking, Carnival of Cultures and 1989 Global Histories. Finally, secondary sources from various disciplines–historical overviews and essays on migration, multiculturalism, globalization and transnationalism as well as theoretical texts on key concepts such as ethnicity, race, and national identity–will also be incorporated. In addition to becoming familiar with Berlin’s broad variety of cultural productions, students will—with Berlin as a case study—investigate the relationship between culture and society in general.
370 19th-Century German Thought: Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Luxemburg, and Freud (Gen. Ed.: I)
Introduction in English to leading German thinkers of the 19th century, mainly Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, with emphasis on philosophical rather than economic or psychological aspects and on the overall continuity of development. Readings from each. Majors required to read certain texts in German.
375 Hitler's Myth
Historical, political, economic, and cultural development of National Socialism and its consequences, World War II, and the Holocaust. Readings supplemented by films. Conducted in English.
377 Politics and Culture
East and West Germany in the 1970s: Surveillance, Fear, and Terror? Democracy, Freedom, and Feminism? This course is designed as an introductory seminar to German Cultural Studies. After a brief introduction to methodology and theory and the Post WWII history and the two German states, the course will focus on the 1970s, a time described in recent political and cultural theory as a time of crisis and contradiction. Conducted in English.
379 Germany Today (Gen. Ed.: I)
In this class we will examine historical, political, social and cultural developments, movements, and transformations in Germany since reunification. We will discuss key events and topics such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, Holocaust memory and memorialization, the GDR past, reunification, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and how these are reflected upon and represented in literature, film, exhibits, memorials, and the media. In addition to the primary sources course materials will include secondary sources on German history, politics, and culture. Conducted in English.
380 Weimar Germany Society and Culture
Germany between WWI and the Nazi takeover, 1919-1933. This class presents an interdisciplinary approach drawing on secondary sources in history and urban and cultural studies, as well as primary sources of various types. Beginning with a basic historical overview, the course then looks at various aspects of Weimar society and culture, including: the aftershocks of war; the Republic as laboratory of democracy; changing social definitions: lifestyle, gender, class, work; poverty, criminality and nationalism; art in society. Conducted in English.
391D Sounds of Germany: From Mozart to Rammstein
French intellectual Jacques Attali wrote “[T]he world is not for the beholding. It is for hearing. It is not legible, but audible.” In this course we will examine the interrelation between music, culture, and society from the late 18th century until the present. Music will be studied in relation to constructions and representations of gender, ethnicity, and the nation within the German context. We will listen to and discuss musical pieces from diverse genres such as opera, Lieder, rock, rap, punk, metal and pop. In addition to the music itself, course materials will include films and theoretical texts on the cultural study of music. Conducted in English.
391G German Studies Junior Seminar (Honors section available)
This course is designed to introduce majors to a range of issues and approaches central to contemporary German and Scandinavian Studies, while focusing on upper-level writing and analytic skills. We will explore how this interdisciplinary field of study approaches events and artifacts of modern history and art. At the same time, we will develop the writing and analytic skills required to handle advanced study of complex social, historical and creative subject matter. Fulfills Junior Year Writing Requirement with one credit add-on. Conducted in English. Honors section available.
In this lecture-discussion course we will read and discuss IN German some of Goethe's many late 18th and early 19th century examples of prose, poetry, and drama [excluding Faust = German 412] ranging from the 1774 European literary sensation Die Leiden des jungen Werthers to the enigmatic Novelle of 1828, with selected Sturm und Drang poems (1770-75) and the dramas "Egmont" and "Iphigenie auf Tauris" in between (1775-87). There will be related opportunities for literary comparisons and other interdisciplinary ventures for extra credit (as Honors or Independent Study projects) on an individual basis. We will collectively treat some of these works with an 'eye' [seeing that fall 2006 is already the 5th 'anniversary' of 9-11 (2001...)] toward Goethe's lifelong fascination with all things 'middle eastern' and particularly his later interest in 'semi-reciprocal west-eastern' influences as well as his concept of 'Weltliteratur.' All of these aspects are intriguingly manifested in the consummate poems and inter-cultural 'essays' of his "West-östlicher Divan (1819)," which is also part of my own ongoing research and could provide some [modestly funded] hourly editorial work for an interested and motivated student.
