All Courses Spring 2019
GER 103 First Year German (5 credits)
CRNs: 32462, 32463, 32464, 32465, 35701
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.
SWED 103 First Year Swedish (5 credits) Mier-Cruz
CRN: 35479. Thorough grammatical foundation in idiomatic Swedish with emphasis on both reading and speaking.
GER 203 Second Year German (4 Credits)
CRNs: 32466, 32467, 32469. This course fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement.
This is the sixth quarter of a two-year sequence designed to provide you with a foundation in German vocabulary, grammar, and culture. In German 203, 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 203 Second Year Swedish (4 credits) Mier-Cruz
CRN: 35480. This course fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement. Review of grammar, composition, and conversation. Readings from contemporary texts in Swedish.
GER 223 Germany: A Multicultural Society (4 credits) Tuesday/Thursday 12:00-1:20 p.m. plus Friday discussion / Matthias Vogel
CRN: 32470 + Discussion; taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) as well as the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) requirement. This course 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. We will consider the historical, socioeconomic, political and cultural issues of minority populations. As we study the various groups, we will investigate the way in which they have helped to redefine what counts as “German” today. Period of focus varies.
GER 252 War, Violence, Trauma (4 credits) Monday/Wednesday 10:00-11:50 a.m. / Sonja Boos
CRN: 32475; taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) as well as the International Cultures (IC) requirement. Wars, violence, and their traumas have affected German and Austrian culture and society in drastic ways throughout their history, and in particularly extreme proportions since early in the 20th century. In this course, we will study major works of literature, thought, art, and film that deal with war, violence, and trauma since the early 1900s: moving from World War I, through the interwar period (where the “war neuroses” or what we now call PTSD, was first discovered and theorized), across the Nazi period and World War II, including the Holocaust. We will look also at the processing of these events in films made during the Weimar Republic and the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s, and also in cultural materials since the unification of East and West Germany in 1989. We will look at novels, plays, essays, and films that treat these themes, along with supporting historical materials as necessary. Authors considered include Erich Maria Remarque, Hannah Arendt, Ingeborg Bachmann, Bertolt Brecht, and Franz Kafka.
GER 313 Intermediate Language Training (4 credits) Hoeller
CRN: 32476. This course satisfies one Arts and Letters requirement. Extensive practice in speaking and writing German, and complex grammatical structures in writing.
SCAN 315 Nordic Cinema (4 credits) Tuesday/Thursday 4:00-5:50 p.m. / Benjamin Mier-Cruz
CRN: 35220; taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) as well as the International Cultures (IC) requirement. In this course, we will study the films of Danish provocateur Lars von Trier. We will trace the development of his postmodern filmmaking, from his early formalism to his current art-house films of austerity and shock. Von Trier’s public persona is at times more controversial than his polarizing films, and this course will therefore critique ideas tied to film authorship and reception, including the problems and limitations of auteur theory. We will additionally focus on critiquing representations of women and constructions of female subjectivity and sexuality in his filmmaking.
SCAN 325 Constructions versus Constrictions of Identity: The Princess and the Dragon
(4 credits) Monday/Wednesday 2:00-3:20 p.m. / Gantt Gurley
CRN: 35708; taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) as well as the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) requirement. The Scandinavian fairy tale tradition is one of the world’s richest and most important bodies of lore. One of the hallmarks of the fairy tale is the boundaries between two enduring figures: the princess and the dragon. Beginning with an overview of these figures in ancient and medieval lore, this class will explore the independence and relationship of these figures so that we might decipher how it is they become so entwined in our modern imagination. The class will then focus on Scandinavian and Germanic Folklore and storytelling tradition, looking at examples from the Scandinavian ballad tradition and Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen was born a poor shoemaker’s son, yet became one of the most popular and translated authors the world has known, an emblem for enchantment of human imagination. From his imagination we have such unforgettable princess tales as “The Little Mermaid,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Snow Queen.” We will conclude the class by looking at the reception of the princess and the dragon in contemporary culture vis-à-vis Disney, George RR Martin’s The Ice Dragon, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Topics to be explored in the course are orality, class, heroics, gender, video games, genre, and religion.
SCAN 351 Periods in Scandinavian Literature: The Long 19th Century (4 credits)
Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m. / Michael Stern
CRN: 35709; taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement.
In this class, we will read literary and philosophical texts written between the French Revolution and the period just before World War I. During this period, Scandinavians experienced profound political and social changes. They saw the increasing proliferation of secular and scientific explanations of the world, the rise of the Industrial state, and an increasingly assertive call for expanded political rights. The rise of new ideologies such as feminism, socialism, and nationalism colored the environment. The emerging prominence of the natural sciences accompanied by an acute awareness of history also played a strong role in shaping the cultural production of the period. Yet the emergence of “rational” explanations of the world did not preclude the persistence of other ways of understanding. As a result, the 19th century also saw an increasing fascination with folklore and an ever more acute desire to reconstruct the past. In short, the literature of this period provides us with a portal through which we can observe the collisions between competing ways of explaining the world (notions of the modern and the traditional, rationality and irrationality, religion and secularity and the like), and analyze the implications of these explanations upon events.
