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The Department of German Language and Literatures enables students to explore the cultures of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The program seeks to develop competence in the German language and lay the groundwork for an appreciation of German literature and other cultural expressions. Course work in literature, both in the original and in translation, allows students to investigate representative works and significant literary genres of the major periods, while the film courses offer insight into this twentieth-century medium and its language. Students especially interested in the interconnections between culture, history, and politics should consider the Department's German Studies major.

Courses 101, 102, 203, 204, and 305 seek primarily to develop language competence. All courses beyond the 100 series (except those in translation) are conducted in German.

A judicious selection from the regular 300 and 400 offerings will yield a survey of German literature, culture, and cinema, leading to a major or minor.

Advanced Placement Program. Students qualifying under this program will be assigned advanced standing on the basis of results in the qualifying examinations adminstered by the College Board. Scores of 4 or 5 on the language exam will automatically receive three hours of college credit as German 300, qualifying students to work at the 300 level. German 300-level courses count toward the total number of academic credits required for the major.

New students with previous training or experience who do not present SAT II scores upon admission should take a placement test to determine the appropriate level for further study.

Placement. All entering students who have acquired linguistic ability in German elsewhere, or who wish to qualify for advanced courses, must present evidence of having completed the SAT II in German or arrange to be tested by the department in order that they may be properly placed. New students considering a major should include a German course in the freshman program. Opportunities for undergraduate study abroad, such as the Exchange Scholar Program, provide possibilities for acceleration to majors and prospective majors who begin their study in college. Recommended correlated courses distributed over four years include Art, Classics, History, Music, Film Studies, and another foreign language or literature.

Major. Two majors are offered. A basic knowledge of the German language is fundamental to both.

1. The German Major is concerned primarily with the study of literature. Genres, literary movements, and individual authors and themes are examined with the aim of expanding the student's capacity for literary analysis and appreciation. The German major consists of a minimum of 31 semester hours which should be accumulated as follows: a) At least 22 hours in German language and literature at the 300 and 400 level. Of these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses, including 433, and at least one semester of 304 (Writer-in-Residence) are required. b) At least nine hours of 300- or 400-level courses in related literary fields, e.g., comparative literature, literary theory, or other literature courses. c) No more than 9 hours in translation. A minimum of 12 semester hours in German language and literature (above 204) must be completed at Oberlin. Private reading courses do not normally count toward the major.

Strongly recommended correlated fields include European History, German History, History of Art, History of Music, and French.

2. The German Studies Major places more emphasis on cultural expressions other than literature (e.g., music, art, film, philosophy, history). It consists of a minimum of 32 semester hours which may be accumulated as follows: a) At least 15 hours in German language and literature courses at the 300 and 400 level, but not including courses in translation; of these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses (including 433) and at least one semester of 304 (Writer-in-Residence) are required. b) At least nine hours to be selected from courses with total or substantial (50% or more) German content in two or more disciplines other than German language, literature, and cinema. c) No more than six hours in German literature in translation. A minimum of 16 hours toward the German Studies major must be completed at Oberlin. Private reading courses do not normally count toward the German Studies major. The entire German staff will constitute a special committee to administer the German Studies major.

Honors. Qualified German or German Studies majors should consider the possibility of participating in the departmental Honors Program. Admittance requires a minimum GPA within the major of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.0. Students interested in pursuing Honors should consult the department chairperson by the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.

A B.A.. in German or German Studies can lead to graduate work in German, in comparative literature, or a variety of related fields (e.g., library science, linguistics). Some German majors have found careers in teaching at all levels, in government work (e.g., State Department), journalism, medicine, law, international business, or in music, both in this country and in Europe.

Minor. A minor in German consists of 15 hours at the 300 and 400 levels, which may include one course in translation. One three-hour course must be at the 400 level.

German House. The Max Kade German House, a four-class coeducational dormitory, serves as the focal point for German activities on campus. It affords German students a unique opportunity to develop their speaking skills in an informal setting. Native speakers are regularly in residence. Students interested in German are encouraged to live in the German House for at least one year.

Study Abroad. Exchange Scholar Program. Competitive exchange scholarships are offered for study at a German university in the junior year. The program is open to all students with sufficient preparation in German language and literature. Credits earned in this program are subject to the Transfer of Credit fee. Students on financial aid should consult the Director of Financial Aid. The faculty will also advise students about other opportunities for study in German-speaking countries and assist with applications and enrollment.

Winter Term. The department normally offers an intensive Winter Term Beginning German course that covers the basic elements of grammar and offers practice in simple conversation. This course is not the equivalent of German 101 and does not automatically qualify students to enter 102. Students who have progressed exceptionally well in the Winter Term course, however, are encouraged to consult with the German staff about the possibility of advancement into German 102.

German staff members are available during Winter Term to sponsor individual and group projects, within their discipline or areas of their interest.

