Search Target

Spring 2019 courses in German Studies

GERM 101: Elementary German I

Frank Mischke

Acquisition of basic grammar and vocabulary, development of reading and speaking skills, introduction to cross-cultural communication. Introduces students to German culture and to cultural interdependencies between German-speaking countries and the U.S. Texts augmented by multimedia materials. Not for native speakers. Not open to students who have passed the high school German Regents examination within the past three years. Meets four times per week; grades based on quizzes, chapter tests, in-class compositions, class participation and special assignments. Successful completion of both GERM 101-102 will fulfill the Gen Ed G requirement. Students must take both GERM 101 and 102 for a letter grade to receive the G; courses must be taken at Binghamton University to receive the G.

GERM 102: Elementary German II

Jan Hohenstein, Anna Pfeifer

Continuation of GERM 101. Acquisition of basic grammar and vocabulary, development of reading, writing and speaking skills in an interactive learning environment. Encouraging cultural awareness through texts, films, discussions, etc., and understanding German in a global context. Successful completion of both GERM 101-102 will fulfill the Gen Ed G requirement. Students must take both GERM 101 and 102 for a letter grade to receive the G; courses must be taken at Binghamton University to receive the G.

GERM 181G: Intensive German Grammar

Anna Pfeifer

This course offers a thorough review of the major areas of German grammar. The course emphasizes linguistic accuracy and is designed to familiarize students with the most important aspects of German grammar at the elementary and intermediate levels, such as the major verb tenses, the cases and declinations of nouns, articles, and adjectives, word order, pronouns, and the like. Student needs and preferences will help determine what areas receive special focus; this course is for all students who want to consolidate, improve, and perfect their knowledge of German grammar and their ability to use spoken and written German with accuracy and nuance. Prerequisites: Successful completion of GERM 102 or equivalent, or instructor's permission.

GERM 203: Intermediate German I

Gülden Olgun

Helps students develop ability to communicate in German beyond the basic "survival" level. Begins with a systematic review of German grammar that continues through the second semester at the intermediate level. Students read a series of short literary texts and work with texts taken from popular culture, as they improve their reading, writing and discussion skills. Designed especially for students who are interested in the humanities and social sciences. Prerequisites: GERM 102 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

GERM 204: Intermediate German II

Anna Pfeifer

Continuation of GERM 203. First step in expansion of German-language skills beyond functional areas of information exchange, description and narration. By reading and responding to a variety of stimulating texts (modern fiction, lyrics, newspaper articles, historical texts, film clips), students develop both comprehension skills and the ability to express and support their own opinions and interpretations. Equal emphasis on both spoken and written expression. Includes review of more complex grammatical structures and activities designed to broaden vocabulary resources.

GERM 241E/COLI 280A/ENG 200A: Fairy Tales in Social History

Rosmarie Morewedge

A study of the shift from the oral folk tale to the literary fairy tale in France and Germany to discover how tales mirror symbolically the social historical processes that occur in the transformation of an agrarian society into an industrialized society that dreams of social mobility. We shall explore great fairy tales that mirror the transformation of social attitudes and behavior in connection with societal changes occurring from absolutism to enlightenment, from authoritarian aristocratic rule to the French Revolution and to utopian but also progressive and satirical thinking that continued in its wake. We will explore the role of tales in the civilizing process, as the development of the self and social evolution become grand themes. Formal aspects of tales, gender construction, the intersection of gender and class, confrontational and participatory modes of behavior, the historical location of authority and negotiations with power by the rising middle class, and implications of the development of literacy by the middle class will be further topics of discussion. In English; no knowledge of German required; an additional weekly one hour discussion section of the course will be offered to those wishing to work in German.
Gen Ed: H, W

GERM 241L/MDVL 280C: Myths of Power

Rosmarie Morewedge

Courts, Kings, Dynasties and Cities in Germany: Myths of Power in Images and Icons Focusing on the time span of the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, we shall explore the rise of sacral kingship, the institutionalization of power, the development of major courts of the high nobility, power struggles between the more conservative forces of power and the ascending middle class in cities, as well as centripetal and centrifugal force fields that shape the center and the periphery . We will study icons and images, read texts and watch a number of films, making use of a series of compelling docudramas produced by the German broadcaster ZdF, as well as feature films, but will also critique literary and visual depictions of these historical power struggles. We will explore how these iconic images – linked often to myths of power-- have contributed to the shaping of aristocratic status, social hierarchies and social mobility, and ultimately to a regional, urban and/or national identity in Germany.
Gen Ed: H, W