GER 352 Authors in German Literature: Casting Spells – Violence, Desire, and Disavowal in German Literature and Film (4 credits)
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m. / Dawn Marlan
CRN: 35702; taught in English. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement.Canonical German works of Romanticism and Modernism are rife with spells, magic, hypnotism, devils and other supernatural creatures, all external forces that purport to explain or to cause internal feeling, primarily of attraction and aggression. In this course, we will study some of the seminal authors and directors in German literature and cinema to explore the metaphors that work to disavow desire and/or to abdicate responsibility for it. In these texts, desire and violence are cast as foreign, monstrous, imposed from without on helpless subjects. Among the questions to investigate: How do supernatural metaphors mobilize an erotic of politics and a politics of erotic relations? Are the anxieties related to strong feeling soothed or stimulated by projecting them outside the self? Does locating their source outside the self provide an excuse or alibi for acting in ways that seem to contradict one’s “character” or identity? How does the outward projection of all untamed feeling function to purify the self and to vilify the other as the locus of impurity? And finally, how do “uncanny” effects reflect the repression of trauma, both psychic and national? Authors and directors may include Kleist, Tieck, Mann, Hoffmann, Kafka, Freud, Wiene, Murnau, and Lang, among others.
GER 357 Nature, Culture, and the Environment (4 credits)
Monday/Wednesday 2:00-3:20 p.m. / Sonja Boos
CRN: 35703; taught in English. Fulfills the Arts and Letters (A&L) as well as the International Cultures (IC) requirement. In Germany, forests have long played a significant but variable role in the cultural imagination. The woods of the fairy tales are occupied by cannibalistic robbers, grandmother-devouring wolves, and wicked witches who cage and fatten orphaned children. This view of the forest as an obscure and ominous place dates back to Roman depictions of expansive forests populated by savage Germanic tribesmen living on the edges of the earth. Around the time when the Brothers Grimm collected and codified Germany’s folklore and fairy tales, Romantic poets glorified the forest, which they envisioned as a sacred space providing shelter, healing, and unmediated access to a pristine and spirituality-infused natural world. This view of the forest as a refuge from human civilization (and contamination) is still very much alive in present-day Germany, where virtually every town has forests on its outskirts, originally planted to provide timber for construction. Today, Germans still love to walk in the woods, and the forests are well kept and easily accessible. With a focus on literary, philosophical, and scientific texts, this course will examine how writers, theorists, and political figures theorized and, in some cases, capitalized on Germany’s ambivalent relationship with its forest—conceived as a metaphor of freedom (whereby the promise of freedom is both spiritual and political) and invoked (by the Nazis) as a symbol of Germany’s eternity. We will also examine how in the 1970s, Waldsterben, “forest death,” became a key political issue that galvanized the environmental movement and brought it to the forefront of mainstream politics. Finally, we will read Peter Wohlleben’s international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees, and reflect on the question of just how much humanity can learn from trees, which Wohlleben characterizes as social, and indeed sentient, beings.
GER 362 Introduction to German Literature: Ansätze in der Kunst der Deutung (4 credits)
Monday/Wednesday 12:00-1:20 p.m. / Jeffrey Librett
CRN: 35704; taught in German. This course satisfies the Arts and Letters (A&L) requirement.
The course introduces the students to the art of interpretation. It provides an overview of the main recent theories of what one might call the “readable” in general, i.e. of cultural products in the broadest sense. Our emphasis, however, will be more narrowly on the example of the literary text. More precisely: we will read 6 or 7 short stories by Franz Kafka (1883-1924); we will learn about 6 or 7 different approaches to literature; and we will investigate the extent to which each of these theories provides us access to the core of the writings of Kafka.
Kafka is a good example, a particularly well-appointed workshop for such an experimentation with hypotheses about the essence of the literary text and about the appropriate method (or orientation) of interpretive reading. This is because he was amazingly innovative. He used, in a very self-reflective and tradition-conscious manner, all of the traditional conventions of narrative fiction, and by so doing he also placed these conventions, in a certain sense, in question. Quite simply: he is hard to understand. Therefore, it’s interesting to see to what extent literature-theory can help us read his texts.
On the importance of the course: a course such as this is necessary to any serious study of the humanities (and social sciences) today. Such a course makes it possible for students to progress quickly and significantly from the stage of a relative intellectual naiveté concerning the art of interpretation, to the stage of being an informed, conscious practitioner of this art.
The theoretical traditions to which the course provides an introduction focus the interpretive intention of the reader/critic on the aesthetic qualities of the work itself; its historical context (in terms of class-history, gender, and race); its relationship to language; the personal psychology of the author and the characters; or the conscious process of reading itself. We’ll consider each of these approaches (or perspectives) one at a time, consider their strengths and weaknesses, and compare and contrast them with each other, while seeing how well each serves as a lens through which to view Kafka’s œuvre.
