2015-2016 German Courses
This course concentrates on the study of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation in order to secure the basic tools of the German language. Through grammar exercises in class, dialogues, and short compositions, students will learn the fundamental skills to speak, read, and write in German. This class will meet three times (90 minutes) per week: twice with Mr. Dollinger and once with Ms. Mizelle, who will also meet with students individually or in small groups for an extra conference. Course materials include the textbook, Neue Horizonte, along with a workbook and a graded German reader that will allow students to start reading in German after the first week. We will cover at least 12 chapters from the textbook—all of the basic grammar and vocabulary that students will need to know in order to advance to the next level. There will be short written tests at the end of each chapter. Students will also learn basic facts about Germany today.
This course stresses speaking, reading, and writing German and a thorough review of German grammar. Its aim is to give students more fluency and to prepare them for a possible junior year in Germany. Readings in the fall will consist of fairy tales, short stories, poems, and three novellas by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. Students will give several oral presentations (on a fairy tale, on a German city, on a German artist or intellectual). In the spring semester, we will use Im Spiegel der Literatur, a collection of short stories written by some of the most famous German writers such as Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht. A solid grammar review, based on the book German Grammar in Review, will help students improve their speaking and writing skills. Regular conferences with Ms. Mizelle will supplement class work. Prerequisite: Beginning German at Sarah Lawrence College or another institution of higher learning or at least four semesters of German in high school.
Advanced German: Modern German Literature and Film
In this course, we will explore modern German literature and culture from the end of the 19th century through the Weimar Republic. We will analyze literary texts from the pre-World War I era by such writers as Hauptmann, Thomas Mann, Döblin, Kafka, and Hermann Hesse. Another major focus of this course will lie on the literary, cinematic, and artistic expressions of the so-called “Golden Twenties” during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Irmgard Keun’s Berlin novel, Das Kunstseidene Mädchen, Brecht’s Three Penny Opera, and films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Der blaue Engel will help us understand this fascinating period that ended with Hitler’s rise to power. By means of a Nazi propaganda film, Jud Süss, we will explore the paranoid anti-Semitism of the National Socialists. This course consists of three equally important components: Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials in German; one seminar with Ms. Mizelle, who will work with students collectively on various grammar and vocabulary issues; and one biweekly individual conference with Mr. Dollinger. Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.
Advanced German: Postwar German Literature and Film
In this seminar, we will focus on postwar German literature from 1945 to the present. As we read poems, plays, prose fiction, and essays by writers such as Anonyma, Borchert, Böll, Celan, Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, Peter Weiss, Bernhard Schlink, and others, we will give special attention to the problems of: (1) social and cultural problems in Germany right after World War II, (2) how German writers have dealt with National Socialism and the Holocaust, (3) German reunification, and (4) German-Turkish issues. We will also watch films such as Mörder unter uns, one of the earliest movies in Germany after World War II; Deutschland, bleiche Mutter, a film about life in Germany during and after World War II; Das Leben der Anderen, a film about the secret police in East Germany; Gegen die Wand, a movie that explores the lives of German-Turkish citizens in Germany and in Turkey; and Walk on Water, an Israeli-German production about the legacy of the Holocaust for young Israelis and Germans. This course consists of three equally important components: Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials with students in German; one seminar with Ms. Mizelle, who will work with students collectively on various grammar and vocabulary issues; and one biweekly individual conference with Mr. Dollinger. This seminar is conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.