Germanic Languages and Literatures

Stephanie Hilger
2090 Foreign Languages Building, 707 South Mathews, Urbana
PH: (217) 333-1288
http://www.germanic.illinois.edu

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers the following majors and minors along with study abroad programs:

The BALAS in Germanic Studies serves to develop competence in German or Scandinavian languages and cultures. Students will gain familiarity with the structure of the language and its use in the context of business, contemporary culture, intellectual history, literature, and science. Students specialize in one of the following concentrations:

  • German Culture and Literature Concentration
  • German Business and Commercial Studies Concentration
  • German Linguistics Concentration
  • Scandinavian Studies Concentration

The BA in the Teaching of German prepares student to teach in German.

The 5 year BALAS/MA in Germanic Studies allows students to receive two degrees, a BALAS in Germanic Languages and Literatures and an MA in German.

The minor in German offers students a background in the language through the advanced undergraduate level, an introduction to the study of German literary classics, and a knowledge of the history of German culture.

The minor in Scandinavian Studies offers students exposure to the study of a Scandinavian language and broad knowledge of Scandinavian culture, literature, film, art, and history.

The 5 Year BALAS/MA in German and European Union Studies allows students to receive two degrees, a BALAS in Germanic Studies and an MA in European Union Studies.

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Students must select one concentration in consultation with an adviser.

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in the Teaching of German

Curriculum Preparatory to the Teaching of German

5 year BALAS/MA in Germanic Studies

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers a 5-year program leading to two degrees, a BALAS in Germanic Studies and an MA in German.  In order to be admitted to this program, student can apply during their second or third year of studies.  Requirements for this program are identical to those for the BALAS and the MA in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

In order to be admitted to the 5-year BALAS/MA during their second year, students will need to be in good standing, have finished GER 211 and GER 331, have a general GPA of 3.0 and a German GPA of 3.0, and be required to write a short essay in German.

In order to apply for the 5-year BALAS/MA during their third year, students will have to have finished GER 401 and GER 420, have a general GPA of 3.0 and a German GPA of 3.0, and be required to write a short essay in German.

The department will continue to monitor the GPAs of students admitted to the BALAS/MA program into their third and fourth years and before formal admission to the Graduate College.  The decision about students’ admission to the 5-year program will be made by the graduate admissions committee in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate advisors of the department.  The Department will consider students in the fifth year of this program for departmental support as Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants, or for fellowships and scholarships.

The minimum total number of hours required for graduation from the BALAS/MA program is 152.  Up to 12 hours not required for the BALAS (120 hours) taken during the fourth year can be used to meet the requirements for the MA (32 hours).  Students admitted to the program will receive both degrees once all requirements for the 5-year BALAS/MA degree program have been successfully completed.  More detailed information may be obtained from the departmental office.

5 Year BALAS/MA in German and European Union Studies

The Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures with the European Union Center offers a 5-year BALAS/MA degree program in German (including a Scandinavian Studies Concentration) and the Master of Arts in European Union Studies (MAEUS). In order to be admitted to this degree program, students apply through a joint application process to their BALAS-granting program and the European Union Center during their third year of studies. Requirements for this degree program are identical to those for the standalone BALAS and for the stand-alone MAEUS. Students will receive both degrees when the requirements are met for the degrees; the BALAS and MA degrees will be conferred separately and independently. More detailed information may be obtained from department and EUC offices.

GER Class Schedule

German Courses

GER 101   Beginning German I   credit: 4 Hours.

Oral practice, reading, and grammar for beginners.

GER 102   Beginning German II   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of GER 101. Prerequisite: One semester of college German or equivalent.

GER 103   Intermediate German I   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of GER 102. Prerequisite: Two semesters of college German or equivalent.

GER 104   Intermediate German II   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of GER 103. Prerequisite: Three semesters of college German or equivalent.

GER 189   Living German - German Living   credit: 1 Hour.

Practice in speaking German for students living in the German House. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 3 hours. Prerequisite: Elementary speaking knowledge of German.

