Director of undergraduate studies: Katrin Truestedt, 305 WLH, 432-0711, firstname.lastname@example.org; language program director: Theresa Schenker, 323 WLH, 432-6401, email@example.com; german.yale.edu
The major in German Studies covers a broad tradition of more than five centuries in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and neighboring lands. Students gain deep competence in the German language while also reading celebrated literature, analyzing distinctive artworks in many media, deducing intensive theories, and exploring political, linguistic, and cultural histories. The German faculty works closely with undergraduates to develop their special areas of interest within the rich currents of German culture.
German language courses emphasize listening, speaking, reading, and writing in interaction with authentic cultural materials. The curriculum also introduces students to the basic questions and methods of literary criticism, with a focus on rigorous reading practices for a wide range of works from different genres, disciplines, and historical moments.
German Studies courses are diverse in their topics and highly relevant to other fields of study today. Pioneers in philosophy, political theory, sociology, psychology, history, classical philology, the visual arts, architecture, and music wrote and thought in German, as did founders of the modern natural and practical sciences. Majors discover Kant, Goethe, Beethoven, Einstein, Freud, Kafka, Arendt, and many other thinkers and writers who laid the groundwork for modernity and still hold keys to understanding it.
Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world, and German is the first language of over 95 million people worldwide. Students with a foundation in the language, literature, history, and intellectual revolutions of Germany are prepared to enter a wide variety of vocations. Majors have gone on to postgraduate study in Germany and the United States, and many have entered top-tier law schools and graduate programs. Recent graduates work in fields as diverse as environmental policy, journalism, arts management, consulting, and engineering, as well as in governmental and nongovernmental organizations and businesses.
Prerequisite to the major are first- and second-year German or the equivalent.
Group A courses Courses in Group A (GMAN 110–159) correspond to Yale's L1 to L5 designation of elementary, intermediate, and advanced language courses.
Group B courses Courses in Group B (GMAN 160-level and 170-level) are advanced L5 courses. Readings are in German, and the language of instruction is German. There is no restriction on the number of Group B courses that may count toward the major, provided all requirements are met.
Group C courses Courses in Group C (above GMAN 200) are all other courses. The language of instruction is typically English, but readings may be in German and/or English. Course level and prerequisites vary according to the expectations of the instructors.
An online placement examination will be accessible July 1 through August 15, 2018. See the departmental website for details. Students wishing to take the placement exam in January should sign up with the language director by December 1, 2018. Students may also consult with the director of undergraduate studies or the language director for advice about placement and about language study. Regardless of previous German study, students without a score of 5 on the German Advanced Placement test must take the departmental placement exam in order to enroll in any course above GMAN 110 or 125.
Requirements of the Major
The major in German Studies consists of ten term courses, including three advanced language courses, four courses in an area of concentration, two electives, and the senior essay. All majors must complete at least one GMAN course numbered in the 150s, one in the 160s, and one in the 170s, plus six additional courses—four in the area of concentration and two electives—from Groups B and C, numbered GMAN 160 and above. With permission of the director of undergraduate studies, some substitutions and exceptions may be possible.
Areas of concentration Each German Studies major selects an area of concentration from five possible choices: (1) literature, (2) media and media theory, (3) history and politics, (4) critical thought, and (5) aesthetics and the arts. The literature concentration gives students access to worlds of thought and action. Students learn to read critically poetry, novels, plays, short stories, aphorisms, songs, and other genres. Courses fulfilling the literature concentration include at least one course each in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. The concentration in media and media theory explores a vibrant tradition of experimentation in new cultural forms and media in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students investigate photography, radio, film, television, and computer media alongside landmark works in media theory. The history and politics concentration focuses on world-altering historical events and thought-altering theories of history from the Germanic tradition. Students become familiar with explosive political and social events, including the emancipation of the Jews and the Holocaust, the world wars, unification and reunification, and concepts and models for development in economy, social welfare, law, and environmental policies. The concentration in critical thought focuses on traditions of theoretical reflection on society, history, art, and language. Students become familiar with authors such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Benjamin, and Habermas. The aesthetics and the arts concentration surveys the rich Germanic traditions in the visual and musical arts, as well as the philosophical study of art beginning in eighteenth-century Germany.
