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 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 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 that 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 Studies 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 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 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 online German resources, scholarly journals, and other print materials. In GRMN 230 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 104 level and above. Four of these courses must meet specific requirements:

Conversation and Composition
GRMN 204German Conversation and Composition (or its equivalent)1
Introduction to German Studies
GRMN 230Introduction to German Studies (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)
Germany Today (or its equivalent)
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 201Advanced Conversational German.5
GRMN 202Advanced Conversational German.5

The Culminating Experience in German Studies can be fulfilled by either:

  • writing an honors thesis in German Studies, or
  • enrolling in a .25 course in their senior year that results in a presentation at the annual German Studies mini-conference.

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 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 201Advanced Conversational German.5
GRMN 202Advanced Conversational German.5

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

Majors in German Studies will be able to:

  1. Speak, read, write, and understand German at an “Advanced-Low” level as defined by the proficiency criteria of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (“ACTFL guidelines”). [University Educational Goals: 3, 7, 9]
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with cultural artifacts produced in German-speaking countries from the 19th to the 21st century.  [University Educational Goals: 3, 4, 5, 9]
  3. Demonstrate the ability to adapt to a living/learning/work situation in a German-speaking country. [University Educational Goals: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9]
  4. Demonstrate competency in written and oral communication through the production of analytical texts and presentations supported by structured arguments that demonstrate knowledge of the historical context and use appropriate forms of textual, cultural and visual analysis and evidence. Such texts and oral presentations will respect disciplinary norms for evidence and citation. [University Educational Goals: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9]
  5. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize learning from within and outside German Studies in order to develop a global view of the discipline and how the knowledge and skills it promotes can be applied beyond Bucknell. [University Educational Goals: 2, 3, 6, 9]

Minors in German Studies who begin in German 101 will be able to:

  1. Speak, read, write, and understand German at an intermediate-mid level according to ACTFL guidelines. [University Educational Goals: 3, 7, 9]

Minors in German Studies who begin in German 103 will be able to:

  1. Speak, read and write, and understand German at an intermediate-high level according to ACTFL guidelines. [University Educational Goals: 3, 7, 9]

Courses

GRMN 101. German in Everyday Life - elementary level I. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Beginning language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; elementary grammar; and introduction to German culture.

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

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

GRMN 127. Conversational German in Everyday Life. .5 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:2
Conversation course for students who cannot enroll in sequential order due to time conflict or scheduling issues. Prerequisite: GRMN 101 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. Advanced Conversational German. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:2; Repeatable
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted in German. Intended for students enrolled in GRMN 104 or above. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 202. Advanced Conversational German. .5 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:2; Repeatable
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted in German. Intended for students enrolled in GRMN 104 or above. Prerequisite: GRMN 103 or equivalent.

GRMN 204. German Conversation and Composition. 1 Credit.

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

GRMN 221. Working in Germany. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Development of skills necessary to succeed in the German professional world, including preparing job application materials in German. Prerequisite: GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 230. Introduction to German Studies. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course introduces students to the multifaceted, interdisciplinary world of German Studies. 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.

GRMN 271. Princesses, Devils, Witches: Fairy tales in a German Context. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of the genre of fairy tales in German culture with an emphasis on the Brothers Grimm and their adaptations of an oral folklore tradition, beginning in the nineteenth century into the twenty-first. In German. Prerequisites: 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. Germany Today. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; 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 274. Holocaust Literature. 1 Credit.

Lecture hours:3
Exploration of literary responses to the Holocaust, ranging from memoirs published immediately after the Holocaust to texts written in the twenty-first century. In English. No prerequisites. Open to first-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

GRMN 275. Transnational Culture in Germany. 1 Credit.

Lecture hours:3
Exploration of the periods of migration to Germany in a broader social, political and historical context, with an emphasis on migration in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In German. Prerequisite: GRMN 204.

GRMN 276. German Jewish Identities. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Exploration of German Jewish literature and culture from the early twentieth-century to contemporary Jewish life in Germany today. Taught in English or German. If in English, no prerequisites. If in German, prerequisite GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 277. Memory and Memorials in a German Context. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Exploration of the processes of memory and memorialization in German culture, with an emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first century. In English or German. If English, no prerequisites. If German, prerequisites GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 278. Sports in German Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course examines the role of sports in German culture in the twentieth and twenty-first century. In German. Prerequisites GRMN 204 or equivalent.

GRMN 295. Topics in German Studies. 1 Credit.

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

GRMN 318. Contemporary German Cinema. 1 Credit.

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

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 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. Prerequisites: GRMN 270 or GRMN 272 or GRMN 273 or equivalent and permission of the instructor.

GRMN 419. Culminating Experience. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall 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 (Co-chair), Peter Keitel (Director)

Associate Professor: Bastian Heinsohn

Assistant Professor: Rebekah Slodounik