Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

GRMN 0101 - Beginning German      

Beginning German
Geared toward quick and early proficiency in comprehension and free expression. Grammatical structures are practiced through group activities and situational exercises (e.g., role-playing games and partner interviews). Active class participation by students is required and will be counted toward the final grade. Since this is an integrated approach, there will be laboratory assignments but no special drill sections. Classes meet five times a week. Students take GRMN 0102 as their winter term course. 5 hrs. sem. LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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GRMN 0102 - Beginning German Continued      

Beginning German Continued
This course is the intensive continuation of GRMN 0101 which will further the development of your language skills in an immersion-like environment, and will include bi-weekly cultural readings in English. Classes meet for two hours each morning, then lunch at the language tables, in addition to afternoon and evening activities (e.g. film screenings). Completion of this course is a prerequisite to enrollment in GRMN 0103. (GRMN 0101 or equivalent) LNG WTR

Winter 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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GRMN 0103 - Beginning German Continued      

Beginning German Continued
This course is a continuation of GRMN 0101 and 0102. Increased emphasis on communicative competence through short oral presentations and the use of authentic German language materials (videos, songs, slides). Introduction to short prose writings and other documents relating to contemporary German culture. Five class meetings per week. (GRMN 0101 plus winter term GRMN 0102, or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect. LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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GRMN 0111 - Accelerated Beginning German      

Accelerated Beginning German
This class is aimed at students who wish to begin the study of German on the fast lane. In one semester, we will cover a year's material, the equivalent of GRMN 0101, 0102, and 0103. We will develop all four skills in an intensive, immersion-style environment, allowing students to continue German in the regular second-year classes in the fall. Classes meet five times per week, including two 75-minute meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and an additional drill session. Students are expected to fully participate in all departmental activities. No prerequisites. 6 hr lect./disc./1 hr. drill LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017

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GRMN 0150 - German Cultural History      

Tall Blondes in Lederhosen? A German Cultural History (in English)
In this course students will be introduced to Germany and its cultural history broadly conceived. Faculty will lecture on areas of special expertise, covering the period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. We will embed important concepts, developments, events, and cultural artifacts in their broader (European) context. This course will lay a foundation for students wishing to study European
history, German, European Studies, Art History, Music, Philosophy, or Literature. EUR HIS

Spring 2013

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GRMN 0201 - Intermediate German      

Intermediate German
GRMN 0201/0202 is a culture-based intermediate language sequence that focuses students' attention on intercultural aspects of language acquisition, vocabulary expansion, reading and writing strategies, and a review of grammar. It moves from a focus on issues of individual identity and personal experiences to a discussion of Germany today (GRMN 0201), explores national identity in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and supplies an overview of cultural history, literary achievements, and philosophical traditions in the German-speaking world (GRMN 0103 or equivalent) 4 hrs. sem. EUR LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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GRMN 0202 - Intermediate German Continued      

Intermediate German Continued
GRMN 0201/0202 is a culture-based intermediate language sequence that focuses students' attention on intercultural aspects of language acquisition, vocabulary expansion, reading and writing strategies, and a review of grammar. It moves from a focus on issues of individual identity and personal experiences to a discussion of Germany today (GRMN 0201), explores national identity in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and supplies an overview of cultural history, literary achievements, and philosophical traditions in the German-speaking world (GRMN 0201) 4 hrs. sem. EUR LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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GRMN 0310 - Literary Responses-Holocaust      

Literary Responses to the Holocaust (in English)
Can the Holocaust be described in words? Can images represent the horrors of Auschwitz? In this seminar we will explore the literary and artistic representations of the Shoah, their mechanisms, tensions, and challenges. We will approach the issues of Holocaust representations by considering a significant array of texts that span genres, national literatures, time, narrative and poetic styles, and historical situations. Readings will include theoretical texts on witnessing, memory, post-memory, and trauma by authors such as Sherman Alexie, Jean Amery, Hannah Arendt, Ilan Avisar, Tadeusz Borowski, Paul Celan, Chaim Kaplan, Ruth Kluger, Primo Levi, Bernhard Schlink, Art Spiegelman, Peter Weiss, and Eli Wiesel. 3hrs. sem. CMP EUR LIT

Spring 2016

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GRMN 0315 - Hotel and Modern Experience      

"A Home Away From home": The Hotel and the Modern Experience (in English)*
In this course we will examine the hotel as a quintessentially modern social and cultural space. Sex and love, death and crime, money and leisure, and architecture and commerce find a special "home away from home" in the hotel, a quality that has inspired the cultural imagination for generations. Theories by G. Simmel, S. Kracauer, and Th. Veblen will help explain the complex dynamics between time, space, and money underlying the hotel's special aura. By “reading" real and fictional hotels in the arts and media (E. Hopper, Th. Mann, A. Hailey, St. Zweig), we will show the hotel's complex significance as a symbol of modern life. 3 hrs sem. EUR LIT SOC

