Course Listings

German and Russian: German

GERM 131 Elementary German I (1)

Elementary German I is designed for students with no or very little knowledge of the German language. This course provides students with an appropriate foundation for communicating in various situations: students will learn to speak, comprehend and write German at the elementary level while exploring general themes (family and friends, daily activities, personal interests, travel) and specific topics, such as pop culture and the German cultural scene in the European context.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 132 Elementary German II (1)

Elementary German II is a continuation of the development of basic German language skills, with an increased range of communicative competence in spoken and written German: students will learn to speak, comprehend and write German while exploring additional topics such as university studies, entertainment and the media.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 199 Topics in German (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in German. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

GERM 231 Intermediate German I (1)

This course is designed to further students’ progress in reading, listening, speaking and writing skills, as well as in communicative strategies. It combines an effective review of German grammar with critical discussions of selected literary and cultural texts, as well as German films. The thematic structure gives the students an opportunity to develop an understanding of contemporary German-speaking countries.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 132
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 232 Intermediate German II (1)

In this course students will consolidate their German language skills and communicative strategies. German grammar will be reviewed as needed and enhanced for fluency. Topics of discussion will engage current issues in culture and politics, so that students will acquire an effective background for tracking German developments in the evolving structures of the European Union.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 231
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 241 German Cinema and Visual Culture (1)

In this course, students will acquire skills for engaging visual media in their social environments. Apart from analytical approaches, the course will survey important contributors of German cinema, from its pioneering beginnings to the present. This material will be considered in a broad cultural context where Expressionist Film, for example, is explored together with developments in Expressionist art. As a popular medium, film in various ways taps into the desires, hopes and fears of spectators; we will consider the means by which this is accomplished and discuss the social role that it plays. Though the focus of the course is on visual media in German culture, the aim is visual literacy in general.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: Alternate Fall semesters
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 299 Topics in German (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in German. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

GERM 331W German Composition and Discussion (1)

In this course the emphasis will be on developing and refining skills for written and spoken expression in various contexts of German. Accuracy, fluency and complexity in language use will be our goal. Our discussions and assignments will be based on texts from various media, with the focus on contemporary issues in German-speaking countries.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 232
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 333 Contemporary German Culture and Society (1)

In this course students will continue to improve their language competence in German by exploring cultural, Political and everyday aspects of contemporary Germany. Themes and issues will include the role of Germany in the European Union, Ostalgie and German reunification, youth culture, literature, music, art, multiculturalism, cross-cultural comparisons, and the realities of the media world. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills in contextualizing, interpreting, and critiquing a variety of texts.

  • General Education Requirement: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 340 Introduction to German Literature (1)

In this course, students will acquire interpretive tools for reading, analyzing and discussing German literary texts. With this background, students will then explore representative works from major periods and a variety of styles. We will also be concerned in locating and understanding these works in their historical and cultural context. Selective grammar review and vocabulary-building will be included. Taught in German. This course can be repeated if the contents are different.

  • General Education Requirement: Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W
  • Offering: Fall Semester
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 399 Topics in German (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in German. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

GERM 429 Topics in German (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in German. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

GERM 431 Changing German Realities Since the Congress of Vienna (1)

In the past two hundred years political events, intellectual ventures and technological innovations have profoundly changed the realities in which people tried to make sense of their life and social role. The demise of empires, the redrawing of borders, the shifts in lifestyle from the early machine age to the digital era, and the repositioning of gender and cultural difference all led to far-reaching adjustments in values and patterns of behavior. We will explore a variety of German literary texts, historical documents and films to understand the impact that these changes and developments have had from the early nineteenth century to the European context of today . Conducted in German.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 340
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 432 Media in Context: Literature, Film and Art (1)

Visual and textual media archive social constructions of reality, but they also in turn shape the everyday experiences that make up such social reality. The movies that people see, the books they read and the various forms of artistic expression all contribute to the context in which they make their way. In this course we will critically engage and discuss representative German films, texts and art, and thereby explore topics that fuel current debates on notions of identity and multiculturalism, globalization and consumerism, as well as on the increasing apprehensiveness and violence in the urban experience. Students will complete a project that creatively engages a central aspect of the material discussed in the course: a narrative, a short film, or an artwork.

  • General Education Requirement: Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 340
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 433 Modernism in Vienna and Berlin (1)

In an explosion of cultural production, the turn of the 20th century opened exciting new horizons for knowledge and experience. Freud's work on the unconscious and splendid new 'isms' in the arts, technical innovations and the development of new media dramatically changed the perception of urban life. In this course we will consider a selection of texts from this time period, as well as films from its beginnings to the 1930s.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: GERM 340
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 490-491 Reading and Conference (.5 or 1)

Designed to enable a student to acquire the necessary knowledge and experience of literary periods which are not covered by courses offered at Willamette University.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W, Junior or Senior standing and G.P.A. of 3.0 or better
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 496W Senior Seminar (1)

The seminar will focus on the life and works of one major author (e.g., Goethe, Rilke, Nietzsche, Mann, etc.). Students are expected to write a research paper and present it to the class at the end of the semester.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Senior standing in German
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 497 Literary Research (.5)

Students will meet with a professor in the German program for seven seminar meetings and discuss a theme or an author within the area of German literature. The emphasis will be on the relationship between literature and society. Students are expected to write a 15-page research paper which will be presented to a larger audience at the end of the semester.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

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