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2020-2021 Course Catalog

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This catalog was created on Sunday, June 20, 2021.


German

Professor:B. Peterson (chair terms II and III)
Associate professor:A. Guenther-Pal (chair term I) (on leave term(s) II, III)
Assistant professor:V. Plumly
Visiting assistant professor:M. Carone

Did you know:  

  • German is the official language or co-language of 9 countries and that it is a minority language throughout the globe including in Poland, Namibia, Brazil, and Romania? It is the most spoken native language in the European Union.
  • The Sorbs/Wends are a Slavic minority who have maintained many of their cultural traditions and practices in eastern Germany?
  • The first Institute of Sexology was founded in Berlin in 1919?
  • The U.S. poet Audre Lorde taught at the Free University in Berlin in the 1980s and 1990s, helping spur the Afro-German movement?
  • Germany is home to the largest Turkish population outside of Turkey?
  • Between 23% and 38% of the populations of Austria, Germany and Switzerland have a migrant background?

A relevant field for the 21st century, German Studies emphasizes the diversity of the German-speaking world. Of course, German has long been a crucial language of culture, the arts, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences. The German-speaking countries have played a significant role in European and global world history, while united Germany is one of the driving forces behind European integration and economic development. The Germanophone world offers some of the most innovative literature, music, art, film and other forms of cultural expression and a breadth of multicultural perspectives. As a result, German is an important language—not just in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland—but also throughout the world.

The German department at Lawrence University embraces the notion of German cultural studies. We guide students through the process not just of language learning, but also becoming familiar with the literature, history, and culture, including popular culture—film, television and popular literature—of the German-speaking countries. We believe that language is always part of a larger context, and our beginning language instruction integrates pertinent cultural material. Most classes, even at the elementary level, are conducted in German, and the program insists that every course, at all levels, is both a language and culture course.

Furthermore, German Studies courses encourage students to develop analytical, interpretive and critical thinking skills and we embrace interdisciplinary frameworks. Our faculty work in and across multiple programs and departments including: Ethnic Studies, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Global Studies and History. Similarly, our courses draw from many intellectual traditions, including, literary studies, film studies, queer studies, gender studies, history, critical race studies, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, disability studies, and history of science. We view all cultural artifacts as “readable.” This means not only literature, but also film, history, comics, music, art and visual culture, architecture, politics, social media, fashion, and much more. We believe this exciting mix of approaches and geographic locations enables students to most effectively understand an increasingly dynamic, diverse, and interdependent international community, a global community in which the German-speaking countries are ever more important. The knowledge and skills that German Studies students acquire are applicable to a wide variety of careers and offer a lifetime of cultural rewards.

We offer many opportunities for students to study in the German-speaking world through our affiliated programs in Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna. We also offer a short-term trip to Berlin in conjunction with the course Berlin: Experiencing a Great City. On campus students can maintain a connection to things German through the department’s lunch and dinner tables, which are all facilitated by our language assistants, as well as other departmental programming.

Required for the major in German

The German major requirements are structured so as to offer students the flexibility to select courses based on their individual interests. After attaining proficiency in the language, the only required courses are GER312: Reading Texts and Contexts and the Senior Experience (either GER600: Senior Seminar or an independent study).

Students who complete the major in German can expect to achieve the following:

  • At least intermediate-high to advanced-low level proficiency in the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing);
  • The ability to engage critically and analytically with a variety of literary and cultural texts (e.g., poetry, film, drama, material culture, visual art, historical documents, novels, popular music) by situating them in their aesthetic, historical, political, social and (inter-)cultural contexts;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Germanophone cultures as diverse, dynamic, multi-lingual, and global;
  • At the culmination of the major, execute the research and writing skills to carry out an independent project relevant to the discipline of German Studies using primary and secondary resources.

