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Department of Germanic Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalogs.uchicago.edu.

Chair

  • David E. Wellbery

Professors

  • David Levin
  • Eric L. Santner
  • David E. Wellbery

Associate Professors

  • David Levin
  • Susanne Luedemann
  • Christopher J. Wild

Senior Lecturers

  • Catherine Baumann
  • Kimberly Kenny

Emeritus Faculty

  • Reinhold Heller
  • Samuel Jaffe
  • Kenneth J. Northcott
  • Hildegund Ratcliffe

Affiliated Faculty

  • Philip V. Bohlman, Ph. D., Mary Werkman Professor of the Humanities and of Music; Chair of the Committee on Jewish Studies
    Interests: German-Jewish and German-American ethnomusicology; theory and history of folksong.
  • John W. Boyer, Ph. D., Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History; Dean of the College
    Interests: German and Austrian history, 18th century to the present; religion and politics in modern European history; European urban history.
  • Daniel Brudney, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Philosophy
    Interests: Marx, German philosophy, Frankfurt School.
  • James Conant, Ph. D., Professor of Philosophy
    Interests: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Wittgenstein.
  • Kathleen Conzen, Ph. D., Professor of History
    Interests: German-American history and the history of international migration.
  • Constantin Fasolt, Ph. D., Karl J. Weintraub Professor of History; Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division; Deputy Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences; Associate Dean of the College
    Interests: Early modern German history.
  • Michael Forster, Ph. D., Professor of Philosophy
    Interests: Herder, Hegel.
  • Michael Geyer, Ph. D., Samuel N. Harper Professor of German and European History
    Interests: German history of the 19th and 20th centuries with special interest in contemporary German and European affairs.
  • Andreas Glaeser, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Sociology
    Interests: Theories of culture and identity; with reference to Germany mostly post-unification controversies, social memory and architecture, reality construction processes among civil servants in authoritarian regimes.
  • Miriam Hansen, Ph. D., Ferndinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor in Humanities; Professor, Department of English, Cinema and Media Studies
    Interests: Frankfurt School, film theory, German cinema, contemporary German intellectual life, Alexander Kluge.
  • John Haugeland, Ph. D., Professor of Philosophy
    Interests: Heidegger, philosophy of language.
  • Gary Herrigel, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Political Science
    Interests: Political economy of advanced industrial states (Germany, USA, Japan), German political and industrial history in the 19th and 20th centuries, social and political theory.
  • Berthold Hoeckner, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities
    Interests:19th century Austro-German music; Lyrik und Lied; Romantische Musikästhetik; Wagner; Adorno and music.
  • Loren Kruger, Ph. D., Professor, Department of English; Department of Comparative Literature; Committee on African Studies; Committee on Cinema and Media Studies; Committee on Theatre and Performance Studies
    Interests: German literature 18th century to present (esp. drama); GDR and contemporary Germany; Brecht, Heiner Müller, Marxism; the Cold War; Frankfurt School; "Das andere Deutschland."
  • Jonathan Lear, Ph. D., John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy
    Interests: Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger.
  • Francoise Meltzer, Ph. D., Mabel Greene Meyers Professor of French, Comparative Literature, and the Divinity School; Acting Director of the Franke Institute for the Humanities
    Interests: German romanticism, philosophy.
  • Paul Mendes-Flohr, Ph. D., Professor of Modern Jewish Thought in the Divinity School, Committee on Jewish Studies; Associate Faculty in the Department of History
    Interests: German-Jewish intellectual history.
  • Glenn W. Most, Ph. D., Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought
    Interests: German literature and philosophy since the 18th century.
  • Robert B. Pippin, Ph. D., Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor; Committee on Social Thought and Department of Philosophy
    Interests: Kant; German Idealism; Nietzsche; Heidegger; Modernity Theory.
  • Moishe Postone, Ph. D., Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor of History; Committee on Jewish Studies
    Interests: Marx, Frankfurt School, contemporary European social theory, contemporary German affairs (with particular focus on issues of anti-semitism and the relation of the Nazi past to postwar German society and culture).
  • Robert Richards, Ph. D., Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science and Medicine; Professor in the Departments of Philosophy, History, Psychology, and the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
    Interests: German Romanticism, history and philosophy of science.
  • Jerrold Sadock, Ph. D., Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Linguistics
    Interests: Germanic languages (Scandinavian, Yiddish).
  • Malynne Sternstein, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
    Interests: Central European Studies, Literary, Psychoanalytic and Cultural Theory; Art and Media Theory
  • David Tracy, Ph. D., Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religion in the Divinity School; Committee on Social Thought
    Interests: 19th century German philosophy and theology.

