This is the first half of a yearlong course for students who are beginning the study of German or who have had only minimal exposure to the language. The first semester introduces students to the German language in all four modalities: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The work includes practice (in class, in scheduled review sessions with an apprentice teacher, and using an online workbook) in understanding and using the spoken language. Written exercises and elementary reading materials completed outside class serve as a basis for vocabulary-building and in-class discussion and role-plays. Students also will write four short essays on familiar topics over the course of the semester. During the second semester there is more advanced practice in the use of the spoken and written language, and we will use short fictional and authentic cultural texts in order to develop techniques of reading. The class meets four and one-half hours per week with the professor, and an additional three hours per week with an apprentice teacher. Offered every fall semester.
This first-semester middle-level course is designed to develop German reading, writing, and speaking skills beyond GERM 111Y-112Y. We will use a grammar text for reviewing and expanding upon aspects of German grammar from the first year. We will apply this review as we read short literary and journalistic texts, as we gain a basic understanding of films in the original German, and as we converse in German with a partner or in groups. These texts and films will serve as a point of departure for short compositions as well. Keeping a diary in German also is an integral component of the course. An apprentice teacher or language assistant will conduct a fourth weekly meeting, in addition to the three regular classes. Prerequisite: GERM 111Y-112Y or equivalent. Offered every fall semester.
In this course, we will explore a wide array of topics in contemporary German culture to provide advanced students with the opportunity to strengthen their abilities to write, read and speak German. Topics may include the impact of reunification on contemporary Germany, religious life and popular music. Textbooks and/or articles from the current press in German-speaking countries, films, other media and websites may provide material for conversation and composition. Students will develop fluency in German to perform linguistically and culturally appropriate tasks. The composition component will seek to improve the ability to write clearly and coherently in German. To foster these goals, the course also will provide a review of advanced grammatical structures. This course can be repeated for credit up to 1.0 Kenyon unit. Prerequisite: GERM 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Offered every fall semester.
Some of the greatest masterpieces of German literature thematically explore family relationships, harmonious or dysfunctional. In this course, we will look at images of the family in German and Austrian literature and film. Three masterworks from the Age of Goethe will be juxtaposed with novels, short fiction and films from the early and late 20th century. Schiller's Intrigue and Love, Goethe's Elective Affinities and Heinrich von Kleist's Earthquake in Chile provide surprisingly different approaches to the family theme in the earlier period. Discussion of these works will provide a basis for exploring later texts, such as excerpts from Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks, Kafka's shorter works The Metamorphosis and The Judgment, and Thomas Bernhard's 1986 novel Extinction, which shares with Kafka's texts the outsider status of its protagonist within his family. Films may include Fritz Lang's silent movies based on the Nibelungen myth, Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne and Juliane, and Tom Tykwer's The Princess and the Warrior. We will analyze these works from different perspectives--for example, family history as a mirror for economic development (Mann), the family in the face of terror (Schiller, Kleist, von Trotta), and the juxtaposition of family intimacy with totalitarian power (Schiller). We will trace connections among different family images while also exploring theoretical considerations, such as the influence of the family theme on narrative structure. All readings and discussion will be in German. Prerequisite: GERM 325 or equivalent. Permission of instructor possible for students who have completed GERM 321. Normally offered every other year.
This course will examine the construction of national identity through the medium of film. For Germany, which historically looked to its writers to define its national identity, film became a very important medium for expressing this goal. In addition to a basic understanding of the terms and methods used in the formal description of film, this course provides students with the sociohistorical background to be able to understand and evaluate the role that films played in both shaping and reflecting German cultural ideals from the early 20th century through the present. The majority of films viewed in this course will represent three distinct historical epochs: (1) the Weimar period, which produced some of the greatest silent films ever made, such as Nosferatu, The Golem, Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse; (2) the Nazi period, which resulted in the artistically unequaled propaganda film The Triumph of the Will, as well as examples of Hollywood-inspired Nazi propaganda films such as Jew Süss; and (3) the post-World War II period, for which we will view films made by members of the New German Cinema, like Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun, Werner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, and Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders. Finally, we will view a number of films that represent a reaction of sorts to the New German Cinema, such as the (anti-) war film Das Boot, as well as recent works by female filmmakers such as Margarethe von Trotta (Rosenstraße), Dorris Dörrie (Men) and Vaness Jopp (Forget America). No prerequisite. The course will be conducted in English. The course may be taken for credit toward the German major; students should consult with the instructor regarding requirements for German credit. Normally offered every two to three years.