Germanic Languages (GRMN)

GRMN 0010 Bad Taste

"Beauty is not a quality inherent to things: it only exists in the mind of the beholder." (David Hume) " Most of us can recognize bad taste as soon as we see it: Harlequin romances, Elvis on black velvet, lawn ornaments. But bad taste also has a history, and kitsch has been identified as a peculiarly modern invention related to capitalism and consumerism. Beginning with a discussion of taste in the eighteenth century, we will investigate under what conditions good taste can go bad, for example when it is the object of mass reproduction, and, on the other hand, why bad taste in recent times has increasingly been viewed in positive terms. Categories such as the cute, the sentimental, the popular, the miniature, kitsch, and camp will be explored. We will also ask what forms of ideological work have been done by this brand of aesthetics, for example in the connection between politics and kitsch, femininity and the low-brow, or camp and queer identity. Writers and film-makers to be discussed include: Hume, Kant, Goethe, Flaubert, Bourdieu, Sacher-Masoch, Thomas Mann, Nabokov, Benjamin, Greenberg, Sontag, John Waters.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0011 In Praise of the Small in Literature and the Arts

We can memorize aphorisms and jokes, carry miniature portraits with us, and feel playful in handling small objects. This seminar will ask us to pay attention to smaller texts, art works, and objects that may easily be overlooked. In addition to reading brief texts and looking at images and objects, we will also read texts on the history and theory of short genres and the small.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 0011

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0012 Jews and China: Views from Two Perspectives

Jews in China??? Who knew??? The history of the Jews in China, both modern and medieval, is an unexpected and fascinating case of cultural exchange. Even earlier than the 10th century. Jewish trader from India or Persia on the Silk Road, settled in Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty, and established a Jewish community that lasted through the nineteenth century. In the mid-nineteenth century, Jewish merchants, mainly from Iraq, often via India, arrived in China and played a major role in the building of modern Shanghei. After 1898, Jews from Russia settled in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, first as traders and later as refugees from the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War. In the first decades of the twentieth century, a few Jews from Poland and Russia visited China as tourists, drawn by a combination of curiosity about the cultural exoticism of a truly foreign culture and an affinity that Polish Jewish socialists and communists felt as these political movements began to emerge in China. During World War II, Shanghai served as a port of refuge for Jews from Central Europe. In this freshman seminar, we will explore how these Jewish traders, travelers, and refugees responded to and represented China in their writings. We will also read works by their Chinese contemporaries and others to see the responses to and perceptions of these Jews. We will ask questions about cultural translation: How do exchanges between languages, religions, and cultures affect the identities of individuals and communities? What commonalities and differences between these people emerge?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: JWST 0012

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0013 Euro Zone Crisis - The EU in a Currency War for Suvival?

"Let me put it simply...there may be a contradiction between the interests of the financial world and the interests of the political world...We cannot keep constantly explaining to our voters and our citizens why the taxpayer should bear the cost of certain risks and not those people who have earned a lot of money from taking those risks." Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, at the G20 Summit, November 2010. In January 1999, a single monetary system united Germany, a core nation, with 10 other European states. Amidst the optimism of the euro's first days, most observers forecast that Europe would progress toward an ever closer union. Indeed, in the ensuing decade, the European Union became the world's largest trading area, the euro area expanded to include 17 member states, and the Lisbon Treaty enhanced the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union. In 2009, Greece's debt crisis exposed deep rifts within the European Union and developed into a euro zone crisis - arguably the most difficult test Europe has faced in the past 60 years. After two years of a more benign EURO debt situation, the risk of recession, EU sanctions agains Russia, and a possible collision of a newly-elected Greek government with its creditors, the euro crisis returned with a vengeance in 2015. In addition, the pressure mounts for European leaders to find a solution to the refugee crisis which reached a peak in the fall of 2015. In 2016 the Brexit delivered the latest blow to the European Union, and the future of the European project without the UK looks bleak. The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is still fragile, and economic and political developments in 2017 could determine the future of the euro. Does the EU have what it takes to emerge from these crises? Will the European nations find a collective constructive solution that will lead to a fiscal union that implies further integration?

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0016 Babylon Berlin: German Crime Books

Why are crime books and crime shows so popular? 2017 marked a moment in time when a serialized domestic TV show took off in Germany like wild fire. The first three episodes of "Babylon Berlin" were seen by an average 7.8 million viewers on ARD last year, achieving a 24.5% share and reaching a peak of 8.5 million. On Sky, it boasted the best ratings ever for a non-English series and was only beaten overall by the seventh season of "Game of Thrones." Babylon Berlin is based on Volker Kutscher's crime books. Thus, this course will trace the success of German crime books as a best-selling genre by analyzing the appeal of the whodunit format and by questioning the transnational appeal of this genre. "Babylon Berlin" exemplifies the success of German crime books because the treatment of historical events combined with a critical eye toward the Zeitgeist of cultural products sheds light on the representation of culture and its co-construction of a transnational identity.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0017 Politics of Commemoration

In this course, we will examine how commemorative traditions in Germany and the United States have been invented and contested since the nineteenth century. We will discuss why certain events in the past rather than others have been the object of commemoration; what these creations stood for originally; how their meanings have changed over the time; and the lessons, if any, these commemorative practices continue to teach us today. We also will examine the ways in which Europeans and Americans have protested, torn down old monuments, erected new ones, and turned to a wide variety of artistic forms to call into question stories about empire, fascism, communism, westward expansion and settler colonialism, enslavement, as well as military victory and loss. We will discuss topics, such as racism, ethnic conflict, Antisemitism, settler colonialism, guilt and victimhood, cultural appropriation, as well as gender and sexuality. To answer these questions, we will focus on literature, essays, art, films, podcasts, and public art and monuments found in Germany, on Penn’s campus, and around Philadelphia.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0100 Elementary German I

Designed for the beginning student with no previous knowledge of German. German 101, as the first course in the first-year series, focuses on the development of language competence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. By the end of the semester, students will be able to engage in simple conversations about familiar things, know greetings and everyday expressions, they will be ble to count and tell time, and negate sentences in day-to-day contexts. Furthermore, students will be able to speak about events that happened in the immediate past and express plans for the future. In addition, students will have developed reading strategies that allow them to glean information from simple newspaper and magazine articles and short literary texts. Because cultural knowledge is one of the foci of German 101, students will learn much about practical life in Germany and will explore German-speaking cultures on the Internet.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0150 Accelerated Elementary German

This course is intensive and is intended for dedicated, highly self-motivated students who will take responsibility for their learning and creation of meaning with their peers. An intensive two credit course in which two semesters of elementary German (GRMN 101 & 102) are completed in one. Introduction to the basic elements of spoken and written German, with emphasis placed on the acquisition of communication skills. Readings and discussions focus on cultural differences. Expression and comprehension are then expanded through the study of literature and social themes.

Fall

2 Course Units

GRMN 0200 Elementary German II

This course is a continuation of GRMN 101 and is designed to strengthen and expand students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing competence and to deepen an understanding of German-speaking cultures. By the end of the course, students will be able to handle a variety of day-to-day needs in a German-speaking setting and engage in simple conversations about personally significant topics. Students can expect to be able to order food and beverages, purchase things, and to be familiar with the German university system, the arts, and current social topics. Students will begin to be able to talk aboutthe past and the future, make comparisons, describe people and things in increasing detail, make travel plans that include other European countries, and make reservations in hotels and youth hostels. By the end of the course students will be able to talk about their studies and about their dreams for the future. In In addition, students will develop reading strategies that should allow them tounderstand the general meaning of articles, and short literary texts. Furthermore, students will feel more able to understand information when hearing German speakers talking about familiar topics. Cultural knowledge remains among one of the foci of German 102, and students will continue to be exposed to authentic materials.

Fall or Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 0100

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0300 Intermediate German I

This course is designed to improve students writing and speaking competence, to increase vocabulary, to deepen grammar usage, and to help develop effective reading and listening strategies in German across literary genres and media as students interpret and analyze cultural, political, and historical moments in German-speaking countries and compare them with their own cultural practices. This course is organized around content-based modules and prepares students well for GRMN 104 and a minor or major in German.

Fall or Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 0200

1 Course Unit

GRMN 0350 Accelerated Intermediate German

This course is intensive and is intended for dedicated, highly self-motivated students who will take responsibility for their learning and creation of meaning with their peers. This accelerated course is designed to improve students writing and speaking competencies, to increase vocabulary, to deepen grammar usage, and to help develop effective reading and listening strategies in German across literary genres and media as students interpret and analyze cultural, political, and historical moments in German-speaking countries and compare them with their own cultural practices. This course is organized around content-based modules. Students conclude the basic-language program at PENN by reading an authentic literary text; offering the opportunity to practice and deepen reading knowledge and to sensitize cultural and historical awareness of German-speaking countries.

Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 0200 OR GRMN 0150

2 Course Units

GRMN 0400 Intermediate German II

A continuation of GRMN 103. Expands students writing and speaking competence in German, increases vocabulary and helps students practice effective reading and listening strategies. Our in-class discussions are based on weekly readings of literary and non-literary texts to facilitate exchange of information, ideas, reactions, and opinions. In addition, the readings provide cultural and historical background information. The review of grammar will not be the primary focus of the course. Students will, however, expand and deepen their knowledge of grammar through specific grammar exercises. Students will conclude the basic-language program at PENN by reading an authentic literary text; offering the opportunity to practice and deepen reading knowledge and to sensitize cultural and historical awareness of German-speaking countries.

