Bettina Matthias

Director of the German School and German for Singers Program

 
 work802.443.3527

Bettina Matthias holds an M.A. from the Universität Hamburg (French, German) and a Ph.D. in German Literature from the University of Washington (Seattle). She joined Middlebury’s German Department in 1999, received tenure in 2006 and became full professor in 2010. 

She has published books and articles on Arthur Schnitzler, early twentieth century German and Austrian literature and culture (hotel studies), and on theater-in-education. Her second research and artistic focus as a classically trained pianist is on vocal music. Since 2000, she has been on the faculty for the German School’s special program “German for Singers” and has directed the program since 2010. She has also written a special beginning German textbook for the program.

Ms Matthias is also the founder and director of the German Theater Group at Middlebury, the co-director of the German School’s opera project, and she has directed over 30 plays and operas over the past 14 years.

In 2014, she was appointed the German School’s new director.

 

Courses

Course List: 

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

GRMN3104 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

Elementary Diction, Culture and Acting for the German Stage

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes one hour of formal instruction every day (diction, cultural history, acting for the German stage), weekly private coaching; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3105 - Elementary German for Singers      

Daily activities include four hours of classroom instruction, plus additional work in the language laboratory and computer center. Emphasis will be placed on the grammatical structures of German as well as on conversation and correct pronunciation. Reading comprehension skills are introduced through primary texts, including literature. Throughout the program, audio-visual presentations supplement regular classroom activities.

Required text:
Robert Di Donato, et al.: Deutsch, Na klar! An Introductory German Course (7th ed., McGraw-Hill) (The book, workbook, and lab manual will be available for purchase at the College Bookstore.)

Note: All students who have prior knowledge of German and want to be placed beyond the Elementary German level (101-102-103) are required to take an analytical placement examination involving all four skills. On the basis of the test results, students will be advised concerning their course selections.

Summer 2013, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2014 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3106 - Elementary German for Singers      

Daily activities include four hours of classroom instruction, plus additional work in the language laboratory and computer center. Emphasis will be placed on the grammatical structures of German as well as on conversation and correct pronunciation. Reading comprehension skills are introduced through primary texts, including literature. Throughout the program, audio-visual presentations supplement regular classroom activities.

Required text:
Robert Di Donato, et al.: Deutsch, Na klar! An Introductory German Course (7th ed., McGraw-Hill) (The book, workbook, and lab manual will be available for purchase at the College Bookstore.)

Note: All students who have prior knowledge of German and want to be placed beyond the Elementary German level (101-102-103) are required to take an analytical placement examination involving all four skills. On the basis of the test results, students will be advised concerning their course selections.

Summer 2013, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2014 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3194 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

Early intermediate Diction, Culture and Acting for the German Stage

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes one hour of formal instruction every day (diction, cultural history, acting for the German stage), weekly private coaching; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3204 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

Intermediate Diction, Culture and Acting for the German Stage

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes one hour of formal instruction every day (diction, cultural history, acting for the German stage), weekly private coaching; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3304 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

Advanced Diction, Culture and Acting for the German Stage I

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes one hours of formal instruction every day (diction, cultural history, acting for the German stage), weekly private coachings; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops. LNG

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN3404 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

Advanced Diction, Culture and Acting for the German Stage II

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes one hours of formal instruction every day (diction, cultural history, acting for the German stage), weekly private coachings; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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GRMN6901 - Research Paper      

Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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CMLT0700 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Approval required.

Spring 2015

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FYSE1099 - Cultural History of the Piano      

Piano, Piano: The Cultural History of the Piano
Why do so many people have a piano in their living room? In this seminar we will try to answer this question by exploring the cultural history of the piano. As we study the piano’s special place in our (musical) culture, we will learn about the technical as well as social aspects of this instrument’s developments over the past 300 years. We will hear virtuosos like Franz Liszt and Keith Jarrett, study milestones of the pianistic repertoire, and discuss representations of this instrument and its artists in literature, the arts, and film. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2014

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GRMN0103 - 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 2014

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GRMN0111 - 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 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017

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GRMN0201 - 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 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017

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GRMN0425 - 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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GRMN0430 - 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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GRMN0440 - 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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GRMN0485 - 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, Fall 2017

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GRMN0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval only)

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

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GRMN0700 - Senior Research      

Honors Project
(Approval only)

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

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HARC0344 / GRMN0344 - 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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LITS0500 - Independent Research Project      

Independent Research Project
(Approval Required) (Staff)

Winter 2015

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The German School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5203
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
German School
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Tina Ellison, Coordinator
germanschool@middlebury.edu