2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog

German and German Studies


Students may complete a major or minor in German and German Studies.

Chairs

Imke Meyer, Professor and Co-Chair
Ulrich Schönherr, Associate Professor and Co-Chair

Faculty at Bryn Mawr College

David M. Kenosian, Lecturer
Imke Meyer, Professor and Co-Chair
Azade Seyhan, Professor (on leave semester II)

Faculty at Haverford College

Imke Brust, Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Ulrich Schönherr, Associate Professor and Co-Chair

The Bryn Mawr-Haverford Bi-College Department of German draws upon the expertise of the German faculty at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges to offer a broadly conceived German Studies program, incorporating a variety of courses and major options. The purpose of the major in German and German Studies is to lay the foundation for a critical understanding of German culture in its contemporary global context and its larger political, social, and intellectual history. To this end we encourage a thorough and comparative study of the German language and culture through its linguistic and literary history, systems of thought, institutions, political configurations, and arts and sciences.

The German program aims, by means of various methodological approaches to the study of another language, to foster critical thinking, expository writing skills, understanding of the diversity of culture(s), and the ability to respond creatively to the challenges posed by cultural difference in an increasingly global world. Course offerings are intended to serve both students with particular interests in German literature and literary theory and criticism, and those interested in studying German and German-speaking cultures from the perspective of communication arts, film, history, history of ideas, history of art and architecture, history of religion, institutions, linguistics, mass media, philosophy, politics, and urban anthropology and folklore.

A thorough knowledge of German is a goal for both major concentrations. The objective of our language instruction is to teach students communicative skills that enable them to function effectively in authentic conditions of language use and to speak and write in idiomatic German. A major component of all German courses is the examination of issues that underline the cosmopolitanism as well as the specificity and complexity of contemporary German culture. German majors can and are encouraged to take courses in interdisciplinary areas, such as comparative literature, film, gender and sexuality studies, growth and structure of cities, history, history of art, music, philosophy, and political science, where they read works of criticism in these areas in the original German. Courses relating to any aspect of German culture, history, and politics given in other departments can count toward requirements for the major or minor.

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College’s foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing GERM 101 and 102 with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in GERM 102.

Major Requirements

The German and German studies major consists of 10 units. All courses at the 200 or 300 level count toward the major requirements, either in a literature concentration or in a German studies concentration. A literature concentration normally follows the sequence 201 and/or 202; 209 or 212, or 214, 215; plus additional courses to complete the 10 units, two of them at the 300 level; and finally one semester of Senior Conference. A German studies major normally includes 223 and/or 224 or 245; one 200- and one 300-level course in German literature; three courses (at least one at the 300 level) in subjects central to aspects of German culture, history, or politics; and one semester of GERM 321 (Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies). Within each concentration, courses need to be selected so as to achieve a reasonable breadth, but also a degree of disciplinary coherence. Within departmental offerings, GERM 201 and 202 (Advanced Training) strongly emphasize the development of conversational, writing, and interpretive skills. German majors are encouraged, when possible, to take work in at least one foreign language other than German.

Honors

Any student who has completed a senior thesis and whose grade point average in the major at the end of the senior year is 3.8 or higher qualifies for departmental honors. Students who have completed a thesis and whose major grade point average at the end of the senior year is 3.6 or higher, but not 3.8, are eligible to be discussed as candidates for departmental honors. A student in this range of eligibility must be sponsored by at least one faculty member with whom she has done coursework, and at least one other faculty member must read some of the student’s advanced work and agree on the excellence of the work in order for departmental honors to be awarded. If there is a sharp difference of opinion, additional readers will serve as needed.

Minor Requirements

A minor in German and German studies consists of seven units of work. To earn a minor, students are normally required to take GERM 201 or 202, and four additional units covering a reasonable range of study topics, of which at least one unit is at the 300 level. Additional upper-level courses in the broader area of German studies may be counted toward the seven units with the approval of the department.

Study Abroad

Students majoring in German are encouraged to spend some time in German-speaking countries in the course of their undergraduate studies. Various possibilities are available: summer work programs, DAAD (German Academic Exchange) scholarships for summer courses at German universities, and selected junior year abroad programs.