Overview

The graduate program in Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago stresses an interdisciplinary model of study, long an emphasis at this University, which allows students to construct fields of research in fresh ways. In order to draw on the University's strengths, both inside and outside the department, students are encouraged to work not only with departmental and affiliated faculty but with faculty throughout the University whose courses are of relevance to their particular interests.

The University's Workshops (non-credit, interdepartmental seminars that meet biweekly) offer a further avenue for interdisciplinary work. Students are also encouraged to participate in the department's colloquia and lecture/discussions.

Language courses taught in the department include German, Norwegian, and Yiddish.

Application and Financial Support

Applicants to the Department of Germanic Studies should have a solid background in German language and culture. Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields are encouraged to apply, but must include with their application a list of relevant German/Germanic courses as well as a letter of recommendation from a faculty member able to evaluate their level of German language competency. Such students will be asked to make up deficiencies in their language preparation before entry into the graduate program. All entering students whose native language is not German are required to pass an ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) oral proficiency examination in German during their first quarter in the program.
 

Admission to the department is competitive. Fellowships awarded by the Department of Germanic Studies for a small number of highly qualified students combine stipend and teaching salary to provide support beyond tuition amounting to $23,000 per year, two summer stipends in the amount of $3,000 each, and University student health insurance. These awards are renewable for up to five years. In addition, departmental funds are used to support students in summer projects, travel, and research. In addition, the Norwegian Culture Program Endowment Fund provides some money for research and travel support for students interested in Norwegian language and culture. Finally, competitive university grants are available for dissertation-level teaching, research, and writing.

Applications to the program must include a writing sample of not more than twenty pages, in German or English; Graduate Record Exam scores from the general examination; TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) scores, if applicable; and three letters of recommendation.
 

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate students is administered through the divisional office of the Dean of Students . The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department-specific information is available on the Graduate Student Online Application page . Please note that the application and all supporting materials are to be submitted online. Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to: humanitiesadmissions@uchicago.edu or (773) 702-1552. 

Degree Requirements

The following is an outline of the main features of the graduate program. If you need additional information, please write directly to the Department of Germanic Studies .
 

Students in the Department of Germanic Studies are as a rule admitted to the entire Ph.D. sequence of study. Students interested in a one-year interdisciplinary Master's program in Germanic Studies may want to contact the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities . Study towards the M.A. degree, normally completed after the first year, is intended as an introductory period, a time for both faculty and students to decide on the suitability of an extended graduate program. All students entering the Ph.D. program with a master's degree from another institution will undergo an informal evaluation at the end of their first year in the department to assess their progress and to plan their further course of study.

Degree of Master of Arts

Course Work

Three quarters of course work and a total of eight courses are required during the first year of study. These include the mandatory pedagogy course ("Acquisition and Teaching of Foreign Languages"). A completed M.A., which includes the pedagogy courses and a "superior" rating on the German oral proficiency test, are prerequisites for teaching appointments. Besides the pedagogy course, students must take at least one course each quarter from departmental faculty, and at least two additional courses from departmental faculty during the year. The remaining courses could contain little or no Germanic material and may be taken primarily for methodological, theoretical, or historical interest. Course selections must receive the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies . All courses must be taken for a letter grade. We expect students to develop a broad historical sense of German culture through coursework as well as their own background reading. The primary aim of the master's year is for students to explore a variety of materials, approaches and problems.

Language examination

Students who do not achieve a "superior" rating on the oral proficiency examination in German (to be taken early in their first quarter) will be advised to undertake further language training or to take other steps to improve their skills; they will be re-tested during the second quarter.

M.A. Exam

The purpose of the M.A. exam is to test students’ ability to work with concepts central to the discipline, to articulate literary-historical arguments, to discuss significant patterns that extend beyond individual texts, and to articulate how such concepts relate to the interpretation of individual works. In addition, the exam establishes a useful foundation of knowledge upon which the student can build in later studies.

The examination takes place in the eighth week of Spring Quarter of the student’s first year of graduate study. Its basis is a list of some twenty to twenty-five texts selected by the student in consultation with the two members of the student’s M.A. exam committee. (The committee—consisting of two members of the department’s core faculty—is to be designated by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the student.) This list reflects a category of literary research such as a genre, a period, or a general concept bearing on a mode of writing. Examples of the former might be “The Bourgeois Tragedy” or “Modern Urban Short Prose” or “The Elegy.” Periods can be variously conceived: Enlightenment, Realism, Weimar Republic. General concepts are more abstract categories such as “narrative” or “performance” or “argumentative writing.” Lists could also be organized along thematic lines or in terms of a traditional narrative subject. The point is that the list be designed so as to sustain a process of coherent intellectual inquiry. In addition to the 20-25 primary texts, the list includes a representative cross-section of secondary literature addressing the topic under study.

