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German and Scandinavian Studies Courses

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses


All courses carry 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

583 Problems and Methods of Teaching German
Introduction to varied methods of teaching a foreign language based on recent developments in the theory of second language acquisition and proficiency-oriented approaches to language learning. Prerequisite: advanced proficiency in German.

584 History of German
Introduction to history of the German language.

585 Structure of German
The phonology, morphology and syntax of German.

597 Special Topics
German Film Studies

An overview of German film history, an introduction to methodology in film studies, and the major contemporary issues in German film studies. Familiarization with resources and methods for teaching a college-level course in German film studies and preparation to undertake graduate research projects in the field. Case studies include “Berlin to Hollywood,” a survey of German film; fascism and film; history and film; the cinema of the German Democratic Republic.

Jews and German Culture
An exploration of antisemitism and philo-semitism from the enlightenment to the post-Holocaust present, alongside a study of Jewish acculturation in the German-speaking lands. Topics include assimilation, dissimilation, Zionism, modernism and Jewish culture in Weimar Germany, and responses to the Holocaust.

1968 and Film Culture
Includes reflection on “40th anniversary” commemorations and current academic study of “1968” as an international cultural phenomenon. Focus on the film culture of the year itself. Topics traced through 1968 film examples include the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the student movement, and struggles over popular culture and media representation.

597 Special Topics in Scandinavian Studies
Nordic Voices: Love and Nature in Scandinavian Writing

Readings, in translation, by writers of the Nordic countries, examining their distinctive view of nature, human love, and their societies’ accommodation of these strong and unpredictable forces. H.C. Andersen, Ibsen, Strindberg, Undset, Hamsum, Dinesen, Laxness, others.

Scandinavian Mythology
The myths and religion of the Scandinavians during the first millennium. Nordic beliefs and stories explored through written sources, archeology, and visual arts. Taught in English.

Ultima Thule: Polar Exploration and the Heroic Imagination
How early polar expeditions were planned, executed, and endured; explorers’ interaction with indigenous populations, especially in Greenland; and the spectacular, dangerous and life-sustaining landscapes today profoundly threatened by global warming.

Vikings and Their Stories: Saga Literature
Readings, in translation, of Old Icelandic sagas—nonfiction narratives about families, battles, and politics in a pre-Christian blood-feud society. Discussed in terms of literary, historical and cultural context.

601 Middle High German
Aims to develop a thorough knowledge of the Middle High German language and to introduce students to medieval literature, culture, and society. Basic MHG phonology and grammar based on selected medieval texts, used to draw some conclusions about the wider context of the Middle Ages and develop a deeper understanding of modern Germany. Knowledge of modern German required. Course conducted in English.

697 Special Topics
Studies in Modern German History

Introduction to the social, cultural, and political history of the German lands from 1750 to the present and an intensive study of the historiography of a period or topic to be decided by the students.

Hölderlin
The poet’s key works as well as the author’s 20th-century reception in scholarship and the arts.

Special Topics in Scandinavian Studies
Viking Revival: National Romanticism and the Nordic Ideal

Interdisciplinary course exploring 19th-century historical consciousness, Darwinism, and the romantic imagination on the development of the “Nordic ideal,” with its disastrous political consequences in the 20th century. Uses literature, art, and music to reflect the way Scandinavians idealized the Vikings, both as part of the Romantic past and the Modernist cult of masculinity, in order to re-imagine themselves in an era of intense nationalism.

699 Master’s Thesis
Credit, 6.

702 Old High German
Grammar and reading of prose and poetry; an introduction to Old High German dialects.

703 Gothic
Grammar and reading of texts, consideration of historical importance of Ulfilas’ biblical translation.

704 Old Norse
Grammar and reading of selections from the Icelandic sagas.

705 Old Saxon
Grammar and reading of selections from the Heliand.

715 The Heroic Epic
The “sources” and stages of development of the Nibelungenlied, the most important heroic epic in German. The meaning of the poem in the context of the early 13th century. How the epic has been understood and used since the 18th century as an instrument of nationalist politics in Germany. Knowledge of modern German very helpful. Course conducted in English.

716 Courtly Lyric Poetry
Introduction to formal study of Minnesang and Spruchdichtung from the Kürenberger to Konrad von Würzburg with emphasis on Walter von der Vogelweide and social and historical context of the period. Prerequisite: GERMAN 601.

717 The Courtly Epic
Comprehensive literary analysis of selected epics by Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gottfried von Strassburg. Prerequisite: GERMAN 601.

718 Narrative and Didactic MHG Literature
Didactic narrative from 11th to 13th century. Prerequisite: GERMAN 601.

742 Lessing
His literary theory in context of his time, his drama.

743 From Empfindsamkeit to Storm and Stress

749 The Classical Goethe
Major works of Goethe’s Weimar period; poetry, drama, fiction.

751 Goethe’s Faust
Comprehensive review of the Faust theme in literature, music, and film, with a thorough analysis of Goethe’s Faust.

752 Schiller
Schiller’s literary and philosophical works.

758 Early Romanticism
Philosophical background and literary works of early Romantic movement.

759 Later Romanticism
Later development of Romanticism from Brentano to Heine, including anti-Romantic tendencies of the time. Eichendorff.

763 19th-Century Poetry and Prose
Poetry by writers such as Heinrich Heine, Eduard Mörike, and Annette von Droste-Hülshoff and prose by writers such as Heinrich Heine and the writers of Biedermeier and Das Junge Deutschland.

764 19th-Century Drama
Kleist, Grillparzer, Büchner, Grabbe, Hebbel.

773 20th-Century Prose I
Early Thomas Mann and his generation.

774 20th-Century Prose II
New trends of fiction after the First World War.

775 20th-Century Drama
From Wedekind to Handke.

779 Post-World War II Literature
Literature in the shadow of the Wall: focus on paired texts of East and West German literature written from the late fifties to 1989, exploring how text is rooted in, supports, critiques, and/or subverts the social order from which it derives and how literary texts from both Germanies responded to similar issues in very different ways.

782 Special Topics in Philology and Medieval Studies

783 Special Topics in the Literature of Classicism

784 Special Topics in the Literature of Romanticism

785 Special Topics in the Literature of the 19th Century

786 Special Topics in the Literature of the 20th Century

793 Expressionism

797 Special Topics
First, Second, Third Sex: Gender and Sexual Identity in Twentieth-Century Germany
Exploration of representation of gender and sexual identity in German literary texts from World War I to the present, situated in their specific historical context.

German Studies/Cultural Studies
Focus on approaches that comprise new interdisciplinary methods under the heading of “German Studies.” Cutting-edge theory and applications, mostly developed in an Anglo-American context, that focus on gender, queer, national, race and ethnic, and postcolonial questions and how these perspectives relate to German cultural production.

888 History and Problems of Literary Criticism

891 Seminar in Philology

892 Seminar in Medieval Literature

893 Seminar in Literature

897 Special Topics

899 Doctoral Dissertation
Credit, 10.