Home Profile Curriculum Vitae Current / Recent Courses Items of Interest Articles Online

Current / Recent Courses

Fall 2011

GER 199 - German Cinema: Travel and Transformation - This course introduces you to German film and is repeatable when the topic changes. This term the focus is on the different ways film directors represent journeys and foreign destinations. How do they make otherness seem attractive, dangerous, or familiar? What kinds of changes occur and how do the films show these transformations? The grade is based on attendance and written film reviews. It is P/NP and 1-2 credits. Films include Aguirre, the Wrath of God; Paris, Texas; Schultze Gets the Blues; Crossing the Bridge; Lisbon StoryStroszek; Circle of Deceit; The Edge of Heaven; and Encounters at the End of the World.

GER 221 - Postwar Germany - The course explores notions about East/West and united German culture and society as reflected in a series of narratives, films, and essays. How do these reveal changing ideas in Germany about the connection between the past and present, about authority, rebellion, the desire for fulfillment? The narratives and films address issues that have helped shape the ways Germans think today. They also highlight ongoing debates over concepts of national "unity." No knowledge of German required; readings and discussions in English; meets Arts and Letters and Multicultural IC requirements.


Winter 2012

GER 199 - German Cinema: Thrillers and Crime Films - This course introduces you to German and Austrian film. It is repeatable when the topic changes. This term the focus is on thrillers and crime films, which are rooted in the German expressionist films of the 1920s and 1930s. Such films show the subjective mental states of the protagonists through their settings. They use shadows, stark camera angles, high-contrast images, and foreboding music to evoke an atmosphere of menace, melancholy, anxiety, and suspense. Their subject matter often derives from crime or detective stories set in dark and unstable urban environments. The films selected for this term exemplify, refer to, or rework this cinematic tradition. Films include Fritz Lang's M, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, The Blue Gardenia, and The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse; Woldfgang Staudte's The Murderers Are Among Us; Dorris Dörrie's Happy Birthday, Turk; Tom Tykwer's Winter Sleepers; Thomas Jahn's Knockin' on Heaven's Door; and Dito Tsintsadze's Gun-shy.

GER 354 - German Gender Studies: Women "Terrorists" in German Literature, Film, and Art - In contrast to mainstream West German student protest movements in the 1960s and 1970s, the leadership in radical protest groups included a high percentage of well-educated young women, such as Gudrun Ensslin and Ulrike Meinhof. Meinhof, Ensslin, and other women in the Red Army Faction (RAF) and the 2 June Movement continue to attract both scholarly and popular attention into the reasons for their transformation into "disorderly women." This course will analyze various attempts to give meaning to these women and the RAF in literature, film, music, fashion, the media and academic scholarship since the 1960s. We will do this within a framework of writings, films, photography and paintings that focus on gender and violence, on fears of forceful women and a fascination with their deaths, and on notions of the "terrorist" in contemporary culture.

GER 621 - Narrative Core Seminar: Reworking the Epic Tradition - The course will focus on modernist and postmodernist German narratives within a framework of ideas about the epic, gender, narrative desire, history as narrative, etc. The grade will be based on active participation (10%), presentations of assigned readings--detailed outlines of these presentations must be handed out in advance (30%), a take-home mid-term (20%), and a final exam or paper (40%): a one-page abstract is due by date on syllabus. N.B.: if you elect to write your required (by German program) substantial research paper for this course, the paper must be 16-18 pages long. Discussions in English or German.


Spring 2012

GER 199 - Freshman Seminar: Disease As Metaphor - The course will look at different images of death and disease in popular, scientific, and literary texts and analyze how these images have helped shape the way we think about sickness and health. We'll read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and "A Country Doctor," Philip Roth's Nemesis, and watch the films Outbreak and Contagion. The grade will be based on a midterm, a final paper, a class presentation, weekly postings to Blackboard, and participation.

GER 199 - German Cinema: Women Directors - This film-series course introduces you to German and Austrian film. It is repeatable when the topic changes. This term the focus is on films by women directors, who explore notions of erotic liberation, anti-authoritarianism, the interconnection of politics and private life, childhood, and changing gender roles in settings that range from medieval to contemporary times and from Germany to Africa. All films either in English or with English subtitles. Films include: Girls in Uniform (1931, Leontine Sagan), The Blue Light (1932, Leni Riefenstahl), Rosenstrasse (2003, Margarethe von Trotta), Nowhere in Africa (2001, Caroline Link), Germany, Pale Mother (1980, Helma Sanders-Brahms), The Practice of Love (1985, Valie Export), The Virgin Machine (1988, Monika Treut), Mostly Martha (2001, Sandra Nettelbeck), Cherry Blossoms (2008, Doris Dörrie), Vision (2009, von Trotta).

GER 407 - Senior Seminar: "Der deutsche Herbst und sein Nachleben in Literatur, Film und anderen Medien." - Der Kurs bezieht sich auf die Rote Armee Fraktion (1972-1998) und Fragen von Gewalt und Widerstand, den Einfluss der Nazi-Vergangenheit auf die naechsten Generationen, die Freiheit der Andersdenkenden, das Bild der rebellischen Frau, die Vermarktung von Widerstand, usw. Der Kurs wird auf Deutsch unterrichtet.