Graduate Course Descriptions 2020W

Term 1

GERM 500A: German Studies Research Methods / GERM 531A: Special Topics (cross-listed)

Credits: 3
Winter 2020 | Term 1
Instructor: Dr. Biz Nijdam
Day and Time: Tuesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Location: online

Course description:

This course will provide students with an introduction to the essential methodologies of German studies through the analysis of how we construct, maintain, use, forget, and erase memory. Looking at the memory culture that has emerged around East Germany since 1989, students will explore a selection of sites and practices of memory and memory-making. Topics will include narratives of remembering (literature, film, television, and comics), the physical spaces of memory (memorials and museums), and the objects of memory (furniture, fashion, and food culture). Primary texts will be supplemented with interdisciplinary secondary literature to foster students’ critical engagement with East German memory culture(s) and include theory from memory studies, museum studies, cultural studies, comics studies, visual culture studies, and film and media studies. Lastly, this course will integrate practical instruction on graduate studies to support students in developing the strategies they will need to succeed in graduate school, while practicing the various genres of academic writing essential to our field.

GERM 501A: What Is Narrative?

Credits: 3
Winter 2020 | Term: 1
Instructor: Dr. Ervin Malakaj
Day and Time: Thursday, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Location: online

Course description:

This online graduate seminar offers an introduction to theories of narrative ranging from antiquity to today. It will focus in particular on the trajectories ranging from classical narratology to contemporary narrative theory, examining various traditions that pursue why stories are told and how.

GERM 520: Studies in Literature after 1945

Credits: 3
Winter 2020 | Term 1
Instructor: Dr. Markus Hallensleben
Day and Time: Thursday, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Location: online

Course description:

This online course is taught in English, open to graduate students from all fields, with no prerequisites. It focuses on narratives of migration from an interdisciplinary studies point of view. While one part of the course will utilize Social Studies concepts of postmigration, super-diversity and plurality for an analysis of literary narratives as counter-narratives to Eurocentric, ethnically and nationally centred models of belonging, another part will investigate contemporary German-language authors who write about flight, immigration and refuge. How do their narratives perform hybrid and plural identities that go across borders, including the dealing with memories of colonial history, genocides and wars?

Term 2

GERM 514A: German Literature of the 18th century – Letters as Genre, Medium, and Object (in German)

Cross-listed with undergraduate course GERM 370

Credits: 3
Winter 2020 | Term 2
Instructor: Dr. Gaby Pailer
Day and Time: Thursday/Thursday, 3:30 – 5:00pm
Location: BUCH D312 (subject to change)

Course description:
This course focuses on “epistolary literature” in the 18th century, from the emergence of private correspondence, to literary forms such as epistolary novels, letters as embedded stories in narrative prose, as props in dramatic texts, and finally as objects of archiving, editing, and reading processes. Point of departure forms the correspondence of Charlotte Schiller (née von Lengefeld, 1766-1826), wife to one of Germany most renowned poets, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805). Course Readings include firstly, selected letters in manuscript and edited forms; and secondly, epistolary novels/novellas by Sophie von La Roche (“Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim”, 1771), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (“Die Leiden des jungen Werthers”, 1774), and Charlotte Schiller (“Rosalie”, 1800) – referring back to French and English texts by Richardson and Diderot. In the final section, we’ll read two dramatic texts, Friederike Sophie Hensel’s “Die Familie auf dem Lande / Die Entführung” (1770/1772), which transforms an epistolary novel by Frances Sheridan into a bourgeois tragedy, and Friedrich Schiller’s historical drama about state violence and censorship, “Don Carlos”(1787).

GERM 531B: Language (Mis)Use in Times of Crisis

Cross-listed with undergraduate course GERM 411

Credits: 3
Winter 2020 | Term 2
Instructor: Dr. Caroline Rieger
Day and Time: Thursday/Thursday, 9:30 – 11:00am
Location: UCEN 103 (subject to change)

Course description:
This course will focus on analyses of language of fear, hate and persuasion/manipulation, i.e. language used by media, social media, politics and extremism in times of crisis (including the current one). Depending on student interest the focus might be expanded to include analyses of such language use in fiction depicting crises (literary fiction, tv and cinema). Taught in English.