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Fall 2022 Course Descriptions

This is an unofficial list of courses that will be offered in Germanic Studies in Fall 2022. It is strictly for the use of expanded course descriptions. For the complete official course offerings, please consult the My.UIC portal.

For a list of all courses and general course descriptions, please see the UIC Academic Catalog.

Germanic Studies Classes Fall 2022 Heading link

GER 101, 102 (Elementary German I & II); GER 103, 104 (Intermediate German I & II). MWF 4 hours.
All beginning and intermediate German language courses are blended-online and classroom courses. Use of computer and internet access is required.

  • 101      10-10:50 am, 11-11:50 am, & 1-1:50 pm
  • 102      11-11:50 am
  • 103      9-9:50 am & 10-10:50 am
  • 104      1-1:50 pm

GER 212; TTH 12:30-1:45 pm; Instructor: Dr. Heidi Schlipphacke; 3 hours
Rural, Urban, Global: Germanic Geographies
Exploration of cities and places within the German-speaking world along with their correlative cultures. Geographic locations including Vienna, Weimar, Wittenberg, Bavaria, and the Swiss Alps, among others, will be explored via cultural figures (i.e. Elizabeth of Austria, Angelo Solimon, Anna Amalia, Martin Luther, King Ludwig), myths (such as “Heidi” and “Sissi”), and via critical perspectives provided by a variety of authors and artists who highlight the cultural diversity and complexity of the German-speaking locations in which they live and work.
High-intermediate to advanced language training using authentic written, visual and oral texts.
Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite(s): GER 104 or the equivalent.

GER 311; MWF 2-2:50 pm; Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Loentz; 3 hours
German Literature in a Global Context: Comics and Graphic Novels
This course is an introduction to German comics and graphic novels. We will begin the semester with examples from earlier centuries and decades—such as Brant’s Ship of Fools, Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter, and Busch’s Max und Moritz—but our main focus will be on contemporary work. We will read and discuss webcomics, caricatures, comics, and graphic novels that represent the diversity of forms, topics, and artists/writers working in these genres (from “Germanga” to Illi Anna Heger’s comics on non-binary pronouns, to Grégory Dabilougou and Frederik Richter’s graphic reportage on Germany’s colonial history in Africa, and much more!) You will learn about the social, cultural, and political contexts of the texts, while also exploring how comics and graphic novels creatively address these issues in ways that other texts and media may not. In-class exercises and discussions, homework, and writing assignments will also serve to reinforce and expand your proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing German.
Advanced training in German language skills.
Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in GER 211; or Credit or concurrent registration in GER 212; or Credit or concurrent registration in GER 214 or the equivalent.

GER 318/ENGL 378; TTH 9:30-10:45 am; Instructor: Dr. Linda Leskau; 3 hours
Serial Storytelling and Disability in German-Speaking and Anglo-American Contexts
The first part of the course offers a historical overview of the emergence and development of serial storytelling in the German-speaking and Anglo-American context. We will examine important stages of serial storytelling such as ‘penny dreadfuls,’ a 19th-century British publishing phenomenon, or the soap opera on American radio in the 20th century. However, it is only in time-based media and especially in television series that serial storytelling acquires its outstanding importance. That is why we will focus on selected television series in the second part of the course. Particular attention will be paid to the category of disability and, accordingly, to the research perspective of Disability Studies. How are disabled characters represented on screen? How does the portrayal of disability differ in German and Anglo-American productions? What is the significance of disability for the plot? What role do clichés and stereotypes play? Do we encounter innovative perspectives on disability or are we confronted with the reproduction of traditional views of disabled bodies? These and related questions will guide our discussions.
Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 9 hours if topics vary. Taught in English.

Fall 2022 General Education Courses Taught in English Heading link

GER 217; TTH 2-3:15 pm; Instructor: Dr. Sara Hall; 4 hours
Introduction to German Cinema
This course introduces students to a diverse selection of films made in Germany between 1895 and 2020 and offers practice in examining them as explorations and expressions of the human imagination and the human experience during the socio-historical events and transitions specific to twentieth-century Germany (East and West). Through reading assignments, in-class discussion, on-line discussion, quizzes, homework assignments and paper writing, students will develop analytical skills in the viewing and interpretation of films and in writing original arguments about film history and cinema culture. Students taking GER 217 will gain the vocabulary for interpreting, analyzing, evaluating and researching films in the context of the history that shaped and was shaped by them. They will advance their ability to read, experience and view films carefully, to think critically, to argue cogently and to communicate ideas about cinema and a non-US culture in written and oral form. This course serves as an elective in the Germanic Studies major and minor, the minor in Moving Image Arts and as a General Education course in the categories of World Cultures and Creative Arts and Ideas. Students seeking credit for the Germanic Studies major or minor will do alternative homework portfolio assignments and may be asked to write papers in German and conduct on-line discussion in German. This is a great course for people with an interest in German cultural history or international film history in general. Films will be watched outside of class, supplemented by online discussion and interactive elements on Blackboard.
Course Information: Taught in English. Films with subtitles. No knowledge of German required. Area literature/culture. General Education credit for Creative Arts and World Cultures.