GER 191   Freshman Honors Tutorial   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Study of selected topics on an individually arranged basis. Open only to honors majors or to Cohn Scholars and Associates. May be repeated once. Prerequisite: Consent of departmental honors advisor.

GER 200   German Literature in Trans   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to German literature for students with no knowledge of German. Same as CWL 224. May be repeated if topics vary.

GER 201   German Popular Culture   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to the study of modern and contemporary german culture through examining examples of popular culture from the late-eighteenth century to the present. Looks at texts and films as a mirror and critique of modern German society. Topics to be discussed: nationalism, gender, ethnicity, minority cultures, Jewish life in Germany, German images of other cultures, etc. Course taught in English.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 205   Germany and Europe   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction into major issues in contemporary German society with a special focus on Germany's functioning within Europe and the European Union through novels, films, essays, interviews etc. Course taught in English.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 211   Conversation and Writing I   credit: 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: GER 104 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

GER 212   Conversation and Writing II   credit: 3 Hours.

Continuation of GER 211. Prerequisite: GER 211 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

GER 250   Grimms' Fairy Tales - ACP   credit: 3 Hours.

Special attention is paid to the Grimms' tales in terms of traditional narrative genres, elements of life in early modern Europe, and versions from Italy and France as well as Germany. Course is conducted in English. Same as CWL 250 and ENGL 267. Credit is not given for both GER 250 and GER 251. Prerequisite: Completion of the Campus Composition I requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 251   Grimm's Fairy Tales in Context   credit: 3 Hours.

Special attention is paid to the Grimms' tales in terms of traditional narrative genres, elements of life in early modern Europe, and versions from Italy and France as well as Germany. Course is conducted in English. Same as CWL 254 and ENGL 266. Credit is not given for both GER 251 and GER 250.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 260   The Holocaust in Context - ACP   credit: 3 Hours.

Jewish contributions to German Literature from 1200 to the present day. Includes trips to the University Library's Rare Book Room. Same as CWL 271 and ENGL 268. Credit is not given for both GER 260 and GER 261. Prerequisite: Completion of the Campus Composition I general education requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 261   The Holocaust in Context   credit: 3 Hours.

Examines cultural representations of the Holocaust in literature, film, and critical essays. Same as CWL 273 and ENGL 269. Credit is not given for both GER 261 and GER 260.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

GER 270   Sexuality and Literature   credit: 3 Hours.

Examination of the historical contexts in which sexuality has been debated during the past three centuries, and to what extent sexuality is perceived differently in diverse cultures. Part one will look at the Western tradition, especially Germany. Part two will shift focus to the non-Western world, especially to the colonial history of Indonesia. Same as CWL 272 and GWS 270.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts

GER 299   Study Abroad   credit: 0 to 18 Hours.

Lectures, seminars, and practical work in German language, literature, civilization, and in other academic areas appropriate to the student's course of study. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in the same term to a maxiumum of 18 hours; may be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 36 hours. Prerequisite: GER 104 or equivalent; 2.75 overall average; 3.0 average in German courses.

GER 320   German for Business   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduces German business language as used in basic operations in retail/wholesale, export/import, banking transactions. Prerequisite: GER 211 or consent of instructor.

GER 321   German for Economics   credit: 3 Hours.

German language as used in professional contexts involving economic matters: texts and documents relating to forms of enterprises and their financing, to macroeconomic structures of domestic and foreign trade, and to reports on the economies of German-speaking countries. Prerequisite: GER 320 or consent of instructor.

GER 331   Intro to German Literature   credit: 3 Hours.

Introductory study of representative works (prose, drama, lyric) by outstanding German, Austrian, and Swiss writers of the modern period. Prerequisite: Two years of college German or equivalent.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts

GER 332   German Literature and Culture   credit: 3 Hours.

In German. Seminar in the literature and culture of German-speaking countries since 1750. Topic varies. Format: lecture; discussion; film screenings. Prerequisite: GER 331 or equivalent.

GER 396   Special Topics German Studies   credit: 3 Hours.

