Conducted in German
TR 3:30 – 4:45
Conversation and Composition is designed for post-intermediate students of German with a solid grasp of German grammar and vocabulary who wish to expand on their knowledge of the German language, history, and culture through reading, discussion, and writing. Conversation and Composition is a reading, writing, and speaking intensive course. Emphasis will be placed on refining written and spoken expression, with particular focus on the ability to articulate opinions, exchange substantive information, and argue points of view; developing analytic and interpretive writing skills; and encouraging flexibility of expression. In addition, a thorough grammar review will be part of our work.
Section 001 taught by Doreen Densky.
Conversation and Composition: Comedy and Humor
This course surveys the comic and humorous side of the German-speaking world (because yes, there is such a thing). An often-overlooked category in the German tradition, comedies in their various forms deserve closer attention and invite us to question the social and political conditions under which they proliferate. Among other things, will discuss cartoons (Wilhelm Busch, Loriot), social satire (Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Kästner), the Charlie Chaplin of Germany (Karl Valentin), forbidden humor in the Third Reich and in East Germany, satire and mass-entertainment in West Germany, a sophisticated literary comedy (Friedrich Dürrenmatt), multi-ethnic stand-up and skits from the last two decades, as well as film comedies.
Section 002 taught by Michael Saman.
Conversation and Composition: East Germany and After
This class focuses on recent German culture and politics from the perspective of the end of the communist East German state, and the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We will begin with a nuanced look at political and ideological debates that surrounded the opening of the Wall in 1989, and will then interpret selections of literature, film, visual art, music, and non-fictional historical documents, thereby gaining insight into a dimension of the historical complexity that shapes today’s Germany.