Modern Languages and Literatures—German

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Andrew Harris

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Humanities Building, Room 475
Phone: (415) 338–1421
Website: mll.sfsu.edu/german-program/

Chair: Mohammad Salama
Undergraduate Advisors: Volker Langbehn (A–L), Ilona Vandergriff (M–Z)
Program Coordinator: Volker Langbehn
Graduate Advisor: Ilona Vandergriff

Program Scope

The German Program offers a comprehensive and carefully designed program for undergraduate and graduate studies in the area of language, literature, culture, and linguistics.

The program addresses the needs of students at all levels, from those without prior knowledge of German to those with advanced, near-native or native competency in German. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop language proficiency in accordance with the nationally recognized ACTFL standards. Learning German will open up new cultural perspectives and allow students to communicate with 120 million people in the German-speaking countries.

The program serves students from the entire University. Many of the students enrolled are double majors, who concurrently pursue a degree in disciplines such as International Relations, Humanities, History, Psychology, Creative Writing, Communication Studies, and Music. Students can also opt for a European Studies Minor.

In cooperation with the Office of International Programs, we encourage students to study abroad. Through the California State University (CSU) International Program, students may study, for example, at the Universität of Tübingen, Universität of Heidelberg or other institutions of higher learning. Such opportunities give students an immersion experience, helping to build and reinforce language skills while earning units towards graduation. The program also facilitates paid summer internships in German-speaking Europe.

Professors

Vandergriff, Langbehn

GER 101 First Semester German (Units: 4)

Listening, speaking, reading, and writing German. Intended for true beginners.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

GER 102 Second Semester German (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: GER 101 or equivalent.

Continuation of first semester German.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

GER 206 Intermediate German Conversation (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 101 and GER 102 or equivalent.

Intensive listening and speaking practice. Group discussions based on texts and videos. Skits and other presentations.

GER 207 Intermediate German (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 102 or equivalent.

Listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the intermediate level. Group projects based on contemporary issues.

GER 301 German in Review (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Review of structure and speech patterns. Compositions, oral presentations, and group discussions based on short stories, newspaper articles, contemporary films, and other cultural topics.

GER 302 Grammar in Context (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 207 or equivalent demonstrated proficiency.

[Online Course] Study, review, and communicative practice of grammar structures in the context of real-world language tasks or projects.

GER 305 Advanced Grammar and Composition (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Study and practice of grammar structures. Systematic writing practice.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

GER 325 Applied German Linguistics: Phonetics and Phonology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Application of modern descriptive linguistics to the analysis of the phonetic and phonemic systems. Comparative approach German/English. Laboratory practice.

GER 330 German Language and Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 206 and GER 207 or consent of instructor.

Exploration of a wide spectrum of linguistic issues and approaches, illustrated through the analysis of the forms, functions and uses of contemporary German.

GER 335 German Through Cinema (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Canonical works of German cinema to increase students? language competence in receptive and productive skills. Development of ideas in writing activities to focus also on vocabulary, grammar, and style.

GER 341 Intensive Language Practice and Analysis (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 305 or equivalent.

Systematic and intensive study of written and oral expression. Designed for advanced students of German. May be repeated for a total of 9 units.

GER 350GW Translation Workshop - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent with a grade of C- or better, GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Translating written and spoken texts, using German or English as source languages. (ABC/NC grading only.)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment
  • Global Perspectives

GER 401 German Culture and Civilization I (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Highlights of German culture and civilization from the beginning to 1918.

GER 502 Contemporary Germany (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for GER 502: GER 301 or equivalent or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for GER 802: Admission to German M.A. program, GER 301 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Germany today: its achievement, challenges, problems, potential dangers, and important developments, trends, issues, figures that have shaped the nation.
(GER 502/GER 802 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 510 German Literature I (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Literary development from the Middle Ages through the Age of Goethe.

GER 511 German Literature II (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 206 and GER 207 or equivalent.

Literary development from early 19th century to the present.

GER 530 Die Deutsche Romantik (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 510 and GER 511 or equivalent.

Themes, symbols, and structures in German romantic writers and their position within the larger context of their times and modern thought. A voyage into the self and out into the cosmos.

GER 532 The German Idealist Tradition (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for GER 532: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for GER 832: Graduate standing in German or consent of instructor.

Introduction to the rich intellectual history of the literary movement Strum und Drang (literally, "Storm and Stress") (1770-1784 that mark the beginning of literary and philosophical idealism in Germany culminating in Weimar Classicism (1786-1832).
(GER 532/GER 832 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 535 The German Novella of the 19th and 20th Centuries (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 510 and GER 511 or equivalents.

