Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs



« Summer 2013 Summer 2014 Language Schools


CRN: 60165

Adv Language Practice

This course will focus on various forms of academic writing, including the specific use of vocabulary, style and grammar. Students will have the opportunity to practice writing summaries of texts, presentations and discussions. Additionally, proper quoting and commenting as well as structuring a text – such as a course or term paper – will be discussed and practised. Finally, students will be given the opportunity to write their own papers, reports and comments.

Required text: Rug &Tomaszewski: Grammatik mit Sinn und Verstand (Klett).


CRN: 60166

Intro Literary Analysis

An Introduction to Literary Analysis (“Schreibprozesse”)

This course combines creative writing in German with literary theory. It is designed to develop aesthetic sensibilities by looking at sample literary texts and the methods they use to create their effects. While literary forms are too multifaceted to be reproduced according to a formula, there are nevertheless some techniques and forms of writing that can be garnered from exemplary literary texts and practiced in one’s own creative writing. What do metaphors, allegories, poems, stories, or dramatic scenes of others ‘feel’ like if they are read or if they are written by oneself? How is day-to-day story telling transformed into ‘literary’ story telling? What makes images into a poem, or a text into a film?
We will work on forms of metaphor and explore theories of metaphor and the creation of metaphors, then turn them into practice by writing examples ourselves. We will explore modern allegories by analyzing poems by H.M. Enzensberger and Sarah Kirsch, the sound and tonal qualities of poems by looking at Hugo Ball or Ernst Jandl. We will write examples of both ourselves as a kind of practice. We will also look into the use of paintings as models for literary texts. We will compare quotidian narration and literary narration by looking at examples by Kafka and Bachmann. In all these instances, we will write short examples of the poetic forms and narratives that we have studied and discussed. Finally, we will also consider how to move from a novel to the film version of the novel (Döblin’s ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’).

A reader will be made available.


CRN: 60568

Literary Berlin in Golden 20s

Between Glamour and Gutter - Literary Berlin in the Golden Twenties

Within only a few years Berlin advanced to the “literary capital” of Germany during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Thereby the modern city was not only a production place for writers of a great variety of genres. Rather novelists and poets, dramatists and feuilletonists focused on municipal subjects in their works. In the course we’re going to analyse novels like “Berlin Alexanderplatz” from Alfred Döblin, “Das kunstseidene Mädchen” from Irmgard Keun and “Fabian” from Erich Kästner as well as of poems from Bertolt Brecht, Gottfried Benn or Georg Trakl and essayistic texts like Franz Hessels “Spazieren in Berlin” or Bernard von Brentanos “Wo in Europa liegt Berlin?” We will have to question, how the authors react to the rapidly changing living conditions in the million-strong metropolis and in which way the literary and essayistic texts mirror the multifaceted social-cultural realities of the so called Golden Twenties – a time, in which enormous social ills prevailed just below a shimmering surface and life was oscillating between glamour and gutter.

Required texts: Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz (Fischer); Hessel: Spazieren in Berlin (Berlin Verlag Taschenbuch (2012)); Kästner: Fabian (dtv); Keun: Das kunstseidene Mädchen (List).


CRN: 60570

German Artists after 1960

Here and Now? 20 Post-War Positions in Germany after 1960

After World War II, after dictatorship and deep provincialism, an internationalization of the German art scene began. Art in the West developed close ties to France and the USA, whereas in the East first of all the doctrine of socialist realism seems to have prevailed. Apart from international attention German Art also obtained considerable economic success.
Artists such as Richter or Kiefer appear in all major international collections. On the other hand there are now and then constant specifically German topics: world war II, guilt, the Holocaust, German myths – German art seems to present a dance on a tightrope between cosmopolitanism and questions of identity.
The course will follow the chronology of events, presenting the following 20 individual artists, but we also will try to discuss the question whether there could or should be such a thing as typically German or National Art at all.
Georg Baselitz
Bernd und Hilla Becher
Joseph Beuys
Carl Otto Götz
Andreas Gursky
Johannes Grützke
Hans Haacke
Rebecca Horn
Jörg Immendorf
Anselm Kiefer
Markus Lüpertz
Jonathan Meese
Sigmar Polke
Neo Rauch
Gerhard Richter
Thomas Schütte
Werner Tübke
Wolf Vostell

Required text: Thomas: Kunst in Deutschland seit 1945 (Dumont Verlag, Köln 2004).


CRN: 60566

Seminar: Faust
Seminar: Faust

Goethes Faust: text – interpretation - reception

Goethes Faust is considered to be a pivotal work of German literature. For about 200 years it has remained in the public consciousness and maintained in the public an amazing vigor and actuality. The major focus of this seminar about Faust I is a careful analysis of the text which will consider structure, style, language as well as aspects of versification and dramaturgy. Origin and sources will be discussed as well biographical and historical background and the place of the drama in Goethes Gesamtwerk. Film versions of famous Faust productions will be compared, and different critical responses to Faust will be explored as well as the “modernity” of the play.

Required texts: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust: Der Tragödie Erster Teil (Reclam Nr.1.); Ulrich Gaier: Kommentar zu Goethes Faust (Reclam Nr. 8183)


CRN: 60567

Postwall Poetics

Postwall Poetics: Corpora, Communcation, Media

In this course we explore German literature from the Wendezeit to the 21st century, focusing on a number of texts that can be defined as ‘body literature’. Rather than directly addressing the fall of the Berlin Wall, these texts employ a transgressive poetics. In themes of love, desire and death they tear down the walls between physical bodies and between literary bodies, thus opening up communication between texts, individuals, and nations. Topics include: the body, anatomy, vampirism, virtual reality, intertextuality, transmediality, transnationalism.

Required texts: Tawada: Das nackte Auge (Konkursbuch Verlag); Stein: Replay (C. H. Beck); Beyer: Das Menschenfleisch (Suhrkamp); Grünbein: Schädelbasislektion (Suhrkamp); Hettche: Nox (Suhrkamp); Braun: Die deutsche Gegenwartsliteratur (UTB).


CRN: 60569

19-20C German Painting

From Romanticism to Expressionism - German Painting between Depitction of Nature and Abstraction

The liberation of the artists subject from any regulating force within German expressionism has romantic origins. While the great romantic Caspar David Friedrich was oriented to the natural model in his landscape paintings, creative fantasy also played a major role in his compositions. In this respect, we can draw a bow from Friedrichs romanticism to the realism of Adolph Menzel, the Impressionism of Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt and Lovis Corinth and the unrestricted subjectivity in works of Expressionists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the artists group “Die Brücke” or Wassily Kandisky and “Der blaue Reiter”. On the basis of a profound discussion of theoretical texts an integral part of the seminar will be the close analysis of composition and style of selected and representative works which show the artists balancing act between depiction of nature and abstraction in the course of the whole 19th century until the early 20th century. On behalf of this, the red thread should be carved out, which runs from german romantic painting to famous classical modern works.

Required text: Uerlings: Theorie der Romantik (Reclam).