Introductory study in such topics as individual authors, selected literary movements or periods, modes of inquiry in literary study, minor genres, subgenres, extraliterary influences, etc. Same as CWL 328. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours if topics vary. Prerequisite: Reading fluency in German beyond the fourth-semester college level.

GER 401   Global Issues in German   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to global issues in German media. Taught in German. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: GER 212 or equivalent.

GER 403   German-English Translation: Theory & Practice   credit: 3 Hours.

Theory and practice of translating technical, commercial, scientific, and literary texts from German into English and vice versa. Same as TRST 403. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: GER 401 or consent of instructor.

GER 420   German Cultural History   credit: 4 Hours.

A general introduction to German culture from the pre-Christian period to the twenty-first century, focusing on the tension between forces of history and modernization in German culture. Course materials include literary and philosophical texts, film, painting, and music. Particular attention will be paid to the role of art in society. 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One 200-level German course and GER 331; or consent of instructor.

GER 465   Ling Structures of German   credit: 3 Hours.

Survey of the linguistic structures of German in historical, geographic, and social context. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent.

GER 470   Middle Ages to Baroque   credit: 3 Hours.

Literary, thematic, cultural, and bibliographical analysis of the major authors, works, genres, and movements in German literature from 750-1720. Same as MDVL 470. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours if topics vary. Prerequisite: GER 332 or equivalent.

GER 471   Enlightenment to Romanticism   credit: 3 Hours.

Literary, thematic, cultural, and bibliographical analysis of the major authors, works, genres, and movements in German literature from 1720 to 1830. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 6 graduate hours if topic varies. Prerequisite: GER 332 or equivalent.

GER 472   Realism to Expressionism   credit: 3 Hours.

Literary, thematic, cultural, and bibliographical analysis of the major authors, works, genres, and movements in German literature from 1830 to 1920. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 6 graduate hours if topic varies. Prerequisite: GER 332 or equivalent.

GER 473   1920s to Today   credit: 3 Hours.

Literary, thematic, cultural, and bibliographical analysis of the major authors, works, genres, and movements in German literature from 1920 to the present. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 6 graduate hours if topic varies. Prerequisite: GER 332 or equivalent.

GER 491   Honors Senior Thesis   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Intended primarily for candidates for honors in German, but open to other seniors. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing; consent of instructor.

GER 493   German Cinema I   credit: 3 Hours.

Focus on the rise of German film from its earliest beginnings until 1945. Same as MACS 493. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

GER 494   German Cinema II   credit: 3 Hours.

Study of German film from 1945 until the present. Same as MACS 494. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

GER 496   Special Topics German Studies   credit: 3 Hours.

Intensive study of restricted topics in German language, literature, and culture. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. May be repeated as topics vary to a maximum of 9 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Three years of college German or equivalent.

GMC Class Schedule

SCAN Class Schedule

Scandinavian Courses

SCAN 101   Beginning Scandinavian I   credit: 4 Hours.

First course in the Scandinavian language sequence (usually Swedish). Instruction is by immersion, emphasis is on basic skills: reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension.

SCAN 102   Beginning Scandinavian II   credit: 4 Hours.

Second course in the Scandinavian language sequence (usually Swedish). Instruction is by immersion, emphasis is on further developing basic skills: reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension. Prerequisite: SCAN 101 or consent of instructor.

SCAN 103   Intermediate Scandinavian I   credit: 4 Hours.

Third course in the Scandinavian language sequence (usually Swedish). Emphasis is on conversational skills, discussion techniques and aural comprehension through the study of authentic texts, television and films, with emphasis on learning about contemporary issues in Sweden, including its relationship to the European Union. Instruction is by immersion. Prerequisite: SCAN 102 or consent of instructor.

SCAN 104   Intermediate Scandinavian II   credit: 4 Hours.

Fourth course in the Scandinavian language sequence (usually Swedish). Emphasis is on close reading, translation and analysis of authentic texts, such as novels and drama in the target language. Instruction is by immersion. Prerequisite: SCAN 103 or consent of instructor.

