Courses

Link to UO catalog

Fall 2020

German language Courses

GER 101 First Year German (5 credits) CRNs: 12999, 13000, 13001, 13002, 13003. This series is designed to provide you with a foundation in German language and culture: you will learn to communicate in German using the four skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading. Through videos, readings and class discussions you will be introduced to various aspects of culture in German-speaking countries. 101-103 are structured according to international standards (ACTFL and EFR proficiency guidelines) to provide you with transparency and clear goals and to signal to you, other universities, and employers around the world that you have mastered basic German.

GER 201 Second Year German (4 Credits) CRNs: 13006, 13007, 13008. This course fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement. This course is part of a two-year sequence designed to provide you with a foundation in German vocabulary, grammar, and culture. In German 201, you will have the chance to expand your vocabulary and your knowledge of structures in a unifying context with engaging cultural topics brought to you in authentic readings and engaging videos. You will learn to discuss in German and continue to prepare for participating in the larger academic and intellectual discourses at the University of Oregon and beyond.

SWED 201 Second Year Swedish (4 credits) Howard
CRN: 16237. This course fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement. Review of grammar, composition, and conversation. Readings from contemporary texts in Swedish.

GER 311 Intermediate Language Training (4 credits) Klueppel
CRN: 13015. This course satisfies one Arts and Letters requirement.  Extensive practice in speaking and writing German, and complex grammatical structures in writing.

GER 411 Advanced Language Training (4 credits) Bayerl
CRN: 13023.

SWED 405 Third Year Swedish (4 credits) CRN: 16239.

Literature & culture Courses

GER/SCAN 220M From Kierkegaard to Kafka (4 credits) Librett
CRN: 16517/16518, taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. Are you living your own life, or someone else’s? Since we all have to die one day, and since no one else can tell you how to orient yourself in a world of uncertain values: what will you do to make this life, the only life you have, as meaningful as possible? “Existentialism” is a philosophy of radical freedom and radical self-responsibility. This existentialist approach to life as developed through the 19th to the 21st century is more relevant today than ever because, due to the global intermingling of disparate cultures, objective values are increasingly hard to find. We will examine central works of existentialism in fiction, philosophy, and film by Danish and German authors, and also by a couple of key French ones. Authors include: Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir.

GER 221 Postwar Germany (4 credits) Anderson
CRN: 13009 + Discussion, taught in English.  This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. 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? The texts and films address issues that have helped shape the ways Germans think today.

GER 251 Sexuality (4 credits) Boos
CRN: 16491, taught in EnglishFulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L); Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP); and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. The history of German literature and thought has been intertwined with the historical formation of sexual discourse and contemporary debates on sexuality. This course traces the dynamics of sexual relations and policies through the rapidly changing cultural and political landscape of modernity.  We will examine pioneering and provocative works from nineteenth to twenty-first century German artists and thinkers to understand how sexual norms and gender roles are (re)negotiated and (re)constructed over time by established institutional practice and social resistance to it. We will become familiar with new forms of representation and interpretation in contexts such as the emergence of psychoanalytic thought, the German avant-garde, the theme of incest, queer film, and social advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights.

SCAN 251 Text and Interpretation: Masks and the Ecstatic Experience (4 credits) Stern
CRN: 15947, taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. This class is about stories. It is about how we tell them, what they mean to us, and how narrative permeates the very fabric of our understanding of the world. Considering this and remembering that our "universe" of stories includes narratives that we have been told, have read, and tell ourselves; we can safely say that we are not the authors of our entire sense of the world. This raises several interesting questions about the relationship between the "self" and the "other." It is my hope that we can begin to answer these questions and raise other ones that will enable us to understand better the process through which we try to make sense of the world. With this goal in mind, I have decided to introduce you to a number of works that interrogate the notions of identity, authority, and truth. In other words, we will use the texts in our course as examples for an investigation of how narratives construct or if you prefer, color, our sense of "reality." Texts in the course include: H.C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen, Isak Dinesen's (Karen Blixen's) "The Blank Page,” Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Erling Kagge’s Walking: One Step at a Time, Selma Lagerlöf’s The Saga of Gösta Berling, selected short essays by Arne Næss, selected speeches by Great Thunberg, and Gunnhild Øyehaug’s “Deer at the Edge of the Forest.” We shall also a film, Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell.

SCAN 259 Vikings through the Iceland Sagas: The Sagas and Hybrid Culture (4 credits) Stern
CRN: 15948, taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements.  In this course we will study of six medieval Icelandic Sagas. We shall begin by establishing a premise: The hybridity of the cultural environment in which these sagas were written is discernable when we understand that these narratives depict a time that rests on the cusp of the Icelandic conversion to Christianity. It is just as important that we keep in mind that the sagas that we will read were written retrospectively, that is, they were written two to three hundred years after the “fact,’ and during a time when Icelandic independence was under threat. Therefore, it is only fitting that we begin our survey with an exploration of the 13th century Icelandic reconstruction of the Old Norse belief systems. We will then turn to a heroic saga, which has its roots in a larger European tradition, and try to discern the specific Icelandic cast of the story. After that, we shall read a series of Icelandic “family” sagas, all set in Iceland, and attempt to understand both their cultural context and how they themselves contextualize cultural tensions. Readings include The Prose Edda, The Saga of the Völsungs, The Vinland sagas, Egil’s Saga, Njal’s Saga, and Gisli Surrson’s Saga.

