German
Offered by the German department.

Major requirements

German major worksheet

The major in German consists of ten courses beyond GER 201 and includes a minimum of three courses at the 300-level as well as GER 401. Beyond language and literature, we concentrate on film, history, current affairs, and multicultural studies.

A word of advice:

We strongly encourage (potential) German majors to go study abroad in Berlin, Regensburg, or Vienna.

Minor requirements

German minor worksheet

The German minor offers a global component to one’s education. It consists of five courses in German, with at least one at the 300-level course that must be taken at Wheaton College.

  • German

    GER 098 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • German

    GER 099 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • German

    GER 101 – Elementary German

    This course develops the ability to understand and speak German in a real-life context. Extensive use of video and tapes to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Special attention paid to cultural aspects of language and to Germany after the Wall. Three classes a week plus a weekly intensive session with our German language assistant.

  • German

    GER 102 – Elementary German

    A continuation of Ger 101 with emphasis on speaking and listening skills through use of video and video filmmaking.

  • German

    GER 198 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • German

    GER 199 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • German

    GER 201 – Intermediate German

    A course that puts to practical use German skills acquired at Wheaton or elsewhere. We will pay special attention to contemporary Germany. This course consists of three hours of class a week and a weekly intensive session with our German language assistant.

  • German

    GER 202 – Intermediate German

    A continuation of Ger 201 with an emphasis on speaking and listening through the use of video and video filmmaking.

  • German

    GER 240 – Advanced German

    The emphasis of this course is on increasing reading, speaking and writing skills. Reading of literary and nonliterary texts; viewing of videos and film; writing of short compositions and conversations in German.

  • German

    GER 241 – Kafka and the Kafkaesque

    This course examines Kafka’s life and major works in the historical and social context of early-20th-century Central Europe. Central themes are: generational conflicts, the function of humor and parody in his writings, modernity in and as crisis, the figure of the outsider as well as the “foreign,” the eccentric, the illogical, the uncanny–the Kafkaesque. Several film adaptations that attempt to visualize Kafka’s imaginative depths will also be studied.

  • German

    GER 242 – Introduction to German Studies

    Conducted entirely in German, this course is a general introduction to German culture, German history and German society. Its goal is to provide students with a basic level of cultural literacy about the German-speaking world.

In this course, we will study major trends in 20th century German film and literature with a special focus on issues of national, political and cultural identity.

Students coming out of the course should have a broad understanding of the various tensions and problems that have characterized German culture and society for the last century. In addition to broadening students’ cultural knowledge about the German-speaking world, this course will continue to emphasize the improvement of students’ ability to speak, read, write and listen to German.

  • German

    GER 250 – German Culture

    An interdisciplinary course in 20th-century German culture, history, politics and thought. Weekly examination of historical sources, material and popular culture, and novels/arts/film, looking for continuity and contradictions. Topics include: World War I, Weimar culture, Insiders and Outsiders, the German Other, Hitler, the Holocaust, the Wall, Berlin and post-unification. This course is sometimes team-taught and always has a number of guest speakers.

  • German

    GER 262 – The Morality and Fate of Forbidden Knowledge

    This course will investigate the perplexing ethical questions raised by the Renaissance shift in attitude toward the Faust legend. The flirtation with forbidden knowledge will be studied by drawing on religious, mythological, literary, philosophical and scientific texts. Taking recent developments in genetic engineering as a case in point, we will ask to what extent the pursuit of knowledge can enhance or be damaging to human experience.

  • German

    GER 263 – Intro to 19th Century Ger Lit

  • German

    GER 265 – Representations of the Holocaust

    Hitler and the Nazis loom large in the American imagination, and this short period in history continues to define evil. This course provides critical depth to what we understand as “The Holocaust.” We will investigate the most recent historical and philosophical debates around questions such as “Who were the perpetrators and victims?”, “Is the Holocaust unique?”, “What is resistance?”, ”How can we record and remember the unspeakable?”, and ”How is today’s racism connected to the Holocaust?” We will focus on artistic sources – literature, music, film, and visual art – as we develop a critical awareness about the representation of these events. Taught in English.

  • German

    GER 267 – Weimar and Nazi Cinema and Culture

    This course examines the films of the Weimar and Nazi periods and their socio-historical, politico-cultural and aesthetic contexts of production. It covers a wide variety of works from the early beginnings of German cinema to the end of WWII. Each week is thematically structured around one film and several readings, on topics such as “the male gaze,” “mass culture and modernity”, or “fascist aesthetics.”

(Previously Lulu, Lola and Leni: Women of German Cinema)

  • German

    GER 274 – Contemporary German Cinema and Culture

    This course offers an overview of the history of German cinema from 1945 until the present. Students will be introduced to the political, economic, and social conditions of Germany during the post-war and post-wall eras. As we study the larger socio-historical and cultural context of the films, we will learn how German identity has changed over the last century. Each week is thematically structured around one film and several readings, on topics such as “the Cold War and sexual repression,” “minority cinema,” and “history and memory.”

(Previously German 273: Film and German Culture)

  • German

    GER 276 – Berlin: Monuments and Mayhem

    Berlin is attracting profit–and thrill-seekers–once again, recapturing something of the vibrant energy of the Roaring Twenties before its imminent descent into fascism and the subsequent construction of the wall that would divide this city and the world at large during the Cold War. This course examines the political, social and cultural metamorphoses of the city with a special focus on the intercultural crossroads in literature, film, music and architecture. We will investigate how new identities and memories are formed at this local and global construction site.

