German Studies
Term:    Level:  

Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
Emphasizes the development of meaningful communicative skills in German for the purposes of interaction with German speakers and beginning study of German. With a learner-centered approach, students develop speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural skills and knowledge.
Second half of first-year German in a time-intensive form. Development of meaningful communicative skills for the purposes of interaction with German speakers and beginning study of German. Learner-centered approach develops speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural skills and knowledge. Course may be offered online. Materials fee.
Emphasizes communicative skills for the purposes of interaction with German speakers and intermediate study of German. With a learner-centered approach, helps students develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammatical, and cultural skills and knowledge. First-year grammar is reviewed and expanded.
Why does German have so many dialects? Is Swiss German a dialect or its own language? Why does German have a case system while other Germanic languages long ago abandoned that annoying system? Is English contributing to the disappearance of the German language? In this course students will be introduced to the fascinating world of German from a sociolinguistic perspective. This includes learning a bit of the history of the language, but primarily we will focus on the following: 1) German in comparison to the other Germanic languages (e.g. Dutch, English, Swedish, Yiddish); 2) the emergence of modern standard German; 3) linguistic and cultural aspects of German dialects; 4) contact varieties of German (e.g. Pennsylvania Dutch, Texas German); 5) immigrant varieties of German (e.g. Turkish-German); 6) youth language and the influence of pop culture; 7) the influence of English on the German language; and 8) the teaching and learning of German today. Prior knowledge of linguistics is not required. Conducted entirely in German. Contact Professor Levine at for information about the course.
The goal of this course is to explore the long and fascinating relationship between Jews and Germans in
German-speaking lands from the medieval period to the present. Through historical readings, literary texts,
essays, memoirs, and films we will address some of the following questions:
• How did the Jews come to be in German-speaking lands?
• How did Jews in Germany live in the medieval and early modern periods?
• What is the Yiddish language and how did it develop in Germany?
• Why have Jews had it so good in Germany during some periods, and so bad during other periods?
• What was the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) about? What effect did it have on Jewish and
German culture in the 19th and 20th centuries?
• What are the roots of modern anti-Semitism?
• What was German-Jewish life like in the Weimar Republic and the Nazi years?
• What was it like to grow up as a Jewish child during the Holocaust?
• What were the effects of the Holocaust on German-Jewish survivors and their children?
• What was the state of German-Jewish culture and relations in post-World War II period?
• How has reunification in 1990 affected German-Jewish culture and German-Jewish relations, and
what is the state of the culture in contemporary Germany?
• And the million-dollar question of the quarter: Was German-Jewish history an inexorable path to
The course is conducted with a combination of lecture and discussion (but primarily in lecture format), with
the grade based on attendance, focus-question homework activities, online quizzes, and a final exam. No
knowledge of German is necessary. Basic knowledge in European history is assumed. No prerequisites.
Materials include a range of genres, including the two required textbooks (see Course Materials) and Ruth
Kluger’s memoir, Still Alive. For each epoch we investigate will be accompanied by a literary or other sort of
contemporaneous text, such as lyric poetry, short fiction, letters, and essay/pamphlet (e.g. Luther’s writing
about the Jews). Our study of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries we will also include film clips
from both feature films and documentaries.