Barnard Faculty:

Chair: Erk Grimm (Associate Professor)
Senior Associate: Irene Motyl-Mudretzkyj (Language Program Coordinator)
Adjunct Lecturer: Tina Samartzi


Columbia Faculty:

Chair: Oliver Simons (Professor)
Professors: Mark Anderson, Stefan Andriopoulos, Claudia Breger, Dorothea von Mücke, Harro Müller 
Assistant Professor: Tobias Wilke
Senior Lecturer:  Jutta Schmiers-Heller (Director of Language Program)

The Major in German Literature

The courses comprising this program are all taught in German with the twofold objective of combining the study of significant works, literary trends, and cultural manifestations with advanced practice in the use of German as a medium of practical everyday communication and intellectually stimulating discussion or conversation.

Requirements: 10 courses

One advanced language course chosen from:
Advanced German, I
Advanced German II: Vienna
One language course chosen from:
News and Views: Reception, Reporting, and Video Production
Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany and Austria
Telenovelas
Six or Seven literature courses chosen from:
Contemporary German Prose Fiction (English)
Major German Poets
German Migrant Literature
Close-ups: German Literature and Photography
From Text to Screen: German Literature and Film
From Decadence to Dada
Or their equivalent in consultation with the department chair.
GERM BC3061Senior Seminar/Tutorial (or equivalent tutorial with thesis supervisor.)4

The Major in German Studies

This major combines a study of literature with other aspects of German culture and civilization by choosing courses from the social sciences such as history, political science, and economics, and from other humanities dealing with German-speaking regions or communities. The department will assist and advise students interested in studying in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. It should be noted that Barnard College is a member of the Berlin Consortium for German Studies and strongly encourages those students wishing to study abroad to do so through this program administered by Columbia University and conducted in association with the Freie Universitat Berlin.

Requirements: 11 courses

One Advanced Language course:
Advanced German, I
Advanced German II: Vienna
One course from the following:
News and Views: Reception, Reporting, and Video Production
Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany and Austria
Telenovelas
3 German electives, focusing on Austria, Germany, or Swiss aspects: Or equivalent in consultation with the Chair.
German Migrant Literature
Germany's Traveling Cultures
From Decadence to Dada
5 courses in other disciplines, to be chosen in consultation with department chair.15
GERM BC3061Senior Seminar/Tutorial (Taken fall semester of senior year.)4

The Minor in German

Requirements: 1 courses

Minimum of 2 advanced language courses from the following:
Advanced German, I
Advanced German II: Vienna
Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany and Austria
Telenovelas
Minimum of 2 literature courses, from the following:
Contemporary German Prose Fiction (English)
German Migrant Literature
From Text to Screen: German Literature and Film
Germany's Traveling Cultures
From Decadence to Dada
Or their equivalent, in consultation with the department chair.

Barnard Courses

GERM UN1101 Elementary German Language Course, I. 4 points.

Upon completion of the course, students understand, speak, read, and write German at a level enabling them to communicate with native speakers about their background, family, daily activities, student life, work, and living quarters. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/13224 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Varol Kahveci 4 6/15
GERM 1101 003/13321 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Xiran Lu 4 4/15
GERM 1101 004/13319 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4 15/15
GERM 1101 006/13322 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Skye Savage 4 13/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/10254  
4 0/15
GERM 1101 002/10255  
4 0/15
GERM 1101 003/10256  
4 0/15

GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1101 or the equivalent.

Students expand their communication skills to include travel, storytelling, personal well-being, basic economics, and recent historical events. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/13323 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Luca Arens 4 5/15
GERM 1102 002/13325 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Carl Claussen 4 11/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/10257  
4 0/15
GERM 1102 002/10258  
4 0/15
GERM 1102 003/10259  
4 0/15

GERM BC2210 Grammatik Aktiv. 2 points.

An intensive study of key features of German grammar, with an emphasis on skill-building exercises and practical solutions to common problems of writing and speaking on the intermediate level; aims at building confidence in using simple and more complex sentence structures.

Fall 2020: GERM BC2210
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2210 001/00376 W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 2 0/12

GERM BC2212 Grammatik Aktiv. 3 points.

Students have the option to register for 2-point or 3-points. Please check the course number when registering.

An intensive study of key features of German grammar, with an emphasis on skill-building exercises and practical solutions to common problems of writing and speaking on the intermediate level; aims at building confidence in using simple and more complex sentence structures.


For an additional point, students will hand in a weekly 150-200 word summary in German in which they highlight what they have learned, explain the rules and applications of the linguistic feature on hand. In the last portion of the summary students will reflect on their learning process during each week to document their progress. Individual meetings with the Professor to clarify and practice student specific grammar issues will be scheduled.

Fall 2020: GERM BC2212
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2212 001/00377 W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 3 1/12

GERM UN2101 Intermediate German I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent.

Complete grammar review through regular exercises. Wide range of texts are used for close and rapid reading and writing exercises. Practice in conversation aims at enlarging the vocabulary necessary for daily communication.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/13327 M T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Didi Tal 4 4/15
GERM 2101 002/13328 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Hazel Rhodes 4 11/15
GERM 2101 005/00399 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 4 17/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/10261  
4 0/18
GERM 2101 002/10262  
4 0/18

GERM UN2102 Intermediate German II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2101 or the equivalent.

Language study based on texts concerning culture and literature. Assignments include compositions in German and exercises of grammatical forms, both related to the texts. Class discussions in German provide oral and aural practice.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/13331 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Cosima Mattner 4 8/15
GERM 2102 002/13330 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Silja Weber 4 7/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/10263  
4 0/18
GERM 2102 002/10264  
4 0/18
GERM 2102 003/10265  
4 0/18

GERM UN2125 Accelerated Intermediate German I, II. 8 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 Elementary II

Accelerated language study as preparation for Study Abroad in Berlin.