Spring 2013

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GRMN 0333 - Dealing with the Devil(in Eng)      

Dealing with the Devil: The "Faust" Tradition (in English)
Would you sell your soul to the devil if you could receive whatever you wanted in return? Faust made that deal for ultimate knowledge. Did he achieve his goal? Can the devil be trusted? Who wins in such a scenario: Faust or the devil? The search for knowledge and its inherent pitfalls have occupied cultures for centuries. The "Faust" Stoff emanates from a literary tradition that revolves around this search and connects it with the inexplicable forces of the supernatural. We can find "Faust" in music, literature, and the visual arts not only all over Europe, but also in the United States. This course focuses on a discussion of "Faust" in music and literature, primarily in the works of Marlowe, Goethe, Gounod, Liszt, Mann, Bulgakov, and Kerouac. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR LIT

Spring 2014

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GRMN 0341 - Faust's Metropolis: Berlin      

Faust’s Metropolis: History, Architecture, and Urbanism in Berlin (in English)
In this course we will investigate the rich and complicated built environment of Berlin. By looking at both visual evidence and textual sources we will uncover how the city has been transformed from a cultural backwater during the early modern period to the current capital of a reunified Germany. By the conclusion of this course, you will be comfortable “reading” buildings and spaces and will be able to navigate both the physical city of Berlin and the many layers of history buried within. 3 hrs. sem. ART EUR HIS

Fall 2014

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GRMN 0342 - Visual Culture: Vienna 1900      

Bloom and Doom: Visual Expressions and Reform in Vienna 1900
In this course we will examine the visual culture of turn of the century Vienna, then the artistic and political capital of a multi-national empire. With the help of primary and secondary source readings, we will consider how artists, architects, and designers sought to come to terms with their shifting world. Part of our inquiry will involve the planning of an exhibition of original artworks from the holdings of the Sabarsky Foundation in New York City, including works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, at the Middlebury College Museum in the fall semester of 2016. 3 hrs. sem. ART EUR HIS

Spring 2016

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GRMN 0344 - Body in German & Austrian Art      

Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early 20th Century German-Austrian Art (in English)
In this team-taught course we will examine conceptions of the human body and the manner of its visualization in Germany and Austria in the period leading up to and following the First World War. Part of our inquiry will involve the planning of an exhibition of original artworks from the holdings of the Sabarsky Foundation (New York City), provisionally entitled Naked Truth, at the Middlebury College Museum in the fall semester of 2015. With the help of primary source readings from the period, and secondary readings in philosophy, critical and literary theory, and art history, we will consider how German and Austrian artists turned to the nude body as the site through which questions of personal and political freedom, desire, beauty, nature, culture, and their antonyms could be negotiated and represented. Taking these ideas as one critical point of departure, the class will work with select drawings, paintings, and etchings by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollwitz, among others. 3 hrs. sem. ART EUR PHL

Spring 2015

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GRMN 0350 - Advanced Writing Workshop      

Advanced Writing Workshop
With its emphasis on grammatical structures, this course is designed to develop students' writing skills, bridging the 0200-level courses and the advanced 0300 and 0400 levels. From initial sentences and short paragraphs to a final term paper the course tries to assist individual students with their specific problems with German compositions. In addition to frequent written assignments, students also read excerpts from several German papers and magazines in order to familiarize themselves with a variety of narrative styles. (Formerly GRMN 0304) 3 hrs. sem. LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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GRMN 0360 - German & Its Cultural Contexts      

German in Its Cultural Contexts
The course invites students to explore social and cultural developments in Germany from 1871 to the present day from a historical perspective. We begin by examining Germany’s birth as a nation state and end by looking at recent events in today’s reunified Federal Republic. The course aims to lay the foundation for a critical understanding of German culture in its contemporary global context. Writing the biographies of fictional Germans throughout the semester, students will follow the radical changes in German society during the (long) twentieth century and gain an understanding how ‘ordinary’ people in Germany might have lived. A montage of written and visual materials will expose students to elite, mainstream, and marginal cultures alike. Taught in German. (Formerly GRMN 0310) 3 hrs. lect. EUR HIS LNG

Spring 2014, Fall 2016

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GRMN 0370 - German Linguistics      

German Linguistics (in German)
This course simultaneously presents an overview of the major subfields of linguistics as they apply to the German language and a discussion of how today's Standard German evolved. We will pay attention to important concepts in phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. In addition to these theoretical and descriptive aspects, we will discuss sociolinguistic issues such as language and gender and regional variations within Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxemburg. Lectures and discussions will be conducted in German. (Formerly GRMN 0340) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LNG

Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017

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GRMN 0380 - Rethinking Literature      

Rethinking Literature
This course focuses on the "literary" as a force within cultural discourse. A thorough understanding of literary periods and genres serves as the background for a critical investigation of modern theoretical approaches to literary texts. Discussing major works of German literature, students explore the notion of "literariness" in its various cultural contexts. (Formerly GRMN 0330) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2013, Spring 2016

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GRMN 0420 - EscapetoLife:Exile Experiences      

Escape to Life: Exile and Refugee Experiences 1933-1945
In this course we will explore the experiences of those who fled persecution from Nazi Germany after 1933. Using literary texts, autobiographies, documentaries, photographs, and letters, we will follow escape routes through Europe and to overseas and will learn about international refugee politics, the “Kindertransporte,” and American journalist Varian Fry’s rescue network. Of special interest will be centers of exile culture in New York and Los Angeles/Hollywood, where famous intellectuals and artists such as Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Hannah Arendt , Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, Billy Wilder, and many more found new or temporary homes and where many engaged in anti-Nazi advocacy writing. 3 hrs lect./disc. EUR LIT LNG

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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GRMN 0425 - Fin-de-Siecle Vienna      

Fin-de-siècle Vienna
Major innovations in art, architecture, music, and literature occurred in Vienna at the turn of the century. Politically the Habsburg monarchy was, unknowingly, nearing its end. Despite contributions by Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner, Arnold Schönberg, and Arthur Schnitzler, scholarship often viewed fin-de-siècle Vienna as a period of decline and decay in which art and literature were characteristically apolitical. In this course an introduction to the historical, political, and cultural events of the Habsburg monarchy serves as background information through which to examine Austria-Hungary’s literature, music, and arts around 1900. Readings will include texts by A. Schnitzler, R. Musil, H. v. Hofmannsthal, and P. Altenberg. (Formerly GRMN 0460). 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Fall 2016

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GRMN 0430 - German Comedy      

German Comedy
Even though the German literatures abound with comedies, humor is rarely mentioned as a German trait. In this course we will challenge the notion of “humor” as a universal, and examine the general ramifications that frame the comical as a cultural phenomenon. Drawing on theoretical texts such as Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905), we will discuss the German sense of humor and its manifestations in everyday life as well as in literary representations. Readings include texts by G. E. Lessing, F. v. Kleist, H. v. Hofmannsthal, and P. Süskind. (Formerly GRMN 0338) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2017

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GRMN 0435 - German Pop Literature      

Popliteratur/ and the Literary Archives of Pop Culture*
In 1968, a new genre of literature emerged in Germany: Popliteratur. Grounded in Dadaism, the Beat Generation, and Pop Art, its young authors attacked the literary establishment and its highbrow dogma with works bridging the gap between high and low culture. In this course, we will investigate the crossover characteristics of Popliteratur, reading it as the literary equivalent of pop music, with an eye to American influence on pop culture in postwar Germany. Through theoretical lenses ranging from Adorno's classic Kulturindustrie to Fiedler's Playboy article, "Cross the Border, Close the Gap"! we will examine primary works by Brinkmann, von Stuckrad-Barre, and Meinecke alongside other products of pop culture, particularly of the last decade. (Formerly GRMN 0306) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2013, Spring 2016

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GRMN 0437 - Risk      

Risk: Tempting the Fates or Securing the Future?
How does our understanding of risk vary across cultures and historical periods? What does risk have to do with magic, religion, or gambling? What is the link between globalization, modernity, and risk? Building risk management into initiatives anywhere on the globe has become a critical leadership skill. We will study classic risk scenarios and risk theories from various disciplines (social science, economics, environmental studies, politics). Guest lectures by risk management experts will help us discuss real-life scenarios. We will read texts by Herodotus, William Shakespeare, Theodor Storm, Ulrich Beck, Peter Bernstein, Deborah Lupton, and Robert Jungk. We will view films by Wolfgang Petersen, Charles Ferguson, and Ilan Ziv. CMP SOC

Spring 2016

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GRMN 0440 - German Theatre in Action      

German Theatre in Action
In this course, students will prepare and stage a full production of a German play. After five weeks of seminar-style academic discussions of this work in context (the genre, the author, the topic, the time) and aspects of theatrical performance (theory), the class will prepare the show for the last week of the semester (two rehearsals/ week). Students will make informed staging decisions as a group and come to understand performance as a powerful mediator in the never-ending process of negotiating literary meaning. (At least two 0300+-level courses or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect/disc. (Formerly GRMN 0418) ART EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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GRMN 0442 - Germany Today      