Fall or Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 0300

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1010 Freud: The Invention of Psychoanalysis

No other person of the twentieth century has probably influenced scientific thought, humanistic scholarship, medical therapy, and popular culture as much as Sigmund Freud. This course will study his work, its cultural background, and its impact on us today. In the first part of the course, we will learn about Freud's life and the Viennese culture of his time. We will then move to a discussion of seminal texts, such as excerpts from his Interpretation of Dreams, case studies, as well as essays on psychoanalytic practice, human development, definitions of gender and sex, neuroses, and culture in general. In the final part of the course, we will discuss the impact of Freud's work. Guest lectureres from the medical field, history of science, psychology, and the humnities will offer insights into the reception of Freud's work, and its consequences for various fields of study and therapy.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1010, GSWS 1010, HIST 0820

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1015 Freud's Objects

How do we look at objects? And which stories can objects tell? These are questions that have been asked quite regularly by Art Historians or Museum Curators, but they take a central place within the context of psychoanalytic studies as well. The seminar "Freud's Objects" will offer an introduction to Sigmund Freud's life and times, as well as to psychoanalytic studies. We will focus on objects owned by Freud that he imbued with special significance, and on of Freud's writings that focus on specific objects. Finally, we will deal with a re-interpretation of the "object" in psychoanalytic theory, via a discussion of texts by British psychoanalysts such as Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 3560, CLST 3509, COML 2052, ENGL 1425

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1020 Free Radicals: Marx, Marxism, and the Culture of Revolution

"A spectre is haunting Europe--the spectre of Communism": This, the famous opening line of The Communist Manifesto, will guide this course's exploration of the history, legacy, and potential future of Karl Marx's most important texts and ideas, even long after Communism has been pronounced dead. Contextualizing Marx within a tradition of radical thought regarding politics, religion, and sexuality, we will focus on the philosophical, political, and cultural origins and implications of his ideas. Our work will center on the question of how his writings seek to counter or exploit various tendencies of the time; how they align with the work of Nietzsche, Freud, and other radical thinkers to follow; and how they might continue to haunt us today. We will begin by discussing key works by Marx himself, examining ways in which he is both influenced by and appeals to many of the same fantasies, desires, and anxieties encoded in the literature, arts and intellectual currents of the time. In examining his legacy, we will focus on elaborations or challenges to his ideas, particularly within cultural criticism, postwar protest movements, and the cultural politics of the Cold War. In conclusion, we will turn to the question of Marxism or Post-Marxism today, asking what promise Marx's ideas might still hold in a world vastly different from his own.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1020, PHIL 1439

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1030 Nietzsche's Modernity and the Death of God

"God is dead." This famous, all too famous death sentence, issued by the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, also signaled the genesis of a radical challenge to traditional notions of morality, cultural life, and the structure of society as a whole. In this course we will examine both the "modernity" of Nietzsche's thought and the ways in which his ideas have helped to define the very concept of Modernity (and, arguably, Postmodernity) itself. In exploring the origin and evolution of Nietzsche's key concepts, we will trace the ways in which his work has been variously revered or refuted, championed or co-opted, for more than a century. We will survey his broad influence on everything from philosophy and literature to music and art, theater and psychology, history and cultural theory, politics and popular culture. Further, we will ask how his ideas continue to challenge us today, though perhaps in unexpected ways. As we will see, Nietzsche wanted to teach us "how to philosophize with a hammer."

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1030

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1040 Berlin: History, Politics, Culture

What do you know about Berlin's history, architecture, culture, and political life? The present course will offer a survey of the history of Prussia, beginning with the seventeenth century, and the unification of the small towns of Berlin and Koelln to establish a new capital for this country. It will tell the story of Berlin's rising political prominence in the eighteenth century, and its position as a center of the German and Jewish Enlightenment. It will follow Berlin's transformation into an industrial city in the nineteenth century, its rise to metropolis in the early twentieth century, its history during the Third Reich, and the post-war cold war period. The course will conclude its historical survey with a consideration of Berlin's position as a capital in reunified Germany. The historical survey will be supplemented by a study of Berlin's urban structure, its significant architecture from the eighteenth century (i.e. Schinkel) to the nineteenth (new worker's housing, garden suburbs) and twentieth centuries (Bauhaus, Speer designs, postwar rebuilding, GDR housing projects, post-unification building boom). In addition, we will read literary texts about the city, and consider the visual art and music created in and about Berlin, and focus on Berlin's Jewish history. The course will be interdisciplinary with the fields of German Studies, history, history of art, urban studies, and German-Jewish studies. It is also designed as a preparation for undergraduate students who are considering spending a junior semester with the Penn Abroad Program in Berlin.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 2370, COML 1040, HIST 0821, URBS 1070

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1050 Metropolis: Culture of the City

An exploration of modern discourses on and of the city. Topics include: the city as site of avant-garde experimentation; technology and culture; the city as embodiment of social order and disorder; traffic and speed; ways of seeing the city; the crowd; city figures such as the detective, the criminal, the flaneur, the dandy; film as the new medium of the city. Special emphasis on Berlin. Readings by, among others, Dickens, Poe, Baudelaire, Rilke, Doeblin, Marx, Engels, Benjamin, Kracauer. Films include Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1050, URBS 1050

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1060 The Fantastic and Uncanny in Literature: Ghosts, Spirits & Machines

Do we still believe in spirits and ghosts? Do they have any place in an age of science of technology? Can they perhaps help us to define what a human being is and what it can do? We will venture on a journey through literary texts from the late eighteenth century to the present to explore the uncanny and fantastic in literature and life. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund Freud's essay on the uncanny, and extraordinary Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel 125wthorne, Prosper Merimee, Villiers de Isle-Adam, and others.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1060, GSWS 1060

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1070 Fascist Cinemas

Cinema played a crucial role in the cultural life of Nazi Germany and other fascist states. As cinema enthusiasts, Goebbels and Hitler were among the first to realize the important ideological potential of film as a mass medium and saw to it that Germany remained a cinema powerhouse producing more than 1000 films during the Nazi era. In Italy, Mussolini, too, declared cinema "the strongest weapon." This course explores the world of "fascist" cinemas ranging from infamous propaganda pieces such as The Triumph of the Will to popular entertainments such as musicals and melodramas. It examines the strange and mutually defining kinship between fascism more broadly and film. We will consider what elements mobilize and connect the film industries of the Axis Powers: style, genre, the aestheticization of politics, the creation of racialized others. More than seventy years later, fascist cinemas challenge us to grapple with issues of more subtle ideological insinuation than we might think. Weekly screenings with subtitles.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1070, COML 1071, ITAL 1930

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1080 German Cinema

An introduction to the momentous history of German film, from its beginnings before World War One to developments following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990. With an eye to film's place in its historical and political context, the course will explore the "Golden Age" of German cinema in the Weimar Republic, when Berlin vied with Hollywood; the complex relationship between Nazi ideology and entertainment during the Third Reich; the fate of German film-makers in exile during the Hitler years; post-war film production in both West and East Germany; the call for an alternative to "Papa's Kino" and the rise of New German Cinema in the 1960s.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1080, COML 1080

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1090 Jewish Films and Literature

From the 1922 silent film "Hungry Hearts" through the first "talkie," "The Jazz Singer," produced in 1927, and beyond "Schindler's List," Jewish characters have confronted the problems of their Jewishness on the silver screen for a general American audience. Alongside this Hollywood tradition of Jewish film, Yiddish film blossomed from independent producers between 1911 and 1939, and interpreted literary masterpieces, from Shakespeare's "King Lear" to Sholom Aleichem's "Teyve the Dairyman," primarily for an immigrant, urban Jewish audience. In this course, we will study a number of films and their literary sources (in fiction and drama), focusing on English language and Yiddish films within the framework of three dilemmas of interpretation: a) the different ways we "read" literature and film, b) the various ways that the media of fiction, drama, and film "translate" Jewish culture, and c) how these translations of Jewish culture affect and are affected by their implied audience.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1090, ENGL 1289, JWST 1090

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1100 Women in Jewish Literature

"Jewish woman, who knows your life? In darkness you have come, in darkness do you go." J. L. Gordon (1890). This course will bring into the light the long tradition of women as readers, writers, and subjects in Jewish literature. All texts will be in translation from Yiddish and Hebrew, or in English. Through a variety of genres -- devotional literature, memoir, fiction, and poetry -- we will study women's roles and selves, the relations of women and men, and the interaction between Jewish texts and women's lives. The legacy of women in Yiddish devotional literature will serve as background for our reading of modern Jewish fiction and poetry from the past century. The course is divided into five segments. The first presents a case study of the Matriarchs Rachel and Leah, as they are portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, in rabbinic commentary, in pre-modern prayers, and in modern poems. We then examine a modern novel that recasts the story of Dinah, Leah's daughter. Next we turn to the seventeenth century Glikl of Hamel, the first Jewish woman memoirist. The third segment focuses on devotional literature for and by women. In the fourth segment, we read modern women poets in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The course concludes with a fifth segment on fiction written by women in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: GSWS 1100, JWST 1100, NELC 0375

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1110 Jewish American Literature

What makes Jewish American literature Jewish? What makes it American? This course will address these questions about ethnic literature through fiction, poetry, drama, and other writings by Jews in America, from their arrival in 1654 to the present. We will discuss how Jewish identity and ethnicity shape literature and will consider how form and language develop as Jewish writers "immigrate" from Yiddish, Hebrew, and other languages to American English. Our readings, from Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, will include a variety of stellar authors, both famous and less-known, including Isaac Mayer Wise, Emma Lazarus, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Celia Dropkin, Abraham Cahan, Anzia Yezierska, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, and Allegra Goodman. Students will come away from this course having explored the ways that Jewish culture intertwines with American culture in literature.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1110, JWST 1110

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1120 Translating Cultures: Literature on and in Translation

"Languages are not strangers to one another," writes the great critic and translator Walter Benjamin. Yet two people who speak different languages have a difficult time talking to one another, unless they both know a third, common language or can find someone who knows both their languages to translate what they want to say. Without translation, most of us would not be able to read the Bible or Homer, the foundations of Western culture. Americans wouldn't know much about the cultures of Europe, China, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. And people who live in or come from these places would not know much about American culture. Without translation, Americans would not know much about the diversity of cultures within America. The very fabric of our world depend upon translation between people, between cultures, between texts. With a diverse group of readings--autobiography, fiction, poetry, anthrology, and literary theory--this course will address some fundamental questions about translating language and culture. What does it mean to translate? How do we read a text in translation? What does it mean to live between two languages? Who is a translator? What are different kinds of literary and cultural translation? what are their principles and theories? Their assumptions and practices? Their effects on and implications for the individual and the society?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1120, JWST 1120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1130 Water Worlds: Cultural Responses to Sea Level Rise & Catastrophic Flooding

As a result of climate change, the world that will take shape in the course of this century will be decidedly more inundated with water than we're accustomed to. The polar ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating, ocean levels are rising, polar bear habitat is disappearing, countries are jockeying for control over a new Arctic passage, while low-lying cities and small island nations are confronting the possibility of their own demise. Catastrophic flooding events are increasing in frequency, as are extreme droughts. Hurricane-related storm surges,tsunamis, and raging rivers have devastated regions on a local and global scale. In this seminar we will turn to the narratives and images that the human imagination has produced in response to the experience of overwhelming watery invasion, from Noah to New Orleans. Objects of analysis will include mythology, ancient and early modern diluvialism, literature, art, film, and commemorative practice. The basic question we'll be asking is: What can we learn from the humanities that will be helpful for confronting the problems and challenges caused by climate change and sea level rise?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1130, COML 1130, ENVS 1040

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1132 Forest Worlds: Mapping the Arboreal Imaginary in Literature and Film

The destruction of the world's forests through wild fires, deforestation, and global heating threatens planetary bio-diversity and may even, as a 2020 shows, trigger civilizational collapse. Can the humanities help us think differently about the forest? At the same time that forests of the world are in crisis, the "rights of nature" movement is making progress in forcing courts to acknowledge the legal "personhood" of forests and other ecosystems. The stories that humans have told and continue to tell about forests are a source for the imaginative and cultural content of that claim. At a time when humans seem unable to curb the destructive practices that place themselves, biodiversity, and forests at risk, the humanities give us access to a record of the complex inter-relationship between forests and humanity. Forest Worlds serves as an introduction to the environmental humanities. The environmental humanities offer a perspective on the climate emergency and the human dimension of climate change that are typically not part of the study of climate science or climate policy. Students receive instruction in the methods of the humanities - cultural analysis and interpretation of literature and film - in relation to texts that illuminate patterns of human behavior, thought, and affect with regard to living in and with nature.