GER 401 Research (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32480
SCAN 401 Research (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 35223
GER 403 Thesis (1-12 credits) Staff CRN: 32481
SCAN 403 Thesis (1-12 credits) Staff CRN: 35224
GER 405 Reading (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32482
SCAN 405 Reading (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 35225
SWED 405 Reading (1-16 credits) Mier-Cruz
GER 407 Seminar: Romanticism (4 credits)
Tuesday/Thursday 4:00-5:20 p.m. / Kenneth Calhoon
CRN: 35945; taught in German. This seminar will focus on a selection of representative works of German Romanticism. While discussion will be augmented by lectures on the broader cultural landscape (philosophy, music, the arts), class will largely be devoted to close and careful consideration of literary and para-literary works. Readings will include: Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Herzensergiessungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders; Friedrich Schlegel, Athenäumsfragmente; Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen; E. T. A. Hoffmann, Des Vetters Eckfenster; selected poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, Karoline von Gunderrode and Heinrich Heine; selected letters of Gunderrode, Bettina von Arnim, Rahel Varnhagen, et al. Readings and discussion in German.
GER 409 Practicum Internship German Teaching (1-3 credits) Ostmeier
GER 409 Practicum (1-4 credits) Staff CRN: 32483
SCAN 409 Practicum (1-3 credits) Staff CRN: 35226
GER 425 Play Performance: Topic (4 credits)
Tuesday/Thursday 5:00-6:50 p.m. / Matthias Vogel
CRN: 35705. In this theater workshop, we will study and perform three short plays by Bertotlt Brecht: The Wedding, The Beggar, and The Chalk Cross. There are no morals to these plays. In fact, they contain plots too paradoxical to interpret. Their effect is to expose human relations as social microcosms in which ego, vanity, pride and the desire for power prevail. This is perhaps why Brecht’s student Heiner Müller advocated a return to the early works of Brecht as plays that speak to our present without moralizing.
GER 503 Thesis (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32486
GER 507 Seminar: Romanticism (4 credits)
Tuesday/Thursday 4:00-5:20 p.m. / Kenneth Calhoon
CRN: 35946; taught in German. This seminar will focus on a selection of representative works of German Romanticism. While discussion will be augmented by lectures on the broader cultural landscape (philosophy, music, the arts), class will largely be devoted to close and careful consideration of literary and para-literary works. Readings will include: Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Herzensergiessungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders; Friedrich Schlegel, Athenäumsfragmente; Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen; E. T. A. Hoffmann, Des Vetters Eckfenster; selected poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, Karoline von Gunderrode and Heinrich Heine; selected letters of Gunderrode, Bettina von Arnim, Rahel Varnhagen, et al. Readings and discussion in German.
GER 601 Research (1-6 credits) Staff CRN: 32488
GER 603 Dissertation (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32489
GER 605 Reading (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32490
SCAN 605 Reading (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 35227
GER 608 College Translation Studies (1-2 credits)
Friday 2:00-3:20 p.m. / Susan Anderson
CRN: 35930. Class meets on three Fridays: April 19, May 10, and May 31.
GER 609 Practicum Language Teaching (1-16 credits) Vogel
GER 609 Practicum (1-16 credits) Staff CRN: 32492
SCAN 609 Practicum (1-16 credits) STAFF CRN: 35228
GER 624 Critical and Philosophical Prose: What is a mood? — Was heißt Stimmung?
(4 credits) Monday 4:00-6:50 p.m. / Jeffrey Librett
CRN: 35707; taught in English. This course is focused on the theme of moods–Stimmungen–in modernist (post-Hegelian) philosophy. We will attempt to determine, that is, the philosophical destiny of moods from the mid-19th century until the recent past. Within the complex field of connotations of “Stimmung,” all of which are essentially founded on the figure of the “voice”–Stimme–with all of its metaphysical burdens, we will examine several important analyses of a few specific “moods” from the end of the German Idealist period to phenomenology, existentialism and psychoanalysis. We will be considering therefore a certain aspect of “subjectivity” in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as something that has a relation to “meaning” in an emphatic sense. In the series of mood-analyses we will be pursuing, the secularizing internalization and subjectification of the absolute (a result of the Enlightenment separation of religion from politics) has led to the attempt to describe what one might call the absoluteness of subjectivity, the messages and methods of its madness. Where moods–certain feeling-states that come and go unbidden and color our thoughts and actions–have become the touchstone of the meaning of existence (a meaning perhaps without telos), or at least as important to its meaning as any rational cognition, philosophical rationality goes in search of the meaning of moods. We will read philosophical descriptions of particular moods by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Freud. The main moods considered are: anxiety; despair; melancholy (and mania); dreaminess and intoxication; optimism and pessimism. Parallel to the theoretical texts that constitute the center of the course, we will also consider several artistic texts (a Wagner opera, a short fiction by Kafka, and paintings by Dürer and Anselm Kiefer) as presentations of the moods under discussion. The course overlaps with recent scholarly developments such as “affect studies” or “emotion studies,” but pursues for the most part an immanent reading of the thinkers involved, rather than a historicist one. All readings will be available in both German and English, and class discussions will be held in English. Writing assignments can be carried out in either English or German. Graduate students from all fields in the humanities are welcome.