Current & Future Courses
Course Offerings Fall 2018
- German Undergraduate Courses in German
- German Undergraduate Courses in English
- German Graduate Courses
- Russian Courses in Russian
- Russian Courses in English
- Courses taught Outside the Department
GER 1101: Elementary German I
This course guides students in acquiring the fundamentals of German for meaningful communication in an authentic cultural context. Students will develop basic language skills through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Topics of discussion include hobbies and activities, your daily routine, your family, your studies, food, your living environment, the regions of Germany, and more. Students will begin to interpret and discuss German texts from a variety of media to enhance their knowledge of German, Austrian, and Swiss cultures. No prerequisite (for beginners). 
MWF 9:10-10:00 (Staff) | 10:10 – 11:00 (Staff) | 11:10-12:00 (Staff) | 12:10-1 (Staff)
GER 1102: Elementary German II
This course continues to guide students in acquiring the fundamentals of German for meaningful communication in an authentic cultural context. Students will develop basic language skills through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Topics of discussion include travel, education, health, entertainment, shopping, and Germany’s role in the European Union. Students will read and discuss German texts from a variety of media to enhance their knowledge of German, Austria, and Swiss cultures. Prerequisite GER 1101 or equivalent. 
MWF 10:10-11:00 (Staff) | 11:10-12 (Staff)
GER 2201: Intermediate German I
This course guides students in the development of intermediate German linguistic and cultural proficiency through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and discussions of German culture. Emphasis is placed on developing communicative skills, reading short texts, writing essays. Topics of discussion include German history, culture, film, and current events. The course includes a comprehensive review of German grammar, with emphasis on more advanced structures. Prerequisite GER 1102 or equivalent. 
MWF 10:10-11:00 (Staff) | 12:10-1:00 (Staff)
GER 2202: Intermediate German II
This course continues to guide students in the development of intermediate German linguistic and cultural proficiency through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and discussions of German culture. Emphasis is placed on developing communicative skills, reading short texts, writing essays. Topics of discussion include the geography and culture of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, German-language literature, and current events. The course includes a comprehensive review of German grammar and prepares students for upper-level courses in German. Prerequisite GER 2201 or equivalent. 
MWF 9:10-10:00 (Staff) | 12:10-1 (Schade)
GER 3201: Advanced German I
This course guides students in acquiring advanced German skills through a close study of contemporary German culture, politics, and society. Materials include current German-language news articles, literary texts, films, television, and music. Topics of discussion include post-Wall Germany, memory and memorialization, migration and Leitkultur, and Germany’s role in the EU. Students contribute to a blog, write essays, give presentations, and write a short research paper in German. The course is required for German majors and is a prerequisite for students entering upper-level German-language courses. Prerequisite GER 2202 or equivalent. 
MWF 11:10-12 (Schade)
GER 4553: 20th and 21st Century Culture and Literature
Literature, history, aesthetics, and politics in German-speaking cultures from Dada to the present. May be repeated for credit if there is no duplication in topic. Prerequisite: 3201 and 3202W.  (INT)
TR 4:00-5:15 (TBD)
GER 4555: Topics in German Studies | Nature Clash: Animals, Plants, and the Formation of German Culture
The idea of nature is a social construct. Our understanding of nature has changed over time and impacted the self-image of Western culture. We will discuss how artists, philosophers, film directors, and architects conceptualized nature with the help of texts, movies, and landscapes. Students will learn about attempts to recreate a memory of the Garden of Eden, mythologize animals and forests, reconcile the rift between nature and culture, experience the wilderness, and document the destruction of the environment. We will look into the connection between thought, art, and power by analyzing different media, ranging from poetry to novels, philosophical to political statements, and gardens to zoos. Students will be able to make sense of topics such as exoticism, technology, colonialism, mythology, love, and death as well as the rise of environmentalism as a political movement by the end of this course.
Taught in German. If not listed below as required for purchase, texts will be available on Brightspace.