Spring

Also Offered As: CIMS 1520, COML 1054, ENVS 1550

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1140 Liquid Histories and Floating Archives

Climate change transforms the natural and built environments, and it is re-shaping how we understand, make sense, and care for our past. Climate changes history. This course explores the Anthropocene, the age when humans are remaking earth's systems, from an on-water perspective. In on-line dialogue and video conferences with research teams in port cities on four continents, this undergraduate course focuses on Philadelphia as one case study of how rising waters are transfiguring urban history, as well as its present and future. Students projects take them into the archives at the Independence Seaport Museum and at Bartram's Garden. Field trips by boat on the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers and on land to the Port of Philadelphia and to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge invite transhistorical dialogues about how colonial and then industrial-era energy and port infrastructure transformed the region's vast tidal marshlands wetlands. Excursions also help document how extreme rain events, storms, and rising waters are re-making the built environment, redrawing lines that had demarcated land from water. In dialogue with one another and invited guest artists, writers, and landscape architects, students final projects consider how our waters might themselves be read and investigated as archives. What do rising seas subsume and hold? Whose stories do they tell? What floats to the surface?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ANTH 1440, COML 1140, ENGL 1589, ENVS 1440, HIST 0872

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1146 Queer German Cinema

Taught in English. This course offers an introduction into the history of German-language cinema with an emphasis on depictions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer themes. The course provides a chronological survey of Queer German Cinema from its beginnings in the Weimar Republic to its most recent and current representatives, accompanied throughout by a discussion of the cultural-political history of gay rights in the German-speaking world. Over the course of the semester, students will learn not only cinematic history but how to write about and close-read film. No knowledge of German or previous knowledge required.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1146, GSWS 1146

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1150 Comparative Cultures of Sustainability

Sustainability is more than science, engineering, policy, and design. Surveying the world, we see that the politics and practice of sustainability play out in different ways depending on cultural factors. Some cultures are more prone to pursue ecological goals than others. Why? Do the environmental history and experience of a nation affect policy? Do nature and the environment play a crucial role in the cultural memory of a nation? Can cultural components be effectively leveraged in order to win approval for a politics of sustainability? And what can we, as residents of a country where climate change and global warming are flashpoints in an enduring culture war, learn from other cultures? This course is designed to equip undergraduate students with the historical and cultural tools necessary to understand the cultural aspects of sustainability in two countries noted for their ecological leadership and cultural innovation, Germany and the Netherlands. This hybrid course combines online instruction with a short-term study abroad experience in Berlin and Rotterdam. During the pre-tip online portion of the course, students will become acquainted with the cultural histories of German and Dutch attitudes toward sustainability and the environment through a combination of recorded lectures by the instructor, reading assignments, viewing assignments (documentary and feature films), threaded discussions, and short written assignments. The goal of the pre-trip instruction are to help students develop tools for analyzing and interpreting cultural difference, construct working models of German and Dutch concepts of sustainability, and formulate hypotheses about the relation between culture and policy in Germany and the Netherlands. The class will spend a total of ten days in Europe: five days in Berlin and five days in the area of Rotterdam. The days will be jam-packed with visits to important sites of sustainable practice; discussion with policy makers, activists, and scientists; and immersion in the cultures of the Netherlands and Germany. Upon our return from Europe, the class will debrief and students will present online projects. There are no prerequisites or language requirements.

Summer Term

Also Offered As: ENVS 1540

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1151 Comparative Cultures of Resilience and Sustainability in the Netherlands and the United States

Coastal and riverside cities worldwide are under increasing pressure from sea level rise and other effects of climate change. Resilience and sustainability are paradigmatic concepts for the ways in which cities address the effects associated with global warming: sea level rise, extreme weather, changing climate, and their impacts on water, food, energy, and housing. This course focuses on the cultural side of resilience and sustainability in four signature cities: Rotterdam (with areas 6 meters below sea level), Nijmegen (which has devised a new way to live with a major river), New York City (which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy), and New Orleans (one of the most vulnerable American cities). Of course, other cities (Amsterdam, Arnhem, Boston, The Hague, Houston, Miami, etc.) will also come into play. In deeply uncertain times, cities such as these confront an array of interconnected choices that involve not only infrastructural solutions, but priorities, values, and cultural predispositions. Ideally, the strategies that cities devise are generated through inclusive processes based on the understanding that resilience and sustainability should be grounded in the cultural life of their communities. When this is the case, resilience and sustainability can become unique and motivating narratives about how cities and their residents co-develop the kinds of hard, soft, and social infrastructure the climate emergency requires. With this in mind, we will analyze the cities’ climate action plans and resilience strategies; explore their cultural histories relative to flooding events; and consult with Dutch and American experts in climate adaptation, governance, community development, and design. The highlight of the course will be travel to the Netherlands during spring break for site visits and discussions with experts.

Spring

Also Offered As: URBS 1151

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1153 Is Europe Facing a Spiritual Crisis?

Is Europe Facing a Spiritual Crisis? On Contemporary Debates about Secularization, Religion and Rationality. Point of departure for this course is the difference between Europe and the US as to the role of religion in the unfolding of their respective "cultural identities" (cf. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age, 522-530). As a rule, both the US and Western Europe are now defined as secularized cultures, even if their histories and specific identities are strongly rooted in the Christian heritage. Given this contemporary situation, four research questions will be dealt with in this course. 1) What is meant by secularization? In answer to that question, two secularization theories are distinguished: the classic versus the alternative secularization thesis; 2) What is the historical impact of the nominalist turning-point at the end of the Middle Ages in this process towards secularization? 3) How did the relation between rationality and religion develop during modern times in Europe? 4) What is the contemporary outcome of this evolution in so-called postmodern / post-secular Europe and US? We currently find ourselves in this so-called postmodern or post-secular period, marked by a sensitivity to the boundaries of (modern) rationality and to the fragility of our (modern) views on man, world and God. In this respect, we will focus on different parts of Europe (Western and Eastern Europe alike) and will refer to analogies and differences between Western Europe and US. This historical-thematic exposition is illustrated by means of important fragments from Western literature (and marginally from documents in other arts) and philosophy. We use these fragments in order to make more concrete the internal philosophical evolutions in relation to corresponding changes in diverse social domains (religion, politics, economy, society, literature, art...).

Spring

Also Offered As: DTCH 1153

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1160 Sustainability & Utopianism

This seminar explores how the humanities can contribute to discussions of sustainability. We begin by investigating the contested term itself, paying close attention to critics and activists who deplore the very idea that we should try to sustain our, in their eyes, dystopian present, one marked by environmental catastrophe as well as by an assault on the educational ideals long embodied in the humanities. We then turn to classic humanist texts on utopia, beginning with More's fictive island of 1517. The "origins of environmentalism" lie in such depictions of island edens (Richard Grove), and our course proceeds to analyze classic utopian tests from American, English, and German literatures. Readings extend to utopian visions from Europe and America of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as literary and visual texts that deal with contemporary nuclear and flood catastrophes. Authors include: Bill McKibben, Jill Kerr Conway, Christopher Newfield, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Karl Marx, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Owens, William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ayn Rand, Christa Wolf, and others.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1160, ENGL 1579, ENVS 1050, STSC 1160

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1170 Global Sustainabilities

This research-oriented seminar focuses on the ways in which "sustainability" and "sustainable development" are linguistically and culturally translated into the world's languages. We may take the terms for granted, but they have only really been on the global stage since they were widely introduced in the 1987 United Nations report, Our Common Future. Seminar participants will first become acquainted with the cultural and conceptual history of the terms and the UN framework within which sustainability efforts directly or indirectly operate. Having established the significance of cultural and linguistic difference in conceiving and implementing sustainability, participants will collaboratively develop a research methodology in order to begin collecting and analyzing data. We will draw heavily on Penn's diverse language communities and international units. Seminar members will work together and individually to build an increasingly comprehensive website that provides information about the world's languages of sustainability.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1170, ENVS 1450

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1300 Topics German Cinema

This topic course explores aspects of Film History intensively. Specific course topics vary from year to year. See the Cinema Studies website at http://cinemastudies.sas.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CIMS 1301, COML 1300

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1301 Northern Renaissance Art

This course critically examines concepts traditionally associated with the Renaissance by focusing on the exchange of artistic ideas throughout the Holy Roman Empire and across different media, such as the altarpieces of Jan van Eyck, the expressive drawings of Albrecht Durer and Hans Baldung Grien, the peasant studies of Pieter Bruegel and the prints of satirists who wished to remain anonymous. The material is organized thematically around four topics: religious art as piety and politics; antiquity as a source of tradition and imagination; the formulation of a public discourse that exposed social threats; and the distinctiveness of artistic claims of individual achievement. A motif throughout the course is the question of how the survival of fragments may be presented in museum contexts as parts standing in for an absent whole. We will also consider how historians approach designs for works of art now lost or never completed. Encouraging encounters with art and artifacts around the city, assignments focus on objects in Philadelphia collections.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 2610

Mutually Exclusive: ARTH 6610

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1302 Writing About Art Seminar

What does it mean to write about art? What are the historical origins of this undertaking? How does language mediate the intellectual, somatic, and cultural rapport between the viewing self and the physical object? As an initial response to these questions we will examine the writings of the Tuscan artist and critic Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), the biographer of such renowned artists as Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. We will also read the letters of famous artists from the early modern period, and examine the theoretical forays of artists such as Albrecht DÃ?rer, who attempted to sketch the relationship between the memory and the imagination. Finally, we will look to examples of works of art for how we might read visual images as expressive of theories about what are is and what it can do.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 3510, ENGL 0549, ITAL 3610

