Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

German (GER)

GER 1027  (c, FYS)   From Flowers of Evil to Pretty Woman: Prostitutes in Modern Western Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores the myriad ways that prostitutes have been represented in modern Western culture from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. By analyzing literary texts, visual artworks, and films from Europe and the United States, examines prostitution as a complex urban phenomenon and a vehicle through which artists and writers grapple with issues of labor, morality, sexuality, and gender roles. Introduces students to a variety of literary, artistic, musical, and filmic genres, as well as to different disciplinary approaches to the study of prostitution. Authors, artists, and film directors may include Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec, Kirchner, Wedekind, Pabst, Marshall, Scorsese, Spielmann, and Sting. (Same as: GSWS 1027)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

GER 1029  (c, FYS)   Comediennes, Historians, and Storytellers: Women Filmmakers in the German-Speaking Countries  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines the work of women filmmakers in the German-speaking countries since the 1960s. Explores key interests of these directors: the telling of stories and (German, European, global) histories; the exploration of gender identity, sexuality, and various waves of feminism; the portrayal of women; the participation in the cinematic conventions of Hollywood as well as independent and avant-garde film; spectatorship. Analyzes a range of films and cinematic genres to include narrative cinema, biography, documentary, and comedy. Also introduces students to film criticism; includes weekly film screenings. No knowledge of German is required. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement and the non-US cinema requirement for cinema studies minors. (Same as: CINE 1029, GSWS 1029)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2015.

GER 1101  (c)   Elementary German I  

Andrew Hamilton.
Every Fall. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

German 1101 is the first course in German language and culture and is open to all students without prerequisite. Facilitates an understanding of culture through language. Introduces German history and cultural topics. Three hours per week. Acquisition of four skills: speaking and understanding, reading, and writing. One hour of conversation and practice with teaching assistant. Integrated Language Media Center work.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

GER 1102  (c)   Elementary German II  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Continuation of German 1101. Equivalent of German 1101 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 1101 or Placement in GER 1102.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.

GER 1152  (c, IP, VPA)   Berlin: Sin City, Divided City, City of the Future  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 50.  

An examination of literary, artistic, and cinematic representations of the city of Berlin during three distinct time periods: the “Roaring 20s,” the Cold War, and the post-Wall period. Explores the dramatic cultural, political, and physical transformations that Berlin underwent during the twentieth century and thereby illustrates the central role that Berlin played, and continues to play, in European history and culture, as well as in the American cultural imagination. For each time period studied, compares Anglo-American representations of Berlin with those produced by German artists and writers, and investigates how, why, and to what extent Berlin has retained its status as one of the most quintessentially modern cities in the world. No knowledge of German is required. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for cinema studies minors. (Same as: CINE 1152)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

GER 1155  (c, IP)   Into the Wild  

Jens Klenner.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 50.
  

An examination of the mix of conflicting ideas that shape the many conceptions of “wilderness.” Among other questions, explores the ideas of wilderness as a space without or preceding culture and civilization, as a mental state, and as an aesthetic experience. Considers the place of wilderness in the ‘urban jungle’ of cities. Puts Anglo-American and European theories and images of the wilderness into dialogue by comparing literary works, film, artworks, and philosophical texts. No knowledge of German is required. (Same as: ENVS 1155)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

GER 1157  (c, IP)   Technology and Its Discontents  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 50.  

An exploration of German literary history focused on the two-sided reaction that accompanies the arrival of modern technology: on the one hand, the praise of progress and the promise of improvement; on the other, anxiety about the dangers posed by change. Takes the history of German thought as a starting point to examine broad philosophical and moral questions about the ever-expanding reach of technology into individual lives, and intohu mankind's collective capacity for both good and evil. Students will read literary, philosophical, and historical texts from antiquity to the present day, and from a number of countries and traditions, with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Germany, Europe, and the United States.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

GER 2052  (c, IP)   Karl Marx: Texts, Ideas, Impact  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores key texts by Karl Marx in depth, not only for the force of their ideas, but in pursuit of insight into Marx’s critical method. How does Marx make the intangible idea of political economy tangible through rhetorical style? Examines Marx’s own writing style and encourages students to reflect on rhetorical methods as they read and write about his works themselves. Demonstrates Marx’s impact through carefully chosen examples of theoretical texts that apply Marx’s theories to literary and cultural analysis. Emphasizes writing as a multistep process. Texts include The Communist Manifesto, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, and selections from Das Kapital. Taught in English.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

GER 2203  (c)   Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe  

Jens Klenner.
Every Fall. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Continued emphasis on the understanding of German culture through language. Focus on social and cultural topics through history, literature, politics, popular culture, and the arts. Three hours per week of reading, speaking, and writing. One hour of discussion and practice with teaching assistant. Language laboratory also available. Equivalent of German 1102 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 1102 or Placement in GER 2203.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

GER 2204  (c)   Intermediate German II: German History through Visual Culture  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Continuation of German 2203. Equivalent of German 2203 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 2203 or Placement in GER 2204.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.