TR 1:10-2:25 (Zeller)
GER 1111-W: First-Year Writing Seminar | Tales of Love, Violence, and Surveillance
Surveillance has changed from the act of simple human observation to a sophisticated network of satellites that possess a nearly omniscient gaze. What damage is caused to the individual identity and to interpersonal relationships in a society where our every move is monitored? How do gender, politics, and culture influence who and what is observed? This course will examine the effects of changing methods of surveillance through the critical reading of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Franz Kafka, Christa Wolf, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt, among others. No knowledge of German is required.  (INT)MWF 10:10-11 (Romero)
GER 2441: Great German Works in English
What are “great works?” Why do they endure over centuries? What is their contemporary relevance? These are some of the questions that will inform our readings of German authors from 1750 to the present. We will explore changing notions of the subject and its relations to community; the foundations of modern society; the relationship of culture and history; and shifting ideas of the nation and national identity. Our focus will be on close readings of texts as well as on the historical and social context. Readings will include works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Christa Wolf, and Herta Müller. Knowledge of German is not required; all texts will be available in English translation.
MWF 9:10-10 (McFarland)
GER 2570: The Holocaust (JS 3100)
The history of the Holocaust: its origins, development, and its legacy in the context of Germany and European history.  (INT)
MWF 1:10-2 (Joskowicz)
GER 2581: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (PHIL 2104)
A study of selected themes and writings from nineteenth-century European philosophers.  (INT)
TR 9:35 – 10:50(Ng)
GER 2563: 20th Century Germany (HIST 2300)
The turbulent history of Germany, as it went from authoritarian state to volatile democracy, to National Socialist dictatorship, to divided country, and to reunification. Special emphasis placed on the Nazi dictatorship, its origins and legacy.  (INT)TR 11-12:15 (Blackbourn)
GER 7101: Foundations I: Transition Points of Modern German Culture
This course offers an overview of major historical, intellectual, and aesthetic transition points in Germany from 1750 to the present. Students focus on political ideas, aesthetic representations, and social history that shaped and shaped and transformed culture. Students will discuss Enlightenment concepts such as “nation,” “reason,” and “tradition” that were part of a program of an “aesthetic education,” for example, the emerging “Nationaltheater” or Friedrich Schiller’s On the Aesthetic Education of Men (1795) that provided the ethical foundation for the rising middle class’s turn to art and literature. The turn from cosmopolitanism to nationalism during the nineteenth century anticipated a “dialectic of Enlightenment” (Horkheimer and Adorno) that put an end to the naïve principle of reason during World War I and II as well as the Holocaust. Students familiarize themselves with the repercussions of the Enlightenment tradition, its societal impact (political shifts of power), its material manifestation (technological progress and the invention of new media), and its continuation to the present (multiculturalism and inclusion and its challenges during the European migration crisis). This is one of three mandatory foundation courses for Ph.D. candidates in the German Ph.D. program and a prerequisite for taking the Preliminary Exam. 
W 3-5:30 (Werner)
GER 8102: Problems in Germanic Languages and Literatures | Reading Poetry, Writing on Poetry
“Poetry is closest to thought,” Hannah Arendt once wrote, suggesting that poetry has more in common with philosophy than with other literary genres. In this seminar, we will read poems, written in the 20th century by Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Trakl, Else Lasker-Schüler, Gottfried Benn, Bertolt Brecht, Paul Celan, and Ingeborg Bachmann. The poems will be accompanied by essays, written by Hannah Arendt, Gottfried Benn, Joseph Brodsky, Anne Carson, Martin Heidegger, Margarete Susman, et. al., that address the notorious “difficulty” of modern poetry.The seminar will be taught in three blocks during the fall semester. Block 1: September 21-23, Block 2: September 28-30, Block 3: October 12-14, 2018 (Hahn)
GER 8205: Sem: Intellectual Constellations |
The Death of God in German Thought
Perhaps nothing Friedrich Nietzsche wrote is more notorious than his claim that Gott ist tot. But what does this claim mean? “There has never been a greater deed” Nietzsche’s madman insists; “and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.” How does this claim relate to the atheistic claim that God is an illusion or a myth, or to the Christian claim that God died on the cross? In this course, we will reconstruct the background of Nietzsche’s famous formula in the work of Jean Paul, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx, as well as examining the legacy of this motif in twentieth century existential and critical thought, from Weber, Freud, and Heidegger to contemporary critical theory. All readings in German.