The examination itself has two components:

a) a take-home written examination, and
b) an oral examination approximately one hour in length.

The take-home component consists of three essays (of two and one half, never more than three double-spaced pages) written in answer to questions devised by the faculty. These questions offer the student an opportunity to demonstrate her/his ability to explore various intellectual issues raised by the list as a whole as well as by specific works on the list. Students will receive these questions on Friday morning of the eighth week of classes and hand in their completed essays by 5:00 p.m. the following Monday. The oral examination is devoted to a critical discussion of the students’ three essays as well as to works included on the list but not addressed in the written part of the examination. It will take place one week after the written exam. Following a forty-minute discussion of the essays, the student and the faculty examination committee will assess the student’s overall progress, including course work.

A crucial aspect of the M.A. examination is planning and advising. Students should choose their examiners and have one planning meeting with each examiner by the eighth week of Autumn Quarter. Students should choose examiners and design the lists with a view to the seminars they plan to attend throughout the year. Students must submit their lists for approval at the end of the fourth week of Winter Quarter. Two weeks after submission, they should meet with their examiners to discuss preparation for the exams. During Spring Quarter, students should meet with their examiners twice prior to the exam in order to discuss questions arising from their readings. Of course, throughout the process students are encouraged to discuss questions arising from their readings with other faculty members, both inside and outside the Department of Germanic Studies.
 

First Year: Time Schedule for M.A. Exam

Fall, Week 8 - Choose examiners
Winter, Week 4 - Submit exam list for approval
Winter, Week 7 - Arrange to meet with examiners to discuss exam preparation
Spring, Week 8 - Written exam
Spring, Week 9 - Oral exam

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. phase of study will be self-designed to a greater extent than the M.A. Students who enter with an M.A. from another university will be required to take one pedagogy course in their first year ("Acquisition and Teaching of Foreign Languages"). This requirement may be waived by the department if a student can demonstrate that equivalent work was successfully completed at another institution. Completion of the course (or a departmental waiver), together with a "superior" rating on the oral proficiency interview in German taken early in the first quarter (or re-taken later if necessary), are prerequisites for teaching appointments.

Course work

Students will establish that balance of course work and individual preparation that best suits their intellectual agenda. Course selections, however, must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies . A minimum number of eight courses over two years, not including the pedagogy course, is required. All of these courses must be taken for credit. Six must be taken for a letter grade. The remaining two may be taken Pass/Fail. Typically, the two post-M.A. years (during which students will also be teaching) will look as follows: two seminars each quarter the first year; at least one seminar each quarter for the fall and winter quarters of the second year; exams in the spring quarter of the second year. In this way students will have ample time during the second Ph.D. year to prepare for the exams.

Language examination

All students are required to pass one university foreign language reading examination (usually in French, ancient Greek, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, or Italian) before taking their Ph.D. oral exams. Students whose dissertation work requires them to read original texts in a language not listed above may petition the department and division to accept that language instead.

Ph.D. examinations

Students will complete the Ph.D. exams in three stages. During the last quarter of the first Ph.D. year and the following summer, students are asked to begin assembling a Ph.D. major field list (of about 50 works) and two annotated syllabi for future courses–one undergraduate, one graduate–that they would like to teach. An important part of the job market portfolio, the syllabi are to demonstrate the student’s ability to ‘translate’ some of their research interests into viable seminars and to explain their choices. The syllabi should include a rationale for the design of the course. The two courses should be on topics other than the major field, although they may intersect with it. The major field list should be organized around a broad topic such as “Discourses of Madness from Kant to Musil”, “Worldly Provincialism: German Realism 1850-1900”, or “The Aesthetics of Sacrifice in Post-war German Literature and Art.” Students should then group their 50 works into several clusters according to particular themes or sets of questions. Students are invited to consult with as many faculty members as possible as they work on these materials. They should also arrange for an exam committee of three faculty: two faculty members (normally both members of the department) to compose and evaluate the written examination questions, and a third faculty member (from either the departmental or affiliated faculty) to serve as an additional examiner for the oral exam.