GER 219; TTH 12:30-1:45 pm; Instructor: Dr. Patrick Fortmann; 3 hours
Vikings and Wizards, Northern Myth and Fairy Tales in Western Culture: The Brothers Grimm and Their Cultural Legacy
The course examines the cultural legacy of the Brothers Grimm, renowned nineteenth-century collectors and editors of Germanic fairy tales, legends and myths. The Brother Grimm’s life-long pursuit of fairy tales launched a tidal wave of folkloric collecting throughout Europe and led to significant advances in research. Their search for the origins of German cultural material drove groundbreaking studies of newly discovered Old Norse and Old Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, as well as of Germany’s national myth, The Song of the Nibelungen. The questions they posed about oral and literary transmission later gave rise to the oral-formulaic model and continues to shape modern scholarship. The course will consider various interpretive strategies developed to classify and read this new material, from Propp’s morphology and Aarne-Thompson’s typology to feminist, historical and animal studies approaches. Through close readings of literary tales, the course provides basic tools for narrative interpretation and critical argumentation.
Course Information: Taught in English. General Education credit for Creative Arts or Past.

Fall 2022 Graduate Courses (Taught Exclusively in German) Heading link

GER 531; T 3:30-5 pm; Instructor: Dr. Linda Leskau; 4 hours
Disability Studies and Literature

Disability studies have been discussed in German-speaking countries since the 2000s. The focus is on the cultural model of disability, which understands embodied difference as a cultural-historical category of analysis. This development of disability studies was accompanied by an increased interest in the representation of disability in culture and media, especially in North America. Literature moves into the focus of disability studies as a cultural and historical archive. Literary texts offer not only a spectrum of characters with disabilities whose lives are vividly narrated, but also an enlightening abundance of conflict situations; hence, literature is a particularly valuable space within which to analyze a variety of models of disability that are central both for a historical analysis of what disability means and for current debates on diversity.
The seminar has two goals: On the one hand, we will read and discuss the basic theories and approaches of literary and cultural disability studies. On the other hand, we will use this historical and theoretical knowledge to develop critical research perspectives and apply them to selected literary texts.
Course language: German; Readings will be in German and English.

GER 531; W 5-7:30 pm; Instructor: Dr. Imke Meyer; 4 hours
Unfair: Representations of Injustice in German-Language Literature and Film
With the emergence of modern notions of human rights in the wake of the European Enlightenment, German-language literature increasingly grapples with questions of fairness and justice. Issues such as power and disenfranchisement, wealth and poverty, equality and inequality, and inclusion and exclusion are negotiated not just in philosophy, but also on the stage and in narrative fiction. Class, race, gender, and religion assume a prominent place as literature queries social and political systems seemingly set up not to mitigate inequities, but rather to maintain them. How do literature and–as we move into the 20th century—film intervene in or comment upon discourses on fairness and justice? Are concepts such as distributive or reparative justice engaged by literature and film? How do literature and film reflect upon the social and political fractures that occur in the wake of major historical events such as the French Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848, the founding of the German Empire in 1871, colonialism, World War I and II, or the crimes against humanity committed by a fascist Germany, most notably the Holocaust? What kinds of aesthetics do literary texts and film mobilize as they interrogate questions of personhood, equity, and fairness? We will examine these and other questions as we discuss works by writers and filmmakers such as Heinrich von Kleist, Georg Büchner, Heinrich Heine, Theodor Fontane, Gerhart Hauptmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, Marieluise Fleißer, Bertolt Brecht, Veza Canetti, Rolf Hochhuth, Peter Weiss, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Fatih Akin, Elfriede Jelinek, and Olivia Wenzel. Theoretical writings by Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rosa Mayreder, Rosa Luxemburg, Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Hannah Arendt will help frame our conversations.

Fall 2022 Graduate Reading Knowledge Course (Taught in English) Heading link


GER 500; TR 9:30-10:45 am; Instructor: Dr. Patrick Fortmann; 4 hours
German for Reading Knowledge
Designed to help prepare you for the Graduate Proficiency Exam and teach you to read secondary sources.
No prior knowledge of German required!

Printable Fall 2022 course list