M 3-5:30 (McFarland)
RUS 1101: First-Year Russian I
This course guides students in acquiring the fundamentals of Russian for meaningful communication in an authentic cultural context. Students will develop basic language skills through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Topics of discussion include hobbies and activities, your daily routine, your family, your studies, food, your living environment, the regions of Russia, and more. Students will begin to interpret and discuss Russian texts from a variety of media to enhance their knowledge of Russian culture. No prerequisite (for beginners).  (INT)
MTWRF 11:10-12 (Staff2-MWF/Johnson-TR)
RUS 2201: Second Year Russian I
This course guides students in the development of intermediate Russian linguistic and cultural proficiency through practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and discussions of Russian culture. Emphasis is placed on developing communicative skills, reading short texts, writing essays. Topics of discussion include Russian history, culture, film, and current events. The course includes a comprehensive review of Russian grammar, with emphasis on more advanced structures. Prerequisite RUSS 1102 or equivalent.  (INT)
MTWR 12:10-1 (Gorski MTR/Johnson W)
RUS 3303: Advanced Grammar and Reading
Advanced grammar and reading skills. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: 2202.  (INT)
TR 1:10-2:25 | W 3:10-4 (Johnson)
RUS 1111-07: First-Year Writing Seminar: Between Stalin and Hitler: Eastern Europe in World War II
From 1938 to 1945, the lands between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany experienced brutal occupations, mass violence and genocide, civil war, and grave humanitarian crises. Ordinary people faced choices: to work with the arriving armies, to hide, or to join a resistance. This course brings together diverse first-hand accounts of people who lived and experienced the war in Eastern Europe through diaries, memoirs, and novels. We will analyze the challenges and experiences of the war and the difficult choices faced by people living in Eastern Europe. This is a First-Year Writing Seminar. Students will be introduced to the norms and expectations of college-level research and writing. We will hold library sessions and writing workshops periodically throughout the semester.
MWF 9:10-10 (Greble)
RUS 1111-01: Classic Russian Short Novels
TR 9:35-10:50 (TBD)
RUS 1910W: 19th Century Russian Literature | The Russian Novel
The 19th century novel is widely regarded as the supreme achievement of Russian literature. The directness, honesty, and forcefulness with which it depicts the most essential aspects of human experience is balanced by a profound sense of life’s sacredness. By focusing on two contemporaneous novels Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the course will explore the Russian novel in the moment of its most intense development. While dealing with the same philosophical problems – the intensity of erotic fascination and its uncontrollable potential for violence – Tolstoy and Dostoevsky offer two radically different approaches to narrative. Through careful reading, thoughtful discussion and continuous writing the students will learn to appreciate the novel as a unique medium through which to engage life’s exciting and challenging complexity. Knowledge of Russian is not required.
MWF 2:10-3 (Staff)
RUS 1874: Russian Fairy Tales
Russia has one of the most vibrant fairy tale traditions in the world, best known for such creative and eccentric figures as Baba Yaga, a cannibal witch, who lives in a hut on chicken’s legs, and Koschei, an evil wizard whose death is hidden in an egg under an oak tree. We will begin this course with an overview of Russia’s distinctive fairy tales, discussing them in terms of their content, context and cultural significance, as well as applying approaches such as structuralism and feminism. We will then explore famous adaptations of fairy tales, plots and themes by Tolstoy, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and others, tracing the path of the fairy tale from Pagan Rus to Putin’s Russia. Knowledge of Russian is not required.
