SPRING 2013 COURSES

GERMAN DEPARTMENT COURSE DESCRIPTIONS - SPRING 2013

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Elem. Yiddish Language and Culture

YIDD 1060

Mr. Finder

9:30-10:45 TR,
 3 credits

To adapt a phrase from David G. Roskies, the preeminent scholar in this country of Yiddish literature, “Yiddish is dead. Long live Yiddish!” In his book The Jewish Search for a Usable Past (1999), Roskies writes: “The moment the past is finally laid to reset is the very moment that it reasserts its claim upon the living.” If Yiddish was the language of the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe before the khurban (“Holocaust” in Yiddish) and of Jewish immigrants from the “old country” to the “new world,” which they called the goldene medina (“the country made out of gold”), it is now being revived by thousands of enthusiasts who are interested in reclaiming this vibrant lost world of tradition and transformation, dreams and nightmares. Yiddish is the key to the portal of this world. Indeed, it is a vastly rich world unto itself.

This course is a continuation of YIDD 1050 and continues to introduce students to the fundamentals of the Yiddish language and to Yiddish culture. We will study Yiddish structure and syntax, acquire a basic vocabulary, and apply these skills to speaking, reading, and writing. In the course of our exploration of the Yiddish world, we will watch Yiddish films and listen to Yiddish music.
A student’s grade in this course will be determined on the basis of in-class quizzes, a cumulative final exam, and class participation.


Nazi Germany


GETR 3390/
HIEU 3390

Ms. Achilles


9:30-10:45 TR,
 3 credits

This course examines the historical origins, political structures, cultural dynamics, and every-day practices of the Nazi Third Reich. All readings and discussions are in English. Requirements include a series of short reading responses, a midterm and a final exam. No prerequisites.


Gender and Sexuality in Fashion and Film


GETR 3500/
MDST 3559/
WGS 3559

Ms. Kollig

5:00-6:15 MW,
Screening: 6:00-8:00 T, 3 credits

Is there a connection between Turn of the Century Vienna’s saloon culture and today’s social media? Is Heidi Klum’s“Germany’s Next Top Model” a section of reality TV that we need to approach with suspicion? And what are the contributions of ‘Dressing Up’ Games to a challenge of rigid gender and sexuality codes? This seminar analyses fashion as a signifier for social orders and value systems and as a means either to manifest or to challenge conventions regarding images of gender and sexuality. Its focus lies on German-speaking Europe and the U.S. during the 20thcentury into the new millennium, but students are more than welcome to suggest texts and themes referring to their own courses of studies and interests. Clips of films and TV-shows are included, all readings and audio-visual media are in English.

Requirements: Regular attendance of class sessions and film screenings, four short response papers during the semester, one short midterm essay and an 8/10 page research paper at the end of the semester.


 

Spiritual Journeys in Young Adult Fiction


GETR 3563/
CPLT 3590

Ms. Bach &
Mr. Alexander

2:00-3:15 MW,
 3 credits

This comparative inquiry into young adult fiction invites you to explore the topic of the spiritual journey both academically and personally. Different disciplinary perspectives such as literary studies, gender studies, history, psychology, and religious studies, will help us shed light on our private reading experiences and deepen our exploration of such themes as: becoming a hero, confronting evil, being different, achieving autonomy, faith and doubt, religiosity vs. spirituality, experiencing divine presence and absence, and the magical and the miraculous. Our hope is that, over the course of the semester, you will develop a personal vocabulary in which you can express your thoughts on spiritual journeys in young adult fiction as well as articulate the relationships between your own quest and your academic pursuits.

This discussion based, reading-intensive seminar is cross-listed in the Comparative Literature and German departments and most texts come from the Western tradition. The sessions will be held in English. German majors are encouraged to read German texts in the original and to write in German. We encourage all students to participate actively in discussion, to engage the readings and each other critically and compassionately, to develop a regular reflective writing practice, and to work collaboratively in small learning teams. We warmly invite students from a variety of academic backgrounds and with diverse interests in the topic to apply (for more information see http://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/SpiritualJourneys/)
Meets Second Writing Requirement
 


 

Kafka and the Scene of Modernity


GETR 3590/
CPLT3590

Mr. Bennett

11:00-12:15 TR,
 3 credits


Kafka’s most important short works, and his novel The Trial, will be read alongside works by a number of other major modern authors, including Strindberg, Joyce, Musil, Beckett, Camus, and Burroughs. The aim will be to develop a sense for the breadth of what we commonly speak of as modernity or modernism, and of the critique that this literary tendency carries out upon the concept of “world.” Readings will be done in English, and two papers, a short paper at midterm and a longer final paper, will be required.