GER 2205  (c, IP)   Advanced German Texts and Contexts  

Birgit Tautz.
Every Fall. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Designed to explore aspects of German culture in depth, to deepen the understanding of culture through language, and to increase facility in speaking, writing, reading, and comprehension. Topics include post-war and/or post-unification themes in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Particular emphasis on post-1990 German youth culture and language. Includes fiction writing, film, music, and various news media. Weekly individual sessions with the teaching fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz. Equivalent of German 2204 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 or Placement in GER 2205.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

GER 2251  (c, ESD, IP)   Making Sex a Science: Sexology and its Cultural Representation from Krafft-Ebing to Kinsey  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Traces the development of sexual science, or sexology, from its roots in late nineteenth-century Austria and Germany to its manifestations in twentieth-century Great Britain and the United States. Examines ideas of key figures within sexual science and the myriad ways they sought to define, categorize, and explain non-normative sexual behaviors and desires. Explores how claims of scientific authority and empirical knowledge were used to shape social attitudes toward sexual difference. Analyzes cultural works that either influenced or were influenced by these thinkers. Includes works by the sexologists Krafft-Ebing, Hirschfeld, Ellis, and Kinsey, as well as cultural texts by Boyle, Praunheim, and Sacher-Masoch. (Same as: GSWS 2258)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016.

GER 2252  (c, IP, VPA)   Terrorists and Spies, Borders and Bridges: Highlights of German Cinema since 1980  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the particular ways in which, in the aftermath of New German Cinema (NGC), the cinematic medium constructs protagonists of mass appeal (terrorists, spies, slackers, etc.) while moving beyond the limits and possibilities of a national cinematic tradition and toward a European (and global) cinematic language. Pays special attention to historical advancement, over the past four decades, of material conditions of film production, distribution, and reception as well as to the development of cinematic genres, techniques, and effects that cinema has on other art forms. Filmmakers/films may include von Trotta (“Marianne and Juliane”), Petersen (“Das Boot,” “The Neverending Story”), von Donnersmarck (“Lives of Others”), Wolf (“Solo Sunny”), Schlöndorff (“The Legend of Rita”), Misselwitz (“Winter adé”), Edel (“Baader-Meinhof Complex”), Hirschbiegel (“Downfall”), Ade (“Forest for the Trees,” “Toni Erdmann”), Link (“Nowhere in Africa”), Petzold (“Yella,” “Barbara”), Tykwer (“Run Lola Run,” “Three”), Schmid (“Distant Lights”), Dresen (“Stopped on Track”), Dörrie (“Men,” “Nobody Loves Me”), Ruzowitsky (“Counterfeiters”), Maccarone (“Veiled”), Akin (“Edge of Heaven,” “The Cut”), Gerster (“A Coffee in Berlin”), Schipper (“Victoria”). Fulfills international requirement for cinema studies. Taught in English. (Same as: CINE 2900)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

GER 2262  (c, IP)   Not Lost in Translation: German Across the Disciplines  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 08.  

Designed to explore aspects of contemporary German language and culture beyond literature and film, such as in the contexts of business, politics and law, environmental policy and science. Students acquire cultural competence through specialized linguistic and interpretive skills and appropriate techniques of translation. Focus on discipline-specific genres and discourses (report, prospectus, analysis and briefing papers, etc.) and across media (columns, blogs, television, news, statistics). Combines in-class forms of assessment (quizzes, presentations) with writing assignments and one discipline-specific translation project. All readings, writing, and discussion in German. Meets with German 3362. German 2205 is recommended. Equivalent of German 2204 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or Placement in GER 2204.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2016.

GER 3308  (c, IP)   Introduction to German Literature and Culture  

Every Other Spring. Enrollment limit: 15.  

Designed to be an introduction to the critical reading of texts by genre (e.g., prose fiction and nonfiction, lyric poetry, drama, opera, film) in the context of German intellectual, political, and social history. Focuses on various themes and periods. Develops students’ sensitivity to generic structures and introduces terminology for describing and analyzing texts in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Weekly individual sessions with the teaching fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz. All materials and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2016.

GER 3310  (c, IP)   German Culture Studies: Made in Germany  

Every Other Spring. Enrollment limit: 15.  