MWF 10-11 (Denischenko)
RUS 2460 Modern Yiddish Literature in Translation (JS 2215)
Late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Diaspora, minority writing, gender, from shtetl to city, and the Holocaust.  (INT)
TR 9:35-10:50 (Schachter)
RUS 2745: The Russian and East European Avant-garde(s)
Introduction to experimental art-both verbal and visual-in Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1910s-1930s. Exploration of Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Surrealism through the avant-garde's engagement with various genres and media: the manifesto, performance, sound and image poetry, painting, photomontage, artist's book,magazine, and film. Knowledge of Russian is not required.  (INT)
MW 11 – 12:15 (Denischenko)
RUS 2910: Russia: Old Regime to Revolution (HIST 2130)
Russian history from the early nineteenth-century old regime through the Russian Revolution of 1917. Culture, society, and serfdom; the Great Reforms, ideology, and radicalism; industrialization; modernity in an agrarian society; twentieth-century revolutions.  (INT)
TR 2:35-3:50 (Wcislo)
RUS 3891: Select Topics:
Literature and Culture of Post-Soviet Russia
This course examines literature, film, and art produced in Russia during the recent decades of volatility and social upheaval. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has seen a flourishing of diverse voices across media—from prose and poetry to film, performance, and visual art. We will explore the vibrant—and often violent, subversive, and experimental—culture of post-Soviet Russia through prose works by Ludmila Petrushevskaya, Tatiana Tolstaya, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Viktor Pelevin, Zakhar Prilepin, Vladimir Sorokin, and Alisa Ganieva, films by Anna Melikian, Aleksei Balabanov, and Timur Bekmambetov, poetry by Dmitrii Prigov, Elena Fanailova, and Linor Goralik, and the performance art of Petr Pavlensky and Pussy Riot. No prior knowledge of Russian required.
TR 4:10 – 5:25 (Gorski)
Muslims in Europe
This course explores the history of Europe’s diverse Muslim communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Focusing on cases from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, and the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans, it investigates legal, political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of Muslims engagements with European states and societies. Topics include how distinct Muslim judiciaries and legal councils took shape in Europe, the ways that global networks, ideological movements, and international law shaped Muslim experiences and rights as Europeans, and the place of gender, religious belief, ethnicity, class, and race in framing discourses about Muslims in Europe.
MWF 11:10 – 12 (Greble)
CMAP 8001: Media and the Senses
This seminar provides a rigorous introduction to modern media theory. Special attention is given to the way in which contemporary media address and reshape the human sensorium. Students will engage with different theories of vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and locomotion and with how media technologies such phonography, photography, cinema, and digital imaging have captured and reworked human sensory perception. Additional attention will be paid to the question of how the human body and brain have been theorized and mapped as media, as the primary medium of sensation. Readings will include the work of canonical media theorists such as Arnheim, Benjamin, Crary, Heidegger, Manovich, McLuhan, as well as more recent writing from fields and disciplines as diverse as the neurosciences, gaming theory, cultural anthropology, and musicology. Various campus experts from different disciplines will offer their perspectives throughout the semester and engage participants in interdisciplinary discussions of how media and human body interact with each other.
PHIL 3104: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche
Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were giants of 19th century philosophy. Kierkegaard, a Christian existentialist, is famous for his leap of faith, while Nietzsche, a devout atheist, promoted the Ubermensch, and declared the death of God. But are they as far apart as they seem? What if they challenge the very categories to which we traditionally assign them?
TR 1:10-2:25 (Wood)
PHIL 9020: Critical Theory
Survey of topics in philosophy. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. 
T 6:10-8:30 (Ng)
PHIL 3010: Phenomenology
Selected readings from such thinkers as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty on the structures of experience, the sources and limits of knowledge, mind, and body, interpersonal relations, and the meaning of freedom.
MWF 11:10-12:00 (Cornelissen)