Language Laboratory. The Paul & Edith Cooper International Learning Center, located on the 3rd floor of the recently renovated Peters Hall, is designed for both class and individual use at all levels of language learning. Audio, video, and computer materials are available for student use. Laboratory practice is encouraged for all students so that they can further develop their speaking and listening skills.

For further information, consult the German web pages: www.oberlin.edu/~german.


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Language Courses (Offered Every Year)

101, 102. Elementary German 5 hours
Acquisition of the fundamentals of grammar along with practice in speaking and writing. Grammar coverage will extend over both semesters. Early introduction of spoken German, with reading and discussion of graded literary texts in GERM 101 and GERM 102. Second semester classes taught chiefly in German. Use of language laboratory encouraged. Enrollment Limit: 22.
Sem 1 GERM-101-01 MTuWThF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Hamilton
GERM-101-02 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Huff
GERM-101-03 MTuWThF 1:30-2:20 Staff
Sem 2 GERM-102-01 MTuWThF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Hamilton
GERM-102-02 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Tewarson
GERM-102-03 MTuWThF 1:30-2:20 Staff

203, 204. Intermediate German 3 hours

Increasing mastery of the basic skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing). Selective grammar review in 203. Readings of narrative prose, drama, and poetry by mainly contemporary authors, along with cultural/historical texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Completion of Intermediate German will enable students to read a broad range of literary and non-literary texts and to conduct research in their major fields. Prerequisites: GERM 102 or qualification by placement test. Enrollment Limit: 20.
Sem 1 GERM-203-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Hamilton
GERM-203-02 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Huff
Sem 2 GERM-204-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Huff
GERM-204-02 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. Tewarson
305. Conversation and Composition 3 hours

305. Conversation and Composition 3 hours

Expansion and refinement of speaking, writing, and listening skills through a variety of in-class activities (including films and writing). Readings and discussions will cover topics of current social, political, and cultural interest in the German-language countries as reflected in the media and in essays and articles by creative writers. Prerequisites: GERM 204 or equivalent.

Sem 1 GERM-305-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Staff

310. Conversational German 1 hour
This workshop in German conversation meets once a week. Topics are drawn from contemporary life and literature; reading, writing and leading group discussions are part of the assignments. Prerequisites: GERM 204 or equivalent. Notes: CR/NE grading.

Sem 2 GERM-310-01 T 7:00-8:30 pm Staff

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Topics in Translation

321. German Jewish Women Writers: Between Traditions, 3 hours
Disciplines, and Genres

Next offered 2002-2003.

326. 20th-Century German Drama 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.

333. Special Topics in English Translation: 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.


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Advanced Literature Courses

304. Max Kade German Writer-in-Residence 1 hour
Reading and discussion of selected writings of the current Max Kade German Writer-in-Residence Irina Liebmann. Prerequisites: one 300-level course or equivalent knowledge of German. Notes: Course may be repeated for major credit. CR/NE grading.

Sem 1 GERM-304-01 Th 7:00-8:30 p.m. Ms. Liebmann

311. Introduction to German Literature, I 3 hours
A study of major movements, problems, and oeuvres in the literature from the 18th to the mid-19th century (Enlightenment through Romanticism). Prose, drama, and poetry by Lesssing, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, and others. This course is intended for students who have not yet done 400-level work in German literature. Prerequisites: GERM 204 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 20.

Sem 2 GERM-311-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Huff

312. Introduction to German Literature, II 3 hours
Masterpieces of poetry, narrative prose, and drama from the mid-19th century to the modern period, including works by Büchner, Grillparzer, Thomas Mann, Kafka, and Brecht. This course is intended for students who have not yet done 400-level work in German literature. Prerequisites: GERM 204 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 20.

Sem 1 GERM-312-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Tewarson

413. The Age of Goethe 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.

426. From Naturalism to Expressionism 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.

427. The Literature and Culture of the Weimar Republic 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.

428. Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Else Lasker-Schüler 3 hours
This course will focus on the writings of three great authors of the early twentieth century. In addition to the literary works (novellas, short stories, novels, and poetry), we shall draw on letters and diaries to further explore the beginnings of modernism. Prerequisites: Two 300-level courses.

Sem 1 GERM-428-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Tewarson

429. Contemporary German Literature 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.

433. Senior Seminar: Heinrich von Kleist 3 hours
An intensive and extensive examination of the novellas and dramas of this influential, enigmatic and often misunderstood writer. Drawing also on his essays and letters, the course will explore Kleist's extreme and sometimes truly bizarre reactions to Kantian philosophy, his preoccupation with Romantic "Naturphilosophie," and his complicated role as outsider/insider in the development of Classical and Romantic aesthetics.

Sem 2 GERM-433-01 W 7:00-9:00 p.m. Mr. Huff

505. Honors in German 1-6 hours
Consent of instructor required.

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3HU, CD
Consent of instructor required