Credit/D/Fail A maximum of two courses taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major, with permission of the DUS.
Seniors in the standard German Studies major enroll in GMAN 492, a guided senior essay tutorial course. Students meet biweekly with the DUS and staff, and work under the direction of a faculty adviser. The culmination of the tutorial is an essay of approximately thirty pages that gives evidence of careful reading and substantial independent thought. The essay may be written in either English or German, although only native speakers are encouraged to write an essay in German. Seniors typically write the essay during the fall term. A preliminary statement indicating the general area to be addressed and the choice of adviser should be submitted to the DUS by September 8, 2018; a three-page prospectus and a bibliography are due by September 22. A rough draft must be submitted to the adviser by November 3. The completed essay, due on December 8, 2018, is judged by the faculty adviser and a second reader.
Intensive major Requirements for the intensive major are the same as for the standard major, except that the intensive major replaces one advanced seminar with a second term of the senior essay. In the fall term seniors in the intensive major enroll in GMAN 492 and begin work on their project under the guidance and supervision of a faculty adviser. A significant portion of the research for the essay should involve materials in German. The essay may be written in either English or German, although only native speakers are encouraged to write an essay in German. A detailed prospectus, no longer than three pages, and a bibliography must be submitted to the DUS by October 20, 2018. The student must submit a draft of at least fifteen pages of the essay by December 1, 2018 to receive credit for the first term of the course. The second term, GMAN 493, is devoted to completing the essay, which should be substantial (between fifty and sixty pages); the completed essay must be submitted by April 13, 2019. The senior essay is judged by the faculty adviser and a second reader.
Candidates for the major in German Studies should consult the DUS.
Graduate courses Courses in the Graduate School are open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor and of the directors of undergraduate and graduate studies. Course descriptions may be obtained on the German department website or from the office of the director of graduate studies.
Students are strongly encouraged to study in Germany for a summer, or for one or two terms on the Year or Term Abroad program. Appropriate course credit toward the major is granted for work in approved programs in Germany. Study abroad is valuable not only for achieving comfortable fluency in German, but also for gaining firsthand knowledge of the German cultural context. The department offers diverse opportunities for study abroad and a scholarship program for summer courses at German universities. Members of the faculty advise and consult with any students wishing to plan study in Germany. Students who have been approved to study abroad and who receive financial aid from Yale are eligible for aid while abroad. For information about the Year or Term Abroad program, see section K, Special Arrangements, in the Academic Regulations. Students who study abroad for one term may count up to two courses toward the major, with approval of the DUS. Students who study abroad for an academic year may count up to four courses toward the major, with approval of the DUS.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisites First- and second-year German or equivalent
Number of courses 10 (incl senior req)
Distribution of courses At least 1 GMAN course in the 150s, at least 1 in the 160s, and at least 1 in the 170s; 4 courses in area of concentration and 2 electives (numbered GMAN 160 and above) from Groups B and C; Literature concentration—at least 1 course each in 19th- and 20th-century literature
Substitution permitted With DUS approval, some substitutions and exceptions may be possible
Senior requirement Senior essay tutorial (GMAN 492)
The major in German Studies provides students the opportunity to gain deep competence in the German language while learning to read celebrated literature; to analyze distinctive artworks in a variety of media; to understand key thinkers and writers who laid the groundwork for modernity; and to explore the political, linguistic, and cultural history of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and neighboring lands. Each student’s program is shaped by one of five areas of concentration: Literature, Media and Media Theory, History and Politics, Critical Thought, or Aesthetics and the Arts.