GERM B/H001 Elementary German
Meets five hours a week with the individual class instructor, two hours with student drill instructors. Strong emphasis on communicative competence both in spoken and written German in a larger cultural context.
(Brust, Kenosian, Language Level 1)

GERM B/H002 Elementary German
Meets five hours a week with the individual class instructor, two hours with student drill instructors. Strong emphasis on communicative competence both in spoken and written German in a larger cultural context.
(Kenosian, Language Level 1)

GERM B/H101 Intermediate German
Thorough review of grammar, exercises in composition and conversation. Enforcement of correct grammatical patterns and idiomatic use of language. Study of selected literary and cultural texts and films from German-speaking countries.
(Schönherr, Seyhan, Language Level 2)

GERM B/H102 Intermediate German
Thorough review of grammar, exercises in composition and conversation. Enforcement of correct grammatical patterns and idiomatic use of language. Study of selected literary and cultural texts and films from German-speaking countries. Two semesters.
(Kenosian, Schönherr, Language Level 2)

GERM H201 Advanced Training: Language, Text, Context
Emphasis on the development of conversational, writing, and interpretive skills through an introductory study of German cultural, intellectual, and political life and history, including literature, film, public debate, institutional practices, mass media, pop culture, cross-cultural currents, and folklore. Course content may vary.
(Schönherr, Division I or III)

GERM B202 Introduction to German Studies
Interdisciplinary and historical approaches to the study of German language and culture. Selected texts for study are drawn from autobiography, Märchen, satire, philosophical essays and fables, art and film criticism, discourses of gender, travel writing, cultural productions of minority groups, and scientific and journalistic writings. Emphasis is on a critical understanding of issues such as linguistic imperialism and exclusion, language and power, gender and language, and ideology and language.
(Meyer, Division I or Division III)

GERM B209 Introduction to Literary Analysis: Philosophical Approaches to Criticism
A focus on applications and implications of theoretical and aesthetic models of knowledge for the study of literary works.
(Seyhan, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as COML B209
Cross-listed as PHIL B209
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B/H212 Readings in German Intellectual History
Course content varies. Study of selected texts of German intellectual history, introducing representative works of Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Jürgen Habermas, Georg W. F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Werner Heisenberg, Immanuel Kant, G. E. Lessing, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Schiller, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The course aims to introduce students to an advanced cultural reading range and the languages and terminology of humanistic disciplines in German-speaking countries, and seeks to develop their critical and interpretive skills.
(Meyer, Schönherr, Seyhan, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as PHIL B204
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B213 Theory in Practice: Critical Discourses in the Humanities
(Higginson, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as FREN B213
Cross-listed as COML B213
Cross-listed as PHIL B253

GERM B/H223 Topics in German Cultural Studies
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2010: “Writing Nations: Africa and Europe.” This course will explore ideas of nation-building in regard to the transnational relations between Europe and Africa. We will discuss African and European experiences of nation-creation to distinguish between exclusionary and inclusionary visions of nation states, and focus in particular on literary texts from Great Britain, Germany, and France in comparison with literary texts from Nigeria, South Africa, and Algeria. Previous topics include: History in European & Middle Eastern Literature;Kafka’s Prague; Decadent Munich 1890-1925.
(Brust, Kenosian, Division I or Division III)
Cross-listed as COML B223

GERM H224 Topics in German Visual Culture
Course content varies. Topic for Spring 2011: “Visualizing Europe.” The seminar is designed to provide a broad overview of the various aesthetic trends as well as political contexts, which have shaped the contemporary imagination/creation of the European Union. Engaging a variety of different texts, media, and disciplinary perspectives, this course will retrace and engage with the historical development of the idea of Europe from Ancient Greece to contemporary times, and assess the importance of visual representations of this idea in the current era of globalization and mass communication. Previous topics include: New German Cinema.
(Brust, Division I or Division III)

GERM B227 Topics in Modern Planning
(Hein, Division I: Social Science)
Cross-listed as CITY B227
Cross-listed as FREN B227
Cross-listed as HART B227
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B231 Cultural Profiles in Modern Exile
This course investigates the anthropological, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and literary aspects of modern exile. It studies exile as experience and metaphor in the context of modernity, and examines the structure of the relationship between imagined/remembered homelands and transnational identities, and the dialectics of language loss and bi- and multi-lingualism. Particular attention is given to the psychocultural dimensions of linguistic exclusion and loss. Readings of works by Julia Alvarez, Anita Desai, Sigmund Freud, Milan Kundera, Friedrich Nietzsche, Salman Rushdie, and others.
(Seyhan, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as ANTH B231
Cross-listed as COML B231
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B245 Interdisciplinary Approaches to German Literature and Culture
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2007: Sexuality and Gender in German Literature and Film. Previous topics include: Women’s Narratives on Modern Migrancy, Exile and Diaspora; Nation and Identity in Post-War Austria.
(Meyer, Seyhan, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as COML B245
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B262 Film and the German Literary Imagination
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2010: “Austrian Cinema: From the Silent Era to the Present.” This course offers an overview of Austrian cinema from the silent era to the present. We will trace the ways in which Austrian film grapples with the fall of the Habsburg Empire, World War I and its aftermath, Austro-Fascism, the Annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, World War II, Austria’s relation to the Holocaust, shifting notions of national identity after 1945, and Austria’s entrance into the European Union. Previous topics include: Travel in Post-War German and Austrian Film; Global Masculinities: The Male Body in Contemporary Cinema.
(Meyer, Division III: Humanities)

