Selecting Courses

The Department of German Studies offers courses ranging from the elementary level (for students with no knowledge of German) through advanced-level courses in German language and culture. The department reviews the course selection of each entering student, taking into consideration her school and AP records together with her answers to a questionnaire and the results of her online placement exam.  You may find more information about the departmental major and minor in the German Studies section of the Bulletin and Course Catalog.  Five College courses in German can be found in the Five College Course Catalog.

Spring 2018 Courses

Elementary German (GRMST-102-01/02)

This course introduces speaking, reading, and writing German. Cultural and literary readings together with frequent use of video and other online resources dealing with everyday situations and experiences in the German-speaking countries sensitize students to the cultural context in which the language is used. Weekly conversation sessions with a German language assistant supplement class work.

Van Handle MWF 8:35-9:50 Gortcheva MWF 8:35-9:50

Intensive Elementary German (GRMST-103)

Two semesters in one. Practice in speaking, reading, and writing German. Cultural and literary readings together with frequent use of online resources dealing with everyday situations and experiences in the German-speaking countries sensitize students to the cultural context in which the language is used. Weekly conversation sessions with German language assistant supplement class work.

Lauer MTWF 8:35-9:50

Europe on the Edge (GRMST-205)

Europe embodies crossroads of multiple cultures, memories, migrations, and political demarcations. Taking a critical view of conventional paradigms of European nation states and "master" narratives, we study shifting European cultures and identities through multiple perspectives across time and space. What remains of the ancient and modern regimes? How have global movements, historical upheavals, and shifting boundaries within and adjacent to European borders from early empires to contemporary global networks affected the transformation of lives? Where is Europe heading today? Faculty from across the disciplines will join us to discuss Europe as a subject of global imagination and networks.

Remmler MW 11:00-12:15

German Culture Today: Stories and Histories (GRMST-221SH)

This course examines historical, cultural, and political developments that continue to frame debates about the twentieth century, World War II, the former GDR, and German unification. Thematic focus helps students develop accuracy, fluency, and complexity of expression. Reading, writing, and speaking are consistently integrated. Special emphasis is placed on text organization toward expanding students' language abilities, with a gradual movement from personal forms of expression to written and public discourse. In German.

Gortcheva MW 1:15-2:30

Topics in German Studies: The Art and Science of Revolution in German Cultures from 1789 to the Present (GRMST-223AR)

Revolutions are deeply embedded in cultural, economic, political, and environmental structure. Some are violent, some are peaceful; some evolve out of historical processes over long periods of time; and others emerge spontaneously without warning. Still others are material in nature, such as the industrial revolution or the end of the Berlin wall. The seminar explores the causes, forms, and impact of major revolutions in German cultures from the invention of the printing press to the most recent "Wende" that led to unification. Other revolutions include the French Revolution, the German Revolution of 1848, the founding of the Weimar Republic, and the student movement in 1968. In German.

Remmler MW 2:40-3:55

Topics in German and European Studies in a Global Context: Embodiment in Theory: Precarious Lives from Marx to Butler (GRMST-231EM)

We examine the writing of major nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century theorists, such as Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Dubois, Arendt, Fanon, Foucault, Butler, and others through the lens of embodiment. Rather than read theory as an abstract entity, we explore how theory itself is an embodiment of actual lives in which human beings experience life as precarious. What are the social conditions that create vulnerable bodies? How do thinkers who lived or are living precarious lives represent these bodies? Through a series of case studies based on contemporary examples of precarity, we examine the legacy and materiality of critical social thought. In English.

Remmler TTH 11:30-12:45

Advanced German Composition and Conversation (GRMST-311)

This class offers intensive work in oral and written expression in German. Frequent papers and other exercises aimed at revising grammatical structures, improving students' writing in German, and broadening their comprehension of content and style. Oral reports, class discussion, and team exercises. Students will also have the option of completing an ongoing project of interest to them such as creating a YouTube channel or developing independent videos.

Lauer TTH 11:30-12:45

First-Year Students


  • The Department of German Studies will review the course selection of all entering students, taking into consideration school and AP records together with the results of the Placement Exam.
  • All students who plan to elect German in either semester must complete this questionnaire carefully. Final course placement will be based on the following considerations: the student’s specific training in German, the results of the student’s online placement exam, and scheduling possibilities. Students should take the online placement exam prior to registration, if possible.
  • Students contemplating spending all or part of their junior year in Germany should elect German in the first semester of their first year, since two continuous years of German in college are normally required for junior year programs in Germany. 
  • Courses that satisfy the College language requirement only are designated as such. Other courses can satisfy either the language requirement or fulfill a Humanities I-A distribution requirement. 

Detailed up-to-date information on course selection, placement, and learning abroad can best be found in the German Studies section online.