The Germanic Languages and Literatures department encourages students to study abroad during junior year (a year or spring term in Hamburg, Berlin, or in the state of Baden-Württemberg) or to take advantage of specially funded exchange fellowships in Baden-Württemberg during the summer. Students competent in German should consider summer internships with German companies. Selected German language courses can also be taken through Yale Summer Session in Berlin and Jena.
The German placement examination is administered online during the summer. A link to the placement exam will be posted on the departmental website and on the Center for Language Study Website, and details can also be found in the Calendar for the Opening Days. Students who have not yet taken German at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement exam, with the exception of students who achieved a score of 5 on the AP test in German. These students may enroll directly in any advanced German class. Students starting German in the spring term should consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).
GMAN 110 and 120 comprise the first year of German language study. Beginning students with high aptitude and motivation may elect GMAN 125, a double-credit course that covers GMAN 110 and 120 in one term.
GMAN 130 and 140 usually follow GMAN 120. They can be taken during the academic year or during the summer in an eight-week study abroad program. GMAN 145, a double-credit, one-term course, is the equivalent of GMAN 130 and 140. GMAN 150 and 151, focus on contemporary German culture and the development of conversation and writing skills. Students entering Yale with advanced language skills may be eligible for these courses, which emphasize written and spoken language skills.
For additional information, visit the departmental website.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF GERMANIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
Professors Rüdiger Campe, Carol Jacobs (Emerita), Rainer Nägele (Emeritus), Paul North, Brigitte Peucker, Kirk Wetters (Chair)
Assistant Professor Katrin Truestedt
Senior Lectors II Marion Gehlker, Theresa Schenker
Affiliated Faculty Jeffrey Alexander (Sociology), Jennifer Allen (History), Seyla Benhabib (Political Science), David Cameron (Political Science), Paul Franks (Philosophy, Judaic Studies), Gundula Kreuzer (Music), Patrick McCreless (Music), Steven Smith (Political Science), David Sorkin (History), Nicola Suthor (History of Art), Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature, English), Jay Winter (History)
Group A Courses
* DUTC 130a, Intermediate Dutch I Staff
Continued development of reading, writing, and speaking proficiency in Dutch. Students review and improve grammar skills, expand their vocabulary, read newspaper articles, and watch and listen to Dutch newscasts. Prerequisite: DUTC 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. L3 RP 1½ Course cr
* DUTC 140b, Intermediate Dutch II Staff
Use of authentic Dutch texts to expand proficiency in the language and familiarity with the culture. Focus on Dutch cultural themes that reflect students' interests and fields of study. Readings include a novel and news articles on current events. Prerequisite: DUTC 130. Course includes students from Cornell University via videoconference. L4 1½ Course cr
* DUTC 150a, Advanced Dutch Staff
Continuation of DUTC 140. Focus on improvement of grammatical knowledge; proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking Dutch; and cultural insight and knowledge of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Prerequisite: DUTC 140 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information. L5
* GMAN 110a or b, Elementary German I Staff
A beginning content- and task-based course that focuses on the acquisition of spoken and written communication skills, as well as on the development of cultural awareness and of foundations in grammar and vocabulary. Topics such as school, family life, and housing. Course materials include a variety of authentic readings, a feature film, and shorter video clips. Tutors are available for extra help. To be followed by GMAN 120. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. Students must preregister through Preference Selection during the online preregistration period. Details and a link to Preference Selection are provided on the German department Web site at http://german.yale.edu. L1 1½ Course cr
GMAN 120a or b, Elementary German II Staff
