Courses in Program
GERM 615 Foundations in German Studies II (taking the place of Foundations I).
This seminar offers an intensive survey of literary, cultural and intellectual developments in German-speaking lands between the years of 1750-1900, supplemented by attention to research methods of the field. Success in Foundations II does not require a command of the material covered in Foundations I. We begin with the Enlightenment and move through the sometimes intersecting and sometimes divergent movements of Sturm und Drang, Romanticism, Weimar Classicism, Biedermeier, Vormärz, and Realism, as well as considering thinkers who defy categorization.
Our goal is to cultivate an understanding of literary history as a cultural formation that changes over time by paying particular attention to:
1) the respective stylistic particularities, genres, textual forms, generic properties and idiosyncratic features of cultural production as reflected in their historical moment/movement;
2) the historically-bound ideologies and norms – literary, philosophical, historical, political, socio-economic, naturalistic/scientific – that are actively produced or contested through the complexity of aesthetic forms;
3) evolving and heterogenous models of what is German that have shaped the study of the diverse set of texts we are considering;
4) the role that shifts in media (literacy, visual and tactile art, various print technologies) and their interrelation played in constructing different concepts of literature; and
5) attendant philosophical and theoretical concepts relevant for situating literary texts within larger discursive context within their respective time.
Throughout, through critical readings from a variety of theoretical perspectives, we will explore distinct approaches to analyzing texts and related cultural artifacts in order to foster a knowledge of the modern tools of scholarly inquiry (editions, translations, dictionaries, critical approaches and methods) that are fundamental to the field of German Studies.
This course is designed as a reading-intensive seminar. In addition to completing the readings and participating actively in seminar discussions, students will be expected to take a midterm and final exam and to give several oral presentations. No papers will be required.
Will include authors such as Winckelmann, Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Novalis, Schlegel, Tieck, Hölderlin, Kant, Günderrode, Kleist, Eichendorff, Stifter, Heine, Keller, Büchner, Droste-Hülshoff, Marx, Storm, and Fontane. Readings in German. Class Discussions in English.
Koelb MW 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM.
GERMAN 790 German Political Thought.
This graduate seminar serves as an introduction to German political and social thought from Kant to Marx (roughly 1770-1850). Readings, often short essays or excerpts, drawn from the writings of Kant, Herder, Fichte, Hegel, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer, Marx, and other thinkers. Special emphasis on conceptions of statehood, sovereignty, and national community, against the background of an era of revolution, war, and territorial reconfiguration. No familiarity with the topic required.
Readings in German, class discussions in English.
Norberg Th 4:40 – 5:15 PM. DUKE CAMPUS.
GERM 855 Technics of Association and the Literature of Division, 1949-1989.
If technē, as Heidegger argues, is “something poetic” that brings forth and reveals truths—it is “knowing in the widest sense,” he adds—then how might we understand literature as bringing forth possibilities of being together especially when myriad internal and external forces of division undermine any togetherness? By exchanging the “form” in Georg Simmel’s century-old theory of “forms of association” with “technics,” this seminar seeks to query postwar German literature—a literature of division—for its historically contingent purchase on being-with, -for, and -beside others. If in our present moment “becoming social” has indeed become a technological problem with dire political consequences, how might the literature of division from an older era provide us with fruitful insights into the poetic conditions for germinating essential political categories like the public sphere or even communism? Theoretical texts by a wide array of thinkers (e.g., Arendt, Badiou, Butler, Foucault, Habermas, Heidegger, Mouffe, Nancy, Simmel, Sloterdijk) will guide discussions of canonical novels, plays and poetry from East and West (e.g., Bachmann, Becker, Böll, Handke, Hein, Kluge, Johnson, Koeppen, Maron, Müller, Schneider, Strauß, Wolf). English translations for non-CDG students; CDG students will read the German originals.
Discussions in English.
Langston W 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. UNC CAMPUS.
GERM 700 Foreign Language Pedagogy: Theories and Practice.
German 700 provides students with foundational knowledge for teaching German within a collegiate U.S. educational context. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to engage theoretical knowledge pertaining to language learning, pedagogy, and curriculum with issues from the practical context of the language classroom, e.g., by conducting guided classroom observations, developing extended lesson plans, reflecting on their teaching and students’ learning, and creating a teaching philosophy.
Topics covered in the seminar include: Teaching languages in U.S. higher education, language and language learning theories, language teaching methods and approaches (e.g., communicative language teaching, task- and content-based instruction, literacy approaches), supporting different modalities (writing, speaking, listening, writing), teaching for intercultural understanding, the role of curriculum, and professional development and reflective teaching.
Readings and class discussions in English.
Students register on either campus.
Henry, Weiler. M 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. CAROLINA CAMPUS
From Plato’s Timaeus to Yuk Hui’s 2016 essay on cosmotechnics, cosmologies condense a variety of discursive operations and generic forms (scientific, religious, philosophical, epistemological, mythopoetic, aesthetic, ethical and political) and represent sophisticated crucibles for stabilizing or reconfiguring norms and practices. This seminar will examine the aesthetic, ethical, and political potentialities of cosmological thinking. Possible authors to be discussed: Plato, Dante, Bruno, Leibniz, Schelling, Novalis, Alexander von Humboldt, Simondon, Latour, Arendt, Heidegger, Rubenstein, Yuk Hui among others
Readings in English translation, with some supplemental readings in German; Class discussions in English
Trop: T 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Crosslisted Courses from Affiliated Departments
CMPL 841 History of Literary Criticism I (Classicism)
The course introduces students to some of the major strains in literary criticism from the Classical Period to the 18th century. Readings of major authors will be paired not only with literary examples contemporary with our chosen critics, but also with modern day theoretical responses to their works.
Our objective is a working knowledge of dominant trends in European literary criticism up to (and including) the Enlightenment, useful in understanding the literature of the successive historical periods and also as a continuing, vital influence on twentieth- and twenty-first century poetics. We will also be devoting some time to the primary non-Classical tradition of early Western literary criticism, namely Biblical interpretation.
Authors read include Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Horace, Longinus, Philo, Proclus, Plotinus, Augustine, Scaliger, Luther, Boileau, Sidney, Burke, Young, and Lessing; Homer, Pindar, Callimachus, Ovid, Vergil, Dante, and Pope; and Auerbach, Derrida, Genette, Ricouer, Benjamin, and Bernal.
Readings in German and English; class discussions in English.
Students register on either campus
Downing - TH 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM CAROLINA CAMPUS.
Study of the thinker who has, in different incarnations, been characterized as the prophet of nihilism, the destroyer of values, the father of fascism, and the spiritual source of postmodernism. An examination of his philosophy as a whole in order to come to terms with its significance for his thinking about politics. Instructor: Gillespie - MW 10:05 AM - 11:20 AM - DUKE CAMPUS