Spring 2016

Please click here to view the schedule as a PDF


German 001. Elementary German (5 units)
Karina Deifel

MTWRF 8:00-8:50A
227 Olson Hall
CRN 46181

Course Description: This is an introduction to German grammar and development of all language skills in a cultural context with special emphasis on communication.

Course Placement: Students who have successfully completed, with a C- or better, German 02 or 03 in the 10th or higher grade in high school may receive unit credit for this course on a P/NP grading basis only. Although a passing grade will be charged to the student's P/NP option, no petition is required. All other students will receive a letter grade unless a P/NP petition is filed. For more information, please contact the instructor (kdeifel@ucdavis.edu) or the German staff advisor (allowrey@ucdavis.edu).

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and World Cultures.

Format: Discussion - 5 hours; Laboratory - 1 hour.


  • Robert Di Donato and Monica D. Clyde, Deutsch: Na klar! An Introductory German Course [7th Edition]  (McGraw-Hill Education, 2015)
  • Jeanine Briggs and Lida Daves-Schneider, Workbook/Laboratory Manual to accompany Deutsch: Na klar! [7th Edition]  (McGraw-Hill Education, 2015)

German 003. Elementary German (5 units)

Section Instructor Day/Time Room CRN
001 Astrid Exel MTWRF 8:00-8:50A 261 Olson Hall 46182
002 Monika Sierkowska MTWRF 9:00-9:50A 293 Kerr Hall 46183
003 Kirsten Harjes MTWRF 10:00-10:50A 261 Olson Hall 46184
004 Brandon Winter MTWRF 9:00-9:50A 115 Wellman Hall 63798

Course Description: Completion of grammar sequence and continuing practice of all language skills through cultural texts.

Prerequisite: German 002.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and World Cultures.

Format: Discussion - 5 hours; Laboratory - 1 hour.


  • To be ordered directly from the publisher - an announcement will be posted in SmartSite before instruction begins with directions.  

German 011. Travel and the Modern World (4 units)    In English      [Cross-listed with Comp Lit 011]
Chunjie Zhang

TR 4:40-6:00P
166 Chemistry Building

Course Description: This course explores travel as a quintessential human activity and experience of global modernity and cross-cultural encounters from the 18th to the 21st century with an emphasis on German-speaking culture. Topics include: travel and science, travel and empire, travel and interiority, and travel and diaspora.

Participants will read excerpts from travel writings by Christopher Columbus, George Forster, James Cook, Alexander von Humboldt, and Charles Darwin. These prominent travelers’ findings decisively shaped human understanding of nature and culture and commerce on a global scale. We also discuss works of literature and art in the era of European colonialism and imperialism such as Heinrich von Kleist’s Betrothal in Santo Domingo (1811), Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899), and Werner Herzog’s epic film Fitzcarraldo (1982). Other works in this course explore how travel is related to human interiority. We will read Kafka’s America, a psychological journey in the form of a travel story, together with Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K about the impasse of the South African political situation. The film Babel (2006) is a modern parable of the impossibility of communication in the modern world of telecommunication and long-distance travel. Last but not least, we will explore the experience of 20,000 Jewish refugees in Shanghai during WWII.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities, Diversity and Writing Experience.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Visual Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Writing.


  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness  (Penguin Classics, 2007)
  • Franz Kafka, The Man Who Disappeared (America), translated by Ritchie Robertson  (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • J.M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K: A Novel  (Penguin Books, 1985)

German 022. Gender and German Literature, Film and Popular Culture (4 units)
Katja Herges

MWF 11:00-11:50A
207 Wellman Hall

Course Description: This course is the completion of the second-year intermediate German series and introduces students to the analysis of German culture and literature. We will focus on the representation of gender in German literature, film, and popular culture since the 1960s. In the first part of the quarter we will discuss contemporary feminist blogs, sketch comedies, poems and short stories, and pay close attention to the construction of gender and how it intersects with concepts of race, sexuality, and nationality. Later in the quarter we will read excerpts from the earlier feminist cult novel Die Wand (The Wall) by Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer (1963) and watch the recent film adaptation directed by Julian Pölsler (2012). Along the way we will review grammatical principles and expand our vocabulary.

