Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the German Program will be holding courses in face-to-face, hybrid, and online course formats in the Fall of 2020. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students and instructors.

For UP-TO-DATE course information please visit

GRM Course Catalog

German courses explore a wide range of topics related to the German language and the culture, literature, and society of the German-speaking world. German faculty often teach courses in IAH Program, DH, SLS / TESOL, and Jewish Studies.

For help selecting courses, please contact the academic advisor for German, Cindy Walter.

The course override form can be found in Undergraduate Resources section.

Undergraduate Courses

German language, civilization, and culture for beginning students. Work on all language skills with emphasis on speaking.

Offered: Fall of every year, Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Further study of German language, civilization, and culture for beginning students. Continued work on all language skills with emphasis on speaking.

Offered: Fall of every year, Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Intermediate-level development of all language skills. Reading, viewing, and discussion of a broad range of cultural materials from the German-speaking world.

Offered: Fall of every year, Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Further intermediate-level work on all language skills, based on topics such as popular music, literature, film, current events, and culture. Transition course to advanced work in German studies. Offered: Fall of every year, Spring of every year Credits: 3

Selected representative texts or themes in the cultures of German-speaking countries.

Offered: Infrequently
Credits: 3

Focus on the creation of German identity through migration, immigration, and exile. Intensive work with authentic texts on contemporary issues in the German-speaking world.

Advanced speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Intensive work with authentic texts dealing with contemporary issues in the German-speaking world. Selected review of grammar and syntax.

Offered: In rotation with 302, 303, and 304 Credits: 3

The natural world and our unnatural technologies which interfere with our ecological order. Intensive work with texts and films dealing with forests, gardens, plants, natural explorers, pollution and atomic disaster.

Advanced speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Intensive work with authentic texts dealing with contemporary issues in the German-speaking world. Selected review of grammar and syntax. 

Offered: In rotation with 301, 303, and 304
Credits: 3

Wide-ranging exploration of gender in German culture, from linguistic forms to social roles, including fairy tales, Weimar cinema, and a memoir about growing up trans in the Third Reich.

Advanced speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Intensive work with authentic texts dealing with contemporary issues in the German-speaking world. Selected review of grammar and syntax. 

Offered: In rotation with 301, 302

Advanced speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Intensive work with authentic texts dealing with contemporary issues in the German-speaking world. Selected review of grammar and syntax. 

Offered: In rotation with 301, 303, and 304
Credits: 3

, and 304
Credits: 3

Focus on German media throughout history. Intensive work with films, images, written texts, advertising, news, social media, video games, and other forms of expression.

Advanced speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Intensive work with authentic texts dealing with contemporary issues in the German-speaking world. Selected review of grammar and syntax. 

Offered: In rotation with 301, 303, and 303
Credits: 3

German for the professions: Development of proficiency through readings, discussions, and assignments based on materials dealing with professional office communication, the German economic system, and Germany in world trade.

Offered: Fall of every year
Credits: 3

Development of listening comprehension and oral communication in German beyond the intermediate level. Expansion of vocabulary, use of idiomatic expressions and review of grammatical structures relevant for speaking.

Offered: Spring of every year, Summer of every year (Mayen)
Credits: 3

Historical, social, and cultural developments in 19th-century Germany as revealed in textual material in German, including literature, essays, philosophy, and cultural criticism. Focus on the formation of the German middle class and questions of German identity.

Offered: Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Historical, social, and cultural developments in the German-speaking world since 1918 as revealed in cultural materials, including literature, essays, and film.

Offered: Fall of every year
Credits: 3

Students will maximize their language learning by examining the components of language, language use, language learning and strategies for developing language proficiency and intercultural competence. Advanced structures of German will be addressed.

Advanced language skills using a variety of media. Review of grammar and syntax with attention to idiomatic usage and stylistic variation. Major writing project.

Offered: Fall of every year, Summer of every year (Mayen)
Credits: 3

Literary and cultural texts from a given period before 1919 such as the Enlightenment, Romanticism. Representations of cultural identity, social issues and intellectual debates through literature and other texts. Major writing project.

Offered: In rotation with 445 and 455
Credits: 3

Literary and cultural texts from a given period since 1919. Representations of cultural identity, social issues and intellectual debates through literature, film and other texts. Major writing project.

Offered: In rotation with 435 and 455
Credits: 3

Evolution of key cultural issues. Use of cultural artifacts in tracing developments across time. Topics such as nationalism, minorities in Germany, literary genres, literacy and popular cultures. Major writing project.

Fall 2020 – 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.

Offered: In rotation with 435 and 445
Credits: 3

Analysis of grammatical, lexical, phonological and cultural aspects of German and comparison with English. Course taught in German.

Offered: Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Overview of applied linguistic topics relevant for both students of German and future teachers of German. Issues of contemporary language use, the connection between culture and language. Overview of second language acquisition principles. Introduction to effective audiodidactic or pedagogical techniques for language and culture learning.

Offered: Fall of even year, Spring of even year
Credits: 3

Special topics supplementing regular course offerings proposed by faculty on a group study basis.

Offered: Varies
Credits: 3, variable from 1 to 4.

Preparation of a paper or project that synthesizes the student’s academic experiences in the major(s). Integration of linguistic, cultural and literary studies in German.

Offered: Fall of every year, Spring of every year
Credits: 1

Graduate Courses

Methodologies for teaching culture in the foreign language classroom. Definitions of culture and the interrelatedness of language and culture. Practical application of theory in the development of strategies for teaching culture in the German classroom.

Fall 2020 – 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.

Offered: Spring of every year
Credits: 3

Theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture and their application. Research methodologies for literary and cultural studies.

Offered: Spring of every year
Credits
: 3

Aesthetic representations of cultural strategies and theories of self-definition in selected historical periods. Theories of subjectivity. Development of the bourgeois individual. Identity and gender.

Fall 2020 – 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. 

Offered: Fall of odd years
Credits: 3

Aesthetic representations of group identification in selected historical periods. Nationalism. Concept of the Kulturnation. Role of religious, regional, or linguistic affiliations. Formation of communities based on ethnicity, class, and gender.

Fall 2020 – 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.

Offered: Spring of even years
Credits
: 3

Literary and non-literary texts as affirmation, subversion, or critique of aesthetic and social norms in selected historical periods. Role of the artist or intellectual in society. “High” versus “low” culture. Consumerism.

Offered: Fall of even years
Credits: 3

Society and the dissemination of cultural knowledge, practices, and values in selected historical periods. Educational and political institutions and cultural politics. Literary and cultural marketplace.

Offered: Spring of odd years
Credits: 3