At the beginning of the fall quarter of the second Ph.D. year, students will submit preliminary exam lists and both syllabi to the faculty committee they have chosen and to the graduate advisor. (In many cases, students will actually wish to submit one of these syllabi for the annual Tave competition in the winter quarter. (The Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship allows graduate students to teach a free-standing, self-designed undergraduate class.)

The four-hour, open-book, written exam will be taken no later than the 7th week of spring quarter. Six weeks prior to the exam, each student will submit to the exam committee and to the graduate advisor a list of categories and questions that indicate what he or she considers to be the salient issues of the major field. Faculty will use this list as a guide in preparing the exam. Within two weeks of the exam, the committee, joined by the third member, will meet with the student for an hour-long discussion that will encompass the exam, the two syllabi, and plans for the dissertation. Students should work on their dissertation proposals over the summer and schedule the formal proposal defense at the beginning of the fall quarter of the third Ph.D. year. For further details regarding the Ph.D. examinations, students are encouraged to consult with the graduate advisor.
 

Second Ph.D. Year: Time Schedule for Ph.D. Exam

Fall, Week 3 - Preliminary exam list and syllabi
Spring, Week 2 - Submit list of questions/categories designed to help you organize and think about the texts on your major field; these should be submitted to the exam committee and the DGS

Spring, Week 7 - Written exam
Spring, Week 9 - One hour long discussion of written exam, syllabi, major field list, and dissertation plans

Dissertation Proposal

After the Ph.D. examination, a student should identify and select a dissertation committee. One member of the committee is chosen as the dissertation advisor and primary reader, and the others as second and third readers. A proposal ought not attempt to predict the final conclusions of the project before the research is fully under way. Instead, it should attempt to divide the project into subordinate questions and to rank the parts of the project in terms of priority. It should include a preliminary bibliography, a potential chapter structure and should indicate a rough timetable for the research and writing of the dissertation. The proposal of 20-25 pages should be problem-driven, question-oriented, and should contextualize the project within current debates in the field. The student will then have an opportunity to discuss the project in a PROPOSAL DEFENSE with the dissertation committee. This should be done not later than one quarter after the Ph.D. examination. Students should file copies of their examination lists and proposal with the department administrator.

The dissertation proposal is due no later than one quarter after passing Ph.D. examinations.

Writing the dissertation

After the proposal has been approved by the readers, the student should plan on spending the remainder of the fourth year researching and reading. Some students may spend this time away; others may choose to remain in Chicago to work closely with their readers. We encourage students to try to complete the dissertation during the fifth year, if possible. All students should complete the dissertation by the end of the sixth year.

Teaching in the College

Graduate students in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago will enter the job market with a solid basis in current pedagogical theory and practice as well as a range of teaching experiences in a variety of classroom settings. Teaching in the undergraduate language program is an integral part of the graduate program.
 

Before they begin teaching, graduate students must participate in a graduate seminar on pedagogy ("Acquisition and Teaching of Foreign Languages"). This course is an introduction to foreign language acquisition and to the theoretical models underlying current methods, approaches and classroom practices. Syllabus and test design and lesson planning are also treated. All participants do two days of observation and two days of supervised teaching in a first-year class.

Graduate students have the opportunity to teach in the beginning and intermediate German language program . They have full responsibility for the courses they teach, including syllabus design, day-to-day instruction, test design, grading and all other record keeping. Input from the graduate students is also critical in the ongoing implementation and revision of the curriculum. Internal grant monies have been made available to support the development of an on-line writing project designed by graduate students, as well as other curricular innovations.
 

Graduate students also have the opportunity to work as on-site coordinators and/or instructors in study-abroad programs in Vienna and Freiburg . The preparation of students for study-abroad and their reintegration into the curriculum is an ongoing process in which graduate students, in their roles as instructors, are deeply involved.

Each fall there is an orientation for all graduate students who will teach that year. It is held in conjunction with the Center for Teaching and Learning and deals with general procedural and pedagogical issues as well as specific course objectives and practices. This inter-departmental cooperation also includes jointly held workshops and seminars on different topics in the field of second language teaching, offered by University of Chicago faculty and experts from other institutions.

Courses

German Courses

GRMN 34413. Modern Rewritings of the Gospel Narratives.


