Fall 2020 German Expanded Course Descriptions

GERMAN 120: Survey of German Culture from 1945 to the Present
Professor Gail Finney
TR 10:30 -11:50 am
Wellman 109
 CRN: 53146 


Studies selected films and literary works to explore key facets of German culture and history since the end of World War II, such as the Economic Miracle, the women’s movement, the impact of guest workers, terrorism, the fall of the Berlin Wall and its aftermath, the State Secret Police in East Germany (Stasi), and the position of Turkish immigrants.

Texts include the following:

Films: Die Mörder sind unter uns (1946), Angst essen Seele auf (1974), Deutschland im Herbst (1978), Der Himmel über Berlin (1987), Das Wunder von Bern (2003), Goodbye, Lenin (2003), Gegen die Wand (2004), Das Leben der Anderen (2006).
Selections from narrative works by Wolfgang Borchert, Heinrich Böll, Peter Schneider, Wladimir Kaminer, Jana Hensel, and Anna Funder.
Poetry by Bertolt Brecht, Erich Fried, Ingeborg Bachmann, Sarah Kirsch, Helga Novak, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Friederike Roth, and Gabriele Wohmann.

Note: Literary works will be available in a Course Reader.


GERMAN 123: Lit of Classical Age
Professor Kirsten Harjes
TR 1:40 -3:00p
Olson 117
CRN: 53499


This course provides a critical assessment of principal works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller within the historical and philosophical context of their times. We will read from plays and poetry written during the periods of "Storm and Stress" and "Weimar Classicism" in the 1770s to early 1800s, and learn about how European art and intellectual & political history at that time shaped these German writers: popular French and English literature, a renaissance of Greco-Roman antiquity in visual art and architecture, the beginnings of a political push for democracy and an independent nation-state, and the efforts to translate an Enlightened, universal appreciation of the individual into social justice.

Language of instruction: German
Prerequisite: GER 022, or consent of instructor
GE credit: AH, WC, WE

GERMAN 297: Graduate Film Studies: The Case of Cinema in Germany
Professor Jaimey Fisher
T 1:10-4:00pm
Olson 144

The seminar introduces graduate students to research and teaching in film studies, primarily by offering an overview of the history of German cinema. The course will take up the major periods of German film history, including the Weimar, the Nazi, the 1950s-60s, the New German Cinema, and the contemporary (Berlin-School) periods, but also probe this conventional periodization. The seminar will engage each film in its historical, political, and economic context and provide some theories of how these contexts can relate to film itself. Special attention will be to attendant theories of film and media as well as to how to effectively teach with them. The seminar will focus on the formal and technical aspects of these films, particularly how they represent via a technique that self-consciously mimics or resists (even when instrumentalizing) the classical Hollywood system. Among the historical and national themes this very rich cinema brought forth are: modernity and trauma in the Weimar era, the impact of the Nazi movement on media, postwar German reconstruction, feminism, political radicalism and terrorism in the 1970s, the “micropolitics” of the home and sexuality, and its relationship to Hollywood as well as to American political hegemony. Knowledge of German welcome, but not required.