The literature of German Romanticism in the context of German society and culture at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries.
425 Advanced Composition, Translation, and Conversation
Continuation of 310 and 320. Emphasis on writing German (translation into German and free composition). Prerequisite: German 320 or equivalent.
432 Brecht and Modern Drama
Twentieth-century drama in German, concentrating on Bertolt Brecht, his principal plays and theory (epic theater, estrangement). Post-World-War-II dramatists mainly in relation to tradition created by Brecht: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Peter Weiss, and some works from East Germany (e.g. Heiner Müller). Prerequisites: German 311 and 310, or equivalent.
433 20th-Century Prose
Authors writing in German include some of the most important of the 20th Century, from Freud and Kafka to Nobel Prize winners. A wide range of figures grappled with the central issues of the age: war, violence and the Holocaust; industrialization, urbanization and the fragmentation of modern identity. Yet innovations in style and critical engagement with European traditions have produced works of profound beauty and world influence. A range of short prose will be treated, with student writing focused on analysis of style in relation to cultural debates of the century. Texts from such authors as Freud, Mann, Kafka, Brecht, Benjamin, Tucholsky, Seghers, Wolf, Grass, Biermann and more contemporary figures representing the increasing diversity of culture in Germany since reunification. Requirements: discussion and presentation; journal and short papers.
497G Readings in Old Saxon (1 cred)
An introduction to the Old Saxon language (its phonology, morphology, and syntax) and to Old Saxon literature. Our focus will be on the Heliand, a Germanic version of the Christian Gospels.
597A Old Norse
This course is a basic introduction to the language of the Vikings and of the Old Norse sagas and Eddas. By the end of the semester, students will have acquired a basic reading knowledge of Old Norse. No prior knowledge of Old Norse or of modern Icelandic is required.
584 The German Language
The origins and history of the German language, its relation to the Indo-European language family, particularly in relation to English. Prerequisite: German 240 or equivalent.
585 Structure of German
The course is an introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of modern German intended for all students of German. Conducted in English
190A Hans Christian Andersen: Tales, Plays, and Prose
A representative sampling from Andersen's tales. Some of the author's lesser-known poems, plays, novels, travel books. All readings and discussion in English.
265 Scandinavian Mythology (Gen. Ed.: AL) 4 credits
The evolution from primitive, shamanistic ritual to the sophisticated, multifaceted cosmology of the Vikings. Emphasis on the various aspects of mythology during the first millennium A.D. The myths and legends associated with members of the Nordic pantheon through written sources, archaeological evidence, and findings in the field of comparative mythology. Conducted in English.
297A Hans Christian Andersen
The Little Mermaid is one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time. -- But did you know that the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen also wrote novels, poems, works for the stage, travel books, and autobiographies? This course offers students a unique opportunity to gain a fuller appreciation of Andersen the artist. Conducted in English.
376 Vikings and Their Stories: Saga Literature (Gen. Ed.: AL) 4 credits
Readings (in translation) of selected Old Icelandic sagas, whose content and energized style emerged during the first European expansion toward the west. These early "westerns" are excitingly told and will be discussed as regards the stories themselves and in their historical and cultural framework. Conducted in English.
397A Tales for a Dark Winter Night
Who killed the hated Latin teacher? How does chronic hunger affect the mind? Why was the dwarf so intent on murder? What did the birds say? – The answers to these, and many other, intriguing questions are found in the novels of Scandinavia’s master spinners of tales of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Knut Hamsun, Pär Lagerkvist, Halldor Laxness, Hans Scherfig and more. Conducted in English.
397B Humor and Social Satire in Scandinavian Literature
Scandinavian authors have always delighted in puncturing inflated egos and in caricaturing absurdly pompous individuals. And the cradle-to-grave welfare state offers a large target at which authors take gleeful aim as they parody governmental bureaucracy. Students will sample the writings of some of the most representative of the authors who delight in exposing society’s shortcomings. All readings and class discussions are in English. -- The instructor is not responsible for sudden attacks of uncontrollable laughter in or outside of the classroom! Conducted in English.