An examination of the most influential “products” made in Germany. From technological developments to musical innovations, many things made in Germany have had an enduring, global impact. Explores the context in which these products were made or ideas were developed, the process of their worldwide dissemination, as well as the ways in which they shape the national and cultural imagination. Designed to be an introduction to methods of cultural analysis through an examination of diverse materials. Expands students’ knowledge of German culture, history, and language while also developing skills, including close reading, visual analysis, and contextualization. All materials and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2017.

GER 3313  (c, IP)   18th century German Literature and Culture: Love, Theft, Travel  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

Focus on the mid-to late eighteenth century as an age of contradictory impulses (e.g., the youthful revolt of Storm and Stress against the Age of Reason). Examines manifestations of such impulses in the works of major (e.g., Goethe, Schiller, Humboldt) and less well-known (e.g., Karsch, Forster) and anonymous authors and translators. Beginning with discussions of transparency, the course investigates constellations that began to define the century: “Love” as a then new, very modern idea that organized families and human relationships, “theft” as a shortcut to discuss issues of property (e.g., proprietary ideas, property of goods) and “travel,” expressing then dominant activities of exploration as well as exploitation. These terms serve as key concepts throughout the course, as we combine traditional reading and discussion with methods of Digital Humanities. The result will be an investigation of texts in their broader cultural context with appropriate theory and illustrated through film and drama on video, statistical data, developments in eighteenth-century dance, music, and legal discourse.” All materials and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

GER 3315  (c, IP)   Realism and Revolution in Nineteenth-Century German Literature and Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

What is revolution? What forms has it taken within German-speaking society and culture? Examines a variety of literary, cultural, and social texts from 1830 to 1900 in their broader cultural, artistic, philosophical, and political contexts. Beyond discussing the effects (both positive and negative) of the Industrial Revolution, discusses three other forms of revolution that emerge in nineteenth-century German discourse: (1) political revolution (the formation of German national identity; the rise of the socialist movement); (2) artistic revolution (the search for an artistic direction at the end of the Age of Goethe; the tensions between social realism and romanticism); (3) sexual revolution (scientific interest in normal versus abnormal sexual behavior; the advent of the women’s movement and the questioning of gender roles). Authors/artists may include Heine, Büchner, Hebbel, Hauptmann, Andreas-Salomé, Fontane, Wagner, Marx and Engels, Bebel, Simmel, Kollwitz, Krafft-Ebing.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2015.

GER 3316  (c, IP)   German Modernism -- Urbanity, Interiority, Sexuality  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines works of modern German literature, art, music, and film in their historical and social contexts. Analyzes the narrative modes used to deal with the interiority of modern protagonists and explores the particular urban settings in which works were conceived: Munich, Prague, Zurich, and Berlin. Familiarizes students with the intellectual history of the period by discussing the extent to which modernist writers were influenced by Nietzschean and Freudian thought and the questions of morality, sexuality, and pleasure raised by both of these thinkers. Asks why modernism is (or is perceived to be) rooted in urban settings, and how modernism became politicized during the Weimar Republic, as writers witnessed and sought to respond to the rise of Fascism. Contemporary artistic movements such as Expressionism, Dadaism, and Neue Sachlichkeit; literary texts by Brecht, Wedekind, Kafka, Mann, Rilke, Lasker-Schüler, and Kästner; musical works by Berg, Schoenberg, and Weill; and relevant films of the period.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

GER 3317  (c, IP)   German Literature and Culture since 1945  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

An exploration of how successive generations have expressed their relationship to the catastrophe of the Nazi past. Examines representative texts of East and West German writers/filmmakers in Cold War and post-unification contexts. A discussion of German identity from several critical perspectives, including Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the political and cultural influence of the United States and the Soviet Union, gender in the two Germanys, and the politics of migration and citizenship. Authors may include Grass, Böll, Borchert, Brussig, Özdamar, Schlink, and Wolf. Films by Fassbinder, von Trotta, Schlöndorff, Akin, and Levy.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

GER 3362  (c, IP)   Not Lost in Translation: German Across the Disciplines  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 07.  

Designed to explore aspects of contemporary German language and culture beyond literature and film, such as in the contexts of business, politics and law, environmental policy and science. Students acquire cultural competence through specialized linguistic and interpretive skills and appropriate techniques of translation. Focus on discipline-specific genres and discourses (report, prospectus, analysis and briefing papers, etc.) and across media (columns, blogs, television, news, statistics). Combines forms of in-class assessment (quizzes, presentations) with concise papers of different genres, discipline-specific translation, and individual and/or group research projects. Meets with German 2262. One previous 3000-level course in German recommended. Equivalent of German 2204 is required.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2016.