Continuation of GMAN 110. A content- and task-based course that focuses on the acquisition of communicative competence in speaking and writing and on the development of strong cultural awareness. Topics such as multiculturalism, food, childhood, and travel; units on Switzerland and Austria. Course materials include a variety of authentic readings, a feature film, and shorter video clips. Tutors are available for extra help. To be followed by GMAN 130. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. Students must preregister through Preference Selection during the online preregistration period. Details and a link to Preference Selection are provided on the German department Web site at http://german.yale.edu. L2 1½ Course cr
GMAN 125a, Intensive German I Lieselotte Sippel
Intensive training in speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending the language. Focus on the mastery of formal grammar. For beginning students of superior linguistic ability. L1, L2 2 Course cr
GMAN 130a or b, Intermediate German I Staff
Builds on and expands knowledge acquired in GMAN 120. A content- and task-based course that helps students improve their oral and written linguistic skills and their cultural awareness through a variety of materials related to German literature, culture, history, and politics. Course materials include authentic readings, a feature film, and shorter video clips. Tutors are available for extra help. After GMAN 120 or according to placement examination. Followed by GMAN 140. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. Students must preregister through Preference Selection during the online preregistration period. Details and a link to Preference Selection are provided on the German department Web site at http://german.yale.edu. L3 1½ Course cr
GMAN 140a or b, Intermediate German II Staff
Builds on and expands knowledge acquired in GMAN 130. A content- and task-based course that helps students improve their oral and written linguistic skills and their cultural awareness through a variety of materials related to German literature, culture, history, and politics. Course materials include authentic readings, a feature film, and shorter video clips. Tutors are available for extra help. After GMAN 130 or according to placement examination. Normally followed by GMAN 150 or, with permission of the director of undergraduate studies, by GMAN 171. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. Students must preregister through Preference Selection during the online preregistration period. Details and a link to Preference Selection are provided on the German department Web site at http://german.yale.edu. L4 1½ Course cr
GMAN 145b, Intensive German II Lieselotte Sippel
Continuation of GMAN 125. Focus on speaking, writing, and the conversion of grammatical knowledge into reading competence for literary and scholarly purposes. Prerequisite: GMAN 125. L3, L4 RP 2 Course cr
* GMAN 150a, Advanced German, Contemporary Germany Marion Gehlker
An advanced language and culture course focusing on contemporary Germany. Analysis and discussion of current events in Germany and Europe through the lens of German media, including newspapers, books, TV, film radio, and modern electronic media formats. Focus on oral and written production to achieve advanced linguistic skills. After GMAN 140 or 145. For entering students with a score of 5 on the German Advanced Placement test, or according to results of the placement examination. Students must preregister through Preference Selection during the online preregistration period. Details and a link to Preference Selection are provided on the German department Web site at http://german.yale.edu. L5
* GMAN 151b, Exploring Contemporary German Culture Marion Gehlker
Advanced German course focusing on vocabulary expansion through reading practice; stylistic development in writing; and development of conversational German. Critical analysis of selected aspects of contemporary German culture, such as Green Germany, social movements from the 60s to today, the changing "Sozialstaat,” and current events. Prerequisite: GMAN 140 or equivalent. L5
Group B Courses
* DUTC 160b, Advanced Dutch II Staff
Continuation of DUTC 150. Focus on improvement of grammatical knowledge; proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking Dutch; and cultural insight and knowledge of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Prerequisite: DUTC 150 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. L5
* GMAN 160b, German Culture, History, and Politics in Text and Film Theresa Schenker
Advanced language course about the history, politics, and culture of East Germany from 1945 to reunification. Analysis of life in the German Democratic Republic with literary and nonliterary texts and films. Includes oral and written assignments, with an emphasis on vocabulary building and increased cultural awareness. Taught in German. After GMAN 140, 145, or 150, or with permission of instructor. L5, HU
