The Bi-College Department of German and German Studies enables students to gain a critical understanding of the political, social, and historical influences that shaped German culture and to analyze its role in the contemporary global context.
The Department draws upon the expertise of the German faculty at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges to offer a broadly conceived German studies program that emphasizes a thorough and comparative study of German language and culture through its linguistic and literary history, systems of thought, institutions, political configurations, arts and sciences.
Course offerings serve both students with particular interests in German literature, 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.
For both major concentrations, a thorough knowledge of the German language equips students with communicative skills that will enable them to function effectively in authentic conditions of language use and to speak and write in idiomatic German. Students also develop critical thinking and writing skills as well as a sensitivity to cultural diversity and the ability to respond creatively to the challenges posed by cultural difference in an increasingly global world.
German majors 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.