Prerequisite: German 021.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Skills, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Writing.


  • Reading materials will be provided online

German 045. Vampires (4 units)    In English
Kirsten Harjes

Lecture: TR 9:00-9:50A
194 Young Hall

Film Viewing: R 5:10-8:00P
234 Wellman Hall

Discussion Sec. Discussion Lead Day/Time Room CRN
001 C. Mortimer T 4:10-5:00P 167 Olson Hall 63049
002 C. Mortimer T 5:10-6:00P 117 Olson Hall 63050
003 M. Mueller W 4:10-5:00P 251 Olson Hall 63051
004 M. Mueller W 5:10-6:00P 267 Olson Hall 63052

Course Description: History of representations of vampires and the undead generally from the 16th through 21st centuries. Emphasis on transnational history of the vampire genre; psychologies of horror effects; issues of race, gender, and class; intersections with prejudice, medicine, modernity.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): American Cultures, Governance & History, Arts & Humanities, Domestic Diversity, Oral Literacy, Visual Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture - 2 hours; Discussion - 1 hour; Film Viewing - 3 hours.


  • Bram Stoker, Dracula  (W.W. Norton & Company, 1996)

German 048. Myth and Saga in the Germanic Cultures (4 units)    In English
Kirsten Harjes

TR 1:40-3:00P
235 Wellman Hall
CRN 63045

Course Description: This course focuses on the mythology of the Germanic tribes during the 8th-14thcenturies.  Each piece of literature reflects a unique culture and society of the time and these will be compared and contrasted.  Some elements of these societies have kept a presence in the modern world in the judicial system, rhetoric patterns and seasonal patterns.  The course will also provide modern interpretations of the stories as well as how they would have been understood in their original context.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities and Writing Experience.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Visual Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe  (Penguin Books, 1965)
  • Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda: Norse Mythology, translated by Jesse L. Byock  (Penguin Classics, 2006)
  • Anonymous, The Saga of the Volsungs, translated by Jesse L. Byock  (Penguin Classics, 2000)
  • Anonymous, Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, translated by Seamus Heaney  (W.W. Norton & Company, 2001)


German 101B. Survey of German Literature, 1800 - Present (4 units)
Chunjie Zhang

TR 12:10-1:40P
141 Olson Hall
CRN 46203

Course Description: This course surveys German literature between the year of 1800 and the present by attending to exemplary texts from the major literary moments of these years: the Enlightenment, the Storm and Stress period, the Romantic period, the Young Germany and Vormärz periods, Expressionism and other forms of the Weimar avant-garde, postwar realism, literature of the GDR, non-ethnic-German literature will all be discussed.

Prerequisite: German 022.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours.


  • Jamie Rankin and Larry Wells, Handbuch zur deutschen Grammatik: Wiederholen und Anwenden [6th Edition]  (Heinle Cengage, 2015)

German 112 Sec. 002. Germania: Representations of Gender and Nation (4 units)    In English
Lauren Nossett

MWF 11:00-11:50A
105 Wellman Hall
CRN 63048

Course Description: Germany is the fatherland, Germania is a woman, and German is the mother tongue. From ancient Germanic tribes and Napoleonic invasions to German reunification and contemporary minority discourses, representations of gender and Germanness have been closely linked. This interdisciplinary study of German culture aims to foster a discussion of gender as it relates to concepts of national identity. Themes and concepts to be analyzed include: representations of gender in battle, German bourgeois family identity, motherhood in Nazi Germany, gender roles in East Germany, and current transnational identities. From the literature of Heinrich von Kleist, Heinrich Heine, and Christa Wolf to the films Triumph of the Will (1935), The Lives of Others (2006), and The Edge of Heaven (2007), this course will explore the role gender plays in society and nation building. Students will gain an understanding of the many ways in which concepts of nation and gender have shaped human history and explore the way these concepts change over time. Additionally, students will develop critical skills in reading and writing about literature and film. The lectures will be supplemented by visual material drawn from art history, literature, and documentary sources.