This interdisciplinary course focuses on the literary dimension of the gospels and on their artistic reception in modern culture. Starting from a presentation of narrative theory, it asks whether religious and secular narratives differ in structure, and illuminates narrative conventions of different media and genres. Both thematic aspects (what aspects of the gospels are selected for development in modern adaptations?) and features of presentation (how do different media and styles transform similar content?) will be considered. Principal works include Johann Sebastian Bach, The Passion According to St. Matthew (1720); Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus (1865); Nikos Kazantzákis, The Last Temptation of Christ (1955); Pasolini, The Gospel According to Matthew (1964); José Saramago, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991); Norman Mailer, The Gospel According to the Son (1997); and Monty Python, Life of Brian (1979). Secondary readings include Mieke Bal, Narratology, and Bultmann, History of the Synoptic Tradition. 


Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva Terms offered: Spring

Equivalent course(s): GRMN 24413, CMLT 24409, CMLT 34409, RLST 28809, RLIT 34400

GRMN 34613. Rilke’s Duineser Elegien.

The seminar will be organized around close readings of Rilke’s most famous cycle of poems. We will explore, among other things, the status of the poems with respect to the generic conventions of elegiac poetry; the features of the “angelology” elaborated by the poems; the treatment of the object world in the cycle; the sense of modernity conveyed in the poems. The course will be conducted in English; excellent reading knowledge of German is a prerequisite.


Instructor(s): Eric Santner Terms offered: Winter

GRMN 36713. Discovering Scandinavia, c. 1500-1800.

This course gives an overview of the early modern history of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, that is, from the time of the protestant reformation to the age of Enlightenment. The key word in our context is “discovery." In the course of this period, the popular culture, nature, and history of the Northern countries were explored and conceptualized in science, government, and travel. We will study the interconnections between knowledge, power, and curiosity in this process through readings of recent historical literature and original sources. No knowledge of Scandinavian languages required. 


Instructor(s): Erling Sandmo Terms offered: Winter

Equivalent course(s): GRMN 26713, HIST 23311, HIST 33311

GRMN 36813. Living On: Figuring Baroque Life and Literature.

In Baroque Germany living was surviving; living over and beyond death that threatened and passed by the self only to come to family and friends, neighbors and compatriots. In the face of the high child mortality in Early Modern Europe every adult was a survivor, and the wide-spread devastation of the civilian population in the Thirty-Year War only intensified the perception of the vanity of world and life. Not surprisingly, the enigma of survival, i.e. the ultimately unfathomable question “Why do I live rather than die?” and “How do I go on living?”, is maybe the central figuration of Baroque literature. Every genre finds its own answer to these pressing questions. The seminar will survey and examine the many forms and figures of survival in such diverse texts as Grimmelhausen’s Simplicius Simplicissimus, Baroque mourning plays, meditations of mortality and vanity, funeral sermons, or philosophical consolations to name only a few. We may also, although I do not want to promise too much, consult Benjamin’s Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels regarding his conceptualization of mourning and melancholy. Readings in German.  
Note: This seminar is in loose dialogue with David Wellbery’s seminar on “Death and Afterlife: Cultural Models ca. 1800” offered in the Spring, even though both can, of course, be taken separately.


Instructor(s): Christopher Wild Terms offered: Winter

 

GRMN 37812. Jewish Political Theology.


The seminar will address major texts from Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Buber, Rosenzweig, Benjamin, Scholem, Strauss, and Taubes concerning the borders of secular and divine power and authority, the relations of Jewish law and secular law, and resources of the Jewish tradition for challenging the legitimacy of secular political, economic, and social relations. 


Instructor(s): Eric Santner and Paul Mendes-Flohr Terms offered: Autumn

Equivalent course(s): HIJD 50500

 

GRMN 38513. Poetic Force.


Centered on the works of Kafka, Beckett, and Musil, this seminar sets out to explore poetic form generated from radical experimentation with force. At around 1900, a recent configuration of the terms force, motion, energy, and entropy, emerging from the intersection of disciplines as varied as thermodynamics, sociology, and philosophy, starts to inform literary production as well. Traditional binarisms such as form/matter, form/content, or form/substance get replaced by the new paradigm of an interplay between form and entropy, force and exhaustion. Is form opposed to exhaustion or does it live off it? To what extent can form be conceived as motion? How does it reflect the cultural shift from energy to information? How can we conceptualize categories such as probability, intensity, or elasticity for literary analysis? Supplementary materials reach from Aristotle to Deleuze, including key modernist accounts of force by Adams, Freud, Warburg, Valéry, and Boccioni.  


Instructor(s): Florian Klinger Terms offered: Spring

Equivalent course(s): CMLT 38513.

 

GRMN 39113. Lohengrin Laboratory: Opera, Dramaturgy, and Stage Practice.  

