Fall 2013

Teaching College German (GER 511)

Prof. Michael Putnam

German 511 introduces students to the theory and methods of teaching German at the college level. It deals not only with techniques, materials, and bibliography of the field but also evaluates the contributions of linguistics and psychology to college-level language pedagogy. German 511 familiarizes students with current theories of foreign language education as they relate to post-secondary language acquisition. This course further includes the practical aspects of college-level teaching with special reference to problems related specifically to the teaching and learning of German. Evaluation procedures include examinations, research papers, and the preparation of sample teaching materials.

German Phonetics and Phonology (GER 513)

Prof. Richard Page

This course is about the sounds and the sound system of the German language. The first part of the course will focus on German phonetics. Phonetics is the study of speech sounds, and we will pay particular attention to German speech sounds that native speakers of English find difficult. We will use both articulatory and acoustic phonetics to describe German speech sounds and to compare them to corresponding English speech sounds.

The second part of the course will examine German phonology. Phonology is the study of speech sounds as a linguistic system. We will focus primarily on Standard German, but we will also address phonological aspects of dialectal variation, language change and language acquisition. The course will also explore different theoretical models as they are applied to German phonology.

No prior knowledge of phonology or linguistics is assumed.

Course materials

Hall, Tracy Alan. Phonologie: Eine Einführung. 2d edition. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Selected articles.

Praat. Free speech analysis software available at http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/

Post-War and Contemporary German Literature (GER 572)

Prof. Bettina Brandt

1945, the defeat of the so-called Third Reich, and 1989, the collapse of communist Europe, were two geopolitical markers that still bear upon contemporary German culture, as many authors consider the imaginative contours of German worlds in flux by literary means. Additionally, the experience of exile, transnational migration and the struggles of minorities are powerful indicators of global change at the beginning of the 21st century as well. This graduate course examines how imaginative contours of German worlds have been reshaped in literature since 1945 through the lens of migration and minorities. Special attention will be paid to Jews, Turks, Arabs, Black Germans, and Eastern Europeans authors who have immigrated or travelled to Germany at various points after 1945. This course foregrounds the medium of literature to ask how worlds of fiction prompt readers to engage real and possible worlds in newly imaginative ways. Individual texts (mostly narrative fiction but also some poetry, plays and film) will be examined in detail within their specific aesthetic, historical, and geopolitical settings. The class will be taught in German and English 

Readings may include authors such as: Paul Celan, Anna Seghers, Jurek Becker, Barbara Honigmann, Inge Müller, Doron Rabinovici, Irene Dische, Maxim Biller, Aras Ören, Sinasi Dikman, Zafer Senocak/Berkan Karpat, Zehra Cirak, Emine Özdamar, TORKAN, May Ayim, Ika Hügel-Marshall, Hans Jürgen Massaquoi , Galsan Tschinang, Zé Do Rock, José Oliver, Hussain Al Mozany, Herta Müller, Oskar Pastior, Aglaja Veteranyi, Yoko Tawada and others. Literary readings will be accompanied by the study of theoretical contributions in the area of exile, migration, transnational and travel studies.

Literary Translation (GER 510)

Prof. Thomas O. Beebee

Are literary translations inevitably doomed to being “belles infidèles” – beautiful because faithless (to the original); faithful only if unattractive (to readers)? What are we blinded to in the act of translation (including perhaps its gendered nature, as the first question hints) by the fact that it occurs between languages? Why do we always hear about things being “lost in translation” when in reality there is only increase (of text, of meaning, of language)? These and other unanswerable questions will preoccupy this seminar, which will be organized around three approaches to the topic of translation, namely: 1) the practical (what problems and questions arise in doing a translation?); 2) the theoretical (what issues do the encountered problems raise?); 3) the critical/historical/transmetic (what has translation meant to authors and for literary history and cultural survival?). We will begin the seminar by addressing #3 through readings of translational fictions. This will be following by workshop presentations of brief translations done by students. We will then examine the long tradition of translation theory, from St. Jerome to Bella Brodzki. Finally, participants will present an oral version of their final project, which may address translation from any of the perspectives mentioned above, or as yet unthought of.