GER 3390  (c, IP)   Literature and Culture of the Great War and the Weimar  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

A study of the First World War and the Weimar Republic in German history and culture with a focus on artistic representations of this tumultuous era. Traces key movements in literature as well as visual art and film, with attention to the way artists responded to social, political, and cultural shifts in early twentieth-century Germany. Readings thematize issues of art and politics, nationalism and militarism, gender and sexuality, and practices of memorialization. Authors may include Remarque, Jünger, Benn, Lasker-Schüler, Trakl, Toller, Brecht, Döblin, Luxemburg, and Keun. Explores contemporary popular media representations of the era such as the TV series Babylon Berlin. All materials and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

GER 3391  (c, IP)   Mapping Germany: Nature and Knowledge  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Considers how German terrain and culture were mapped or charted through representations of nature and the wilderness in a diverse range of texts. Examinations of discourses about nature and landscape reveal how Germany constitutes itself as a nation with a particular relationship to the environment. A comparison of Austrian, German, and Swiss novels, short stories, films, and artworks emphasize the varied but powerful place of nature in the German imagination. Possible works, among others, by Kant, Goethe, Humboldt, Fanck, Ransmayr, Kehlmann, Jelinek, Richter. All materials and coursework in German. (Same as: ENVS 3391)

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2016.

GER 3393  (c, IP)   Literary History of Destruction  

Andrew Hamilton.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 15.
  

Examines literary and artistic responses to the technological innovations and historical upheavals that characterized the twentieth century: science seemed to enable mass destruction and murder on an unprecedented scale, and two world wars, the Holocaust, and the threat of nuclear annihilation gave rise to a deep ambivalence about the power of technology in modern society and its reach into daily life. German-speaking Europe was a driving force behind these developments, and German and Austrian authors and artists articulated how technology changes the world, for better and for worse. Authors include, but are not limited to, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Paul Celan, and Franz Fühmann. Considers film and visual art. Discussion and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

GER 3397  (c, IP)   Global Germany?  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the concomitant end of the Cold War ushered in what many cultural critics call the era of globalization. An exploration of how contemporary German culture (1990-present) grapples with both the possibilities and uncertainties presented by globalization. Examines a myriad of cultural texts -- films, audio plays, dramas, short fiction, novels, photographs, websites -- as well as mass events (i.e., the Love Parade, the 2006 World Cup) within their political, social, and economic contexts to show how Germany’s troubled past continues to affect the role it plays on the global stage and how its changing demographics -- increased urbanization and ethnic diversity -- have altered its cultural and literary landscape. Critically considers issues such as migration, terrorism and genocide, sex tourism, the formation of the European Union, and the supposed decline of the nation-state. Frequent short writings, participation in debates, and a final research project based upon a relevant topic of individual interest are required. All materials and course work in German. (Same as: CINE 3395)

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

GER 3398  (c, IP)   Colors: Signs of Ethnic Difference 1800/1900/2000  

Birgit Tautz.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 15.
  

In German culture, color/hue has played an important role in marking ethnic difference. Investigates the presence of color--metaphorical and actual, as provocative rhetoric and residual thought--in Germany today (e.g., around 2000), before exploring to what extent this presence is a lingering effect of the cultures around 1900 and 1800. In German culture color marks not only “racial difference” (e.g., “black” vs. ”white”), but also geographical difference (“tropical colors”) or diversity (“Bunte Republik Deutschland”). Considers changing discourse on color and ethnic difference in literary texts and films, all of which serve to illuminate the broader cultural context at three historical junctures: 1800, 1900, and 2000. Considers texts and films in conjunction with non-fiction, including examples from the visual arts (paintings, photographs, “Hagenbecks Völkerschauen”), medical and ‘scientific,’ encyclopedic entries, policy statements and advertisements (“Reklamemarken,” commercials), and popular music (hip-hop, lyrics), recognizing, in the process, how German culture (“national identity”) defines itself through and against color. Taught in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

GER 3399  (c, IP)   Narrating Crisis and Catastrophe  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Studies the ubiquity of images and ideas of crises and catastrophes in modern culture. Natural disasters, accidents, financial collapse, wars, and terror permeate the media; crises legitimize political and legal interventions; catastrophic scenarios are central to disaster films. To be imagined and processed, catastrophes must be narrated. Consequently, different models and functions of such narratives from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland since 1800 are investigated; media and formats examined; social and political dimensions explored; and concepts like trauma, survival, prophecy, testimony, or sovereignty scrutinized. All materials and coursework in German.

Prerequisites: GER 2204 - 2969 or GER 3000 or higher or Placement in GER 3000 level.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.