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GERMAN 75N: Famous Last Words

What would you say if you knew it would be the last thing you would ever say? Who would you want to hear your words? Would you want to inspire somebody? Terrify them? Shout your defiance or your love in their direction?nThis is a course about last words the final utterances left as legacies for the world in the face of revolution, war, betrayal, heartbreak, or that simplest of endings, death. We will look at a wide variety of last words, including last words codified as genres¿quotations, suicide notes, epitaphs, dying declarations, Japanese death poems, confessions, and the like as literary devices (last sentences, envois, punch lines, epilogues), and as forms of social or cultural practice (the making of heroes, idols, and martyrs in religious, political, and popular culture). We will look at fictional last words, real last words, last words spoken by heroes, gods, and ordinary people. And we will end the course, each of us, by writing out our own last words imagining what we each would write, if we had to sum up what mattered most to us, and if we wanted some small selection of signs to stand in, as it has for many of the authors we will read, for our life and the legacy of it.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

GERMAN 97: 10 Poems That Will Change Your Life

This course is for anyone who has ever been afraid of poetry, anyone who has ever thought that poems are too difficult to understand, a course for anyone who has fallen in love with poetry before, and for anyone who has used a poem to make a difference in someone's life. You will learn how to read, understand, and if you don't already like poetry. We will read poems from different centuries, different kinds of writers, and different media (paper, computer screens, and even DNA); they will be about loss and love and war and loyalty and bacteria. Some of them will be about you. You will develop interpretive skills that come with this range of poetic forms and structures and will learn how to think about what it means for something to be poetic, whether it is a poem, a Leonard Cohen song, a last minute field goal, or a toilet. Can the poems in this class really change your life? (What would that even mean? We'll discuss.) Maybe; maybe not. But they're certainly going to try.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

GERMAN 101: Germany in 5 Words

This course explores German history, culture and politics by tracing five (largely untranslatable) words and exploring the debates they have engendered in Germany over the past 200 years. This course is intended as preparation for students wishing to spend a quarter at the Bing Overseas Studies campus in Berlin, but is open to everyone. Taught in English.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Daub, A. (PI)

GERMAN 120A: Berlin: Literature and Culture in the 20th Century and Beyond

Few cities have witnessed as many political and social changes, and inspired as much cultural production, as Berlin. This course will explore the way authors of all stripes have depicted the last 125 years of this complicated city in forms as diverse as vignettes, novels, poems, and films. We will look at historical moments such as the Golden Era of Weimar Berlin, the National Socialist period, and the Cold War, as well as artistic and literary movements including Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit. Reading and discussing the works of authors including Walter Benjamin, Vicki Baum, Alfred Döblin, Hans Fallada, and Durs Grünbein, we will explore the relationship between art and history, artist and city. Taught in German. Prerequisite: GERLANG 3 or permission of instructor.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Hodrick, C. (PI)

GERMAN 120B: Fairy Tales

In this course, we will explore the fairy tale genre both from a systematic and historical perspective. We will start by asking how fairy tales differ from other short prose texts like legends and fables. We will then focus on bigger themes allowing us to discern differences within this literary form, namely: the fantastic and the real, motif constancy and variation, narration and orality, animality and the human. Over the course of the seminar, we will not only delve into the world-famous folk tale collection of the Grimm brothers, but also the more stylized Romantic `Kunstmärchen¿ tradition (Goethe, Brentano, Hoffmann). Examples from the later 19th-century (Keller, Storm) and the 20th century (Hofmannsthal, Kafka, Döblin, Bachmann) demonstrate attempts to reformulate the fairy tale tradition by transgressing its boundaries. Taught in German. Prerequisite: GERLANG3 or permission of instructor.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Starkey, K. (PI)