In 2014, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will stage a production of Salvatore Sciarrino's Lohengrin directed by Majel Connery, Executive Director of Opera Cabal, an experimental opera company based in New York City and Chicago. This team-taught, interdisciplinary seminar will serve as a laboratory for the production. The first half of the class explores in depth the work’s genesis (Wagner’s opera, *Lohengrin*) and subsequent adaptation (a short story by Symbolist poet Jules Laforgue which, in turn, is re-adapted for opera by Sciarrino).  As a class we will cultivate a fluency with the theoretical stakes of these multiple *Lohengrins* (including Alain Badiou’s and Adorno’s writings on Wagner, Michel Poizat on voice, and Slavoj Zizek/Mladen Dolar on opera, voice and the gaze) in order, finally, to develop a suite of mini-Lohengrins—group-based scenic reflections and solutions. No previous experience staging opera is expected, although an interest in exploring the intersection of textual exegesis, conceptual analysis, and stage practice is essential.  Students with an interest in any of the following are especially welcome: contemporary music, performance theory, dramaturgy, design, and/or directing.  Instructors: Majel Connery (Executive Director, Opera Cabal, NYC/Chicago) and David Levin (Germanic Studies, Theater & Performance Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, and Director of the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry).

Instructor(s): David Levin and Majel Connery Terms offered: Winter

Equivalent course(s): GRMN 29113, TAPS 28436, MUSI 29113, MUSI 39113

 

 

GRMN 40112. Narratology: Classical Models and New Directions.


This seminar is an introduction to the formal study of narrative. Its purpose is to provide graduate students with a set of conceptual instruments that will be useful to them in a broad range of research contexts. Topics to be considered: 1) the structure of the narrative text; 2) the logic of story construction; 3) questions of perspective and voice; 4) character and identification; 5) narrative genres. After a brief consideration of Aristotle’s Poetics, we will move on to fundamental contributions by (among others) Propp, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Greimas, Genette, Eco, Lotman, Marin, Ricoeur, and then finish with recent work in analytic philosophy and cognitive science. Readings in theoretical/analytical texts will be combined with practical exercises.

 

Instructor(s): David Wellbery Terms offered: Autumn

Equivalent course(s): CMLT 50103

  

 

GRMN 40413. Death and the Afterlife: Cultural Models ca. 1800.

 

This seminar examines the literary and philosophical treatment of death (and related matters) in literary, philosophical, and theological texts from the late Enlightenment to Classicism and Romanticism. The task is to discriminate the competing models of meaning-articulation that bear on this question in the wake of the Enlightenment critique of religious dogmatism. Among the writers to be considered are: Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Hebel. Readings in cultural history as well as paradigmatic analyses in literature and philosophy will help us to frame our discussions. Primary Readings in German. 


Instructor(s): David Wellbery Terms offered: Spring

Equivalent course(s): SCTH 40413 CMLT 40413.

 

German Language Courses


GRMN 10100-10200-10300.  Elementary German for Beginners I, II, III. 

The goal of this sequence is to develop proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking for use in everyday communication. Knowledge and awareness of the different cultures of the German speaking countries is also a goal. 
During the summer, Elementary German for Beginners I, II, III is offered through the Graham School.

PQ for GRMN 10200: placement or consent of language coordinator. PQ for 10300: 10200 or 10201 or placement or consent of language coordinator. No auditors permitted. Must be taken for quality grades.

Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer

 

GRMN 10201.  Elementary German. 

PQ: Placement or consent of language coordinator. No auditors permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade. This is an accelerated version of the GRMN 10100-10200 sequence for students with previous knowledge of the language. 

Terms offered: Autumn, Winter

 

GRMN 20100. Deutsche Märchen: German through Fairy Tales. 

This course is a comprehensive look at German fairy tales, including structure and role in German nineteenth-century literature, adaptation as children's books in German and English, and film interpretations. This course also includes a review and expansion of German grammar.
During the summer, Deutsche Märchen is also offered through the Graham School. 

PQ: GRMN 10300 or placement. No auditors permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade. 

Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer

 

GRMN 20200. Deutsch-Amerikanische Themen. 

Issues may range from print or other media, to social topics such as family roles or social class, to literary genres such as exile or immigrant literature. This course also includes an advanced review and expansion of German grammar.

PQ: GRMN 20100 or placement. No auditors permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade. 

Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring.

 

GRMN 20300. Kurzprosa aus dem 20. Jahrhundert/Film im 20. Jahrhundert. 

