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Spring 2023 Course Descriptions

This is an unofficial list of courses that will be offered in Germanic Studies in Spring 2023. 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 Spring 2023 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
  • 102      9-9:50 am & 10-10:50 am
  • 103      1-1:50 pm
  • 104      1-1:50 pm & 2-2:50 pm

GER 214; TTH 11-12:15 pm; Instructor: Dr. Sara Hall; 3 hours
German Conversation Through Film
This intermediate-level course offers focused practice in speaking German via discussions about recent German films. Hone your speaking and pronunciation skills while watching and analyzing a variety of movies and reading and listening to movie reviews and interviews with members of the German film industry. Our structured conversation practice will help you refine your pronunciation and grammar, expand your vocabulary, and gain facility with idiomatic phrases. The class will meet one day per week on campus and one day online and films will be watched outside of class as homework. The Class will meet on campus on Tuesdays (GH 207) and online on Thursdays.
Taught in German.
Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in GER 104.
May be repeated.

GER 302/MOVI 331/ENG 331; TTH 9:30-10:45 pm; Instructor: Dr. Imke Meyer; 3 hours
Topics in German Cinema/Moving Image Studies: New German Cinema
This course will focus on one of the most consequential movements in post-war West German film history, namely that of New German Cinema (1962-1982). We will examine the movement’s origins and formation as a critical response to German fascism; its historical and socio-political contexts; its formal features; the auteurs and actors shaping its profile; and its impact on German film history writ large. Directors whose work we will discuss include Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Werner Herzog; Margarethe von Trotta; Wim Wenders; Alexander Kluge; Helma Sanders-Brahms; Volker Schlöndorff; Rosa von Praunheim; Helke Sander; Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Edgar Reitz, and Ulrike Ottinger. The class will meet on campus (LH 115) and online as needed.
Readings and class discussions will be in English, and films will be available with English subtitles
Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102 or MOVI 102; or ENGL 120; or ENGL 121 or MOVI 121; or GER 217; or GER 207 or LCSL 207 or SPAN 207; or ENGL 232 or AH 232 or MOVI 232; or ENGL 233 or AH 233 or MOVI 233.

GER 439/CEES 439/GWS 439; T 3:30-6 pm; Instructor: Dr. Sara Hall; 3 hours
Gender and Cultural Production: Feminist Film Practice in Germany, Austria and the Transnational Beyond
“Feminist Film Practice in Germany, Austria and the Transnational Beyond” • Centering on films connected with German-speaking parts of the world, this course will explore the plurality of late 20th and early 21st century feminist filmmaking practice and mobilize current intersectional feminist approaches to film criticism and research in film studies. Filmmakers include Maren Ade, Sheri Hagen, Ines Johnson-Spain, Branwen Okpako, Helke Sander, Ula Stöckl, Angela Schanelec, Tatjana Turanskyj, and Margarethe von Trotta.
The course will be taught in English and all readings will be available in English and films will have English subtitles. The films will be watched outside of class as part of weekly homework assignments.
Prerequisite(s): GER 212 or consent of the instructor.

Spring 2023 General Education Courses Taught in English Heading link

GER 100; MWF 12-12:50 pm; Instructor: Dr. Patrick Fortmann; 3 hours
Introduction to Germanic Literatures and Cultures: Mapping Germany, Traveling the World
Unlike any other nation, Germany is faced with the impossibility of telling a straightforward narrative of its cultural history. Politically refracted, ideologically divided, linguistically split, and ethnically diverse for much of its history, Germany entertains a unique relation to its cultural memory. Rather than looking chronologically at this twisted history, the course will examine the formative period, named after its towering figure, the Age of Goethe, but it will do so from the point of view of the present day. Why is it that this period in particular occupies a privileged place in the collective memory of the Germans, so much so that many artifacts, images, and texts from that time are readily available and immediately present to this day? Drawing on the rich German tradition, we will examine objects, paintings, and texts both from the Age of Goethe and from the present day by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Alexander von Humboldt, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Nietzsche, Daniel Kehlmann, and Werner Herzog.
Taught in English.
General Education credit for Creative Arts and World Cultures.

GER 217; TTH 12:30-1:45 pm; Instructor: Dr. Imke Meyer; 4 hours
Introduction to German Cinema
This course will provide an overview of German film history, one of the most influential national cinemas in the world: beginning with the celebrated films of Weimar Germany (1919-1933), we will examine how cinema reflects and comments upon specific socio-historic contexts and shifting notions of German national identity. We will discuss films made under the Nazis (1933-45); post-war cinema; films of the critically acclaimed New German Cinema of the 1970s; cinema made in socialist East Germany after World War II; historical dramas; and art house and international favorites of the contemporary period. We will consider the parameters of national cinema, asking to what extent a nation’s films can be seen as a projection screen for cultural hopes and anxieties. Along these lines, we will examine the ways in which the specters of fascism and the Holocaust loom in post-war German cinema along with the history of the division of Berlin and Germany from 1945-89. We will likewise consider German film in light of the limits of national categorizations for cinema in a globalizing world. In addition to screening and analyzing films, we will read a number of theoretical texts that will provide an aesthetic and cultural frame for interpretation.
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; MWF 11-11:50 am; 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.

Spring 2023 Graduate Courses (Taught Exclusively in German) Heading link

GER 513; R 3:30-6 pm; Instructor: Dr. Heidi Schlipphacke; 4 hours
Novel Worlds: Germanic Culture from the Enlightenment to the 1848 Revolution

This course will focus on the emergence of the modern German novel in the period of the European Enlightenment. We will read a variety of novels written between 1747 and 1848, tracing the emergence of notions such as the modern interior subject (the object of psychoanalysis), the nuclear family, modern kinship and social forms, and the imagined modern nation. The modern novel represents itself as a world, a space within which the (normative, European male) protagonist can develop, and we will analyze critically this process as depicted in the genre of the Bildungsroman and in epistolary novels of the period. We will read novels by canonical (Gellert, Goethe, and others) and lesser-known (La Roche, Willebrand, and others) German authors, both male and female, exploring the potentialities of the novel to imagine and stage social worlds. Along these lines, we will explore the ways in which the German novel has been shaped by colonial fantasies and by literary works from a wide variety of other cultures to offer the reader a world that transcends the boundaries of the German territories. Longer novels will be read over multiple weeks. We will likewise read seminal theories of the novel, of colonial fantasies, and of canonization and gender. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze a contemporary novel

GER 540; W 3-5:30 pm; Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Loentz; 4 hours
Contemporary Transnational Writing in German
This course is an introduction to contemporary German-language transnational literature. Broadly defined, transnational literature transcends, crosses, or challenges traditional national or national-cultural boundaries. We will examine texts by immigrant and refugee writers; ethnic, national, and religious minority writers; bilingual writers; and others whose work challenges traditional national boundaries or the paradigm of national literatures, examining how the diverse voices of contemporary German culture contribute to new conceptions of German national or cultural identity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We will focus both on the political, social, and cultural contexts in which our readings emerged (debates over multiculturalism, “Leitkultur,” integration; Audre Lorde’s influence on the “Afro-German” Women’s Movement; Nationality Law reform and Immigration Law; “Vergangenheitsbewältigung” or Germany’s reckoning with the Holocaust and its National Socialist past; the “new” antisemitism, rightwing extremism, and the rise of the AfD party and PEGIDA; Germany’s role in the recent refugee “crisis”…) and on theoretical and critical approaches to transnational writing. We will also consider other paradigms and concepts, such as “Minor” Literature, Diaspora literature, “Intercultural” Writing, Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism, Globalization, and Migrant Writing.

Printable Spring 2023 course list