SCAN 110   Intensive Intermediate Scan   credit: 4 Hours.

Intensive course in a Scandinavian language (usually Swedish) that emphasizes development of reading and writing skills. Focus of class discussions and activities is the study of authentic texts, audio and/or visual media. Instruction is by immersion. May be repeated in the same or separate term up to 8 hours. Prerequisite: SCAN 102 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

SCAN 215   Madness, Myth, and Murder   credit: 3 Hours.

Focuses on the achievements of major Scandinavian writers of prose fiction, from 1850 to today. Explores topics of madness, myth, and murder in literature. All reading, discussion, and writing in English. Same as CWL 215.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts

SCAN 225   Vikings to Volvos: Scandinavia   credit: 3 Hours.

An introduction to the history, literature, and culture of Scandinavia and the Nordic region, from the Viking age until the modern era (700s-present). Includes discussion of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard, and Greenland. All readings in English. Same as HIST 254.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

SCAN 240   Arctic Narratives   credit: 3 Hours.

Study of the Arctic, its peoples and cultures, as imagined in literature, art, history, media and film. This course makes cross-cultural comparisons with accounts by indigenous people and Scandinavian, American, and European visitors to or settlers in to the Arctic. This course includes emphasis on environmental, colonial, and social aspects from theoretical and historical perspectives. Same as CWL 282, EURO 240. See SCAN 240.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

SCAN 251   Viking Mythology   credit: 3 Hours.

Studies pre-Christian beliefs of the Germanic peoples as reflected primarily in medieval Icelandic prose and poetry (in translation). Same as CWL 251, MDVL 251, and REL 251.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Hist & Phil
Cultural Studies - Western

SCAN 252   Viking Sagas in Translation   credit: 3 Hours.

Studies Old Norse-Icelandic literature: kings' sagas, family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas, and romances. Texts and lectures in English. Same as CWL 252 and MDVL 252.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

SCAN 305   Old Norse - Icelandic I   credit: 3 Hours.

Provides a solid proficiency in reading texts in Old Norse, the language of the Viking sagas and mythology. Prerequisite: Any SCAN course or knowledge or one other foreign language.

SCAN 306   Old Norse - Icelandic II   credit: 3 Hours.

Assumes general competence in reading Old Norse. Readings and exploration of a wide assortment of essential text in the original language. Prerequisite: SCAN 305 or consent of instructor.

SCAN 376   Children and Youth Literature   credit: 3 Hours.

Explores the understanding of childhood and youth in Scandinavia, with comparative focus on the US and the UK through children's literature and classic accounts of childhood in fiction, film, and related media. Will investigate how childhood is construed in books self-described as children's literature as well as in adult-audience fiction and memoirs; and how representations of childhood correlate with evolving ideas about family formation, child-rearing, the welfare state, and education in twentieth- and twenty-first century Scandinavia. This is put in comparative context with British and/or US children's literature. Same as CWL 376, EURO 376, and GWS 376. Credit is not given for both SCAN 376 and SCAN 576.

SCAN 463   Modern Scandinavian Drama   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Thematic and conceptual study of the Scandinavian dramatic tradition, from the late-nineteenth century classics of Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, to mid-century intermediality in works by Ingmar Bermgan, and to hyperrealism, postmodernism, and digital performativity by contemporary playwrights. Interpretive contexts include text-image studies, performativity, socio-cultural aspects of the Nordic region, theatre and production history, and gender and sexuality studies. Same as CWL 463 and THEA 483. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One college-level literature or theatre course, or consent of instructor.

SCAN 470   Imagining the Welfare State   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Investigate conceptions of the Nordic and West-European welfare state from the early twentieth-century to today from critical interpretive, historical, and cultural studies perspectives. Building on close analysis of influential works in literature, film, arts, and architecture from primarily Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the course will address historical factors and characteristics of the socio-cultural imaginary surrounding the rise and, some argue, subsequent dismantling of the Nordic welfare state. Same as CWL 470 and EURO 470. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: At least one course in literature, film, or the arts; or consent of the instructor.