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1303 Introduction to Literary Theory

This course introduces students to major issues in the history of literary theory, and provides an excellent foundation for the English major or minor. Treating the work of Plato and Aristotle as well as contemporary criticism, we will consider the fundamental issues that arise from representation, making meaning, appropriation and adaptation, categorization and genre, historicity and genealogy, and historicity and temporality. We will consider major movements in the history of theory including the "New" Criticism of the 1920's and 30's, structuralism and post-structuralism, Marxism and psychoanalysis, feminism, cultural studies, critical race theory, and queer theory. See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 1400, ENGL 1400

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1304 Modernism Seminar

This course explores literary modernism as a global and cross-cultural phenomenon. See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 3850, COML 2071, ENGL 2071

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1305 The Vikings

The Vikings were the terror of Europe from the late eight to the eleventh century. Norwegians, Danes and Swedes left their homeland to trade, raid and pillage; leaving survivors praying "Oh Lord, deliver us from the fury of the Norsemen!" While commonly associated with violent barbarism, the Norse were also farmers, craftsmen, and merchants. As their dragon ships sailed the waterways of Europe and beyond, they also transformed from raiders to explorers, discoverers and settlers of found and conquered lands. This course will introduce students to various facets of the culture and society of the Viking world ranging from honor culture, gender roles, political culture, mythology, and burial practices. We will also explore the range of Viking activity abroad from Kiev and Constantinople to Greenland and Vineland, the Viking settlement in North America. We will use material and archeological sources as well as literary and historical ones in order to think about how we know history and what questions we can ask from different sorts of sources. Notably, we will be reading Icelandic sagas that relate oral histories of heroes, outlaws, raiders and sailors that will lead us to question the lines between fact and fiction, and myth and history.

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: HIST 1210

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1306 Origins of Nazism: From Democracy to Race War and Genocide

Where did the Nazis come from? Was the Weimar Republic bound to fail? Did the Treaty of Versailles or the Great Depression catapult the Nazis into power? What was the role of racism, of Anti-Semitism? How did the regime consolidate itself? What was the role of ordinary people? How do we explain the Holocaust and what kind of a war was the Second World War? Grappling with these and more questions, the first half of the course focuses on Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic and its vibrant political culture. In the second half, we study on the Nazi regime, how it consolidated its power and remade society based on the concepts of race and struggle. Discussions of race and race-making are crucial throughout the course. In the name of the "racial purity," the Nazi state moved ruthlessly against Germany's Jewish population and cleansed German society of all "undesirable" elements. These ideas and practices didn't originate with the Nazis and they didn't operate in a geopolitical vacuum. Thinking about Nazi racism and genocide in both its particular specifics and in a larger global historical context is the main goal of this course.

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: HIST 1280

1 Course Unit

GRMN 1800 German in Residence

The German House is a half-credit course with concentrations in German conversation, film, and culture. Though many students enroll for credit, others often come to select events. All interested parties are invited, and you do not have to actually live in the house to enroll for credit. Students from all different levels of language proficiency are welcome. Beginners learn from more advanced students, and all enjoy a relaxed environment for maintaining or improving their German language skills.

Fall or Spring

0.5 Course Units

GRMN 2100 Texts and Contexts

In this course, you will explore themes of cultural and historical significance in contemporary German-speaking countries through literature and nonfiction, through film and current event media coverage. Whether you wish to dive deeply into historical or political contexts, explore untranslatable cultural phenomena or the aesthetic rhythm and semantic complexity of the German language, GRMN 203 Texts and Contexts will inspire your imagination and deepen your understanding of German language, culture and literature. This is a required course for all courses taught in German at or above the 200 level.

Fall or Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 0400

1 Course Unit

GRMN 2190 Business German: A Macro Perspective

This course offers you insights into the dynamics of Business German, while taking a macro approach. Examples of various course topics include: economic geography and its diversity, the changing role of the Eruopean Union, and the economic importance of national transportation and tourism. In addition, the course emphasizes the development of students' discourse competencies, Business German vocabulary and grammar. Course assignments include oral presentations on current events, class discussions, role-play, and collaborative group work. Class time will be utilized to practice speaking, answering questions, reviewing exercises and holding group discussions on various topics. Class participation is a key component of this course.

Fall

Prerequisite: GRMN 2100

1 Course Unit

GRMN 2290 Business German: A Micro Perspective

This course is designed to enhance your speaking, reading and writing skills, in addition to helping you build a strong foundation in business vocabulary. Course objectives include acquiring skills in cross cultural communication, teamwork, business management, and creating a business plan. German grammar will be covered on a need be basis. This course will prepare you to perform and contribute while in a German-speaking business environment.

Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 2100

1 Course Unit

GRMN 2300 Topics in Dutch Studies

Topics vary.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: DTCH 2300

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3110 Handschrift-Hypertext: Deutsche Medien

This course will provide an introduction to German-language literary studies through exemplary readings of short forms: fables, fairy tales, aphorisms, stories, novellas, feuilletons, poems, songs, radio plays, film clips, web projects and others. Paying particular attention to how emergent technology influences genre, we will trace an evolution from Minnesang to rock songs, from early print culture to the internet age and from Handschrift to hypertext. Students will have ample opportunity to improve their spoken and written German through class discussion and a series of internet-based assignments. Readings and discussions in German.

Spring

Prerequisite: GRMN 2100

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3120 Places of Memory. Lieux de memoire. Erinnerungsorte.

What is culture? What is German? Where are the borders between German, Austrian and Swiss culture? What is part of the "cultural canon"? Who decides and what role does memory play? Relying on the theory of collective memory (Halbwachs) and the concept of "places of memory" (Erinnerungsorte; Nora, Francois/Schulze) and with reference to examplary scholarly and literary texts, debates, songs, films, documents, and paintings from high and pop culture, this course will weave a mosaic of that which (also) constitutes German or German-language culture.

Fall

Prerequisite: GRMN 2100

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3210 Krautrock und die Folgen

„Wir hatten den Drang, etwas ganz anderes zu sagen.“ So erklären Faust ihre experimentelle Musik, die seit Beginn der 70er Jahre als Krautrock bekannt geworden ist. Der Begriff geht zurück auf eine abwertende Bezeichnung britischer Musikjournalisten für deutsche Rockbands, abgeleitet von der in England gängigen Vorstellung der Deutschen als Krauts (von Sauerkraut). Gemeinsam ist diesen Bands ihr innovativer Stil, der aus unterschiedlichsten Quellen schöpft. Bedeutsam sind unter anderem Psychedelic Rock, elektronische Musik, Funk, Minimalismus sowie Free Jazz. Einige Künstler haben einen Hintergrund in zeitgenössischer experimenteller klassischer Musik. So sind Irmin Schmidt und Holger Czukay (Can) Schüler des Komponisten Karlheinz Stockhausen. Diese Einflüsse fanden ihren Ausdruck in der Abkehr von den Mustern der klassischen Songstruktur und Melodie, wie sie bei Rockmusik aus Amerika und Großbritannien vorherrschend sind. Krautrock hat schließlich maßgeblich zur Entwicklung eines neuen mechanischeren und elektronischen Sounds beigetragen, der wiederum für zahlreiche neue Musikstile der 80er und 90er Jahre verantwortlich wurde. Wir wollen im Seminar einen Blick auf diese besondere musikalische Epoche und ihre Geschichte werfen, die kennzeichnend für das geworden ist, was heute als Underground in der Musik angesehen wird. Bekanntlich hat Krautrock auf die weitere Entwicklung der Popmusik in so unterschiedlichen Stilen wie Punkrock, Ambient, Elektro und Seattle Grunge gewirkt. Weniger bekannt sind hingegen die enge Einbindung der Musik ins weitere künstlerische und auch politische Umfeld dieser Jahre. So ist die Zusammenarbeit Amon Düüls mit Wim Wenders oder Rainer Werner Fassbinder legendär, ebenso berüchtigt aber auch ihre Verbindung zur Baader-Meinhof Gruppe. Im Fokus des Seminars stehen vor allem die Anfänge und frühen Jahre der bekanntesten Bands. Die spätere Entwicklungen soll jedoch ebenfalls Beachtung finden. Ziel ist es, einen umfassenderen Blick auf die deutsche Subkultur der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zu gewinnen. Den Abschluss des Seminars wird eine gemeinsam organisierte künstlerische Arbeit bilden (das genaue Format wird zu klären sein: Ausstellung, Kolloquium, Konzert, etc.).

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3212 Seeing Green: Environmentalism in Germany and Austria

Many regard Germany as a leader in the transition to renewable energy. The Green Party has been a significant player in federal and local politics since 1981. The current Austrian chancellor is a member of the Green Party. Soon, Germany will shutter its last nuclear reactor. Work on the coal phase-out has already begun. Germans overwhelmingly support aggressive climate action by their government. How can we explain this? In this course, we will become familiar with current climate, environmental, and energy policy and practice in Germany and Austria, but we will also delve into the cultural history of German environmentalism. We'll learn about the origin of the German concept of sustainability in early 18th-century forestry; the role of the forest in Romanticism; the origin of the concepts of ecology and environment in the work of Ernst Haeckel and Jacob von Uexkull; the role of the mountains in Austrian environmental thinking; Nazi-era environmentalism; "Waldsterben," the anti-nuke movement and the rise of the Green Party; the "Energiewende"; and the impact of the uprising to protect the Hambacher Forest on the coal phase-out. We'll make use of readings from policy, history, and literature, and screen feature and documentary films. This course is taught in German.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3215 German Youth Cultures

This course examines how youth has been understood in German history and how it is experienced today. Literary and non-literary texts, historical documents, and films will help us generate discussion about youth movements; subcultures; sexual expression and repression; and the social and psychological developments that have been part of becoming an adult since the late eighteenth century. Students will improve their spoken and written German during class discussion as well as through individual and collaborative assignments. Taught in German.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3220 Writing in Dark Times: German Literature

The rise of Hitler and the Nazis in 1933 radically disrupted the literary marketplace in Germany. Public book burnings were the most visible sign of a complete reorganization of the literary world. What was it like to be a writer in the Third Reich? How did censorship work? What kind of choices were writers forced to make? What political roles did writers adopt? Under what conditions could they publish? Who read their books and how did they read them? These are some of the questions we will ask as we become acquainted with German writers in ideological adherence or alliance, in exile throughout Europe and the Americas, in "inner emigration," even in concentration camps, and in hiding. By focusing on their writing, we will shed light on the value of literature in dark times.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3221 German Ideas and Nazi Ideology

