German Studies (GRMN)

German Studies provides an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of German language, the analysis of artifacts of German culture – literature, art, music, film, etc. – and the use of German for special purposes, for example, in a business setting.

Coursework in the discipline combines the achievement of greater language proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening with a basic knowledge of German culture and methods of critical interpretation. There have been major thinkers in almost every field from physics to philosophy, economics, or psychology who were German-speakers, and today, Germany contributes significantly to political, cultural, and economic developments in Europe. German Studies also furthers critical thinking skills while fostering cross-cultural understanding.

The German Studies program has as its goal that all majors achieve an intermediate-high to advanced-low proficiency in the areas of linguistic and cultural knowledge. This means that German majors can communicate not only about daily needs but that they also can understand and articulate positions on social, literary, or cultural topics with a reasonable amount of linguistic accuracy. This is to say that as students progress through the major they learn various theoretical approaches to the interpretation of cultural artifacts and must, therefore, keep working on their German language skills in order to acquire the vocabulary and syntax necessary to express more complicated ideas and concepts. In general, students’ comprehension skills, reading and listening, are further developed than their production skills, speaking and writing, when finishing the major. Additional aspects inherent to this goal include increasing students’ understanding of the way in which cultural artifacts, literature, film, theater, music, art, advertising, etc., are embedded in a historical context which determines gender, class, and race relations within the target culture(s). Simultaneously, comparisons and contrasts are made in regard to the learners’ own cultural background(s) in order to foster cross-cultural understanding.

All German majors will work on developing their skills in writing by taking at least two writing-intensive courses (W2) in the major: GRMN 204 German Conversation and Composition and GRMN 230 Genre and History: Introduction to German Studies. In addition, every course in the major will include a variety of writing assignments, reaction papers, arguments in regard to a specific question, and/or research papers. In every course a student takes at Bucknell that counts toward the major, students will give at least one oral presentation (either individually or in a group). All of the courses that count toward the major are discussion-oriented so that students get plenty of opportunities to develop their abilities to articulate their interpretation of the material at hand, to ask questions of others, and to respond to questions. The oral and written work will require students to consult on-line German resources, scholarly journals, and other print materials. In GRMN 230 Genre and History: Introduction to German Studies students will receive discipline-specific instruction on how to locate, to evaluate, and to use scholarly information in the field of German Studies. These skills will be reviewed and refined in other 200- and 300-level courses.

A major in German may provide the basis for graduate work within the field. Moreover, German is considered a useful second language in many disciplines in the humanities, such as philosophy or art history. In combination with other majors, such as economics, international relations or management, a German major can prepare one for a career in international business or law or in the foreign service.

Major in German

The major in German consists of the equivalent of seven full-credit courses plus one .25-credit Culminating Experience course at the GRMN 204 German Conversation and Composition level and above. Four of these courses must meet specific requirements:

Conversation and Composition
GRMN 204German Conversation and Composition (or its equivalent)1
German Cultural Issues
Select one of the following:1
The Bourgeois Era: 19th-century Germany (or its equivalent)
Modern German Culture 1945-1990 (or its equivalent)
The Berlin Republic since 1990 (or its equivalent)
Methods of German Studies
GRMN 230Genre and History: Introduction to German Studies (or its equivalent)1
At least two 300-level courses at Bucknell (only one may be an independent study)2
Culminating Experience.25

Courses not applicable to the major:

GRMN 201Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 202Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 310German for Reading Knowledge1

The Culminating Experience in German Studies can be fulfilled in one of three ways:

  • an Honors thesis in German Studies,
  • a .25 course that results in a presentation at the annual German Studies mini-conference, or
  • an approved course in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics that brings together students from the various majors in the department.

In most instances, students will enroll in the Culminating Experience course in the spring of their senior year.

German majors are strongly urged to participate in a study abroad program approved by Bucknell’s German Studies program. The benefits of such a total immersion experience in attaining linguistic and cultural proficiency cannot be overemphasized. Many abroad programs also offer internship experiences. Students interested in study abroad should consult the faculty of the German Studies program at the earliest possible date.

All majors who meet the requirements set by the Honors Council and who wish to earn honors in German are encouraged to do so. Students interested in writing an Honors Thesis should contact a German faculty member early in the second semester of their junior year to discuss the process and to define a topic.

German majors and minors should supplement their study of German with work in other languages, European history, art history, music, philosophy, or work in European political science and economics.

Students planning to teach German at the secondary level should consult with the German Studies program and Bucknell’s department of education as soon as possible.

Minors in German

German Minor

The minor in German consists of the equivalent of five full-credit courses at the GRMN 101 Exploring Your World - elementary level I level or above. There are no other specific course requirements for the minor. Students interested in minoring in German should consult a German Studies program faculty member for the appropriate sequencing of courses.

Courses that may count toward the minor in addition to any of the other GRMN courses:

GRMN 201Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 202Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 310German for Reading Knowledge1

German minors also are strongly encouraged to participate in an approved study abroad program.