SCAN 472   Kierkegaard and the Self   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Soren Kierkegaard is an early author who wrestled with the concept of the individual self and championed subjective experience as a counterbalance to objective rationalism. Students in this seminar-style course will gain extensive familiarity with Kierkegaard's major works, as well as how they relate to two currents in 19th century society, existentialism and pietism. These works will be evaluated within their particular Nordic literary context, through critical analysis of related novels, plays and films by Andersen, Ibsen, Bremer, Strindberg, Lagerlof, Blixen, and Bergman (readings in English translation). Same as CWL 472, PHIL 472, and REL 472. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SCAN 490   Green Screen: Film and Nature   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Provides a thorough examination of documentary and feature film in relation to the natural environment, sustainability studies, ecocriticism, and landscape representation especially in the Scandinavian film tradition. Incorporates theory, film culture and production analysis, and thematic interpretation. Films by Victor Sjostrom, Ingmar Bergman, Mai Zetterling, Lars von Trier, Susanne Bier, Jan Troell, and others. Same as EURO 489 and MACS 490. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SCAN 492   Scandinavian Cinema   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Covers major directors, traditions, genres, themes, and production and distribution contexts of Scandinavian cinema and media industries. Addressing early cinema, fiction feature, documentary, shorts, experimental, and new and emergent artistic forms, the course will provide students with an in depth understanding of the rich culture of Scandinavian cinema since its inception. Same as MACS 492. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SCAN 493   Honors Senior Thesis   credit: 2 to 4 Hours.

2 to 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing; consent of instructor.

SCAN 494   Topics in Scan Languages   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Advanced Scandinavian languages instruction. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 9 undergraduate or 9 graduate hours if topics vary. Prerequisite: SCAN 104 or equivalent as approved by instructor.

SCAN 496   Special Topics in Scan Studies   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Individual study in selected topics, such as individual authors, literary movements, periods, genres, or themes, and Scandinavian culture. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

YDSH Class Schedule

Yiddish Courses

YDSH 101   Beginning Yiddish I   credit: 4 Hours.

Course develops basic conversational and reading skills as well as the essentials of Yiddish grammar.

YDSH 102   Beginning Yiddish II   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of YDSH 101 focusing on comprehension and reading skills. Prerequisite: YDSH 101.

YDSH 103   Intermediate Yiddish I   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of YDSH 102. Develops more advanced conversational, comprehension, reading and writing skills as well as introducing more advanced features of Yiddish grammar. Prerequisite: YDSH 102 or equivalent placement score.

YDSH 104   Intermediate Yiddish II   credit: 4 Hours.

Continuation of YDSH 103. Prerequisite: YDSH 103 or equivalent placement score.

YDSH 220   Jewish Storytelling   credit: 3 Hours.

Course will introduce the great Jewish storytellers such as Nachman of Bratslav, Scholem-Aleichem, and I.B. Singer through readings of Yiddish tales, short stories, poetry, drama and excerpts from novels and autobiographies from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, Yiddish films and folklore will be used to exemplify the variety of Jewish cultural expression in Eastern Europe, Russia, and America. Course will also present a sample of critical approaches to Yiddish literature. Taught in English translation. Same as CWL 221, ENGL 223, JS 220, and REL 220.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

YDSH 320   Lit Responses to the Holocaust   credit: 3 Hours.

Course introduces a variety of Jewish literary responses to the Holocaust written during and after the Second World War (from 1939). The discussion of Holocaust memoirs, diaries, novels, short stories, poems, and other texts will focus on the unique contribution of literary works to our understanding of the Holocaust. In addition, the works and their authors will be situated in their Jewish cultural historical context. Taught in English translation. Same as CWL 320, ENGL 359, JS 320, and REL 320.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts
Cultural Studies - Western

YDSH 420   Jewish Life-Writing   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Jewish life-writing from the late 18th century until today. Emphasis on cultural historical context, literary styles, and forms. All texts will be available in English translation. Same as CWL 421, HIST 436, REL 420, and SLAV 420. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.