The major in German requires:

  1. 60 units beyond GER 202, including GER 312: Reading Texts and Contexts. At least 36 of these units must be taken at Lawrence. Only 12 units taught in English may count toward the major, but tutorials in German taken in conjunction with courses taught in English may count as German credit.
  2. Students usually complete a capstone project in the senior seminar or in conjunction with a departmental course taken during the senior year (see Senior Experience below).
  3. Students who expect to graduate present a portfolio by the second week of their final term. The student's advisor will review a portfolio consisting of the following materials submitted electronically:
    1. a brief reflection statement in which students evaluate their intellectual development as German majors
    2. a list of courses taken for the major
    3. sample Lesejournale or other short writing assignments from all German courses numbered 300 and above taken at Lawrence
    4. four papers from upper-level courses, two of which may be from courses taken abroad
    5. the capstone paper

Senior Experience in German

The German department's Senior Experience consists of an independent research project that explores a question of the student's own choosing relevant to the discipline of German Studies. Students hone their research and writing skills through the Senior Seminar (GER600) or independent study. They typically develop and explore a research question during Fall Term and complete the writing of the project during Winter Term of their senior year. Beyond the completion of a capstone project, other important components of the Senior Experience are advanced instruction in academic research and writing, evaluation of primary and secondary resources, peer and instructor feedback, utilization of various theoretical perspectives, and extensive revision.

Students undertaking a capstone in another discipline or who are wishing to receive teacher certification should work with all concerned departments/programs to assess the feasibility of an interdisciplinary capstone.

Required for the minor in German

  1. Thirty-six units beyond GER 202, including GER 312: Reading Texts and Contexts. At least 24 of these units must be taken at Lawrence. Only six units taught in English may count toward the minor, but tutorials taken in conjunction with English courses may count as German credits.

Teacher certification in German (K-12)

German majors can seek certification to teach German at the elementary and secondary levels. To be certified, students must spend a term in a German-speaking country studying the language and culture and must pass an oral and writing proficiency test. Students can add an endorsement in a second area (such as another language or English as a second language) by completing the appropriate minor. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education Studies section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.


Courses - German

GER 101: German 1

The first course of a two-term sequence that introduces students to the basics of German. The traditional four skills of speaking, writing, reading, and listening are practiced, yet the prime concern is adequate comprehension and response within a given situation.
Units: 6.

GER 102: German 2

A continuation of German 101. Students improve their communicative skills with continued practice in the four skills of speaking, writing, reading, and listening while learning about the culture of German-speaking countries.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 101 or the equivalent

GER 191: Directed Study in German

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 195: Internship in German

An opportunity for students to apply their German language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international level. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes readings, discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required.
Units: 2 OR 3.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 201: Intermediate German I

Further development of the four basic skills with an emphasis on increasing the student’s ability to understand literary as well as non-literary texts of increasing difficulty.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 102 or the equivalent

GER 202: Intermediate German II

Special emphasis on building reading and writing skills and expanding vocabulary. Cultural units include “Die Schwarzwaldklinik,” a German TV series that develops listening comprehension and raises issues for student essays.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 201 or the equivalent

GER 276: Grim(m) Stories? Comparative Fairy Tales in Translation

The course focuses on tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, but it will also include works from broader continental contexts (Africa, Asia, Europe) and more modern adaptations. Students will be introduced to various interpretative approaches (e.g. feminist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, postcolonial, structuralist) that will enable them to analyze tale types, themes, and motives across cultures. Taught in English. Course will count toward the humanities general education requirement for BA and BA/BMus students.
Units: 6.

GER 278: Introduction to German Film (in English)

With its pivotal role in the inauguration of the cinema, knowledge of German film is critical to an understanding of the history of film. Considered as one of the most accessible aesthetic forms, the moving image pervades our everyday lives, and yet we seldom think of what we do as "reading" films. Throughout this course, students will be introduced to the practice of reading German films using three structuring lenses: 1) film and cultural history, 2) formal and generic elements, and 3) film criticism.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Film Studies 278

GER 285: Advanced Composition and Conversation

Students improve and refine writing and speaking skills through study of a variety of written texts, discussion based on readings, grammar exercises, and systematic vocabulary building. The primary work in the course involves composing (in multiple drafts) texts that fall into diverse categories, including descriptive, argumentative, and persuasive essays.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 202 or consent of instructor

GER 290: Berlin: Experiencing a Great City (in English)

