Courses and Requirements
The goal of Hamilton's German Studies Department is to examine from an interdisciplinary perspective the language, literature, culture, historical development and politics of German-speaking countries.
A German studies minor consists of five courses. Fifth-semester language proficiency (200) and one course in translation are required.
The following courses may be counted toward the concentration. With consultation of the department adviser, other courses might be considered.
German language and literature courses: 130, 140, 200, 310
Other core courses (course specific prerequisites must be observed):
GOV 214 Politics in Western Europe
GOV 291 International Political Economy
GOV 355 The European Union in World Affairs
HIST 117 Europe since 1815
HIST 128 Europe in the Age of Two World Wars
HIST 212 Modern Germany: 1789 to the Present
HIST 218 Twentieth-Century Europe: The Age of Two World Wars
HIST 314 Nazi Germany
MUS 202 Music in Europe And America Since 1800
PHIL 431 Seminar in the History of Philosophy: Kant’s Critical System
PHIL 463 Seminar in Metaphysics: Nietzsche
Introduction to the German language. Exercises in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing reinforced by short cultural and literary texts. No previous knowedge of German required. Four hours of class, with additional drill sessions and laboratory work. Maximum enrollment, 16. Department.
Designed for motivated students who wish to accelerate their knowledge of German. Intensive study of all aspects of beginning language acquisition. Successful completion will allow students to place into GER 130 (third term German). Students who follow the sequence through GER 140 will qualify for study abroad. Two course credits. Three 50 minute and two 75 minute classes a week.
Continued development of German grammar and its use in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Readings in literature and culture supplemented with video recordings. Three hours of class, with additional sessions and laboratory work. Department.
Review of grammar, syntax and conversational techniques through work in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Literary texts supplemented with realia (such as news stories German songs, videos). Three hours of class. The Department.
Introduction to German Literature and Culture.
Continued development of German grammar and vocabulary with cultural and literary texts, including works by Kafka, Dürrenmatt and Brecht, and song texts by contemporary Liedermacher. Practice in oral and written work. Prerequisite, 130 or consent of instructor. Taught in German. The Department.
Dragons, Witches, Princesses: German and other Fairy Tales.
The course is about "imaginary gardens with real toads in them" (Marianne Moore) and about "desir[ing] dragons with a profound desire" (J.R.R. Tolkien). It is about "Once upon a time" - a time that is on nobody's clock but exists in our collective memory. Extensive readings from the Brothers Grimm. Further readings from Perrault, de Beaumont, Hauff, Bechstein, Andersen, Hoffmann, MacDonald, Morris, Tolkien.Taught in English.
Self, Other, Society: German Literature and Culture from the 18th Century to the Present.
This course offers an introduction to German literature and intellectual history in English. Focusing on some of the most influential works written between 1750 and the present, we will address changing notions of the subject and its relations to community; the foundations of modern society; and the relationship of culture and history. We will also ask why and how “great works” endure over centuries. Readings include texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Karl Marx, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, Christa Wolf, and Herta Müller. (Writing-intensive.) Knowledge of German not required. Maximum enrollment, 20. Balint.
The Faust Legend.
Study of the Faust legend and how it has been adapted over the centuries. Topics include the origins of Faust in the 15th century in its factual (Paracelsus and Johann Faust) and spiritual (alchemy and astronomy) dimensions; the Faustbook of 1587; Marlowe's adaptation of the Faust story (The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus); Goethe's Faust (The First Part of the Tragedy); operas by Gounod (Faust) and Boïto (Mefistofele); the film Mephisto by H. Mann/Szabò; and T. Mann's Doctor Faustus. Taught in English.
Goethe and Beyond.
Study of the Age of Goethe in the 18th and 19th centuries and how neo-classical thought has influenced thinking since then. Works include Goethe's novels Werther and Wilhelm Meister, plays by Goethe (Berlichingen, Egmont and Torquato Tasso), Schiller's political tragedies (Mary Stuart, Don Carlos, the Wallenstein trilogy) and will include discussion of later adaptations of these works as operas by Donizetti and Verdi. Taught in English.
Topics in Advanced Reading and Writing.
Close reading of short texts and newspaper articles; advanced grammar review and extensive writing exercises. Readings focus on contemporary Germany and Austria. Designed for students who have had two years of German or equivalent. Taught in German. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 140 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Toegel.
From Goethe to Grass: Survey of German Literature.
Study of major writers and literary movements from the 18th century to today, including authors from Germany, Austria and the former GDR. Works will include poetry, drama and short prose. Designed as preparation for upper-level literature seminars. Taught in German. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 200 or consent of instructor. Required course for German concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 20.
From Empire to Republic: Twentieth-Century German Literature.
Study and analysis of works spanning the era from 1871 to the beginning of the Second World War. Selections focus on literary and cultural changes including the Jahrhundertwende and the Weimar Republic. Authors include Fontane, Hauptmann, Trakl, Hofmannsthal, George, Schnitzler and Mann. Taught in German. Prerequisite, 310 or consent of instructor.
Modern Literature of the German-Speaking Countries.
Study of post-1945 literature with focus on Austria, the emergence of two contrasting Germanies, and the Neuanschluss leading to unification. Texts by Bachmann, Bernhard, Böll, Grass, Seghers, Wolf and others. Taught in German. Prerequisite, 310 or consent of instructor. Toegel.
A senior thesis required of all concentrators in the department. Open to concentrators only. Toegel.
(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)