This course is a study of descriptive and narrative prose through short fiction and other texts, as well as media from the twentieth century.We focus on grammatical issues designed to push toward more cohesive and idiomatic use of languages. 

PQ: GRMN 20200 or placement. No auditors permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade. 

Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring.

 

GRMN 21103. Fokus: Erzählen. 

This course develops advanced German skills through the study of narratives of various authors from different periods. 

PQ: GRMN 20300 or placement. No auditors permitted. 

Terms offered: Autumn

 

GRMN 21203. Fokus: Drama und Film. 


This course develops advanced German skill through the study of dramas and/or films of various authors/directors from different eras.

PQ: GRMN 20300 or placement. No auditors permitted. 

Terms offered: Winter

 

GRMN 21303.  Fokus: Gedichte. 

This course develops advanced German skills through the study of poetry of various authors from different periods.

PQ: GRMN 20300 or placement. No auditors permitted.

Terms offered: Spring

 

GRMN 13100. Reading German for Undergraduate Students. 

This course prepares students to read a variety of German texts. By the end of the quarter, students should have a fundamental knowledge of German grammar and a basic vocabulary. While the course does not teach conversational German, the basic elements of pronunciation are taught so that students can understand a limited amount of spoken German. 

Prior knowledge of German not required. No auditors permitted. This course does not prepare students for the competency exam. Must be taken for a quality grade. 

Terms offered: Spring

 

GRMN 33300. German for Research Purposes. 

This rigorous course begins with an introduction to grammar and vocabulary enabling students to read and comprehend German. Students then perform a series of process exercises designed to practice the specific skills they need to use German for research. Students able to work with texts and journals in their own discipline to complete these exercises. Graduate students who take and perform well in this course will be able to read in a foreign language reading, and will also master skills they useful as scholars in their field. The course also prepares student for the graduate reading exam. No previous knowledge of German necessary.
During the summer, German for Research Purposes is offered through the Graham School. 


Terms offered: Winter, Spring, Summer


 

Norwegian Courses

NORW 10100-10200-10300. First Year Norwegian I, II, III. 

The aim of this sequence is to provide students with minimal proficiency in the four language skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening - with a special emphasis on speaking. To achieve these goals, we undertake an overview of all major grammar topics and work to acquire a substantial vocabulary. 


Instructor(s): Kimberly Kenny  Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring.

 

NORW 10400.  Intermediate Norwegian I. Introduction to Literature.

This course combines intensive review of all basic grammar with the acquisition of more advanced grammar concepts. While our main priority remains oral proficiency, we work to develop our reading and writing skills. We challenge our reading ability with more sophisticated examples of Norwegian prose and strengthen our writing through essay writing. The centerpiece of the course is the contemporary Norwegian novel Naiv. Super. 

PQ: NORW 10300 or consent of instructor. 

Instructor(s): Kimberly Kenny Terms offered: Spring

 

NORW 29700. Reading and Research Course in Norwegian. 

Students must consult with the instructor by the eighth week of the preceding quarter to determine the subject of the course and the work to be done. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. 

PQ: Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies. 


Instructor(s): Kimberly Kenny Terms offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring

 

 

Yiddish Courses

YDDH 10100-10200-10300. Elementary Yiddish I, II, III.

The goal of this sequence is to develop proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking for use in everyday communication. The main features of Yiddish culture are introduced through websites, songs, films, and folklore.

Terms offered: Winter, Spring. 

Equivalent course(s): JWSC 20300-20400-20500, LGLN 27200-27300-27400

 

YDDH 31709. Intermediate Yiddish, I, II, III.

PQ: YDDH 10300 or consent of instructor. This sequence uses a variety of material to expose students to different styles of written and spoken Yiddish. Course materials include a selection of modern Yiddish literature (short stories and poems), including CDs with readings by native speakers; newspaper articles; and websites about Yiddish cultural life in the United States, Europe, and Israel.

Terms offered: Winter, Spring.

Equivalent course(s): 21709

 

 

Germanic Studies - German Courses

GRMN 32612. Herder's Philosophy. 100 Units.

This course will attempt to provide a broad introduction to Herder's philosophical thought. Among the topics covered will be his philosophy of language (including his theories of interpretation and translation); his philosophy of mind; his aesthetic theory; his philosophy of history; and his political philosophy. The course will consist mainly of lectures, but discussion will also be encouraged. (V)

Instructor(s): M. Forster     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 32610

GRMN 34413. Modern Rewritings of the Gospel Narratives. 100 Units.