 

Jewish Humor


GETR 3559

Mr. Finder

12:30-1:45 TR,
 3 credits 


Are Jews funny? Many people think so. Humor has certainly played an important role in Jewish life. This course examines the character and function of Jewish humor in Germany and the rest of Europe, the United States, and Israel. One goal of the course is to show how humor has been used in these Jewish communities to highlight the desires, needs, and frustrations of ordinary Jews.
 
We launch our exploration of Jewish humor with Sigmund Freud’s famous treatise The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious (1905). From there we will not only read a number of articles on Jewish humor and comic novels by Jewish writers but also listen to and watch several Jewish comedians perform and view comic films with Jewish themes (e.g. Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Danny Levi’s Alles auf Zucker)—all in an effort to discern common features in Jewish humor while making note of its chronological, geographical, and personal distinctiveness and eccentricities. Anticipated are plenty of opportunities to crack a smile if not laugh out loud!
 
Requirements in this course will include two short papers and a term paper.

 

Faust


GETR 3600/
CPLT 3600

Mr. Grossman

2:00-3:15 MW, 
3 credits


Goethe's Faust has been called an "atlas of European modernity" and "one of the most recent columns for that bridge of spirit spanning the swamping of world history." The literary theorist Harold Bloom writes: "As a sexual nightmare of erotic fantasy, [Faust] ... has no rival, and one understands why the shocked Coleridge declined to translate the poem. It is certainly a work about what, if anything, will suffice, and Goethe finds myriad ways of showing us that sexuality by itself will not. Even more obsessively, Faust teaches that, without an active sexuality, absolutely nothing will suffice."
Taking Goethe's Faust as its point of departure, this course will trace the emergence and various transformations of the Faust legend over the last 400 hundred years. Retrospectively, we will explore precursors of Goethe's Faust in the form of the English Faust Book, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and possibly one of the various other popular re-workings of the text. We will then read Goethe's Faust in its entirety. Although now viewed as central to the European canon, Goethe sought in his Faust to radically transform the central tenants of the legend and to challenge many conventions of European culture, politics and society. Beyond Goethe, we will consider one or more of the following: Byron's Manfred;Thomas Mann's response to Nazism in Doctor Faustus; Mikhail Bulgakow's magical realist response to Stalinism in The Master and Margharita.

Our aims will be to ask why writers repeatedly returned to the Faust legend and how, in re-working Faust, they sought to confront the political, social and cultural problems of their own times. Requirements: one short paper (5 pages), one long paper (10-12 pages), active class participation.

 

Reading Course in German


GERM 1025

Ms. Schenberg

12:00-12:50 MWF,
 3 credits


This is the second half of a course designed for students who wish to learn German for research purposes and/or to prepare for a German reading exam. Students in 1025 are expected to have already mastered basic grammatical concepts. While we will do some review of grammar each week, the focus of the course will be on reading and translating texts from the students’ fields of study. This is a non-credit course for graduate students; while undergraduates may take the course for credit, the course does not count toward satisfying the language requirement.
 
Requirements: active class participation, daily homework assignments, translation quizzes and tests. Prerequisite: German 1015 or the equivalent.


Intensive Elementary German


GERM 1120

Ms. Schenberg

1:00-1:50 MTWRF, 3 credits 


This is a continuation of Intensive Elementary German (GERM 1110). Designed for a small group of highly motivated students, the course will cover intermediate-level grammar concepts at an accelerated pace. Students will also read intermediate-level texts in German on topics of their choosing and write short essays in German. At the end of the semester, students will have the option to take a placement exam, which will then determine the level of German they need to take in the following year. Requirements: active class participation, daily homework assignments, tests and quizzes, essays, final exam.
 
Prerequisite: German 1110 or the equivalent.


 

Grammar Review


GERM 3000

Ms. Scholz

12:00-12:50 MWF,
 3 credits


A comprehensive review of German grammar, stressing adjective endings, passive and subjunctive. A good basic knowledge (2020 level) is assumed. The goal of the course is control of German grammar, so that all the student still needs for fluency is more vocabulary. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to take advantage of the resources the internet offers to gain a broad perspective of various aspects of German, Austrian, and Swiss culture. Regularly hourly exams and a final examination.
 
Prerequisite: German 2020 or consent of the instructor


 

Introduction to Literature


GERM 3010

Mr. Ilsemann

11:00-11:50 MWF,
 3 credits

This seminar serves as an introductory course to the practice of reading and interpreting texts. While the focus will be on literary texts, other media will be represented as well, notably film. Participating students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the three major literary genres (drama, poetry, and prose); the technical terms necessary to discuss and analyze literature and other kinds of texts; and various schools of interpretation, such as structuralism and psychoanalysis. Students will also improve their language proficiency, especially in the areas reading comprehension, speaking, and writing. The class will be conducted entirely in German. Requirements include active participation, regular homework assignments, a series of essays, and a final exam.