Right-wing movements are often considered to be a reservoir of those who are left behind and economic losers. This seems to apply as much today as it did to the fascist movements of the first half of the 20th century. Admittedly, the economic situation has had a considerable influence on the development and success of these movements and most intellectuals have obviously reacted with open rejection to the aggressive and racist policies, which has led to mass emigration, especially to the United States. It must be noted, however, that the movement itself was supported by a prominent conservative worldview from which it emerged and through which it is best understood. The notion of the "Downfall of the West" (Oswald Spengler) or the prevailing view among the intellectual elite that "Germany's soul is the place where Europe's spiritual oppositions are carried out" (Thomas Mann) and the resulting disdain for political business, are all expressions of the idea of a special historical responsibility of the Germans. Even though this intellectual elite was opposed to the National Socialist movement, it must be said that the most renowned thinkers not only arranged themselves with the regime, but even supported it at times. Three particularly important examples are Martin Heidegger, Carl Schmitt and Gottfried Benn. Today they are counted among the intellectual giants of the 20th century and their works are studied worldwide, including the University of Pennsylvania. In this seminar, the spirit of National Socialism will be explored. To this end, we will look at the intellectual background in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, but especially at the period between the two wars, before we will then intensively deal with the National Socialist involvement of the three thinkers Heidegger, Schmitt, and Benn.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3240 Crime and Detection - Dark Deeds

The detective story and the crime drama are time-honored genres of literature and popular culture. We are drawn to morbid scenes of violence and crime, and satisfied by the apprehension of criminals and their punishment. At the same time, the process of detection, of deciphering clues, is much like the process of reading and interpretion. In this course we will read a variety of detective and crime stories, some by famous authors (e.g., Droste-Huelshoff, Fontane, Handke), others by contemporary authors that address interesting aspects of German culture (e.g., Turkish-Germans, gay and lesbian subcultures, DDR and Wende). We will also look at episodes from popular West, East, and post-reunification German TV crime shows (e.g., Tatort).

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3250 Theater and Language: Staging the 20th Century

Germany's relationship to theater has been intimate since its beginnings, and the events shown on its stages have close ties to the country's social, political, and economic conditions. In this course, students will improve their language skills and cultural knowledge by reading Germany’s social and political history through the lens of some of its most fascinating theatrical moments: death scenes. Whether gruesome, suspenseful, uneventful, or unexpected, death fascinates an audience like almost nothing else, and the greatest German-language playwrights of the twentieth century—including Brecht, Wedekind, and Dürrenmatt—knew this well. Their works feature everything from friendly executions to grisly serial killings, which students will both read and watch against a background of German cultural history. Taught in German.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3260 Topics vary annually. The topic for Spring 2015 is: Unhuman Encounters

Topics vary annually. The course description for Spring 2015 is as follows: Typically "the Other" stands for a person or a group of people from another cultural background. But there have always been other encounters that forced people to distiguish themselves from an "other". Foremost, in order to define what is "human", the "unhuman" needed to be described. Initially, this meant distinguishing the human from the rest of nature. With the industrial revolution, the technological became a concern--machines as monsters. On a figurative level, we have the supernatural, ghosts, aliens, and cyborgs. In this course we will explore the ways in which real and imagined encounters with these "other Others" are depicted in German language literature and culture.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3265 Kafka's Creatures

Franz Kafka's writings are replete with bestial beings, talking animals, hybrid creatures and other non-human or quasi-human entities. Examining the monstrous or grotesque bodies his work offers up for display, this course, taught in German, will interrogate how Kafka's short stories and novellas construct and call into question the very category of the anthropological. Examining the tradition out of which this creaturely writing grows (reading Kafka's animal fables beside Aesop's, for instance) and its legacy in literature, art and cinema (comparing, for example, Kafka's Metamorphosis with David Cronenberg's The Fly), we will also attend to how these incongruous critters and bodies-in-becoming reflect on Kafka's minoritarian experience as a German-speaking Jew in Habsburg-Era Prague and are in turn reflected in uncanny and ever-evolving aesthetic forms.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3270 German Literature after 1945

Focus on the continuity of the literary tradition, innovation, and prominent themes related to coming-of-age in today's society, and specific stylistic experiments. Topics include: the changing literary perspective on German history and World War II; the representation of such prominent issues as individual reponsibility, German reunification, and human relations in modern society.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3273 Critical Theory of Christa Wolf: What remains?

Understood as one of the most prominent writers of the GDR, Christa Wolf's literary contributions shape cultural production of former East Germany and beyond. Nevertheless, her critical engagement with the writing process and the role that memory plays for identity formation and a collective historical process remain less known. This course will shed light on Wolf's iconographic text Die Dimension des Autors, in which she develops the notion of fossilization--medallions of memory--to unpack cultural and historical productions. Indeed, the course traces her most influential texts such as Storfall, Kassandra, Kindheitsmuster and Was bleibt? within her theoretical framework, thereby offering students an opportunity to connect East German literary production with critical theory. The course seeks to illuminate the intrinsic connections between cultural products, practices and perspectives. The course will be taught in German and could fulfill Cross-Cultural Analysis.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3280 Decadence

The period of the late nineteenth and turn to the twentieth century has often been described as a time of decadence--a decline in the "standards" of morals and virtue. While Freud explored the nature of sexual desire, writers like Schnitzler or Wedekind made this exploration central for their stories or plays. The course will focus on the literature and culture of fin-de-siecle Vienna and Berlin, and consider a variety of texts as well as their later reception and translation into film. Lectures and discussion in German.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 3290 Topics in German Culture

Fall 2017 description: Deutschland steht aktuell vor einer Vielzahl von Herausforderungen, die teils wesentlich gesellschaftliche Bereiche betreffen. Man muss davon ausgehen, dass die heute getroffenen Entscheidungen die deutsche, aber auch europaeische Zukunft fuer eine nicht absehbare Zeit massgeblich beeinflussen werden. Viele der verhandelten Fragen und Probleme sind zum Teil eng miteinander verwoben und erfordern zur Bewaeltigung gesamtpolitisch uebergreifende Loesungsstrategien. Diese verlangen gegebenenfalls einen tiefgreifenden gesellschaftlichen, politischen und oekonomischen Wandel der bestehenden Verhaeltnisse, da zum Teil grundlegende Strukturen und Ueberzeugungen weiter Teile der Bevoelkerung betroffen sind. Aus diesem Grund werden Auffassungen, die lange Zeit als gesicherter Bestand des gesellschaftlichen Diskurses galten, infrage gestellt. Es ist daher nicht verwunderlich, dass die drohenden Veraenderungen reaktionaere Kraefte provozieren, die um die Erhaltung bestehender Verhaeltnisse besorgt sind. Denn es ist zu vermuten, dass der anstehende Wandel nicht alle betroffenen Gruppen besser stellen wird und vielleicht groessere Opfer erfordert, als bislang eingestanden wurde. Dieses Seminar wird einige der dringenden Fragestellungen thematisieren und somit versuchen, ein aktuelles Bild der bestehenden deutschen Verhaeltnisse zu vermitteln. Das eroeffnet den Blick auf eine moegliche Zukunft Deutschlands, aber auch Europas.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 4100 Trans(l)its

Drawing on Goethe's musings on "world literature", the course focuses on authors who have arrived at their German words via global, worldly itineraries. The course considers movements between languages, including those of the students themselves and encourages students to develop their own voice as authors via a series of critical and creative writing exercise. At the same time, students develop strategies to reflect on their own language learning. This course provides an important space for German-learners at Penn to draw on one another's experiences in the program and to build a sense of community. The course is required for all German majors in the Fall semester of their senior year.

Fall

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 4201 Independent Study-Senior.

Independent Study-Senior.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5070 Elementary Middle High German

Designed to familiarize the student with the principal elements of Middle High German grammar and to develop skills in reading and translating a major work of the twelfth century. Limited text interpretation.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5090 Topics in Yiddish Literature: Modernist Jewish Poetry

One version of this seminar considers works by Jewish women who wrote in Yiddish, Hebrew, English, and other languages in the late 19th through the 20th century. The texts, poetry and prose, will include both belles lettres and popular writings, such as journalism, as well as private works (letters and diaries) and devotional works. The course will attempt to define "Jewish writing, " in terms of language and gender, and will consider each writer in the context of the aesthetic, religious, and national ideologies that prevailed in this period. Because students will come with proficiency in various languages, all primary texts and critical and theoretical materials will be taught in English translation. However, those students who can, will work on the original texts and share with the class their expertise to foster a comparative perspective. Because we will be discussing translated works, a secondary focus of the course will, in fact, be on literary translation's process and products. Another version of this seminar presents Jewish modernism as an international phenomenon of the early 20th century. The course will attempt to define "Jewish modernism" through the prism of poetry, which inevitably, given the historical events in Europe and America during this time, grapples with aesthetic, religious, and national ideologies and methods. The syllabus will focus mainly on poetry written in Yiddish and English, and will also include German, Russian, and Hebrew verse. All poetry, critical, and theoretical materials will be taught in English translation, although students who know the languages will work on the original texts and will bring to the table a comparative perspective. Because we will be discussing translated poems, a secondary focus of the course will, in fact, be on literary translation's process and products.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5090, GSWS 5090, JWST 5090, YDSH 5090

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5100 Kant I

The course will concentrate on the Critique of Pure Reason and discuss in detail Kant's conception of knowledge and experience, his criticism of traditional metaphysics and the resulting project of a system of transcendental philosophy.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5110 Stylistics

Textual analysis based on communication theory. Texts selected from literature and other disciplines. Emphasis placed on the development of the student's own compositional and stylistic skills.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5160 Teaching Methods

This course examines major foreign language methodologies, introduces resources available to foreign language teachers, and addresses current issues and concerns of foreign language teaching and learning, such as second language acquisition theory and application of technology.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5250 Schelling, Goethe, Nature. Thinking Nature with Schelling and Goethe.