GERM B299 Cultural Diversity and Its Representations
A focus on representations of “foreignness” and “others” in selected German works since the 18th century, including works of art, social texts, and film, and on the cultural productions of non-German writers and artists living in Germany today. Topic for Spring 2009: Middle Eastern Cultures in Contemporary Germany.
(Seyhan, Division I or Division III)
Cross-listed as CITY B299
Cross-listed as COML B299
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B303 Modern German Prose
(Meyer, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B305 Modern German Drama
Course content varies. Topic for Spring 2011: “Representations of Family in German Drama.” This seminar focuses on discourses on the family advanced by German and Austrian playwrights from the second half of the 18th century to the late 20th century. Focusing on the dramatic representation of the family will allow us to analyze the link between bourgeois and national identity, and we will also have the opportunity to address questions of gender, class, generational conflict, bourgeois morality, religion, and Bildung. We will trace the development of theatrical representations of family through the interpretation of selected dramatic and theoretical texts. Taught in German.
(Meyer, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as COML B305

GERM B308 Political Transformation in Eastern and Western Europe: Germany and Its Neighbors
(Hager, Division I: Social Science)
Cross-listed as POLS B308
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B310 Topics in German Literature
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2010: “Leaps of Faith: Religion in German Literature and Culture.” This course focuses on discourses on religion in German literature and culture. We will analyze representations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in German literature. We will also discuss representations of religious institutions, as well as representations of the role these institutions play within German society at various points in history. We will pay particular attention to the intersections of discourses on religion with discourses on family, gender, class, and race. One additional hour of target language instruction TBA. Previous topics include: Decadent Munich: 1890-1925.
(Meyer, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as HEBR B310

GERM H320 Topics in German Literature and Culture
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2010: “Sex - Crime – Madness: The Birth of Modernism and the Aesthetics of Transgression.” The emancipation from rule-bound poetics and didactic and moral constraints led to a redefinition of literature around 1800, for which the classic/classicist triad of the true, the good, and the beautiful was no longer valid. Focusing on major literary figures from Goethe to Brecht, the seminar will examine the ‘paradigm shift’ towards a modern aesthetics of transgression in which social, racial, and sexual deviancy take center stage. Previous topics include: Contemporary German Fiction; and Configurations of Femininity in German Literature.
(Schönherr, Division I or Division III)

GERM B/H321 Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies
Course content varies. Topic for Spring 2011 at Bryn Mawr: “The Last Days of Habsburg: Vienna 1900 and the End of an Empire.” Art, architecture, theater, literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis were grappling with the seismic shifts which constructions of gender, family, class, ethnic identity, and religious identity were undergoing as the Habsburg Empire crumbled. Topic for Spring 2011 at Haverford: “Berlin/Germany from a Transnational Perspective.” After familiarizing ourselves with the concepts and theories of cosmopolitanism, internationalism, transnationalism/transnational identity, we will primarily focus on a variety of different texts written by German immigrant writers, Germans in the diaspora, as well as foreigners about Germany and Berlin.
(Brust, Hertel, Meyer, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as CITY B319
Cross-listed as COML B321
Cross-listed as HART B348

GERM B380 Topics in Contemporary Art
(Saltzman, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as HART B380
Cross-listed as HEBR B380
Not offered in 2010-11.

GERM B/H399 Senior Seminar
(Kenosian, Schönherr)

GERM B403 Supervised Work
(Staff)

GERM B421 German for Reading Knowledge
This course will provide graduate and undergraduate students with the skills to read and translate challenging academic texts from German into English. We will quickly cover the essentials of German grammar and focus on vocabulary and constructions that one can encounter in scholarly writing from a variety of disciplines. Does not fulfill the Language Requirement.
(Kenosian)