 

Survey of Literature


GERM 3120

Ms. Kollig

1:00-1:50 MWF, 3 credits 
 


What does Germany’s 18th and 19th century drama have in common with action films? Is the playwright and novelist Heinrich von Kleist maybe one of the first experts on the crime novel? And how come that Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s early novel ‘Die Leiden des jungen Werther’ had become such a literary scandal at its time? Finally: What about feminism and the studies of gender in Germany’s literary landscape of the late 18th and 19th century? Who are the important women writers?

This course is not only a history of German literature. Moreover, we want to discuss what the classical writers have to tell us up until today, how they encouraged discussions we still lead today. We believe that an understanding of a culture’s past helps to approach and work within its present, and that is one of many reasons for this first half of a literary survey.
We will read novels, poems, and theatrical plays from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist, Caroline von Günderode, discuss Friedrich Nietzsche’s admiration (and later disdain) for Wagner and the roots of anti-Semitism in Germany, the first waves of student revolutions and a first wave of feminism. Last but not least, we will watch theatrical plays that are based on the classic writings and transfer them into today’s cultures.

Prerequisite: GERM 3010. All readings in German.
Requirements: three take-home essays, class participation, one final exam.


 

German Play


GERM 3220

Ms. Waegner

6:00-8:00 MW, 3 credits

 


In this course, we will bring the German stage to UVA and mount an entire theatrical production within one semester. This means improvisations, playful character analysis, props, scenery, and polished performances. Are you interested in collective, practical, and experimental work on German speaking literature? Are you courageous enough to act as someone else and perform in a foreign language? Do you enjoy the spotlight; or are you curious to find out whether or not you do? If so, join this hands-on and student-oriented adventure which will culminate in two public performances in May 2013. Previous acting experience is certainly an asset, but is not necessary.

Over the course of this semester, we will breathe creative life into a tragically prophetic play from 1936 and pay tribute to Jura Soyfer and his satire “Der Weltuntergang” (“The End of the World”). Without revealing too much, you can look forward to a thought-provoking and timeless work. Soyfer’s piece is full of humorous touches and invites the actors to give versatile performances through word and song – auf Deutsch, of course!
 
In this class we will…

… generate a formative interpretation of a literary text.
… engage creatively with the German language.
… develop our critical faculties and work as a team.
… meld text, music, and movement.
… refine our theatrical skills (vocal tone, body language, and timing).
 
I expect you to…

… get involved on stage and off. Everybody contributes to both the final productions.
… participate. A rehearsal needs actors! Therefore, regular attendance is crucial. Please expect to attend a few extra rehearsals, especially in the weeks leading up to the performances.
… reflect. Acting means contemplation. You will keep an acting diary over the semester and one short paper will be assigned. This will not only further develop your writing skills but will also help everyone evaluate the progress of our production.
 
Prerequisites: GERM 2020 or equivalent, theater fever


 

Adv. Composition & Conversation


GERM 3240

Mr. McDonald

11:00-12:15 TR,
 3 credits

Students use German Internet-sites as the basis for weekly written exercises. Class conversation also draws on Internet texts. No final examination.
 
Prerequisite: GERM 3000


 

German House Conversation

GERM 3290

Ms. Neuhaus

5:00-6:00 M
German House, 1 credit




This course is mandatory for the residents of the German House but open to other students as well.


 

Fourth Year Seminar


GERM 4600

Mr. Kaiser

2:00-3:15 TR,
 3 credits

In diesem Senior Seminar, das ausser den Seniors allen German Majors und Minors und allen Studenten im 4. Jahr offen steht, wollen wir untersuchen, wie die Liebe und die Liebenden in literarischen Texten dargestellt werden, und wie sich die Sprache der Liebe zur Sprache der Literatur verhaelt. Dass die Liebe zu allen Zeiten und in allen Zonen ein zentrales Motiv fuer die Literatur war, noch ist und es auch bleibt, konfrontiert uns mit einem Reichtum an Textmaterial, das wir in einem Konvolut (Reader) sammeln und begrenzen wollen. Darin sollen sich wenigstens die bedeutendsten Dichter der Liebe aus der deuschsprachigen Literatur finden (also die Klassiker wie Goethe, Schiller und Hoelderlin, Romantiker wie Schlegel, Kleist, Heine und Hoffmann, Moderne wie Schnitzler, Brecht und Kafka, und Gegenwartsautoren wie Jelinek, Stefan u.a.). Jenseits der Literatur werfen wir auch einen fluechtigen Blick auf Liebesfilme und die Darstellungen von Liebe in anderen Disziplinen (vor allem in der Theologie und der Psychoanalyse) sowie die mannigfachen Arten (Vater-, Mutter-, Kindesliebe, heterosexuelle und homosexuelle Liebe) und die vielfaeltigen Objekte der Liebe (Gottes-, Naechsten-, Tierliebe und die Liebe zu den Dingen).
 