Although the starting point for the Anthropocne is still under discussion, there is broad agreement that the industrial revolution and the turn to fossil fuels mark an intensification of humanity's impact on the Earth. It may not be a coincidence that Kant's proclamation of the Copernican revolution in philosophy, according to which human reason replaces the natural light of traditional metaphysics, falls roughly in the same period. Human finite cognition became the measure for God and his creation. The dawn of the era of human freedom and the ramped up exploitation of resources coincide. It is against this background that the Naturphilosophie of F. W. J. Schelling can become particularly interesting. The genesis of German idealism is closely related with the opposition between freedom and necessity that lies at the heart of Kant's critical project. Kant associated the former with man and the latter with nature. In trying to bridge the gap between them, Schelling reinstates nature as an autonomous actor in its own right. Schelling's thinking about nature chimed with the literary and empirical-scientific work of his contemporary Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In the productive interplay of poetry, science, religion, and philosophical thought, Goethe and Schelling offer a critical alternative to philosophy in the aftermath of the Copernican revolution that may be viable or useful today as humanity tries to come to terms with anthropogenically induced climate change. This co-taught interdisciplinary seminar will focus on works by Schelling (Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature, First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature, On the World Soul) and Goethe (scientific writings, Faust I & II), in addition to engaging recent scholarship of Schelling and Goethe in relation to environmental humanities.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5250

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5260 The Trouble with Freud: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Culture

For professionals in the field of mental care, Freud's work is often regarded as outmoded, if not problematic psychologists view his work as non-scientific, dependent on theses that cannot be confirmed by experiments. In the realm of literary and cultural theory, however, Freud's work seems to have relevance still, and is cited often. How do we understand the gap between a medical/scientific reading of Freud's work, and a humanist one? Where do we locate Freud's relevance today? The graduate course will concentrate on Freud's descriptions of psychoanalytic theory and practice, as well as his writings on literature and culture.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5260, GSWS 5260

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5350 The Elemental Turn

The unfolding effects of climate change--rising sea level, melting ice sheets, subsiding land masses, drought stricken regions, wild fires, air laden with greenhouse gases, and inundated cities--heighen our awareness of the elements: air, earth, fire and water. Within the context of the new materialism, philosophers, eco-critics, and writers are re-turning to the elements and encountering, at the same time, predecessor texts that assume new relevance. This seminar will place current thinking and writing about the elements into dialogue with older traditions ranging from the classical (Empedocles, Plato, Lucretius) to writers and thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries (e.g., Goethe, Novalis, Tieck, Stifter, Bachelard, Heidegger, Boehme).

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5350

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5370 Translating Literature: Theory and Practice

The greats all have something to say about translation. The Hebrew poet H. N. Bialik is attributed with saying that “he who reads the Bible in translation is like a man who kisses his bride through a veil.” That, however, is a mistranslation: What Bialik really wrote was, “Whoever knows Judaism through translation is like a person who kisses his mother through a handkerchief." (http://benyehuda.org/bialik/dvarim02.html), a saying that he probably translated and adapted from Russian or German. (https://networks.h-net.org/node/28655/discussions/116448/query-bialik-kissing-bride) Robert Frost wrote, “I could define poetry this way: it is that which is lost out of both prose and verse in translation.” Walter Benjamin defines it: “Translation is a form. To comprehend it as a form, one must go back to the original, for the laws governing the translation lie within the original, contained in the issue of its translatability.” Lawrence Venuti rails against translation that domesticates, rather than foreignizes, thus betraying the foreign text through a contrived familiarity that makes the translator invisible. Emily Wilson wants her translation “to bring out the way I think the original text handles it. [The original text] allows you to see the perspective of the people who are being killed.” https://bookriot.com/2017/12/04/emily-wilson-translation-the-odyssey/ Is translation erotic? A form of filial love? Incestuous? A mode of communion, or idol worship? Is translation a magician’s vanishing trick? Is translation traitorous, transcendent? Maybe translation is impossible. But let’s try it anyways! In this graduate seminar, we will read key texts on the history and theory of translating literature, and we sample translations from across the centuries of the “classics,” such as the Bible and Homer. We will consider competing translations into English of significant modern literary works from a variety of languages, possibly including, but not limited to German, Yiddish, French, Hebrew, and Russian. These readings will serve to frame each student’s own semester-long translation of a literary work from a language of her or his choice. The seminar offers graduate students with their skills in various language an opportunity to take on a significant translation project within a circle of peers.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5370, JWST 5370

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5400 Franz Kafka and J. M. Coetzee

This seminar will listen attentively to the echoes of Franz Kafka in the novels of J.M. Coetzee. Building on Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's concept of a minor literature, elaborated on the example of Kafka's oeuvre, we will situate Kafka against the backdrop of the German-speaking Jewish community of Habsburg-era Prague and read Coetzee within the context of apartheid and his native South Africa. Beyond an investigation of empire and its aftermath, this course will consider the arguably posthuman ethics of these authors, examining them through the lens of animal studies and the environmental humanities in order to reveal how they anticipate and participate in current thinking on the Anthropocene. Reading Kafka's fables beside Coetzee's allegorical narratives, the seminar will follow the twisted course taken by literary justice from the Josef K. of Kafka's Trial to Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K. Alongside these two towering figures, the influence of and affinities with other German-language authors (Heinrich von Kleist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Robert Walser) and Anglophone contemporaries (Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Cormac McCarthy) will also be considered. Other works to be read will include Kafka's Castle, In the Penal Colony, Metamorphosis and late animal stories as well as Coetzee's In the Heart of the Country, Waiting for the Barbarians and Elizabeth Costello. Advanced undergraduates may enroll with the permission of the instructor. Readings and discussions in English.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5400, ENGL 6400

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5410 Topics in Cultural History

Topic for Fall 2021: Making and Marking Time.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 5870, COML 5410, ENGL 5410

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5420 Topics in Culture.

Topics vary annually.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5420

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5430 Environmental Humanities: Theory, Method, Practice

Environmental Humanities: Theory, Methods, Practice is a seminar-style course designed to introduce students to the trans- and interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. Weekly readings and discussions will be complemented by guest speakers from a range of disciplines including ecology, atmospheric science, computing, history of science, medicine, anthropology, literature, and the visual arts. Participants will develop their own research questions and a final project, with special consideration given to building the multi-disciplinary collaborative teams research in the environmental humanities often requires.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5430, ENGL 5430, ENVS 5410, SPAN 5430

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5440 Public Environmental Humanities

This broadly interdisciplinary course is designed for Graduate and Undergraduate Fellows in the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) who hail from departments across Arts and Sciences as well as other schools at the university. The course is also open to others with permission of the instructors. Work in environmental humanities by necessity spans academic disciplines. By design, it can also address and engage publics beyond traditional academic settings. This seminar, with limited enrollment, explores best practices in public environmental humanities. Students receive close mentoring to develop and execute cross-disciplinary, public engagement projects on the environment. In spring 2018, participants have the opportunity to participate in PPEH's public engagement projects on urban waters and environmental data. These ongoing projects document the variety of uses that Philadelphians make of federal climateand environmental data, in and beyond city government; they also shine light onclimate and environmental challenges our city faces and the kinds of data we need to address them. Working with five community partners across Philadelphia, including the City's Office of Sustainability, students in this course will develop data use stories and surface the specific environmental questions neighborhoods have and the kinds of data they find useful. The course hosts guest speakers and research partners from related public engagement projects across the planet; community, neighborhood, open data, and open science advocates; and project partners in government in the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Course assignments include: * 2 short-form essays (course blog posts); * a 12-hour research stay (conducted over multiple visits) with a community course partner to canvas data uses and desires; * authorship of 3 multi-media data stories; * co-organization and participation in a city-wide data storytelling event on May 2, 2018.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ANTH 5440, COML 5440, ENVS 5440, URBS 5440

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5450 Reading Benjamin Reading Kafka

Readings and discussions in English. Walter Benjamin's study of the works of Franz Kafka is as enlightening as it can be bewildering. Moving from philology to Marxism, metaphysics to messianism, Daoism to Talmud, this densely argued piece elliptically touches on almost all of Kafka's published works in just four short sections. This seminar proposes a line-by-line reading Benjamin's 1934 "Franz Kafka on the Tenth Anniversary of His Death" with an eye to its literary, philosophical and religious contexts as well as to the rich history of its intellectual reception. Reading Kafka's works as the essay evokes them, we will situate this piece with regard to Benjamin's other writings, the essay's interlocutors (Brod, Scholem, Lukacs, Brecht) and its most illustrious interpreters (Adorno, Arendt, Celan, Hamacher).

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5650, JWST 5650

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5470 Writing in Dark Times: German Literature

The rise of Hitler and the Nazis in 1933 radically disrupted the literary marketplace in Germany. Public book burnings were the most visible sign of a complete reorganization of the literary world. What was it like to be a writer in the Third Reich? How did censorship work? What kind of choices were writers forced to make? What political roles did writers adopt? Under what conditions could they publish? Who read their books and how did they read them? These are some of the questions we will ask as we become acquainted with German writers in ideological adherence or alliance, in exile throughout Europe and the Americas, in "inner emigration," even in concentration camps, and in hiding. By focusing on their writing, we will shed light on the value of literature in dark times.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5500 Topics German Cinema

This topic course explores aspects of Film History intensively. Specific course topics vary from year to year. See the Cinema Studies website at http://cinemastudies.sas.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5510 Kant I

The graduate course will concentrate on the Critique of Pure Reason and discuss in detail Kant's conception of knowledge and experience, his criticism of traditional metaphysics and the resulting project of a system of transcendental philosophy.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: PHIL 6181

Prerequisite: PHIL 1170

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5520 Kant II

This graduate course is a study of Kant's moral and political philosophy. Texts may include Kant's Lectures on Ethics, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: PHIL 6182

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5550 Topics in Dutch Studies

Topics vary.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5550, DTCH 5300

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5560 What is Enlightenment?

