German Language Courses
101-102. Elementary German with Lab.
At the elementary level of the language courses sequence (GER 101 in the fall and 102 in the spring), the students are gradually immersed into the German-speaking world through activities and assignments targeted at practicing the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The courses also provide a solid grammar basis on which the students build up to the higher levels. The elementary language courses introduce culture of the German-speaking countries both implicitly and explicitly. The former proceeds through grammar exercises with elements of cultural distinctions (e.g., distinction between formal/ informal) and thorough vocabulary referring to specific cultural information and practices, such geography, family, school, etc. The different cultural practices in the different German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) are addressed explicitly in different types of assignments and so are the cultural differences between the American and the German-language cultures. Class sessions plus lab.
103-104. Intermediate German with Lab.
In the intermediate language courses sequence in German (GER 103 in the fall and 104 in the spring), the complexity of the assignments and activities in all four language skills increases significantly, requiring more intensive work from the students, which brings about greater proficiency in all four language skills. The students respond to more complex questions regarding more abstract concepts and use more sophisticated grammar structures. The texts at the intermediate levels help the students adjust to more complicated structures and vocabulary, greater language fluency, and more complex cultural input. The cultural nuances and differences within the German-language cultures are addressed and discussed explicitly and at a higher level than in the previous courses. The discussions deriving from the readings in the textbook and two films screened during the course, include politics, specific past and contemporaneous cultural production (plastic arts, music, literature), and history. Class sessions plus lab.
201-202. Advanced German.
In the advanced level courses in German Studies (201 in the fall and 202 in the spring) we move beyond the traditional approach to language courses based on language textbooks and use other types of texts and media. At this level it is assumed that the students have well developed language skills. GER 201 teaches German language, culture, history, and politics of the German-speaking countries in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries through film. Students practice comprehension of complex questions and film perception as well as use of more sophisticated and specific vocabulary and grammar structures. This course focuses very strongly on the writing skills and includes more complex writing assignments than the previous levels. GER 202 teaches German language, culture, history, and politics of the German-speaking countries in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through the genres of short story and poetry. The course has a strong focus on reading comprehension, writing, and discussion. The students read original literary texts in German, which are carefully chosen to challenge them reasonably and enrich their vocabulary, and practice their reception of literary texts beyond mere language comprehension and towards understanding of the literary concepts and structures. In the writing assignments the students learn to analyze literary texts, structure and develop an argument, and improve their writing skills and styles in German.
German Studies Courses (taught in English):
The courses below may also be taken for German language credit by students who have completed at least through GER 103 or equivalent and have permission from the instructor.
282. New German Cinema.
Taught in English. This course introduces students to the cultural, political, and formal study of West German filmmaking since the 1960s in direct comparison with current popular cinema, East German film, and the lasting legacies of New German Cinema today. Topics include left-wing terrorism, feminist politics, immigration, colonialism, Germany's Nazi past, and Cold War divisions. Films by Herzog, Wenders, von Trotta, Fassbinder, Schlöndorff, Akin, Maccarone, Petzold, and others. This course may also be taken for German-language credit by completing select assignments in German. Also offered through Film and Representation Studies, as well as European Studies.
283. Berlin Hollywood.
Taught in English. Hollywood's fascination with modern German history is evident in the constant stream of films about the Holocaust, Nazism, and World War II. With the rise of Hitler, many German and Austrian directors, actors, and writers also fled Europe for southern California and helped shape the political, cultural, and stylistic direction of Hollywood. This course explores the intersection of German and American history and film culture from the 1930s to the present with a focus on World War II and covers key theories of modernism, mass culture, historical memory, and representations of the Holocaust. Films and texts by Lang, Riefenstahl, Chaplin, Wilder, Brecht, Adorno, Staudte, Spielberg, Verhoeven, Coen Brothers, and Tarantino. This course may also be taken for German-language credit by completing select assignments in German. Also offered through Film and Representation Studies.
489, 490. SYE: Independent Study.
Independent study is intended for exceptionally qualified students only. Permission of the instructor is required. See application procedure on the home page of the departmental Web site.
497, 498. SYE: Honors Project.
See Honors in the introductory section on department curriculum. See application procedure on the home page of the departmental Web site.