This course introduces students to one of the world’s great cities. Classwork includes the history, culture, and literature of Berlin, as well as practice in the skills required to read Berlin and other cities by looking carefully at their layout and architecture. Students prepare and present virtual walking tours of the city with the help of a guidebook and internet resources. Taught in English with the option of a German tutorial for interested students..
Units: 2 OR 4.
Also listed as Global Studies 290

GER 312: Reading Texts and Contexts

This course serves as a transition from the language sequence to advanced courses in German literature and culture. Texts vary from novels to non-fiction, from drama to poetry, and from written forms to film. While familiarizing students with both literary and cultural analysis, the course stresses literature’s place in fostering an understanding of German society.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 275, 285 or consent of instructor

GER 355: The Holocaust in German Culture (in English)

This course focuses on literary responses to the Holocaust, but it also deals with film and the issue of commemoration. After a discussion of the difficulty of representing the Holocaust, the course examines the Holocaust’s role in the construction of German-Jewish identity and its impact on post-war German culture. Taught in English. German majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in German.
Units: 6.
Also listed as History 311, Global Studies 355
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor

GER 357: Film in Germany (in English)

This course selects from 90 years of filmmaking in Germany. Films range from expressionism to Nazi propaganda and from escapist comedies to avant garde art. Learning to “read” German films critically also means finding out how to understand movies from Hollywood and beyond. Possible topics include “From Caligari to Hitler,” “German Literature as Film,” and “What Makes Lola Run.” Taught in English. German majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in German.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Film Studies 357

GER 359: Inventing Germany (in English)

Students use literary and non-fiction texts to examine German national identity as it developed from the French Revolution through Bismarck and two world wars to “reunification” in 1990. Topics include the role of Germany in Europe, the legacy of divided Germany, and diversity in German society today. Taught in English. German majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in German.
Units: 6.
Also listed as History 310

GER 375: Novellen

Although Novellen developed as a literary form throughout Europe, it was particularly popular in Germany from the late 18th through the 20th centuries. This course introduces students to the Novelle as a form, to a variety of interesting works of literature and to the cultural, social and political developments in which Novellen were written and read.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 377: Introduction to German Film Studies

With its pivotal role in the inauguration of the cinema, knowledge of German film is critical to any understanding of the history of film. This course is intended to be an introduction both to German cinema and to the discipline of film studies. Considered perhaps as one of the most accessible aesthetic forms, the moving image pervades our everyday lives and yet we seldom think of what we do in the movie theatre as “reading.” Throughout this course, students will be introduced to the practice of reading the filmic text using three structuring lenses: 1) history, 2) formal and generic elements, and 3) film criticism.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Film Studies 277
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 378: Black Europe Resistance, Performance, & Self-Making (in Englsh)

This course dispels racial myths of the European continent, introduces the Black Diaspora beyond the African American context, pushes the boundaries of belonging and national identity in Europe, and presents black individuals/collectives as historical agents and transnational actors on and beyond the continent. Course materials may consist of literature, poetry, music videos, film, and art. Assessments include short reflection papers, research papers, and oral presentations.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Global Studies 378, Ethnic Studies 378

GER 388: German Drama

Study of German dramatic literature that may or may not culminate in a workshop performance of a play or portions of plays. Students will situate German plays in their literary, historical and cultural context and also perform short dramatic readings. Assignments may also include short essays and oral presentations.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 389: Berlin: Experiencing a Great City

This course introduces students to one of the world’s great cities. Classwork includes the history, culture, and literature of Berlin, as well as practice in the skills required to read Berlin and other cities by looking carefully at their layout and architecture. Students prepare and present virtual walking tours of the city with the help of a guidebook and internet resources. Taught in English with the option of a German tutorial for interested students.
Units: 2 OR 6.
Also listed as Global Studies 389
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 390: Tutorial Studies in German

Individual study arranged and carried out in close consultation with an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 391: Directed Study in German

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 395: Internship in German

An opportunity for students to apply their German language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international level. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes readings, discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required.
Units: 2 OR 3.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 399: Independent Study in German

Advanced research on a topic of the student’s choice, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 412: Literature and Social Problems