(Previously Berlin: Site of Memory, Site of Construction)

  • German

    GER 279 – Literary Translation in Theory and Practice

    The course encompasses both the theory and practice of translation. The main work of the course will be to develop the students’ own skills in translation. To achieve this, students will be introduced to professional translators, translation agencies, and organizations that support the work of translators in America. students enrolling in this class must have a strong intermediate competence in a foreign language.

  • German

    GER 280 – The Monstrous and the Marvelous: German Fairy Tales and Folklore

    This course provides a general introduction to German culture from the medieval to the present.  Students will examine the social and cultural context of various fairy tales and folklore (stories, songs, beliefs, customs, folk craft and folk art) and their various adaptations in (world) literature and visual arts.

  • German

    GER 298 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • German

    GER 299 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • German

    GER 302 – Business German

    This course is designed to broaden students’ knowledge of German as a language of commerce and industry. Emphasis is given to business terminology, development of communication skills, and current international business topics. Students will be introduced to differences in “small c” culture and communication in the world of German business transactions and will be encouraged to take the internationally recognized “Pruefung Wirtschaftsdeutsch” (International Business German Exam) administered by the German Chamber of Commerce.

  • German

    GER 303 – Deutsche Märchen

    From fairy tales and the fantastic novellas and love stories of the Romantic Era to modern stories of the Wall and reunification, the course focuses on the art of telling stories in German: cultural context, purpose and technique.

  • German

    GER 341 – Kafka and the Kafkaesque

    (See German 241 – Kafka and the Kafkaesque (GER 241)).

  • German

    GER 363 – Adv 19th Century Ger Studies

  • German

    GER 364 – German Theatre and Culture

    This course will offer students the experience of observing the process of working on the production of a play by a professional theatre company in Freiburg, Germany. In collaboration with students and instructors in German theatre classes being conducted simultaneously at Colgate University, Lafayette College and Vassar, the class will interpret the play and develop a well-researched plan for its staging. In addition to viewing a tape of the performance and analyzing other materials (costume and set designs), students will have the chance to interview actors, designers and the director of the German production at the Theater Freiburg via video conferencing throughout the term.

  • German

    GER 365 – Representations of the Holocaust

    Hitler and the Nazis loom large in the American imagination, and this short period in history continues to define evil. This course provides critical depth to what we understand as “The Holocaust.” We will investigate the most recent historical and philosophical debates around questions such as “Who were the perpetrators and victims?”, “Is the Holocaust unique?”, “What is resistance?”, ”How can we record and remember the unspeakable?”, and ”How is today’s racism connected to the Holocaust?” We will focus on artistic sources – literature, music, film, and visual art – as we develop a critical awareness about the representation of these events. Taught in German.

  • German

    GER 367 – Weimar and Nazi Cinema and Culture

    This course examines the films of the Weimar and Nazi periods and their socio-historical, politico-cultural and aesthetic contexts of production. It covers a wide variety of works from the early beginnings of German cinema to the end of WWII. Each week is thematically structured around one film and several readings, on topics such as “the male gaze,” “mass culture and modernity”, or “fascist aesthetics.”

At the 300-level, we will be targeting certain syntactical and grammatical issues that arise from students’ essays (written in German) and class discussions (held in German).

  • German

    GER 370 – Classicism and Romanticism in German Literature

    This class will be a survey of ideas and literary movements in Germany between 1750 and 1850. Particular attention will be given to the transition from the Classical to the Romantic Period: the critique of the Classical by Romantic authors, the role of Shakespeare as a model for both, the elevation of music as the highest form of artistic expression, the long career of Goethe encompassing both periods. Authors to be read include Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Schlegel, Kleist, Brentano, Eichendorff, Büchner and Heine.

  • German

    GER 374 – Contemporary German Cinema and Culture

    This course offers an overview of the history of German cinema from 1945 until the present. Students will be introduced to the political, economic, and social conditions of Germany during the post-war and post-wall eras. As we study the larger socio-historical and cultural context of the films, we will learn how German identity has changed over the last century. Each week is thematically structured around one film and several readings, on topics such as “the Cold War and sexual repression,” “minority cinema,” and “history and memory.”

 At the 300-level, we also will be targeting certain syntactical and grammatical issues that arise from students’ essays (written in German) and our discussions (held in German).

  • German

    GER 376 – Berlin: Monuments and Mayhem

    (See German 276 – Berlin: Monuments and Mayhem (GER 276))

    (Previously Berlin: Site of Memory, Site of Construction)

  • German

    GER 380 – Identity and Difference in German Culture

    What does it mean to be a German today? Recent political, cultural and literary debates in Germany have addressed the question of who is allowed to claim Germany as their “home,” their Heimat. Literary (prose, poetry) and nonliterary (film, popular music, journalism) texts by intercultural writers and artists of the last two decades challenge the narrow and exclusive concept of “Germanness.” This course will explore important moments in the history of their struggle and responses to these challenges.

  • German

    GER 398 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • German

    GER 399 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • German

    GER 401 – Senior Seminar

    Intensive, independent, self-designed research for majors meeting with faculty on a weekly basis.

  • German

    GER 499 – Independent Research

    Offered to selected majors at the invitation of the department.

  • German

    GER 500 – Individual Research

    Selected majors are invited by the department to pursue individual research in preparation for writing an Honors Thesis.

Laura Bohn Case

Visiting Assistant Professor of German

Tessa C. Lee

Associate Professor of German; Chair, German Studies