Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

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. 6 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

LNG, WTR

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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, or GRMN 0111) 5 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

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) 5 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Black German History
Although more than a million people in Germany identify as Black, Germany’s Black community and its history remain largely invisible in public discourse, historiography, and collective memory. In this course we will examine the history of Blacks in Germany from colonialism to the present. We will discuss early encounters of Africans with Germany, Germany’s brutal colonial ambitions, Black communities in early 20th century Germany and during National socialism, the histories of Black communities in East and West Germany after World War II (including their connections to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement), and the emergence of an Afro-German identity from the 1980s until today.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

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 and its legacies, 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 texts on witnessing, memory, post-memory, and trauma by authors such as Bernhard Schlink, Art Spiegelman, Hans J. Massaquoi, Primo Levi, Ruth Klüger, Nora Krug, Paul Celan, Sherman Alexie, and Hannah Arendt. 3hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Berlin: History, Architecture, and Urbanism in Faust’s Metropolis (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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Advanced Writing Workshop
The goal of this course is to train students to present their thoughts, ideas, and arguments in correct, coherent, and effective writing. Students will practice writing several text forms that are required in higher education and, during study abroad. Students will also learn about format requirements for writing a longer term paper in German. Some class time will be used for creative, structured, or contemplative writing practice. Students will expand their active vocabulary and aim for a consistently high level of grammatical accuracy. Grammar topics will be covered within the context of writing, through targeted teaching of linguistic structures and peer-editing/peer-teaching sessions. (Formerly GRMN 0304) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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) (GRMN 0202 or placement) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CW, EUR, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Exhibiting the Bauhaus
The Bauhaus (1919-1933) was an experimental school, a modern laboratory for artistic innovation. In three different German cities over a period of 14 tumultuous years three different artistic directors, their colleagues, and students challenged the traditional hierarchy of the arts by placing the fine arts, design, and architecture on equal footing. With the help of primary and secondary source readings, we will not only consider the Bauhaus’ far reaching influence on the practice and teaching of art, design and architecture, but also its enormous social and political impacts. Taking these ideas as our point of departure, our class will work with select works from the holdings of the Sabarsky Foundation in New York City (including those by Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Anni Albers and Oskar Schlemmer). A major part of our inquiry will involve the planning of an exhibition of these original artworks at the Middlebury College Museum in the spring of 2020. 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Austrian Horror Film
While horror movies are often looked down upon as a genre full of stereotypical characters and plot lines, they also allow important insights into cultural phenomena, psychological processes, and societal structures. In this course we will focus on horror movies from Austria, taking them as a point of departure for a discussion of the genre and its subgenres beyond Hollywood. It will also serve as an introduction to film analysis, genre theory, and affect theory, as well as cultural comparisons between Austria and the US. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

ART, CMP, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Colonialism and Racism
Racism, the ideology that humans may be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races,” justified colonial exploitation and was the essence of Nazism. In this course we will examine Germany’s short era of colonialism (1894-1918) and its long lasting legacies. Through our analysis of literary and non-literary texts, interviews, documentaries, museum exhibitions and many more, we will discuss the experiences of Black People and BIPoC in Germany – during the colonial period, under the NS-regime, in post-war and post- reunification Germany. We will examine colonial traces in street names, monuments and museums, and critically reflect on racisms inherent in language and educational materials. 3hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

Exiles, Refugees and Migrants from/in Germany
In this course we will study experiences of exiles, refugees, and migrants and their escapes both from and to Germany. We will focus on two time periods: 1933 to 1945, when people fled persecution from Nazi Germany, and the “refugee crisis” in Germany between 2015 to 2018. Using literary texts, letters, autobiographies, films, current news coverage, and documentaries, we will place flight narratives in their historical contexts, follow escape routes across borders, study post-flight lives of refugees in their reception countries, and learn about international refugee and asylum politics. Taught in German 3 hrs. sem./screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

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. (GRMN 0202 or placement) 3 hrs lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Law and Justice in German Literature
This course focuses on the concepts of “Recht, Gerechtigkeit, Justiz” in German literature. A long literary tradition has seen authors inquire into the complex relationships between what is just and what is the law, and author-activists or judge-authors are frequent participants in public discourse about these issues. Discussion topics include the relationship between “Recht” and “Gerechtigkeit”, vigilante law, divine/ poetic justice, and the judicial system. Texts by F. Schiller, H. Kleist, G. Büchner, F. Kafka, A. Döblin, H. Böll, F. Dürrenmatt, Chr. Brückner, and F. von Schierach. (GRMN 0202, or instructor approval) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Unreliable Narration in German Literature, Film, and Media
Unreliable narration has been employed as a literary strategy for centuries, with one of its most prominent examples from literary history being the 1816 novel Der Sandmann by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Yet, unreliable narration has become a more prevalent phenomenon in recent years, both in fiction as well as nonfiction. In this course we will examine and theorize how it has become such a trend; analyze examples from German literature, film, and media; and learn about narratological concepts that allow an adequate discussion of these works. 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Open Topics Research Seminar
In this seminar students will develop and pursue a research project on a topic of their choice. After reading and discussing research methodology and building research strategies, students will formally present a research proposal to their peers and the department’s professors. The seminar will culminate in each student completing a research paper, translation, or creative project with theoretical underpinnings. Class discussions, presentations, and research papers will be in German. (One course above GRMN300 or by waiver)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

LNG, WTR

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Course Description

Independent Study
(Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Honors Project
(Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

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, Sehitlik Mosque, Jewish Museum, and others. (GRMN 0202 or equivalent)

Terms Taught

Winter 2020

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG, WTR

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Course Description

German Biopics
Biopics, motion pictures based on the life of real, rather than fictional, persons, have become a booming genre in German contemporary cinema. In this course we will explore how film makers choose and develop characters and how they deal with the tension of historical accuracy versus fiction. Students will learn about basic film concepts and terminology in German. We will pay special attention to the political and social contexts in which the films were produced and received. Hannah Arendt (Margarethe von Trotta, 2012) and Gundermann (Andreas Dresen, 2018) are included as two well-known examples of the genre. (GRMN 201)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG, WTR

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Course Description

Screening German History
In this course we analyze movies portraying events or issues of cultural and historical significance in Germany’s past and present. We will focus on visual meaning-making, i.e. on how movies produce a meaning that simultaneously comments on the time they depict and the time in which they were produced: how does this process of adapting hi/story to the screen affect our understanding of that hi/story? No prior knowledge in film-analysis required. But since you love watching movies, please share with us any movies you know that make a comment on the present while telling a story from the past.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, SOC

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