* GMAN 165a, The German Fairy Tale and its Legacy Theresa Schenker
Once upon a time, long before Tolkien, Disney, or Rowling, two brothers named Grimm published a collection of fairy tales that went on to have an immense cultural impact throughout the world. German children grow up with these fairy tales and they play a huge part in German culture even today. The Grimm fairy tales are the textual point of departure for a multi-faceted, integrative exploration of this popular and influential genre through time. Students explore fairy tales by Wilhelm Hauff and Ludwig Bechstein, as well as traditional cultural theories of the German fairy tale, psychoanalytic and pedagogical interpretive approaches, and contextualization of this genre in cultural and social history. The focus is on the role that the literary fairy tale played in German culture throughout history and the impact German fairy tales still have today. Prerequisite: Successful completion of L4 German, or appropriate level on the German placement test. L5, HU
* GMAN 171b, Introduction to German Prose Narrative Ole Hinz
Study of key authors and works of the German narrative tradition, with a focus on the development of advanced reading comprehension, writing, and speaking skills. Readings from short stories, novellas, and at least one novel. Writings by exemplary storytellers of the German tradition, such as Goethe, Kleist, Hebel, Hoffmann, Stifter, Keller, Kafka, Mann, Musil, Bachmann, and Bernhard. L5, HU
* GMAN 172a, Introduction to German Theater Susan Morrow
An advanced language course that addresses key authors and works of the German theatrical tradition. Refinement of skills in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking. Authors include Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Büchner, Hebbel, Wedekind, Brecht, and Müller. L5, HU
Group C Courses
Unless otherwise indicated, courses in this group are conducted in English with both readings and discussion in English. The courses are open to all students in Yale College.
* GMAN 225b / FILM 346b / LITR 362b, Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker
Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater, painting, and video, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, framing, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, von Trier, Jarman, Godard, Haneke, Antonioni, Greenaway and others. HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm, W 7pm-10pm
* GMAN 227a / HUMS 330b / LITR 330a or b / PHIL 402a, Heidegger's Being and Time Martin Hägglund
Systematic, chapter by chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy in the twentieth-century. All major themes addressed in detail, with particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the meaning of being. HU
* GMAN 254a / JDST 335a / PHIL 274a / RLST 249a, Jewish Philosophy Paul Franks
Introduction to Jewish philosophy, including classical rationalism of Maimonides, classical kabbalah, and Franz Rosenzweig's inheritance of both traditions. Critical examination of concepts arising in and from Jewish life and experience, in a way that illuminates universal problems of leading a meaningful human life in a multicultural and increasingly globalized world. No previous knowledge of Judaism is required. WR, HU
GMAN 311a / HUMS 230a / LITR 215a, The Age of Goethe Kirk Wetters
Introduction to Germany's classical period, from the 1780s to the 1810s, with attention to the varied forms of literature, philosophy, art, music, and culture. The close connection between literature and philosophy; the theoretical foundations of European Romanticism. Some attention to twentieth‐century theory. HU
* GMAN 314a / PHIL 472a / PLSC 309a, Contemporary Critical Theory Seyla Benhabib
Frankfurt School and Critical Theory focuses on a number of unresolved questions such as pragmatic Kantianism; modernity and post-colonial theory; the idea of progress in critical theory; and judgment as amoral, political, aesthetic. Readings from: Habermas, McCarthy, Baynes, Honneth, A. Allen, Ferrara, and Zerilli. Prerequisite: Directed Studies or two or more advanced courses in modern political philosophy. SO
* GMAN 371a / HUMS 353a / LITR 442a, Kafka and the Philosophers Rüdiger Campe
The notion of the “Kafkaesque” is testimony to the exceptional place and impact of Kafka’s work and writing in world literature. In fact, Kafka has not only been extensively imitated by other writers and read by literary critics but his narratives and novels became the place of intense engagement by philosophers. More often than not, Kafka is not just another example for a theoretical concept but offers the possibility for new concepts or even requires new ways of thinking. An introduction into Kafka’s world of writing is offered by the reading of pieces form his early work (Description of a Struggle), the novel The Trial (with Orson Welles’s movie), and the late narrative Josephine, the Singer. The philosophers to read on Kafka (and in their own context) are Albert Camus, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Claudio Agamben, and, in conjunction with Kafka, Stanley Cavell and Richard Rorty. HU
