German Studies

Director of undergraduate studies: Paul North, 323 WLH, 432-6401, p.north@yale.edu; language program director: Theresa Schenker, 325 WLH, 432-0783, theresa.schenker@yale.edu; german.yale.edu

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF GERMANIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES

Professors Rüdiger Campe, Carol Jacobs, Rainer Nägele (Emeritus), Paul North, Brigitte Peucker, Henry Sussman (Visiting), Kirk Wetters (Chair)

Senior Lector II Marion Gehlker

Senior Lector Theresa Schenker

Affiliated Faculty Jeffrey Alexander (Sociology), Jennifer Allen (History), Seyla Benhabib (Political Science), David Cameron (Political Science), Paul Franks (Philosophy, Judaic Studies), Karsten Harries (Philosophy), 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)

The major in German Studies covers a broad tradition of more than five centuries in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and neighboring lands. Students gain deep competence in the German language while also reading great literature, analyzing distinctive artworks in many media, deducing intensive theories, and exploring political, linguistic, and cultural history. The German faculty works closely with undergraduates to develop their special areas of interest within these 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 third-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.

Prerequisites Prerequisite to the major are first- and second-year German or the equivalent.

The majorThe 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.

Senior essay Seniors in the standard German Studies major enroll in GMAN 492, a guided senior essay tutorial course. Students meet biweekly with the director of undergraduate studies 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 director of undergraduate studies by September 9, 2016; a three-page prospectus and a bibliography are due by September 23. A rough draft must be submitted to the adviser by November 4. The completed essay, due on December 9, 2016, 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 director of undergraduate studies by October 21, 2016. The student must submit a draft of at least fifteen pages of the essay by December 2, 2016 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 14, 2017. The senior essay is judged by the faculty adviser and a second reader.

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.

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 Web site or from the office of the director of graduate studies.

Advising Candidates for the major in German Studies should consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Study abroad 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 director of undergraduate studies. Students who study abroad for an academic year may count up to four courses toward the major, with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

Placement An online placement examination will be accessible July 1 through August 15, 2016. See the departmental Web site for details. Students wishing to take the placement exam in January should sign up with the language director by December 2, 2016. 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.

Credit/D/Fail A maximum of two courses taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major, with permission of the director of undergraduate studies.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR

Prerequisites First- and second-year German or equivalent.

Number of courses 10 (incl senior req)

Distribution of courses 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)

Intensive major Two-term senior essay (GMAN 492 and 493)

Group A Courses

* DUTC 130a, Intermediate Dutch I Paul North

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 minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ 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.  L41½ Course cr

* DUTC 150a, Advanced Dutch Paul North

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 minjin.hashbat@yale.edu 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. Credit only on completion of GMAN 120. 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.  L11½ 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.  L21½ Course cr

GMAN 125a, Intensive German I Patrick Wolf

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, L22 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.  L31½ 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.  L41½ Course cr

GMAN 145b, Intensive German II Patrick Wolf

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, L4RP2 Course cr

* GMAN 150a, Advanced German, Contemporary Germany Staff

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, Introduction to Dutch Culture and Society Staff

Study of contemporary Dutch culture and major events in Dutch history. Attention to cultural differences and their origins. Topics include Dutch art, exploration, and trade in the seventeenth century; modern immigration and Islam in Europe; water management and environmental issues in the Netherlands; and sex and drugs in Dutch political discourse. Readings and discussion in English.  SO

* GMAN 163b, The Afro-German Experience Theresa Schenker

Investigation of the history and culture of Afro-Germans. Topics include pre-colonial contacts between Africans and Germans, German colonies in Africa, and the Afro-German fate during and after the Nazi regime. Strong focus on the experience of Afro-Germans in contemporary Germany as seen in Afro-German fictional and non-fictional texts and media. Course culminates in an analysis of the image of people of color and questions of racism in Germany today Prerequisites: German 150, another advanced German class, or with permission of instructor.  L5, HU

* GMAN 171a, Introduction to German Prose Narrative Regina Karl

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 174b / MUSI 239b, Literature and Music Kirk Wetters

An advanced language course addressing the close connection between music and German and Austrian literature. Topics include: musical aesthetics (Hoffmann, Hanslick, Nietzsche, Schoenberg, Adorno); opera (Wagner, Strauss-Hofmansthal, Berg); the "art song" or Lied (Schubert, Mahler, Krenek); fictional narratives (Kleist, Hoffmann, Mörike, Doderer, Bernhard). Prerequisite: GMAN 140 or higher.   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 208b / HIST 254b, Germany from Unification to Refugee Crisis Jennifer Allen

The history of Germany from its unification in 1871 through the present. Topics include German nationalism and national unification; the culture and politics of the Weimar Republic; National Socialism and the Holocaust; the division of Germany and the Cold War; the Student Movement and New Social Movements; reunification; and Germany's place in contemporary Europe.  HU

GMAN 213a / PHIL 261a, Realism, Idealism, and Romanticism Paul Franks

Investigation of the possibility of individual agency and absolute reason in modernity. Introduction to figures from classical German philosophy such as Kant, Goethe, Mendelssohn, Jacobi, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hegel. Themes include realism, idealism, romanticism, skepticism, nihilism, freedom, individuality, systematicity, and romantic irony.  HU

* 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

GMAN 234a / LITR 244a, German Fairy Tales Henry Sussman

The influence of German fairy tales on the genre of fiction and on the emergence of psychology, psychoanalysis, and folklore. The fairy tale's relation to romanticism; the importance of childhood sensibility to the fields of education, psychology, criticism, and cybernetics; the expansion of children's literature into new mass media.  HU