The question "What is the Enlightenment?" was posed for an essay competition in a journal, the Berlin Monatsschrift in 1784. At that point, French and English philosophers had already considered new ways of thinking, inventing the modern individual and the modern citizen (in contrast to a state's subject). German responses to this question were written by an established philosopher (Immanuel Kant), a Jewish resident of Berlin (Moses Mendelssohn), as well as concerned readers of recent philosophical treastises. In our course, we will consider this question by exploring this early discussion and the formation of Enlightenment thought in Europe and specifically Germany, including the German-Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), but also trace the historical transformation of this discussion, including Theodor W. Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's Dialectics of Enlightenment (1944/1947) and more recent criticism.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5570 Reading the Twentieth Century

Taught in German, this graduate anchor course gives an introduction to German-language literary traditions through an overview of important authors, texts and movements of the long twentieth century. Short texts by Franz Kafka and Elfriede Jelinek provide conceptual bookends permitting an understanding of the evolution of literary modernism into the postmodern—from psychoanalysis to the postnational, Expressionism to postdramatic theater and from language crisis to the (im)possibility of poetry after Auschwitz. Longer works of narrative and theater are complemented by accompanying poetry, theoretical or philosophical approaches. Readings include works by Hofmannsthal, Rilke, Schnitzler, Musil, Brecht, Celan, Özdamar and Tawada, among others.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5580 The Long Nineteenth Century: Literature, Philosophy, Culture

The present course will discuss German literature and thought from the period of the French Revolution to the turn of the twentieth century, and put it into a European context. In regard to German literature, this is the period that leads from the Storm and Stress and Romanticism to the political period of the Vormärz, Realism, and finally Expressionism; in philosophy, it moves from German Idealism to the philosophy of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and neo-Kantian thought. It is also the period that saw the rise of the novel, and new forms of dramatic works. Painting moved out of the studio into plein air; the invention of photography made an imprint on all arts, and the rise of the newspaper led to new literary genres such as the feuilleton. Economically, Germany experienced the industrial revolution; politically, it was striving for a unification that was finally achieved in 1871. The nineteenth century saw the establishment of the bourgeoisie, the emergence of the German working class, and the idea of the nation state; it also saw Jewish emancipation, and the call for women’s rights. Readings will focus on a variety of literary, political, and philosophical texts; and consider a selection of art works.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 7770, COML 5660

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5590 Myth Through Time and In Time

The textual and physical remains of Greek and Roman culture and belief as 'myth' entranced the post-antique European world and its neighbors. Makers, patrons and viewers manipulated those survivals to challenge and speak to a contemporary world. This course focuses on how and why artists and their patrons engaged the mythic and examines the various areas of political and religious life that sought animation through an evocation of narratives from the past. Readings and case studies will engage with very late antique, medieval, and early modern art, turning to the modern and contemporary as well. Moving to the modern lets us examine, among other things, how artists address the exclusionary histories of the past, to enable critiques of myths of supremacy by one gender, race, or culture over others.

Also Offered As: AAMW 5590, ARTH 5590, CLST 7400, COML 5590

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5600 Topics in Philosophy and Literature

Topics vary annually.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5610 The Long Eighteenth Century

The aim of this anchor course is to acquaint students with the literary, philosophical, and cultural complexity of the "long eighteenth century," roughly 1648-1806. Often associated with the enlightenment and the revolutions it inspired, the eighteenth century is a prolonged period in which institutions of power and knowledge come under pressure and are reconfigured. Old institutions are submitted to the critique of reason, while new institutions of governance, sociability, gender, race and class create new spaces for cultural production. Students will analyze representative works in context and in combination with current scholarship.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5620 Early Modernism

Topics vary annually.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5690 New German Fiction

Our seminar will deal with contemporary German culture. What do German readers read? We will read nine novels that were published recently. While considering newspaper accounts of these books and their authors, we will try to come to our own judgments regarding the quality of these works, and their lasting impact. Instead of term papers, we will write book reviews-and all members of the seminar will be asked to review all the books in question.

Not Offered Every Year

Prerequisite: GRMN 3110 OR GRMN 3120

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5720 Materialism

How do we recognize materialism? This seminar poses this question by acknowledging "materialism" as a contested category with disparate and contradictory historical meanings: as a synonym for dogmatism, as the arch-enemy of reason and morality, as the scientific philosophy of the revolutionary workers' movement, as an alternative to (idealist) metaphysics, as a poetic practice, or as a central concern for material nature and environment, among others. Less concerned with enumerating philosophical systems, we will search out "family resemblances" and materialist tendencies among a wide range of texts. To this end, we will not only read the major historical texts of the so-called materialists (from Lucretius to Spinoza, from La Mettrie to Lenin), but also engage with materialism's supposed critics and antagonists (from Plato to Kant and Hegel). A special emphasis will be placed on the attempts to recuperate materialism as a positive category in recent critical theory and continental philosophy, for example, in the reinventions of Marxist and Spinozist traditions. We will also survey the attempts that found new traditions, such as aleatory materialism or various new materialisms. By reading exemplary literary texts that engage with the problem of materialism the seminar will also ask: can one speak of materialist poetics?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5380

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5730 Topics in Criticism & Theory: Object Theory

Topics vary annually

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 5730, CIMS 5730, COML 5730, ENGL 5730, REES 6683

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5740 Politics and Societies in the Early Modern World

In this seminar, we will discuss how early modern globalization affected societies and the ways their members and rulers made politics. Following a historiographical introduction, it is divided in three sections. In the first, we will concentrate on empires and kings in order to detect common features of dynastic power across the globe and to explore how such characteristics influenced each other. Second, we will shift our attention to citizens and the ways they made politics in their city-states. For a long time, research on citizenship has been confined to the post-revolutionary nation states. However, recent research suggests that urban citizenship has far deeper roots in medieval and early modern cities. Up to now most research has focused on urban centers in Western Europe and more precisely on the so-called urban belt stretching from Central and North-Italy, over Switzerland and Southern Germany to the Rhineland and the Low Countries. Comparisons with urban centers in Asia and the colonial Americas will be needed to test that view. In the third section, we will study the people who provided information to societies and decision makers. Often, they held multiple identities or they acted as religious or ethnic outsiders. Therefore, we call them, with a term borrowed from anthropology 'brokers'. Taken together, the analysis of these aspects will deepen our understanding of politics and societies in the globalizing early modern world. Thus, the seminar will contribute to a more comprehensive, less Europe-centered view on that period.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: DTCH 5740

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5750 Kafka's Creatures

Franz Kafka's writings are replete with bestial beings, talking animals, hybrid creatures and other non-human or quasi-human entities. Examining the monstrous or grotesque bodies his work offers up for display, this course, taught in German, will interrogate how Kafka's short stories and novellas construct and call into question the very category of the anthropological. Examining the tradition out of which this creaturely writing grows (reading Kafka's animal fables beside Aesop's, for instance) and its legacy in literature, art and cinema (comparing, for example, Kafka's Metamorphosis with David Cronenberg's The Fly), we will also attend to how these incongruous critters and bodies-in-becoming reflect on Kafka's minoritarian experience as a German-speaking Jew in Habsburg-Era Prague and are in turn reflected in uncanny and ever-evolving aesthetic forms.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5770 Inside the Archive

What is an archive, and what is its history? What makes an archival collection special, and how can we work with it? In this course, we will discuss work essays that focus on the idea and concept of the archive by Jacques Derrida, Michel de Certeau, Benjamin Buchloh, Cornelia Vismann, and others. We will consider the difference between public and private archives, archives dedicated to specific disciplines, persons, or events, and consider the relationship to museums and memorials. Further questions will involve questions of property and ownership as well as the access to material, and finally the archive's upkeep, expansion, or reduction. While the first part of the course will focus on readings about archives, we will invite curators, and visit archives (either in person or per zoom) in the second part of the course. At Penn, we will consider four archives: (1) the Louis Kahn archive of architecture at Furness, (2) the Lorraine Beitler Collection of material relating to the Dreyfus affair, (3) the Schoenberg collection of medieval manuscripts and its digitalization, and (4) the University archives. Outside Penn, we will study the following archives and their history: (1) Leo Baeck Institute for the study of German Jewry in New York, (2) the Sigmund Freud archive at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., (3) the German Literary Archive and the Literturmuseum der Moderne in Marbach, Germany, and (4) the archives of the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5780 Northern Renaissance Art

This course critically examines concepts traditionally associated with the Renaissance by focusing on the exchange of artistic ideas throughout the Holy Roman Empire and across different media, such as the altarpieces of Jan van Eyck, the expressive drawings of Albrecht Durer and Hans Baldung Grien, the peasant studies of Pieter Bruegel and the prints of satirists who wished to remain anonymous. The material is organized thematically around four topics: religious art as piety and politics; antiquity as a source of tradition and imagination; the formulation of a public discourse that exposed social threats; and the distinctiveness of artistic claims of individual achievement. A motif throughout the course is the question of how the survival of fragments may be presented in museum contexts as parts standing in for an absent whole. We will also consider how historians approach designs for works of art now lost or never completed. Encouraging encounters with art and artifacts around the city, assignments focus on objects in Philadelphia collections.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 6610

Mutually Exclusive: ARTH 2610, GRMN 1301

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5781 Privacy and Society in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art Seminar

How do paintings offer occasions for personal reflection, and how do they construct social bonds? The aim of this seminar is to develop a set of critical skills for analyzing the different ways in which seventeenth-century Dutch paintings drew upon shared social values, national identity and economic pride, how they appealed to individual buyer tastes, and how they have engaged and continue to engage poetic minds. We will address these matters by paying particular attention to the representation of space, considering domestic interiors, urban settings, church architecture, imperial arenas, and landscapes both real and imagined. Our discussions of how paintings reflect and shape privacy and society will be informed by visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by readings from methodologically diverse essays, and by writing frequently, which will provide us with occasions to test our ideas in response to what we see and read. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 5610, DTCH 5780

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5790 Spinoza After Marx

This seminar will focus on the thought of Baruch Spinoza and Karl Marx, tracing the effects of their encounter, not only in philosophy and critical theory, but in fields ranging from literary studies to environmental humanities. The second half of the twentieth century saw a revival of interest in Spinoza across the humanities and social sciences as a means of rethinking the very terms of philosophical and political debates of modernity. Mobilized for political purposes and contemporary demands, especially among Marxist theoreticians, Spinoza's philosophy became virtually unrecognizable from its earlier forms of reception. This seminar departs from the following observation: on the one hand, this revival of Spinoza proved especially fruitful among Marxist theoreticians; on the other hand, the modes of interpretation of Spinoza and the adaptations of Spinoza and Marxism are highly heterogeneous and often conflictual. The seminar will ask: what is it about Spinoza's thought that lends itself to a revival of Marxism? To what extent is Marx's thought necessary for a reevaluation of Spinoza? Why Spinoza today? To address these questions, we will trace the multiple traditions that think Marx and Spinoza together: the deployment of Spinoza against Hegel to rejuvenate Marxism in France (Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Gilles Deleuze, Chantal Jaquet); the development of theories of the multitude in the tradition of Autonomism in Italy (Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno); the vicissitudes of Spinozism among the Soviet Marxists (Lyubov Axelrod, Abram Deborin, Evald Ilyenkov). Likewise, we will investigate the most recent turn to the Marx-Spinoza tradition in psychoanalysis (A. Kiarina Kordela), rethinking finance capitalism (Frederic Lordon), feminist theory (Moira Gatens), literary studies (Pierre Macherey, Anthony Uhlmann), and environmental humanities (Hasana Sharp, Beth Lord).