GERMAN 120D: The German Graphic Novel

This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and social life of German graphic novels. We will look at early examples of text-and-image (Sebastian Brant¿s "Ship of Fools," a satire published in 1497, Heinrich Hoffmann¿s "Der Struwwelpeter," an 1845 children¿s book detailing various forms of misbehavior in spine-chilling visual detail, or Wilhelm Busch¿s 1895 tale of the mischievous brothers "Max und Moritz") and modern and contemporary comics, political caricatures, and graphic novels from Swiss, German, and Austrian artists (Nicolas Mahler, Gerhard Haderer, Manfred Deix, Ulli Lust, Max Goldt, or Anke Feuchtenberger). This course is in German; no prior knowledge of the topic is required. You will develop your German reading, speaking, and writing skills through a variety of short creative assignments and in-class discussions, develop critical reading skills as they attend to specific formal features, and improve your abilities to think historically about the emergence and development of aesthetic forms.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Pao, L. (PI)

GERMAN 125: Nietzsche: Life as Performance (GERMAN 325, TAPS 152L, TAPS 325)

Nietzsche famously considered that "there is no 'being' behind the deed, its effect, and what becomes of it; the 'doer' is invented as an afterthought - the doing is everything." How should we understand this idea of a deed without a doer, how might it relate to performance, and what influence has it had on modern culture? In order to answer these questions, we will consider Nietzsche's writings alongside some of the artworks that influenced Nietzsche or were influenced by him.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Smith, M. (PI)

GERMAN 131: What is German Literature?

The aim of this course is to provide a general introduction to German literary and cultural history. What counts as history and literature will be tested and provoked as we examine Germany in its entirety and not just in its whiteness. From unification to the present, we will reflect on identity formation in Germany and challenge the idea that Germany was/is constructed as a homogeneous white nation. In this course, we will discuss the perception of the German colonies, the Holocaust, Postwar, and Reunification from the perspective of marginalized Germans. These Germans (e.g. Black Germans, Turkish Germans, Jewish Germans, Asian Germans), have a long history that is too often ignored. Taught in German.nPrerequisite: One year of German language at Stanford or equivalent.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Watkins, J. (PI)

GERMAN 132: History and Politics of the Future in Germany, 1900-Present

The twentieth century brought profound changes to Germany, including two World Wars, changing borders, and the division between competing Cold War ideological blocs. At the same time, the necessity to build and reshape Germany also inspired politicians, writers, and filmmakers to think about how society could be made anew. The century especially ushered in a new era for thoughts about the future. Thinkers imagined new technologies, social structures, and political orders as they dreamed about a German future that could be different from its recent past. Furthermore, this period represented a golden age of German science fiction, as authors thought about what the future could and should be.nThis class considers the possibilities that Germans imagined for the future in the face of ambiguous promises of peace and warfare, democracy and totalitarianism, and capitalism and communism. Regardless of whether these hopes, dreams, and fears came to fruition, historical visions of the future illu more »
The twentieth century brought profound changes to Germany, including two World Wars, changing borders, and the division between competing Cold War ideological blocs. At the same time, the necessity to build and reshape Germany also inspired politicians, writers, and filmmakers to think about how society could be made anew. The century especially ushered in a new era for thoughts about the future. Thinkers imagined new technologies, social structures, and political orders as they dreamed about a German future that could be different from its recent past. Furthermore, this period represented a golden age of German science fiction, as authors thought about what the future could and should be.nThis class considers the possibilities that Germans imagined for the future in the face of ambiguous promises of peace and warfare, democracy and totalitarianism, and capitalism and communism. Regardless of whether these hopes, dreams, and fears came to fruition, historical visions of the future illuminate the lives of Germans during the twentieth century.nThis course will use close readings of several types of primary sources, including films, television shows, short stories, political posters, art, and newspaper articles. We will consider what different thinkers anticipated as the possibilities for the development of the country and what they saw as the driving forces of change, such as mechanics and computers, political parties, and social movements. We will discuss which advancements they thought seemed likely and which seemed fantastical. Finally, this class will investigate how the future offered a space for dissident thinkers to articulate their frustrations with state and society.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

GERMAN 133: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

We read and discuss selections from works by the key master thinkers who have exerted a lasting influence by debunking long-cherished beliefs. Do these authors uphold or repudiate Enlightenment notions of rationality, autonomy and progress? How do they assess the achievements of civilization? How do their works illuminate the workings of power in social and political contexts? Readings and discussion in German.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
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