GER/SCAN 280M Quality of Life in Germany and Scandinavia (4 credits) McNeely
CRN: 17884/17885, taught in English. German and Scandinavian Europe today boasts a higher quality of life, greater measurable happiness, more most-liveable cities, and higher metrics of human development, gender equality, economic competitiveness, and environmental sustainability than any other region in the world—including the United States. This course will ask whether Europeans in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries really live better than we do, and what we can learn from them. We’ll blend academic analysis with individualized attention to the life goals of enrolled students, and also learn some German and Swedish along the way. This course is open to all students and presumes no prior knowledge of either language. We begin by briefly examining how social scientists study and attempt to measure happiness and the quality of life across entire countries. But we then pivot squarely to humanistic approaches. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy, social criticism, design, and popular culture, we examine what it takes to live well: family and community, work and leisure, peace and security, and health and education. After that, we consider what matters above and beyond leading good lives as individuals: our larger ethical obligations to past, present, and future generations. Our method will be to draw on case studies from the past century through today’s news.

GER 355 German Cinema: Weimar Cinema and its Legacies (4 credits) Calhoon
CRN: 16497, taught in English.  This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. This course also fulfills a Cinema Studies Core C requirement. German cinema after the First World War enjoyed a golden age, garnering international acclaim for both its technical and artistic innovation. Films deemed “Expressionist,” such as Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, are perhaps the most recognizable, but they represent only one stylistic subset of the films produced during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933). The rise of National Socialism and the pull of Hollywood combined to prompt a large-scale migration of filmmaking talent to the United States. Once in America, Austrian-born Wilhelm “Billy” Wilder set a course for both film noir (Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity) and comedy (The Seven-Year Itch, Some Like it Hot), and cinematographer Karl Freund (Caligari, Metropolis) went on to photograph a range of productions from Dracula to I Love Lucy. These are but two of the many figures to be explored in a course designed to trace key strains of American cinematic culture back to early twentieth-century Germany. The course will proceed along several key tangents, including (1) the issue of exile and the uncanniness of films made by filmmakers not fully “at home” in the US, (2) the abiding presence of early German cinema in American films made well after the acme of émigré filmmaking, and (3) the migration of certain trends from Hollywood through the French and German new waves and back again. 

GER 360 Introduction to German Literature: Wilhelm Tell in Play, Prose, and Poetry(4 credits) Klebes
CRN: 16498, taught in German. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement. This course will introduce you to the analysis of literary texts across the genres of drama, prose, and lyric poetry. Our specific objects of investigation will be literary representations of the legend of Wilhelm Tell. The story of this Swiss hero has long served as the founding myth of the Swiss nation, and no literary rendition has been more effective to this end than the early 19th-century drama by Friedrich Schiller -- who was German, not Swiss. We will also discuss later treatments of the legend in prose by Robert Walser and Max Frisch. In our analyses we will pay close attention to how reading certain genre features can help us decode ideological uses of literature, and to discover the power of literary texts to question oversimplified narratives. In conjunction with literary study we will work on building your vocabulary, and review and practice advanced grammatical structures. All readings and class discussion will be in German.

GER 407 Seminar: Landscape in Literature, Art and Cinema (4 credits) Calhoon
CRN: 13021.

GER 470 German Reading Knowledge I (4 credits) Vogel
CRN: 13024.

 

Summer 2020

The university will have remote instruction for all summer 2020 classes.

German & swedish language Courses

GER 101: First Year German (5 credits) Vogel
CRN 41982. June 22 – July 12

GER 102: First Year German (5 credits) Robinson
CRN 41983.  July 13 – August 2

GER 103: First Year German (5 credits) Young
CRN 41984.  August 3 – August 23

GER 201: Second Year German (4 credits) Klueppel
CRN 41985.  June 22 – July 12

GER 202: Second Year German (4 credits) Vigeant
CRN 41986.  July 13 – August 2

GER 203: Second Year German (4 credits) Lehmann
CRN 41987. August 3 – August 23

literature & culture courses

GER 223: Germany: A Multicultural Society (4 credits) Vogel
CRN 41988. July 20 – August 16. Taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L); Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP); and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. Examines the multiethnic complexities of German, Austrian, and/or Swiss societies through the writings of African, Turkish, or Jewish Germans as well as contemporary films on the topic. This course introduces students to the political and social challenges faced by post-unification Germany. Period of focus varies.

GER 355: German Cinema (4 credits) Vogel
CRN 41989. June 22 – July 19. Taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L), International Cultures (IC), and Global Perspectives (GP) requirements. This course also fulfills a Cinema Studies Core C requirement. An in-depth analysis of various facets of German Cinema, drawing on classic films from Fritz Lang to Wim Wenders. We'll look at 10 movies and see what, as cultural documents, they reveal of German history, society and "Zeitgeist" from the 1920s till today.

SCAN 199: Sp St Murder Mysteries (4 credits) Mier-Cruz
CRN 43585. June 22 – July 19. Taught in English. Scandinavian crime fiction is a worldwide phenomenon that has sparked endless film and television adaptations and original series across the globe. It is curious that the Nordic region, often considered to be utopian, is home to such violent and provocative page-turning material. The fictional representations of crime, detective work, legal proceedings, and punishment in Nordic noir are as thrilling as they are critical of society. Indeed, blockbuster series like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Kurt Wallander mysteries show that beneath the glossy surface of Nordic exceptionalism lies a dark underworld of corruption, exploitation, and violence. In this course, we will explore how crime fiction contributes to issues concerning democracy, class, psychology, race, xenophobia, migration, gender, and sexuality. We will study Nordic novels, film, television series, and crime fiction subgenres, including the detective novel, the police procedural, and the thriller. Secondary texts will cover the genre, cultural studies, feminist and narrative theory.