GERM 306: Texts and Contexts II

Carl Gelderloos

Texts and Contexts II: GERM 306 offers students the opportunity to refine modes of expression, improve accuracy and fluency and build cultural competency in German by engaging with important trends, ideas and events in the German-speaking world. It prepares students for more advanced work in German Studies in an interdisciplinary context. Students will engage texts and images from a range of genres (literature, history, philosophy, politics film, popular culture, news media, art) to improve critical reading abilities and accuracy in writing. The course also reviews advanced grammar structures in context. Taught entirely in German. Prerequisite: GERM 305 or instructor permission.


 GERM 380 courses—taught in English

 GERM 380G: The Holocaust

Gina Glasman

The Holocaust: A History of the Resistance from Anti-Fascist Brigades to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This class explores the history of Jewish resistance to the existential threat posed by Nazism, both before and during the Second World War. All kinds of responses to that threat – political and cultural, collective and individual – will form part of our inquiry into this terrible historical moment. History, memoir literature and popular song will act as our guides. All sources will be in English translation.
Gen Ed: H, W

GERM 380I: Post-War Germany

Harald Zils

After Germany's defeat in 1945, the country, divided into four, then two parts by the victorious allies, found itself in political, moral, intellectual and economic crisis. In the eye of the Cold War, German societies in east and west had to choose whether to come to terms with the past in order to make decisions for the future; or to remain silent and to suppress memories in favor of a truce for the present. The course focuses on four decisive years in the history of the two new states: 1949; 1956; 1961; and 1968. Three presentations (two short, one long), midterm, final. Course taught in English.
Gen Ed: H, W

GERM 380K: Modern Yiddish Culture

Gina Glasman

In the half century before the Second World War, a Yiddish ­speaking "Jewish Street" stretched from Buenos Aires to Boston, from London to Lodz, with many cities in between. What characterized the culture of this mostly urban and modernizing society is the subject of this class. Cinema and short stories, poetry and politics provide our vehicle to explore the world of Eastern European Jewry in a time of radical transformation and approaching catastrophe (all material is in English). If a student has taken a 200-level version of Modern Yiddish Culture they will not receive credit for this course.
Gen Ed: H, J

GERM 380N: Staging Revolutions

Carl Gelderloos

In this course we will read plays about revolution. Specifically, we will be exploring German works from the 18th to the 21st centuries (in English translation) that deal with revolutions, revolts, uprisings, and violence. As the literary form that actually involves people modeling a social situation on a stage in front of other people, drama seems uniquely suited to represent the thoughts, ideas, and impulses behind moments of political and social conflict and upheaval, as well as to explore questions of agency, individuality, collectivity, and nation; yet how does drama represent mass social and political events with only a few actors on stage, and how does the genre respond to this problem of representation? Our focus on revolutions will allow us to see how the history of German drama offers a wide variety of strategies by which literature grapples with society, history, and politics. We will read texts by Aristotle, Lessing, Schiller, Büchner, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Brecht, and Arendt, among others. This is a writing class, which means both that you will learn to write analytically about literature, and that analytic writing will be the primary tool with which you will probe and learn about the texts we will be reading. Writing is a process that involves many overlapping and recursive stages, including planning, brainstorming, rereading, drafting, revising, reviewing, rewriting, and revising. Your active, thoughtful participation at all stages of this process is essential to your success in this course. Course taught in English
Gen Ed: C, H


 GERM 381C: German Culture 1871–1989

Neil Christian Pages

Course surveys major themes, events and intellectual discourses in German cultural history from the founding of the first German nation state in 1871 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The course will place special emphasis on the year "1918" and its reverberations in German culture and politics. GERM 381C equips students with skills in critical analysis of texts, formal writing and oral expression needed for more advanced work in German Studies. It is excellent preparation for study abroad in a German-speaking country. Taught in German. Prerequisites: Interest in German cultural history and a desire to learn more. Students should have completed GERM 305 or the equivalent.

Last Updated: 1/30/19