* GMAN 248a / HUMS 236a / LITR 240a, Goethe's Faust Kirk Wetters

Goethe's Faust, with special attention to Faust II and to the genesis of Faust in its various versions throughout Goethe's lifetime. Emphasis on the work in context of Goethe's time and in the later reception and criticism. Reading knowledge of German beneficial but not required.  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 272a / FILM 443a / HUMS 472a, Fear Paul North and Francesco Casetti

Examination of fear, as the pivotal passion in late modernity, through literature, philosophy, and film. Special emphasis on the twentieth century and the way cinema represents, causes, and reflects on fear. None.  HU

* GMAN 273a / FILM 319a / LITR 368a, The Third Reich in Postwar German Film, 1945-2007 Jan Hagens

Close study of the intersection of aesthetics and ethics with regard to how German films, since 1945, have dealt with Nazi history. Through the study of German-language films (with subtitles), produced in postwar East, West, and unified Germany through 2007, students consider and challenge perspectives on the Third Reich and postwar Germany, while learning basic categories of film studies.  HU

* GMAN 286b, Medieval German Romance and Epic Mary Paddock

Study of three great medieval works of Arthurian romance and courtly epic: Parzival, Tristan, and the Nibelungenlied. Literary transmission in both oral and written cultures, conventions and inventions of courtly narrative, courtly patronage and its historical context, moral and religious codes of knighthood and chivalric heroism. Readings in English translation.  WR, HU

* GMAN 308b / LITR 439b, Rilke and Yeats Carol Jacobs

Close readings of individual works by Rainer Maria Rilke and William Butler Yeats, with an eye to the theoretical implications of their writings.  HUTr

* GMAN 315b / HUMS 243b / LITR 431b / PHIL 482b, Systems and Their Theory Henry Sussman

Conceptual systems that have, since the outset of modernity, furnished a format and platform for rigorous thinking at the same time that they have imposed on language the attributes of self-reflexivity, consistency, repetition, purity, and dependability. Texts by Kant, Hegel, Bergson, Kafka, Proust, and Borges.  HU

* GMAN 337a / HUMS 240a / LITR 341a, Literature of Travel and Tourism Kirk Wetters

A critical, historical introduction to the functions of travel narratives from the late eighteenth century to the present. Topics include travel and autobiography, fiction versus non-fiction, cosmopolitanism, travel as a means of individual experience and education, anthropology, and the contemporary culture of tourism. Focus will be on four works: Ransmayr's Atlas of an Anxious Man (2012), Sebald's ​The Rings of Saturn (1995), Goethe's Italian Journey (1813–1817) and Georg Forster's account of the Cook voyage (1772–1775). Readings and discussions in English.  WR, HU

* GMAN 375a / HUMS 239a / LITR 436a, Reading Late Capitalism Henry Sussman

The fate of Marxian literature in view of sociocultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Exploration of the parameters and dimensions of Marx's core texts, and pursuit of the fate of such major constructs as the commodity, alienation, class-conflict, and assembly-line manufacture, in the literature, cinema, and theoretical oversight of both centuries. Authors include Flaubert, Zola, Kafka, Lukács, Benjamin, Derrida, Jameson, and Piketty. Previous coursework analyzing elaborate arguments and recognizing different methodological frameworks.  WR, HU

* GMAN 376b / HUMS 242b / LITR 246b, Twentieth-Century German Fiction Henry Sussman

Introduction to twentieth-century German fiction. Selected readings range from experimental (Walser, Kafka, Roth, Wolf) to classical (Mann, Musil) and from Austrians (Musil), Germans (Mann, Döblin, Wolf), Swiss (Walser), and Austro-Hungarians (Roth). Topics include: modernist improvisation and the turn to language; undercurrents of mystification and superstition in German thought; and radical political instability and cultural exploration under the Weimar Republic  WR, HU

* GMAN 382b / JDST 217b / PHIL 424b, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit Paul Franks

A close reading of sections of one of the major works in post-Kantian philosophy. Themes include varieties of scepticism and responses to scepticism; the relationship of epistemology to questions concerning structures of social practices of reasoning; the historical character of reason; the relationship between natural processes and social developments; the intersubjectivity of consciousness; and the possibility of a philosophical critique of culture. Attention paid both to commentaries that focus on historical development and to approaches that view historical narratives as allegories whose deeper meaning may be formulated as a logical or semantic theory. Two previous philosophy courses, including some exposure to Kant and German Idealism, through either DRST 004 or PHIL 126 or PHIL 214 or PHIL 261. Students are particularly encouraged but not required to take PHIL 261 before taking this course.  HU

* GMAN 415b / HUMS 370b / LITR 233b, Büchner: Between Romantic Comedy and Modern Science Rüdiger Campe

Close reading of the work of Georg Büchner (“Woyzzeck,” “Lenz”), romantic poet and founder of anticlassical (anti-Goethe) German literature. The range of Büchner's writings includes comedy, tragedy, psychological case study, political pamphlet, and scientific paper. Particular attention to Büchner’s use of quotation from non-literary sources as means to examine the interrelation between literary, scientific, political, and philosophical discourse. Readings in English and German. Discussion in English.  HU

Reading Courses

* 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 158a / JDST 416a, 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 159b / JDST 418b, Reading Yiddish II Joshua Price

Intermediate study of Yiddish literary language with annotated readings from classic authors including: Mendele, Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, Bergelson, Der Nister, Bashevis, as well as American and Soviet Yiddish poetry. Secondary readings in English will offer a broader introduction to the modern Yiddish canon.  Continuation of GMAN 158/JDST 416. Previous knowledge of German or Hebrew-Aramaic recommended but not required.

Senior Courses

* GMAN 478a or b, Directed Readings or Individual Research in Germanic Languages and Literatures Paul North

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 Paul North

Preparation of an original essay under the direction of a faculty adviser.