Spring 2020 Expanded Course Description

German Expanded Course Descriptions - Spring 2020

GERMAN 105: Modern German Language
Professor Carlee Arnett

Do you wonder why language is the way it is? Did you sit in your language classes and ask why, only to be told there is no ‘why’ in grammar, it just is that way? Do you wonder why people have such vehement attitudes about their language use? This course will answer those questions for you within the context of the German language. We will also discuss the sounds of German and, most importantly, the people who make those sounds.

Required Texts:

  • Readings will be provided by instructor.

GERMAN 118B: Weimar Culture
Professor Frieder Günther

Set between the two world wars, the period of the German Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was prosperous for arts, literature, and cultural achievements. Weimar culture has been known for its unique creativity, ranging from the theatrical experiments of Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera to the paintings of George Grosz, from the architectural Bauhaus movement in Dessau to the novel The Magic Mountain by Nobel-prize for literature winner Thomas Mann. These achievements are regarded as highlights of classical modernity and still enjoy popularity around the world.

At the same time, the Weimar period was also known for its political failure to prevent the Nazis from rising to power. It has been a vexing question for scholars of generations to ask why the democracy of the Weimar Republic was unable to achieve the popular support it needed to survive authoritarian and totalitarian forces.

In this course, we will focus on master pieces as well as less famous contributions to this Weimar culture, ranging from literature, films, fine arts, music, and architecture, to popular culture and discuss their connections and oppositions to the widely disputed political culture.

Required Readings
Peter Gay, Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider
Erich Kästner, Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist
Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy

GERMAN 262: Turn-of-the Century Culture
Professor Gail Finney

GERMAN 297: Special Topics in German Literature - What is Enlightenment?
Chunjie Zhang

This seminar aims to survey the debates on Enlightenment and its global repercussions from theoretical and historical perspectives. We will read eighteenth-century thinkers such as Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Kant, and Herder as well as contemporary scholars including Adorno/Horkheimer, Foucault, Jonathan Israel, and Martin Mulsow. This course also endeavors to cover an important part of the German PhD reading list of the eighteenth century to help student prepare for exams. Knowledge of German is helpful but not required.