Few would question literature's status as art, but literary texts are often also locations where authors explore imaginary solutions to real social problems. Unlike political pamphlets or non-fiction accounts, literature lets readers experience various problems and issues as they impact the lives of individual characters caught in difficult situations, e.g., class, ethnic, and gender conflicts, ecological disasters.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 416: Kinder- und Jugendliteratur

This course examines the development of the distinct genre of literature for children and adolescents since the 18th century. It combines the analysis of classic texts, e.g., Heidi or Karl May, with close readings of modern cult classics.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312 or consent of instructor

GER 417: Deutsche? Demokratische? Republik?

In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, both the promise and the problems of the German Democratic Republic have faded from memory. Indeed, the experience seems to have receded into the distant past. This course explores both the lofty goals and difficult circumstances of the DDR’s birth and its gradual decline and fall. The course pays particular attention to literary and filmic representations of hope and fear that the country engendered.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 418: Topics in German Cultural Studies

Topics in German Cultural Studies allows for an in-depth examination of topics across time, for example, women’s writing or crime fiction, or it permits a detailed analysis of special topics, for example, Turkish-German culture in contemporary German film.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 421: Grimms Märchen

This course examines the entire corpus of the Grimm’s fairy tales, from the well-known to the obscure. Students will learn to find structural similarities and to situate the tales in their historical, social and literary context.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312 or consent of instructor

GER 422: Der deutsche Krimi: Narratives of Crime and Detection

In this course we will examine the development of crime and detective fiction in the German-speaking countries through close reading of several different media--novels, short stories, film, radio drama, television, and essays.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312 or instructor approval

GER 431: Topics in German-Jewish Studies

Study of German-Jewish authors, intellectual figures, and topics from the Enlightenment to the present. This course will examine the role of dual identities, issues of assimilation/acculturation, Jewish identification and the notion of Jewish self-hatred. Representative writers include Mendelssohn, Heine, Kafka, Freud, Benjamin, Celan, Becker, Hilsenrath, and Honigmann. May be repeated when topic is different.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 447: Migrants and German Culture

Despite a long-term refusal to open itself to immigration, Germany has become a nation of immigrants and asylum-seekers. The course focuses on how both literature and films, including works by and about minorities in Germany, have dealt with key cultural phenomena: multiculturalism, diversity, acculturation, assimilation, “majority culture,” and parallel societies.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Ethnic Studies 382, Film Studies 447
Prerequisite: GER 312 or consent of the instructor

GER 462: Vampires, Monsters, and Man-Eaters

This course examines the borders of the human through the figures of the vampire, monster, and femme fatale in literature, film, and the visual arts. Featured in the works of canonized authors as well as within popular culture, “monstrousness” can provide valuable insights into numerous aspects of German history and psychosexual relations. Possible texts include the early vampire film Nosferatu, Wedekind’s Lulu tragedies, Patrick Süskind’s Das Parfüm, and paintings by H.R. Giger.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Film Studies 362, Gender Studies 362
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 465: Topics in Contemporary German Culture

This course explores recent developments in German culture: recent literature, visual culture, music and other arts, as well as topics from politics and society.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GER 312

GER 590: Tutorial Studies in German

Individual study arranged and carried out in close consultation with an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 591: Directed Study in German

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 595: Internship in German

An opportunity for students to apply their German language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international level. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes readings, discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required.
Units: 2 OR 3.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 599: Independent Study in German

Advanced research on a topic of the student’s choice, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 600: Senior Seminar

Students and the instructor decide in advance on a specific topic or common theme. They read and discuss texts at the beginning of the term. Students then formulate their own projects, which may take them in a direction of their own choosing (literature, history, music, art, etc.).
Units: 2 TO 4.
Prerequisite: Declared major in German

GER 690: Tutorial Studies in German

Individual study arranged and carried out in close consultation with an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 691: Directed Study in German

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 695: Internship in German

An opportunity for students to apply their German language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international level. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes readings, discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required.
Units: 2 OR 3.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GER 699: Independent Study in German

Advanced research on a topic of the student’s choice, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.