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 5790

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5791 German Art Seminar

This seminar surveys German art from the early-modern period (Schongauer, DÃ?rer, Grunewald, Holbein) through the twenty-first century (Gerhard Richter, Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel). Open to graduate and undergraduate students.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 5611

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5800 Topics In Aesthetics

Topic title for Spring 2018: Walter Benjamin. Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a philosopher whose writings on art, literature, and politics have had tremendous influence on many disciplines in the Humanities and Social Studies. He has been variously described as one of the leading German-Jewish thinkers, and a secular Marxist theorist. With the publication of a four-volume collection of this works in English, many more of his writings have been made accessible to a wider public. Our seminar will undertake a survey of his work that begins with his studies on language and allegory, and continues with his autobiographical work, his writings on art and literature, and on the imaginary urban spaces of the nineteenth-century.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 5871, COML 5800, JWST 5800, PHIL 5389

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5810 Topics in Jewish History

Reading and discussion course on selected topics in Jewish history. The instructors are visiting scholars at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Topic and seminar title for Spring 2015: Topics in Jewish Studies: The Origins of Jewish Studies. Course description for Spring 2015: This is a reading course that grants seminar participants access to Katz Center fellows, some of the best scholars in Judaic studies from around the world. The aim of the course is to expose students to these scholars and their work, to get to know them as people, learn from them at high level, and understand their approach to the field. Over the course of the spring semester there will be four 3-session modules. Students will meet with 4 different fellows for 3 sessions each. The weekly 90-minute classes will be held at the Katz Center on Wednesdays from 10:30 am - 12 pm, and participants will be encouraged to then stay for lunch and the fellows' seminar which runs from 12:30 - 2:30 pm.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: JWST 5811

1 Course Unit

GRMN 5830 Hegel

A graduate seminar on Hegel's philosophy, focusing primarily on his Phenomenology of Spirit, with attention to relevant passages in other works such as Hegel's Logic and Philosophy of Right. Topics may include: (1) Hegel's conception of philosophy, (2) the development of his system, (3) the problem of an introduction to his system (Phenomenology of Spirit), (4) Hegel's criticism of traditional metaphysics, (5) his notion of a 'concept' (Begriff), his theory of the Idea. The seminar will focus primarily on some of Hegel's early Jena writings, his Phenomenology of Spirit, on passages from different versions of Hegel's Logic and (maybe) on aspects of his Philosophy of Right. Topics that are dealt with include: (1) Hegel's conception of philosophy, (2) the development of his system, (3) the problem of an introduction to his system (Phenomenology of Spirit), (4) Hegel's criticism of traditional metaphysics, (5) his notion of a 'concept' (Begriff), his theory of the Idea. Other topics might become of interest as well.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: PHIL 6191

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6030 Seminar in German Literature

Topics range from the study of individual authors to analyses of major texts.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6050 Modern Literary Theory and Criticism

This course will provide an overview of major European thinkers in critical theory of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will pay particular attention to critical currents that originated in Eastern European avant-garde and early socialist contexts and their legacies and successors. Topics covered will include: Russian Formalism and its successors in Structuralism and Deconstruction (Shklovsky, Levi-Strauss, Jakobson, Derrida); Bakhtin and his circle, dialogism and its later western reception; debates over aesthetics and politics of the 1930s (Lukacs, Brecht, Adorno, Benjamin, Radek, Clement Greenberg); the October group; Marxism, new Left criticism, and later lefts (Althusser, Williams, Eagleton, Jameson, Zizek).

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: COML 6050, ENGL 6050, ENGL 7905, FREN 6050, ITAL 6050, REES 6435

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6120 Hannah Arendt: Literature, Philosophy, Politics

The seminar will focus on Arendt's major work, The Origins of Totalitarianism (and its three parts, Anti-Semitism, Imperialism, Totalitarianism). We will also discuss the reception of this work and consider its relevance today.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 6120, ENGL 6120, JWST 6120, PHIL 5439

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6280 Topics 18th Century, vary annually.

Topic for Fall 2014 is: Wolfgangs Lehrjahre (1765-1774) The decade before the publication of Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers is full of literary ferment. The goal of this course is to gain a sense of the multipliciy of projects and perspectives in this crucial decade in order to break down any teleology that might see Werther as its crowning triumph. In other words, this is a course in the "politics" of literature and literary aesthetics. Works to be read, discussed, and reported on include: Kant, Beobachtungen ueber das Gefuehl des Schoenen und Erhabenen; Klopstock, Salomo, ein Trauerspiel; Gleim, Lieder nach dem Anakreon; Herder, Fragmente ueber di neuere deutsche Literatur; Lessing, Laokoon oder ueber die Grenzen der Mahlerey und Poesie; Wieland, Geschichte des Agathon; Lessing, Minna von Barnhelm; Mendelssohn, Phaedon oder ueber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele; von Gerstenberg, Ugolino; Wieland, Musarion; Klopstock, Oden und Elegien; La Roche, Geschichte des Fraeuleins von Sternheim; Herder, Abhandlung ueber den Ursprung der Sprache; Lavater, Von der Physiognomik; Lessing, Emilia Galotti; Goethe, Goetz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand; Herder, Von deutscher Art und Kunst; Nicolai, Sebaldus Nothanker; Wieland, Alceste; Zimmerman, Von der Einsamkeit; Blankenburg, Versuch ueber den Roman, and, of course, Werther.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6320 Romanticism

The course focuses both on the timely impact and the lasting contribution of Romanticism. Lectures cover the philosophical, intellectual, social, and political currents of the age. Authors: Schlegel, Wackenroder, Tieck, Brentano, Arnim, Novalis, Hoffmann, Kleist, Eichendorff.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6420 Drama of the Twentieth Century

Based on a discussion of the relationship of drama (text) and theater (performance), the course examines the development of realistic and antirealistic currents in modern German drama. From Wedekind and Expressionism to Piscator's political theater, Brecht's epic theater and beyond (Horvath, Fleisser, Frisch, Duerrenmatt, Handke).

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6510 Studies in 17th Century

Topics in 17th Century Studies

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6570 Becoming Modern: The German-Jewish Experience

Yuri Slezkine described the twentieth century as a "Jewish Age"-to be modern would essentially mean to be a Jew. In German historical and cultural studies, this linkage has long been made--only in reference to the last years of the German monarchy and the time of the Weimar Republic. Indeed, what has become known as "modern" German culture-reflected in literature, music, and the visual arts and in a multitude of public media-has been more often than not assigned to Jewish authorship or Jewish subjects. But what do authorship and subject mean in this case? Do we locate the German-Jewish experience as the driving force of this new "modernity," or is our understanding of this experience the result of this new "modern" world?

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 6570, JWST 6570

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6770 The Life of Forms: Ontogenesis, Morphology, Literature

In recent years, the notions of form, formalism, and morphology have reentered contemporary debates across the humanities. This seminar considers the current resurgence of interest in form by tracing form's evolving concepts throughout modernity. It departs from the observation that experimentation with and debates on form in art and literature are inextricably linked to various notions of life and the living. These debates-this is the provisional thesis of the seminar-are the battlefield where literary and art criticism undermine the major presuppositions of the western metaphysical tradition (e.g., determinations of inside-outside, form-content, living-inorganic). On the one hand, the seminar will explore a selective genealogy of various attempts to dynamize the concept of form through theories of 1) ontogenesis (e.g., Spinoza, Simondon, Malabou), 2) morphology (e.g., Goethe, Propp, Goldstein), and 3) aesthetics (e.g., Baumgarten, Schlegel brothers, Adorno). On the other hand, in order to investigate the political, ideological, and methodological implications of differing concepts of form, the seminar will bring together texts from different disciplines, including literary studies (literary morphology, Russian Formalism), art history (Focillon, Kubler), philosophy (Wittgenstein, Macherey), On the other hand, in order to investigate the political, ideological, and methodological implications of differing concepts of form, the seminar will bring together texts from different disciplines ranging from literary studies (e.g., Jolles, Russian Formalism, Jauss), art history (e.g., Panofsky, Focillon, Kubler), philosophy (e.g., Wittgenstein, Blumenberg, Macherey), history of science (e.g., Vygotsky, Varela),and sociology (e.g., Tarde, DeLanda). Finally, the seminar will engage in close reading of exemplary literary and art works, and situate the findings on the conjunction of form and life in current debates on New Formalisms (e.g., Levine, Levinson, Kornbluh) and New Materialisms (e.g., Bennett, Grosz).

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 6770

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6780 Realism: Literature and Theory

What is "realism"? What does it mean to depict the world as a "realist" writer or artist? This seminar will consider these questions and concentrate on German literature and art of the second half of the nineteenth century. It will focus on writers such as Stifter, Storm, Raabe, and Fontane; but also on Stifter's drawings and paintings, visual artists such as Menzel, and the vogue of historical painting. Finally, the seminar will consider the role of early photography in the development of the notion of "realism." Secondary literature will include studies by Michael Fried, Linda Nochlin, and others.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6830 Topics in Philosophy

Topics vary

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6840 Topics in Philosophy.

This seminar explores political thought in Germany from the Imperial state of the early 20th century through its fragmentation and division and into the reunification of east and west Germany in 1992. Much of this period was "after idealism" philosophically and politically,the preface to pessimism and "the passing of political philosophy" as articulated in the Enlightenment(Shklar),but fascinating period of thought and argument. Among our texts are Habermas (philosophy), Weber (sociology),Schmitt (law), Juenger (literature) & their contemporaries. Students are not expected to read texts in the original, although having German will greatly expand your range and the depth of your reading.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: COML 6840

1 Course Unit

GRMN 6850 Nature and Labor in Early Modern Art Seminar

In the sixteenth century, the notion of nature as fecund spawned not only images of lushness but also analogies to the artist's mind as a fertile place. The idea of "natural law" was also appealed to as a presumably primal condition, one that established how the earth's resources were to be distributed among its people. Yet the taste for artistic objects in gold, silver, wax, and wood--materials that could be worked into shapes attesting to the owner's dominium over land--led to harvesting processes which met the awareness that nature's resources could run low or even run out. Untappable nature was a functional metaphor, but scarcity was a reality. As a collective effort to write the other side of the story of Renaissance abundance, this seminar will proceed by addressing the question of how the history of art might be told as a description of materials and their potential for the expenditure of natural and human resources. We will address this question by focusing on primary texts, theoretical interventions, and a selection of objects, images, and early books from collections near at hand. Open to graduate students only.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: ARTH 7610, DTCH 6610

1 Course Unit

GRMN 7000 Graduate Research Workshop

Graduate Research Workshop. GRMN Ph.D. requirement.

0.5 Course Units

GRMN 7010 Pedagogy Roundtable

Pedagogy Roundtable. GRMN Ph.D. requirement.

0.5 Course Units