397C The Dramas of Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg
Norway’s Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) and Sweden’s August Strindberg (1849-1912) were modern Scandinavia’s most important dramatists. Ibsen’s realistic social dramas influenced writers like Gerhard Hauptmann, G. B. Shaw, and Arthur Miller, and Strindberg’s innovative (often surreal) dramas exerted a major influence on both naturalistic and expressionistic theater. Together, the legacy of Ibsen and Strindberg continues to resonate on stages around the world. In this course we will read a representative sampling of works by each author (including Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, A Doll’s House, and Ghosts and Strindberg’s The Father, Miss Julie, and A Dream Play). All readings and discussions will be in English. There are no prerequisites.
391P Mystery, Murder and Mayhem in Scandinavian Fiction and Film
Examines 20th- and 21st-century novels and films that deal with death and/or violence, and are mysterious in different ways. Before the 1970s violent crimes were very rare in Scandinavia, and issues raised by them were primarily individual rather than social—i.e., vengeance, guilt, reconciliation. Scandinavian society has been changing rapidly since then, and the unsolved assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986 seemed to herald an end of innocence for the region, only to be underscored by the mass shooting of teenagers by Anders Behring Breivik in 2011. Since the end of the Cold War there have been new examinations of Scandinavia’s role in World War II, the welfare state, challenges of immigration, and Scandinavian participation in international trade and crime syndicates. We look at these periods and issues, as well as at fiction and film as artistic genres, and the ways they have changed with the times.
391P Ultima Thule: Polar Exploration and the Heroic Imagination
The quest to reach the Polar regions a century ago was inspired not only by scientific interest in the planet’s last unconquered frontiers, but by a sense of adventure and nationalist competition, in which Scandinavians were prominent players. We will examine the way early polar expeditions were planned, executed and endured. We’ll also examine the ways indigenous populations, especially in Lapland and Greenland, live in these spectacular and dangerous landscapes, which today are profoundly threatened by global warming, as different countries again compete for dominance in the Far North.
397H Viking Revival: National Romanticism and the Creation of a Nordic Ideal (Gen. Ed.: AL) 4 credits
An interdisciplinary course exploring the 19th-century revival of the Viking image, using literature, philosophy, music, and the visual arts to trace the motif as an expression of nationalism ca. 1800-1914. One course objective is to introduce major Scandinavian cultural figures such as H. C. Andersen, Kierkegaard, Ibsen, Sibelius, and Edvard Munch in their cultural contexts. Another is to reflect on what forms of Nordic identity were indigenous in Scandinavian history and culture, to what degree they did/did not resemble the ideal later appropriated by German race-mythologists, and what the differences might mean.
110, 120 Elementary Swedish I, II
Introduction to Swedish for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Reading, speaking, and writing emphasized. Swedish 110 or equivalent is prerequisite for Swedish 120.
126 Accelerated Elementary Swedish
Accelerated, one semester language course for students who want intensive practice in grammar and acquiring basic speaking skills and who have had no previous training in Swedish. Vocabulary quizzes, chapter tests, final. Equivalent of Swedish 110 and 120. Students who complete this course are ready for Swedish 230 (Intermediate Swedish I) or Swedish 246 (Accelerated Intermediate Swedish).
230, 240 Intermediate Swedish I, II
Vocabulary, grammar, discussion, readings, speaking practice. Some cultural and historical background. Weekly essays in Swedish. Prerequisites: Swedish 110 and 120 for Swedish 230, or Swedish 230 for Swedish 240 or consent of instructor.
246 Accelerated Intermediate Swedish
A thorough review of grammar, reading and discussion of texts; emphasis on the cultural background of Sweden and Swedish-speaking Finland. Equivalent of Swedish 230 and 240. Swedish 246 fulfills the Humanities and Fine Arts Language requirement.
397A, 397B Advanced Swedish I, II
Expansion of vocabulary with practice especially in writing and speaking. Grammar review as needed. Introduction to Swedish literature, film, and music focusing on a theme followed through the semester. Prerequisite: Swedish 240 for 397A, or Swedish 397A for 397B, or instructor's permission.