2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog

German and German Studies

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

Faculty

David M Kenosian, Lecturer in German and German Studies
Azade Seyhan, Fairbank Professor in the Humanities, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Interim Chair of German (on leave semester II)

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.

COURSES

GERM B001 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.
Requirement(s): Language Level 1
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kenosian,D.
(Fall 2013)

GERM B002 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.
Requirement(s): Language Level 1
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kenosian,D.
(Spring 2014)

GERM B101 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.
Requirement(s): Language Level 2
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kenosian,D.
(Fall 2013)

GERM B102 Intermediate German
This course is the continuation of GERM 101 (Intermediate German I). We will concentrate on all four language skills--speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. We will build on the knowledge that students gained in the elementary-level courses and then honed in GERM 101. This course will also provide students with an introduction to selected aspects of German culture.
Requirement(s): Language Level 2
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Meyer,I.
(Spring 2014)

GERM B202 Introduction to German Studies
In this course, we will concentrate on all four language skills – speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension. However, we will place a special emphasis on the skills of reading and writing. In addition, you will be introduced to different literary and non-literary text genres. You will practice writing in different genres, as well. We will read newspaper articles, film reviews, fairy tales, short stories, and poetry. We will also screen a film.
Requirement(s): Division I or Division III
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2014)

GERM B212 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and the Rhetoric of Modernity
This course examines selected writings by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud as pre-texts for a critique of cultural reason and underlines their contribution to questions of language, representation, history, ethics, and art. These three visionaries of modernity have translated the abstract metaphysics of “the history of the subject” into a concrete analysis of human experience. Their work has been a major influence on the Frankfurt School of critical theory and has also led to a revolutionary shift in the understanding and writing of history and literature now associated with the work of modern French philosophers Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, and Jacques Lacan. Our readings will, therefore, also include short selections from these philosophers in order to analyze the contested history of modernity and its intellectual and moral consequences. Special attention will be paid to the relation between rhetoric and philosophy and the narrative forms of “the philosophical discourse(s) of modernity” (e.g., sermon and myth in Marx; aphorism and oratory in Nietzsche, myth, fairy tale, case hi/story in Freud). Cross-listed with Philosophy 204.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B204
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B213 Theory in Practice: Critical Discourses in the Humanities
This is a topics course. Topics vary. An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): ITAL-B213; RUSS-B253; PHIL-B253; HART-B213
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Monserrati,M.
(Fall 2013)

GERM B223 Topics in German Cultural Studies
This is a topics course. Topics vary.
Requirement(s): Division I or Division III
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B247; COML-B223
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2014)

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.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Latin Amer/Latino/Iberian Peoples & Cultures; International Studies Major
Crosslisting(s): COML-B231; ANTH-B231
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B245 Interdisciplinary Approaches to German Literature and Culture
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Taught in English.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): ENGL-B260; COML-B245
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Meyer,I.

Spring 2014: Current topic description: This course focuses on the literature and cinema of Austria after 1945. Since World War II and the Holocaust, Austria has grappled with the burdens of its history. Austria’s national self-image alternates between that of ”Hitler’s first victim” and that of a land implicitly perpetuating the fascist structures of its Nazi past. We will analyze post-war literary texts and films to interrogate notions of nation and identity in post-fascist Austria. Taught in English translation.

GERM B262 Topics: Film and the German Literary Imagination
This is a topics course. Topics vary.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Crosslisting(s): ENGL-B261
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B303 Modern German Prose
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Taught in German.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Meyer,I.

Spring 2014: Current topic description: Auf welche Weisen produzieren erzählende Texte Bedeutungen? Mit welchen Mitteln hinterfragen sie ethische, historische oder soziale Zusammenhänge? Was für Zwecke erfüllen erzählende Texte? Können erzählende Texte den Leser/die Leserin manipulieren? Wir werden Erzählprosa aus dem 18., 19. und 20. Jahrhundert lesen und dabei nicht nur die Form der Texte untersuchen, sondern auch die Inhalte und Fragen, die sie aufwerfen.

GERM B305 Modern German Drama
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Taught in German.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Crosslisting(s): COML-B305
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B310 Topics in German Literature
This is a topics course. Topics vary. One additional hour of target language instruction TBA.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Crosslisting(s): HEBR-B310
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B320 Topics in German Literature and Culture
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Previous topics include: Romantic Literary Theory and Literary Modernity; Configurations of Femininity in German Literature; Nietzsche and Modern Cultural Criticism; Contemporary German Fiction; No Child Left Behind: Education in German Literature and Culture.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Counts towards: Film Studies
Crosslisting(s): EDUC-B320
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B321 Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Topic for 2011-12 was The Transnational Cosmopolitanism of Swiss Literature.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): HART-B348; COML-B321; CITY-B319
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B329 Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein is notable for developing two philosophical systems. In the first, he attempted to show that there is a single common structure underlying all language, thought and being. In the second, he denied the idea of such a structure and claimed that the job of philosophy was to free philosophers from bewitchments due to misunderstandings of ordinary concepts in language. The course begins by sketching the first system. We then turn to his rejection of the earlier ideas as outlined in Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty. We also examine contemporary interpretations of Wittgenstein’s later work.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B329
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B380 Topics in Contemporary Art
This is a topic course. Course content varies.
Requirement(s): Division III: Humanities
Crosslisting(s): HART-B380
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2013-14)

GERM B399 Senior Seminar
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kenosian,D.
(Spring 2014)

GERM B403 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Dept. staff, TBA
(Fall 2013)

GERM B403 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Dept. staff, TBA
(Spring 2014)

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.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Seyhan,A.
(Fall 2013)