* GMAN 372b / JDST 355b / LITR 228b, Reflections on the Holocaust Katrin Truestedt
Reflections on how the Holocaust has shaken the self-understanding of modern Western culture. We focus on theoretical reflections characterizing the Holocaust as undermining the very possibility of experience, representation, and of inhabiting a shared world. The course aims to give perspective on the complex factors conditioning the Holocaust; the rise of nationalism and fascism, antisemitism and racism; the relation between modernity and barbarism; inclusion and exclusion; law and bare life; World War II and the emergence of the Camp System in Eastern Europe; collaboration, resistance, survival, and testimony. Readings by Hannah Arendt, Theodor W. Adorno, Giorgio Agamben, Shoshana Felman, Primo Levi, Timothy Snyder, and others. HU
GMAN 381a / PHIL 204a, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason Paul Franks
* GMAN 418b / CPLT 782b / GMAN 742b / HUMS 357 / LITR 453b, Being a Person Rüdiger Campe and Katrin Truestedt
The course explores the notion of personhood as a context for contemporary debates on human, animal, and environmental rights. The social and legal notion of a “person” in modernity has been deeply informed by how “persons” are formed and performed on stage and in narration, and vice versa. Readings focus on two areas: (1) basic texts on the history of the notion of “person” and “character” in legal, poetical, and philosophical contexts from Hobbes to contemporary debates in environmental law; (2) the performance of personhood on the stage and the narrative evocation of a new modern character in the rise of the modern novel. Gender, race, and social class are of relevance throughout, as well as the question of being a nonperson (a witch, a monster, an outcast). With the opening cases of Shakespeare’s Tempest and Goethe’s Werther we discuss what it means to appear as a person on stage and as a character in a novel. We pursue the discussion into modernity with modernist and contemporary narratives and how they test the limits and conditions of individual personhood (Woolf, Kafka, Handke, Sebald). We end with contemporary post-migrant theater (Jelinek, Ronen) and ecopoetics (Spahr). HU
* GMAN 422b / CPLT 562b / GMAN 654b / HUMS 250b / LITR 439b / PHIL 476b, Living Form: Organicism in Society and Aesthetics Kirk Wetters
Starting with Kant, the organic is defined as a processual relation of the part and the whole, thereby providing a new model of the individual as a self-contained totality. Students explore the implications of this conception in Goethe's writings on morphology (The Metamorphosis of Plants, "Orphic Primal Words"), the Romantics' Atheneum, Hanslick's On the Beautiful in Music, Oswald Spengler's cultural morphology, the concept of autopoeisis in Maturana and Varela, Luhmann's systems theory, and Canguilheim's critique of the analogy of organic life and society. HU
* GMAN 100a, German for Reading Marion Gehlker
Students learn the skills with which to read German-language texts of any difficulty with some fluency. Study of syntax and grammar; practice in close reading and translation of fiction and expository prose in the humanities and sciences. Conducted in English. Does not satisfy the language distributional requirement.
* GMAN 102a or b / JDST 416a or b, Reading Yiddish Joshua Price
This course is designed to build literacy in Yiddish, the vernacular of Ashkenazi Jewry. With focus on the accelerated treatment of Yiddish grammar, regularly supplemented with simple primary texts (poems, songs, folktales), and followed by close readings of (modern) Yiddish literature, students will be able to navigate most Yiddish texts with the aid of a dictionary. May not be taken concurrently with elementary or intermediate German.
* GMAN 478a or b, Directed Readings or Individual Research in Germanic Languages and Literatures Staff
Individual study under faculty supervision. Applicants must submit a prospectus and bibliography approved by the faculty adviser to the director of undergraduate studies. The student meets with the adviser at least one hour each week and takes a final examination or writes a term paper. No credit granted without prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
* GMAN 492a and GMAN 493b, The Senior Essay Tutorial Staff
Preparation of an original essay under the direction of a faculty adviser.