Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > German > Graduate Studies > Graduate Courses


MSU Schedule of Courses

Graduate seminars carry an 800-level designation. 
Courses numbered 400 and higher may fulfill graduate degree requirements.
Most course numbers are offered on a two-year rotation schedule.

Fall 2020

GRM 455 German Cultural History: German Comics

It is a well-worn cliché that Germans do not have a sense of humor. Another oversimplification is that comics are always funny. This course challenges both of these ideas. We will explore the history of comics, which has its roots in the German-speaking world, and we will examine comics as a medium – a unique text-image combination in sequential arrangement – rather than just the ‘funnies’ that may first come to mind. We will work with the MSU Comic Art Collection – the world’s largest publicly available collection of international comics and graphic novels – and focus on contemporary German-language comics and graphic novels, which offer important ways to grapple with history, identity, and politics.
Wolff   MW 4:10-5:30

GRM 862 The Politics of Identity

This course explores theoretical frameworks and case studies focusing on the construction of identities in German culture. We will explore gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, class, residency status, and political identities along the German spectrum. We will be reading a wide variety of texts in multiple genres and paying close attention to historical shifts and political rhetoric throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. 
Schuster-Craig Tu 3:00-5:50

GRM 863 From Past Tense to Future Perfect: Rethinking GDR Cultural Studies Today

This seminar will explore past, present, and possible futures of East German cultural studies. We will study original texts and artefacts in the context of their various audiences, East and West, popular and scholarly, before and after 1989/90. Course materials will include literature and film, but also music, visual arts, popular culture and other countercultures. Working with a multi-modal, multi-temporal approach operates as a lever for understanding the power of symbolic formations in the creation of cultural identities, and reminds us that, far from being defunct, the GDR remains a richly relevant source of meaning for contemporary German culture.
Mittman   Th 3:00-5:50


Spring 2021

GRM 461 Applied Linguistics for German Learners and Teachers

Research-based and practice-proven techniques for and tasks  in language and culture learning and teaching. Research-based analysis of contemporary issues and the intersection of culture and language. 
Goertler   TTh 1:00-2:20

GRM 491 German Film, 1918-Present: Immigrants, Exiles, and Others

Overview of German film history, including both mainstream and outsider cinema. Introduction to formal film analysis. Thematic focus on inclusion and exclusion, and on representations of social, ethnic, and linguistic difference. Students will co-coordinate a film series--part virtual, part live--as a Filmabend revival.
Mittman   TTh 2:40-4:00

GRM 815   Creating Significant Learning Experiences in the Literature and Culture Classroom

An overview of the scholarship of teaching and learning to create meaningful learning experiences designed to develop advanced competencies in the integrated literature and culture classroom. Our assumption is that learning is a constructivist activity that builds on iterative refinement through challenging, meaningful, and effective activities. The course itself is designed as an active, student-centered learning environment, where we will also apply these principles to produce learning goals, determine desired outcomes, and learning activities. This will result in the creation of a syllabus, modules, learning activities, and assessments accompanied by critical reflection.
Wurst   T 3:00-5:50

GRM 864   From Translation to Multilingualism

This course considers translation in its various forms - from ‘literal’ to metaphorical - and explores how the concept of translation can help us understand the relationship between language and experience that is at the heart of the literary discourse and any discussions of cultural transfer. We will work with theoretical and literary texts, and our guiding questions include: Which linguistic expressions, cultural concepts, or artistic forms defy or resist translation? What remains “untranslatable”? How do we define “correspondence,” “equivalence,”  and “fidelity”? What criteria make a translation good or bad? How have theories and practices of translation changed over the ages? Our discussions of translation will provide us with a foundation from which we can make connections to recent cultural debates around issues of multilingualism and “Heimat”.
Wolff   M 3:00-5:50