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 2019

GRM 435             18th & 19th Century German Literature and Culture

 Visions of Home: The home becomes an utopian site for the self-definition and the identity of the emerging middle class. The home is closely connected with the establishment of a new love paradigm, with a new definition of childhood, and the emergence of a new leisure consumer culture fostered in large part by an intense new reading culture. (Wurst TTH 3:00-4:20)

GRM 805             The German Language: Relationships, Development, and Varieties

Languages and language use change with every interaction. What a typical German textbook says about the rules of German, is often not how people in German-speaking communities speak. In this course, we explore German dialects, contemporary developments in the German language, language contact (e.g., Denglish/Anglizismen), and language use in context, so that you do not sound like a textbook, when interacting with speakers of German. (Goertler Tu 3:00-5:50))

GRM 864             The Representability of the Holocaust

This seminar will focus on the various ways the Holocaust has been represented and the different responses to these forms, including claims that the Holocaust is incomprehensible, unimaginable, or unrepresentable. Taking a diachronic approach, we will examine a variety of representational modes, from autobiographical accounts and historical documentation to theoretical reflections and fictional stories, as well as films, photographs, graphic novels, memorials, museums, and artworks. Keeping in mind that the representation of the Holocaust is both a complex issue and an international phenomenon, we will approach this topic via aesthetic, ethical, epistemological, and disciplinary questions, while concentrating on works within the German-language context. Open to students from all fields; readings will be available in English and German.  (Wolff Th 3:00-5:50)

Spring 2020

GRM 445             20th Century and Contemporary German Literature: Mapping Germany

Through representations of flight and migration, of tourism and exile, of Heimweh and Fernweh, literature and film bear witness to large historical shifts in cultural, political, and geographical belonging over the past century for those who call Germany ‘home’. We will explore the power of these texts, as well as historical maps and other documents to tell stories about Germans’ changing relationship to space and place, and we will create and/or annotate our own digital maps to visualize and interpret the stories we read.  (Mittman TTh 1:00-2:20)

GRM 460             Linguistic Analysis of Modern German

Analysis of grammatical, lexical, and phonological aspects of German and comparison with English. (Spinner TTh 10:20-11:40)

GRM 820             German Literature and Culture: Theory & Practice

The Origins and Legacies of Critical Theory: This course introduces students to the critical project: the mode of cultural and literary analysis that the Frankfurt School first called critical theory in the 1930s. It covers critical theory’s origins in the works of thinkers like Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche, and Freud, charts its rise in the 1920s and 1930s with Lukács, Benjamin, Horkheimer, and Adorno, and explores its contemporaries and continuations with Arendt, Foucault, Kristeva, and more current theoretical work that continues to unfold the critical project.(Handelman M 3:00-5:50 p.m.)

GRM 865             German Studies: Culture in Context: Reading Culture 

The 18th century experienced a reading revolution that not only ushered in the new value system of the middle class contributing significantly to its social, cultural and economic rise. At the same time, concerns arose about the unregulated pleasures of reading leading to a split between reading for edification and “Bildung” on the one hand, and pleasurable reading on the other. (Wurst Th 3:00-5:50 p.m.)