Anforderungen: Regelmaessige Teilnahme am Seminar, das insgesamt auf deutsch stattfindet (auch alle Texte und Textexzerpte sind auf deutsch verfasst). 3-4 kuerzere Aufsaetze zu ausgewaehlten Texten oder, alternative, eine Seminararbeit am Ende des Semesters. Und ein “Exitinterview” zum Ende des Jahres ueber einen ausgewaehlten Liebestext.


 

Middle High German


GERM 5100

Mr. McDonald

3:30-6:00, 3 credits

 


"Middle High German (Mittelhochdeutsch) denotes the period in the German language from c. 1050 to c.1350. In this class we learn to translate texts from mainly around 1200, including Arthurian romances and the Minnesang. Among the authors treated are Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gottfried con Strassburg, and Walther von der Vogelweide. "


 

Age of Goethe


GERM 5250

Mr. Grossman

4:30-7:00 W, 3 credits 
 


Studies German “Storm and Stress’ and classicism, focusing on Goethe, Schiller and relevant contemporaries. Readings will probably include: Werther, Faust I, Iphigenie auf Tauris, Die Räuber, Maria Stuart, and Siegfried Lenz's Der Hofmeister; excerpts from Schiller's Ästhetische Briefe.


 

The Development of Short Prose Fiction as a Form


GERM 5370

Mr. Bennett

2:00-3:15 TR, 3 credits

 


The course will begin with the form of the novella-cycle in Boccaccio and Chaucer, and in the developed version created by Goethe in the Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten. But the principal focus of the course will be upon how short fictional pieces became independent of the cycle structure and evolved into the modern European/American forms of Novelle, conte, and short story. Certain external factors will be discussed, especially the eighteenth-century explosion of a periodical literature that catered to an increasingly literate public. But more important will be the discussion of inherent generic differences separating the new short forms from the tradition of romance and novel. The material of the course (except for Boccaccio) will be restricted to German, French, and English literature. The exact balance among literatures will be decided in discussion between the instructor and the enrolled students. Readings may be done in English by students other than those in the German department.


 

Secularity and Modernity, Reason and Religion from Enlightenment to the Frankfurt School


GERM 5500/
RELG 5559

Mr. Wellmon

3:30-6:00 M, 3 credits




How and why did modernity become nearly synonymous with secularization? This course sketches a genealogy of the secular from the Enlightenment to Jürgen Habermas’s debates with Cardinal Ratzinger. One of our basic goals will be to consider the intellectual origins and development of two sets of related concepts: reason-religion and modernity-secularization. How and why did central figures in modern European history distinguish reason and religion? And, is there an alternate history to be told? Might we be able to sketch a history of reason from the Enlightenment onward that is inextricable from religion? Can we trace a dialectic of the counter-Enlightenment, a different history of Enlightenment reason that undercuts purportedly modern oppositions between religion and faith, science and religion and the easy equation of modernity and secularization? Texts will include works from: Herder, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Heine, Marx, Nietzsche, Barth, Weber, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Ratzinger, and Habermas, as well as more contemporary work from Taylor, Mahmood, Conolley, Berger, Asad and Casanova.
 


The course will begin with the form of the novella-cycle in Boccaccio and Chaucer, and in the developed version created by Goethe in the Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten. But the principal focus of the course will be upon how short fictional pieces became independent of the cycle structure and evolved into the modern European/American forms of Novelle, conte, and short story. Certain external factors will be discussed, especially the eighteenth-century explosion of a periodical literature that catered to an increasingly literate public. But more important will be the discussion of inherent generic differences separating the new short forms from the tradition of romance and novel. The material of the course (except for Boccaccio) will be restricted to German, French, and English literature. The exact balance among literatures will be decided in discussion between the instructor and the enrolled students. Readings may be done in English by students other than those in the German department.


 

Praktikum


GERM 8620

Ms. Scholz

3:30-6:00 R,
TA Conference Room, 3 credits

Studies the theory and practice of language teaching with supervised classroom experience. One group meeting per week plus extensive individual consultation. Required of all beginning teaching assistants in the German Department