We are committed to building a dynamic curriculum that connects German to your academic and career goals. Through innovative course design and the use of computer-based and multimedia materials, we deliver high-quality, engaged teaching and establish high expectations for student performance. Our courses are built around cultural study of Germany’s past and present. You’ll learn language through culture, right from the very beginning—developing your language skills in a context that really matters.
Following are the courses taught by the German faculty, including GST courses offered in English. Many courses taught by faculty in other departments count towards the minor in German Studies.
You might also want to take a look at a sample four year plan that shows one possible way to progress through the program.
GER 121. INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE I 4 sh
German courses at the 100 level introduce students to German culture as a way of achieving basic competency in German, both listening/speaking and reading/writing. Topics of cultural study may include: stereotypes about the Germans; daily life, leisure and travel; shopping and commerce; likes and dislikes; geography and cities; housing and modes of living. We use a culturally-centered, project-based learning approach. Examples of projects include: audio dialogs, digital stories and movie scripts using editing software in our language media center; poster presentations; and written work in various genres (letters, essays, encyclopedia entries, news columns). The course consistently connects German study to students' academic and career goals. Students may therefore select projects that advance these goals, such as writing a resume in German. No prerequisite. Offered fall.
GER 122. INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE II 4 sh
This course expands the introduction to German culture and the linguistic skills developed in GER 121. It includes a continued focus on listening/speaking and reading/writing, and a consistent link between German study and students' academic and career goals. Topics and projects in the 100=level courses are listed in the description for GER 121. GER 122 is the minimum requirement for summer study abroad in Heidelberg. Prerequisite: GER 121 or placement at this level. Offered spring.
GER 221. EXPERIENCING THE GERMAN-SPEAKING WORLD I 4 sh
German courses at the 200 level familiarize students with contemporary life in Germany, as a means of achieving greater cultural understanding and developing intermediate abilities in listening/speaking and reading/writing. Topics of cultural study may include: recent German history, famous sites and symbols; recent film and short stories; the design and function of cities; human relationships; foreigners and immigrants in Germany, current topics in the news. In the 200-level courses we deepen our culturally-centered, project-based learning approach. In addition to the type of projects employed in the 100-level course, projects in GER 221 and 222 may include: cross-disciplinary work connected to students' other courses, additional genres of written work (news columns, opinion pieces, travel brochures), additional projects that connect students' German study to their academic and career goals. Prerequisite: GER 122 or placement at this level. Offered fall.
GER 222. EXPERIENCING THE GERMAN SPEAKING WORLD II 4 sh
This course continues the in-depth study of contemporary life begun in GER 221. Topics and projects in the 200-level courses are listed in the description for GER 221. GER 222 is the minimum requirement for semester/year study abroad in Heidelberg, and the minimum requirement for the Business Dual-Degree program at the European School of Business. Prerequisite: GER 221 or placement at this level. Offered spring.
GER 321. GERMANY BETWEEN EMPIRE AND NAZISM 4 sh
Germany's transition from empire to democracy took more than three decades and included two devastating world wars. This course examines the turbulent era between the ward, beginning with the fall of the emperor in 1919 and culminating in the opening shots of World War II in 1939. Events and trends to be studied include: the cultural scene in the 1920s Germany (film, Expressionism, cabaret, jazz); the crisis of modernity; the Great Depression; the Nazi rise to power. GER 321 is offered every other fall in rotation with GER 323. Prerequisite: GER 222 or placement at this level.
GER 322. GERMANY DURING AND AFTER WORLD WAR II 4 sh
This course examines the transition from dictatorship to a stable democracy (1939-49), with a specific focus on the post-war period. Events and trends to be studied: the ruin and devastation of the mid-1940s; the division into two states in 1949; the rebuilding period of the 1950s; the Nuremberg and Auschwitz war-crimes trials. Students with a specific interest in the Nazi era should also consider relevant courses in the History department. GER 322 is offered every other spring, in rotation with GER 324. Prerequisite: GER 222 or placement at this level.
GER 323. DIVIDED GERMANY, 1949-89 4 sh
This course examines the separation of Germany into two countries in 1949 and the separate paths for West and East Germany that ensued, including the development of specific West and East German identities. Special emphasis on the former communist state known as the Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany), its political development, positive aspects (community, unity), and human rights abuses (surveillance, Stasi, secret prisons). GER 323 is offered every other fall, in rotation with GER 321. Prerequisite: GER 222 or placement at this level.
GER 324. GERMANY IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM 4 sh
This course examines Germany's changing identity, politics and values in the new millennium. An in-depth look at current events shaping Germany is grounded in a study how key figures and moments in German history—from the medieval era to the 20th century—continue to influence the people, politics and institutions of Germany today. Topics of study may include: questions of Heimat; issues of migration and identity (immigrants, Turkish-Germans, religion, multiculturalism); medievalism; genius and inspiration (Nietzsche, Wagner, Beethoven, the Gesamtkunstwerk); the role of Germany in the European Union and the world. The course makes use of news broadcasts and news websites, contemporary film, short fiction and other cultural products. GER 324 is offered ever other spring, in rotation with GER 322. Prerequisite: GER 222 or placement at this level.
GER 371-74. SPECIAL TOPICS 4 sh
Topics may include advanced study in culture or literature. Prerequisite: GER 222.
GER 491. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-4 sh
Offered based on student demand and instructor availability
GER 499. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-4 sh
Offered after a formal application process, and in conjunction with a university-approved research program. Dependent on instructor availability. Recent projects have included an Elon College Fellows thesis on Holocaust literature; a Communications and German Studies project on the portrayal of Germans in social media; and an exploration of novelist Günter Grass's 2006 memoir "Beim Häuten der Zwiebel" (Peeling the Onion).
This page was updated July 3, 2014.