All readings can be read either in German or in English. Discussions will be in English.

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor (lknossett@ucdavis.edu).

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities and Writing Experience. 
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Writing.


  • None

German 176A. Classic Weimar Cinema (4 units)    In English   [Cross-listed with FMS 176A]
Phillipp Stiasny

Lecture: TR 10:30-11:50A
168 Hoagland Hall

Film Viewing: T 5:10-8:00P
212 Wellman Hall

CRN 63047

Course Description: In this course we will study German Weimar Cinema (1919-1933), the foremost filmmakers of the period, and its worldwide influence (especially on Hollywood) on the film genres of noir, horror, science fiction and melodrama. Not open for credit to students who have completed Humanities 176.

Prerequisite: Humanities 001.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities and Writing Experience.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, Visual Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Film Viewing - 3 hours.


  • Readings will be supplied by the instructor


German 297. Contemporary German Cinema (4 units)
Phillipp Stiasny

R 1:10-4:00P
412B Sproul Hall
CRN 46247

Course Description: This course invites students to explore and critically reflect upon the current state of German cinema. We will discuss historical, cultural and critical paradigms pertaining to German cinema since the 1990s while the focus will be on more recent trends and filmmakers. Topics will include: film and authorship; arthouse cinema vs. mainstream cinema; the concepts of national and transnational cinema; the formation of history, memory, and cultural identity in film; and film production and film policy. Next to filmmakers like Tom Tykwer, Fatih Akin and Christian Petzold we will discuss new productions like “Oh Boy” (2012) and “Victoria” (2015).

Format: Seminar- 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Readings will be supplied by the instructor


Comparative Literature 210. Trauma: Its Representation in Theory, Literature, and Film (4 units)   [Can be used to fulfill GER 296]
Gail Finney

T 1:10-4:00P
412B Sproul Hall
CRN 62985

Course Description: This seminar seeks to acquaint students with the complex domain of trauma studies by exploring theoretical, literary, and cinematic responses to three major types of traumatic experience: world war, the Holocaust, and family trauma.

Selections by theorists such as Sigmund Freud, Cathy Caruth, Marianne Hirsch, Michael Rothberg, Kaja Silverman, Kirby Farrell, Jeffrey Alexander, Dori Laub, E. Ann Kaplan, Dominick LaCapra, Judith Herman, Ruth Leys, and Frank B. Wilderson III will be studied.

With the aid of these and other theorists, students will investigate the representation of traumatic experience and its aftermath in works by such authors as Sophocles, Erich Maria Remarque, Wolfgang Borchert, Elie Wiesel, W.G. Sebald, and Paula Vogel and films such as All Quiet on the Western FrontThe Murderers Are Among Us,Night and FogSophie’s Choice, and Monster’s Ball.

Consideration of these works will be complemented by contributions from students’ respective areas of specialization.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Comparative Literature, English, or a foreign-language literature, or consent of instructor (gefinney@ucdavis.edu).

Format: Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus, translated by Robert Fagles  (Penguin Classics, 2000)
  • Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, translated by A.W. Wheen  (Ballantine Books, 1987)
  • Wolfgang Borchert, The Man Outside: Play & Stories, translated by David Porter  (New Directions, 1971)
  • Paula Vogel, The Mammary Plays: Two Plays  (Theatre Communications Group, 1997)
  • W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants, translated by Michael Hulse  (New Directions, 1997)
  • Elie Wiesel, Night, translated by Marion Wiesel  (Hill and Wang, 2006)