Germany Today *
In this course students will encounter the Germany of today through an exploration of current newspaper and journal articles. The theories of Kramsch, Foucault, Byrum, and others allow for intercultural analyses and enable students to critically assess assumptions, definitions, and expressions of their own cultures vis-á-vis German culture. In addition to completing short writing assignments and presentations, students work in pairs in order to develop projects that focus on specific issues in current German cultural debates. 3 hrs. sem.
CMP LNG SOC

Fall 2015

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GRMN 0445 - Contemp Germany&Sustainability      

Contemporary Germany & Sustainability (In German)
Already known as the country of poets and thinkers, Germany is becoming a land of ideas for sustainability and environmental innovation. In this course we will take a closer look at the origins of the German environmental movement and explore the three major components of sustainability–economy, society, and environment–in contemporary Germany. We will draw on political, literary, and scientific texts, films, works of art, and online resources while making frequent comparisons with global developments. Texts include Quaschning's Trash Sorters, Muesli Eaters, and Climate Protectors: We Germans and our Environment, and Wagenhofer’s We Feed the World. 3 hrs lect./disc. EUR LIT LNG

Fall 2012, Spring 2015

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GRMN 0465 - Reasonable Doubts      

Reasonable Doubts
This course gives an introduction to various responses to the idea of "Enlightenment" and the "Age of Reason" in eighteenth century German literature and culture. Starting with definitions of the term "Aufklärung" students will gain familiarity with proponents and critics of this notion as well as modern twentieth century approaches to it. We will focus on works by Kant, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Lenz, and Kleist and the critical reflections of Adorno, Habermas, Lyotard, and Foucault, among others. (Formerly GRMN 0430) 3 hrs. sem/disc. EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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GRMN 0470 - Rereading Fairy Tales      

How Grim Are the Grimm Brothers? Rereading Fairy Tales
This course focuses on modern (re)readings of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales. Starting with a discussion of the brothers' lives and the cultural setting at the beginning of the nineteenth century, we concentrate on contemporary issues in these tales. Various approaches to literature allow us to create many spheres of interpretation. Historical, textual, psychological, and philosophical readings generate an array of possible meanings for modern audiences. (Formerly GRMN 0313) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Fall 2015

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GRMN 0475 - Sounds and the City      

Sounds and the City: German Urban Cultural History of the 20th and 21st Century
In this course, we will seek to understand the cultural history of 20th and 21st century Germany by examining its soundscapes. Analyzing recordings of selected events, we will discuss how history can be portrayed as an acoustic experience. Sound profiles of city spaces before, during, and after World War II and the Cold War will illustrate sound's impact on German society and its ability to create utopian/dystopian spaces. This line of inquiry invites us to rethink noise, silence, language, identity, power, and-considering the history of recording technologies-the nature of knowledge itself. We will consider works by literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, and musicologists. (Formerly GRMN 0410) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LNG

Spring 2015

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GRMN 0485 - Weimar Germany & Its Legacies      

Weimar Germany and Its Legacies
In this course we will examine the brief and intense period of artistic creativity and political upheaval in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic. Beginning with Germany's humiliating defeat in World War I we will discuss the implications of the Versailles Treaty, the Dolchstoß (stab-in-the-back) theory, the stillborn revolution of 1918-1919, and the growing political polarization and apathy leading to Hitler's rise to power. Contrasting the political decline with the increased in cultural productivity, we will trace the artists' outcry for spiritual rebirth, examining the development of Expressionism, Dadaism, and New Objectivity in literature, visual arts, theater, and film. Readings will include texts by Döblin, Th. Mann, V. Baum, Kracauer, Kästner, Brecht, and Hans Fallada. Special project: preparation of an art exhibit in MCA opening in fall 2014. (Formerly GRMN 0403) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2014

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GRMN 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval only)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017

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GRMN 0700 - Senior Research      

Honors Project
(Approval only)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017

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GRMN 1004 - German Architecture and Power      

German Architecture and Power (in German)
Architecture reveals not only the aesthetic and formal preferences of the architect or client in charge, but grants insight into a society’s aspirations and power struggles. In this course we will study Berlin’s public buildings (and architectural proposals that never came to fruition) to understand the many complex forces that have shaped Germany’s old and new capital city. Recognizing that a building’s meaning changes over time depending on its cultural context, we will use semiotic models and historical background information to “read” a variety of iconic buildings as symbols for Germany’s identity formation processes. Examples to be scrutinized include the Brandenburg Gate, the various faces of the Reichstag, Hitler’s bombastic visions for the Welthauptstadt Germania, Stadtschloss, Palast der Republik, Şehitlik Mosque, Jewish Museum, and others. ART EUR LNG WTR

Winter 2016

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Department of German

Freeman International Center
203 Freeman Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753