German Minor for Engineers

The College of Engineering has approved a German minor that consists of the equivalent of five full-credit courses at the GRMN 103 Building Proficiency in German level or above. A required course for this minor is GRMN 225 German for Engineers and Natural Scientists. Students interested in this minor should consult Professor Helen Morris-Keitel for the appropriate sequencing of courses. In addition to any of the GRMN courses, the following courses can count toward this minor:

GRMN 201Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 202Strategies in Speaking German.5
GRMN 310German for Reading Knowledge1

Courses

GRMN 101. Exploring Your World - elementary level I. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Beginning language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; elementary grammar; and introduction to German culture. Prerequisite: juniors and seniors by permission only.

GRMN 101A. Intensive Elementary German. 1.5 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:4,Other:2
Intensive practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing German. Introduction to everyday German culture. Successful completion meets the prerequisites for GRMN 103.

GRMN 102. Everyday Life in Germany - elementary level II. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Continuation of language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; grammar; reading in culture and literature. Prerequisite: GRMN 101 or equivalent.

GRMN 103. Building Proficiency in German. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
A continuation and review of basic grammar, emphasizing all four language skills and culture. Prerequisite: GRMN 102 or equivalent.

GRMN 104. Communicating in Context. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Review of basic grammar, emphasizing all four language skills and culture. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 127. Intermediate German - Part A. .5 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:2
Together with GRMN 128 these courses will provide students with the skills covered in the one-semester course GRMN 103. Prerequisite: GRMN 102 or equivalent.

GRMN 128. Intermediate German - Part B. .5 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:2
Together with GRMN 127 these courses will provide students with the skills covered in the one-semester course GRMN 103. Prerequisite: GRMN 102 or equivalent.

GRMN 201. Strategies in Speaking German. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:2; Repeatable
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted in German by native speaker. Intended for students enrolled in 200 and 300-level courses. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 202. Strategies in Speaking German. .5 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:2; Repeatable
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted in German by native speaker. Intended for students enrolled in 200 and 300-level courses. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 204. German Conversation and Composition. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Intensive practice in speaking and writing German. Prerequisite: GRMN 104 or equivalent.

GRMN 221. Doing Business in Germany. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Development of skills necessary to function in the German business world. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 225. German for Engineers and Natural Scientists. .5 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:2
Introduction to concepts and vocabulary pertinent to these disciplines as well as discussion of the "culture" of engineering and science in German-speaking countries. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 230. Genre and History: Introduction to German Studies. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Examination of a genre and its historical development with an emphasis on developing a critical approach to the reading of texts. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 231. Reading German Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Intended to sharpen the critical skills developed in GRMN 230 and provide students with more in-depth knowledge of a particular genre. Prerequisites: GRMN 204 and permission of the instructor.

GRMN 240. Reflections of Science and Technology in German Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An overview of German cultural responses to technological and scientific progress from the early 1800s to the present. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 251. Achtung Kamera. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:2
This course is an introduction to German film studies. It provides a survey of German films from the beginning until today. Prerequisite: GRMN 204.

GRMN 261. Nazi Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
A study of Nazi attitudes towards the arts, science, education, mass media, work, morality, sex, war, and religion. In English. Crosslisted as UNIV 261.

GRMN 270. The Bourgeois Era: 19th-century Germany. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
An overview of German society from Romanticism to World War I from a cultural-historical perspective. In German or English. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 272. Modern German Culture 1945-1990. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
An overview of cultural, social, economic, and political issues in the two Germanys. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 273. The Berlin Republic since 1990. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Exploration of the cultural world of Germany since unification including literature, art, film, music. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 295. Topics in German Studies. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of topics in German culture or literature at an intermediate level. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 296. Advanced German Composition. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Concentration on the writing of analytic German. Advanced level. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 310. German for Reading Knowledge. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Students will learn grammatical structures and vocabulary necessary to read German-language texts in their discipline. In English. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

GRMN 318. Contemporary German Cinema. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of contemporary German cinema. Advanced level.

GRMN 322. Leitmotifs in 19th-century German Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Examination of how German-speaking writers, artists, and composers use a specific form and/or address a specific issues at various points throughout the 19th-century. Prerequisite: GRMN 230 or equivalent.

GRMN 328. The Cold War in Germany. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of Cold War politics and literature in East and West Germany, 1945 to 1990 and beyond. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 230 or equivalent.

GRMN 329. German Literature in the 20th and 21st Centuries. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Analysis and interpretation of major literary works. In German. Prerequisites: GRMN 204 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

GRMN 390. Independent Projects in German Studies. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Subject to be selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

GRMN 391. Culture of the Weimar Republic. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
A study of the history, economy, politics, and culture of the Weimar Republic. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 270 or GRMN 272 or GRMN 273 or equivalent.

GRMN 392. Advanced Seminar in Selected Literary Topics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
The course will deal with selected topics in German literature on an advanced level. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 230 or equivalent.

GRMN 393. Advanced Seminar in Selected Cultural Topics. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
The course will deal with selected topics in German culture on an advanced level. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 270 or GRMN 272 or GRMN 273 or equivalent.

GRMN 419. Culminating Experience. .25 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:Varies
Independent study with a faculty member to prepare an oral presentation for annual German Studies Mini-Conference. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Professors: Katherine M. Faull, Peter Morris-Keitel (Director)

Associate Professor: Helen G. Morris-Keitel

Assistant Professor: Bastian Heinsohn