Explore exemplary works of the novella genre from the 19th to the 20th century German literature. Analyze how art responds to the changing political situation in Germany and how various literary movements react to each other aesthetically and politically.
(GER 535/GER 835 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 556 19th and 20th Century German Plays (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 510 and GER 511 or equivalents.

Major works of representative playwrights of the 19th and 20th centuries.
(GER 556/GER 856 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 600 Mobility, Travel, and Identity in German-Speaking Cultures (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Exploration of questions of mobility, travel, and identity in contemporary German, Austrian, and Swiss literature and culture in relation to the historical, socio-political, and cultural context. Taught in English. All texts available in English translation.

GER 613 Weimar Literature in English (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Weimar Republic and its representation in exemplary works of literature in English translation. [Taught in English]
(GER 613/GER 813 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 616 Postwar German Literature in English: The Past as Present (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

A study of common themes in postwar German literature to the present. Authors included are Grass, Mann, Koeppen, and Maron. [Taught in English]
(GER 616/GER 816 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 617 The Holocaust and Postwar Germany Taught in English (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Holocaust in Postwar Germany as seen in exemplary works of literature, historical documents and Nuremburg trials. [Taught in English]

GER 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of department chair and instructor.

Written projects requiring critical analysis and interpretation of linguistic or literary problems. Material adapted to individual needs and interests. May be repeated.

GER 741 The Holocaust and Postwar Germany Taught in English (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in German, History, or Jewish Studies, or consent of instructor.

The Holocaust in Postwar Germany as seen in exemplary works of literature, historical documents and Nuremburg trials. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Taught in English]
(This course is offered as GER 741, HIST 741, and JS 741. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

GER 745 History of German Language (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: GER 330 or MLL 325, or equivalent.

Focusing on the history of German language in the context of its Germanic relatives (including English, Gothic, Icelandic), introduction to the study of historical linguistics, and discussion of universal language issues.

GER 786 Great Theorists: Walter Benjamin (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Walter Benjamin, one of the premier thinkers of the 20th century, and a major influence on figures such as Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and others. To thoroughly examine Benjamin is to make inquiries into the basis of thought for the previous century as well as our own.
(This course is offered as PLSI 786, GER 786, and HUM 725. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

GER 802 Contemporary Germany (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for GER 502: GER 301 or equivalent or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for GER 802: Admission to German M.A. program, GER 301 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Germany today: its achievement, challenges, problems, potential dangers, and important developments, trends, issues, figures that have shaped the nation.
(GER 502/GER 802 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 813 Weimar Literature in English (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Weimar Republic and its representation in exemplary works of literature in English translation. [Taught in English]
(GER 613/GER 813 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 814 Crisis and Quest in English (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Admission to German M.A. program or consent of instructor.

Works by Kafka, Rilke, Musil, and Heidegger which reflect deep changes, social dilemmas, and new ethics in the 20th century. [Taught in English]

GER 816 Postwar German Literature in English: The Past as Present (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

A study of common themes in postwar German literature to the present. Authors included are Grass, Mann, Koeppen, and Maron. [Taught in English]
(GER 616/GER 816 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 830 Die Deutsche Romantik (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Admission to German M.A. program, GER 301, or consent of instructor.

Themes, symbols, and structures in German romantic writers and their position within the larger context of their times and modern thought. A voyage into the self and out into the cosmos.

GER 831 Seminar in Literary Movements or Periods (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Admission to German program or consent of instructor.

German literary movements or literary periods. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. May be repeated when movements or periods vary.

GER 832 The German Idealist Tradition (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for GER 532: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for GER 832: Graduate standing in German or consent of instructor.

Introduction to the rich intellectual history of the literary movement Strum und Drang (literally, "Storm and Stress") (1770-1784 that mark the beginning of literary and philosophical idealism in Germany culminating in Weimar Classicism (1786-1832).
(GER 532/GER 832 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 835 The German Novella of the 19th and 20th Centuries (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 510 and GER 511 or equivalents.

Explore exemplary works of the novella genre from the 19th to the 20th century German literature. Analyze how art responds to the changing political situation in Germany and how various literary movements react to each other aesthetically and politically.
(GER 535/GER 835 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 856 19th and 20th Century German Plays (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GER 510 and GER 511 or equivalents.

Major works of representative playwrights of the 19th and 20th centuries.
(GER 556/GER 856 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

GER 896EXM Culminating Experience Examination (Units: 0-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, committee chair, and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies. ATC and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration.

Enrollment in 896EXAM required for students whose culminating experience consists of an examination only. Not for students enrolled in a culminating experience course numbered 892, 893, 894, 895, 898, or 998, (or in some cases, courses numbered 890 - see program's graduate advisor for further information). (CR/NC, RP)

GER 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Graduate status in German; consent of graduate major adviser and supervising faculty member.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the departmental faculty. Open only to graduate students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. Enrollment by petition.