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the literary dimension of the gospels and on their artistic reception in modern culture. Starting from a presentation of narrative theory, it asks whether religious and secular narratives differ in structure, and illuminates narrative conventions of different media and genres. Both thematic aspects (what aspects of the gospels are selected for development in modern adaptations?) and features of presentation (how do different media and styles transform similar content?) will be considered. Principal works include Johann Sebastian Bach, The Passion According to St. Matthew (1720); Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus (1865); Nikos Kazantzákis, The Last Temptation of Christ (1955); Pasolini, The Gospel According to Matthew (1964); José Saramago, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991); Norman Mailer, The Gospel According to the Son (1997); and Monty Python, Life of Brian (1979). Secondary readings include Mieke Bal, Narratology, and Bultmann, History of the Synoptic Tradition.

Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva     Terms Offered: Spring 2013
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 34409,GRMN 24413,RLST 28809,RLIT 34400,CMLT 24409

GRMN 38213. Topics from Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit" 100 Units.

This course will attempt to give a general introduction to what is arguably Hegel's most exciting work. We will begin by spending some time discussing the overall project of the work, especially as articulated in the Preface and Introduction. After that, we will examine some of the most important sections of the work, such as "Sense-certainty" and "Lordship and Bondage" in more detail. (V)

Instructor(s): M. Forster     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 38301,GRMN 28213,PHIL 28201

GRMN 39113. Brecht and the (Theatrical) Praxes of Theory. 100 Units.

Exploration of Brecht’s theoretical texts and theater works—with a special focus upon his Messingkauf Dialogues—in order to map out their implications for theater practice. This seminar is part of a collaborative inter-institutional project (between the University of Chicago, Tel Aviv University, and Frankfurt University) to re-think the Messingkauf Dialogues. We expect to present the results of our work on each collaborating institution’s campus in the course of the summer/fall of 2013 (pending funding approval). Open by permission only, to advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Students interested in participating should contact the professor in the course of the Autumn Quarter.

Instructor(s): D. Levin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Consent of Instructor required during Autumn Quarter.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 29113,TAPS 28436

GRMN 39313. BRECHT & THE (THEATRICAL) PRAXES OF THEORY. 100 Units.

Exploration of Brecht’s theoretical texts and theater works—with a special focus upon his Messingkauf Dialogues--in order to map out their implications for theater practice.  This seminar is part of a collaborative inter-institutional project (between the U of Chicago, Tel Aviv Univ, and Frankfurt Univ) to re-think the Messingkauf Dialogues.  We expect to present the results of our work on each collaborating institution’s campus in the course of the summer/fall of 2013 (pending funding approval).  Open by permission only, to advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.  Students interested in participating should contact the professor in the course of the Autumn quarter.

Prerequisite(s): Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 29313

GRMN 40212. Narratology: Classical Models and New Directions. 100 Units.

 This seminar is an introduction to the formal study of narrative. Its purpose is to provide graduate students with a set of conceptual instruments that will be useful to them in a broad range of research contexts. Topics to be considered: 1) the structure of the narrative text; 2) the logic of story construction; 3) questions of perspective and voice; 4) character and identification; 5) narrative genres. After a brief consideration of Aristotle’s Poetics, we will move on to fundamental contributions by (among others) Propp, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Greimas, Genette, Eco, Lotman, Marin, Ricoeur, and then finish with recent work in analytic philosophy and cognitive science. Readings in theoretical/analytical texts will be combined with practical exercises.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 50103

GRMN 40213. Seminar: Historicism and the Comparative Method. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore historicism as a theoretical problem in the study of literature. Our particular foci will be the development of historicism as a distinctly modern hermeneutic mode from the 18th c. to the 20th c.; its relation to organicism, aestheticism, and evolutionism; the rise of comparative literature alongside other "comparative disciplines" on a historicist-empiricist basis in the second half of the 19th century; literary methodologies that profess a version of historicism (Historical Poetics, (Neo)-Marxism, New Historicism). Critics discussed will include Johann von Herder, Alexander Veselovsky, Georg Lukács, Mikhail Bakhtin, Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, Fredric Jameson, Reinhart Koselleck, and Carlo Ginzburg.

Instructor(s): Boris Maslov     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Equivalent Course(s): SLAV 50202,CMLT 50202

GRMN 51400. Arabesque Narrative: A Hybrid Form of the Imaginary. 100 Units.

For course description contact CDIN Center for Disciplinary Innovation.

Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 51400,ARTH 46210,SCTH 51400

Germanic Studies - Norwegian Courses