GERM UN3002 Advanced German II: Vienna. 3 points.

Corequisites: Course either taken before or after GERM V3001.

Intensive practice in oral and written German. Discussions, oral reports, and weekly written assignments, based on material of topical and stylistic variety taken from German press and from literary sources.

GERM BC3010 Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany and Austria. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM V2102 or equivalent.

Advanced students improve language skills through exploration of political, cultural and intellectual debates and self perceptions in Germany and Austria. Discussion and analysis of print media, Internet, film and T.V.

Fall 2020: GERM BC3010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3010 001/00375 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 3 9/12

GERM BC3012 Telenovelas. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Intermediate German II (V2102 or V1225) or equivalent.

Examines popular culture and language through a German TV series. Advanced students practice and perfect their language skills by examining typical features and intercultural aspects of a German telenovela. Focus on main elements of genre, language, cultural context by comparing different versions.

GERM BC3028 Contemporary German Prose Fiction (English). 3 points.

Study of short prose texts and recent literary developments. Discussions of aspects such as: memory and Germany identity; fantasy and storytelling; borderlands and Berlin in contemporary literature. Readings include works by major writers and younger generations, from Grass and Christa Wolf to Biller, Honigmann, Johnson, Schneider, and Sebald.

GERM BC3031 Major German Poets. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: GERM V1202, the equivalent, or sophomore standing.

Survey of major poets in the German language from classicism to modernism and postmodernism, paying attention to the transition from traditional verse to avant-garde forms. Readings from Goethe, Heine, Rilke, Celan, Bachmann. Relevant areas of literary theory will be included.

GERM BC3050 German Migrant Literature. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102, Sophomore standing or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.

Examination of migration and the nomadic experience in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis on the comprehension and construction of the"other" culture by travelers and migrants in fictional texts; and on questions of orientalism, colonialism, and multiculturalism. Texts by Chamisso, Heine, Seghers, Th. Mann, Ören, Atabay, Deleuze, Said, and Sassen.

GERM BC3057 Close-ups: German Literature and Photography. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Discusses the profound influence of photography on modern literature and intellectual debates in the 20th century. Emphasis on creative and critical responses to documentary and aesthetic traditions of this visual medium. Foci are photographic evidence, montage, memory, sensationalism. Authors/Photographers: Benjamin, Rilke, Th. Mann, Tucholsky, Chr. Wolf, Sebald, Sander, Blossfeldt.

GERM BC3061 Senior Seminar/Tutorial. 4 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

German majors will write their senior thesis under the supervision of the instructor.

GERM BC3062 Senior Essay: Literature or German Studies. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: Open to senior majors. Permission of instructor required.

Supervised research into German literatures and cultures culminating in a critical paper. Regular consultations with the instructor at hours to be arranged.

GERM BC3215 From Text to Screen: German Literature and Film. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.

Survey of screen adaptations of literary texts beginning with Weimar cinema and proceeding through to the present with a particular focus on cinematic modes of narration, spectatorship, and visual pleasure, as well as on the role of institutional frameworks. Readings in neo-Marxist, psychoanalytic and semiotic film theory. Texts by Wedekind, Fontane, H. Mann, and Musil and films by Pabst, Fassbinder, Wenders, and Trotta. [In English, extra sessions for German majors.]

GERM BC3224 Germany's Traveling Cultures. 3 points.

Examines accounts of traveling or living in South America, Africa, and Germany from a postcolonial and transnational perspective. Discussion of German explorers, colonialism, global tourism, multiculturalism, focusing on the relationship between mobility and the formation of African, Jewish, Turkish bicultural identities in different historical contexts and geographical settings. Close attention to the role of language, ideology, and itinerary in visual, aural, and written records by A.v.Humboldt, Merian, J. Baker, Massaquoi, Wackwitz, Oezdamar, Akin. [In English]

Fall 2020: GERM BC3224
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3224 001/00415 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Erk Grimm 3 5

GERM BC3225 Germany's Traveling Cultures. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Examines accounts of traveling or living in South America, Africa, and Germany from a postcolonial and transnational perspective. Discussion of German explorers, colonialism, global tourism, multiculturalism, focusing on the relationship between mobility and the formation of African, Jewish, Turkish bicultural identities in different historical contexts and geographical settings. Close attention to the role of language, ideology, and itinerary in visual, aural, and written records by A.v.Humboldt, Merian, J. Baker, Massaquoi, Wackwitz, Oezdamar, Akin. (This is the same course as BC3224, without the weekly discussions in German.)

GERM BC3232 From Decadence to Dada. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Examines the transition from Viennese Modernism to Expressionism and Dada. Topics include: the emergence of the modern psyche, the play of word and image, and the relationship between ecstatic experience and social unrest. Texts by Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Döblin, Kafka, Freud, and Salomé. Film and montage by Hannah Höch, and others. (In English.)

GERM BC3233 From Decadence to Dada. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Examines the transition from Viennese Modernism to Expressionism and Dada. Topics include the emergence of the modern psyche, the play of word and image, and the relationship between ecstatic experience and social unrest. Texts by Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Döblin, Kafka, Freud, and Salome. Film and montage by Richter, Höch, and Hausmann. This is the same course as GERM 3232 with the addition of weekly discussions in German for majors.

GERM GU4520 Ariadne's Thread: Contemporary German Women Writers [In German]. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Examines prose works of women writers in the late 20th c. century; emphasis on new modes of writing and topical issues such as family conflicts, cultural memories of Eastern Europe, the Balkan wars, the impact of media; discussions are informed by theorists such as L.Adelson, S.Benhabib, N.Fraser; focus on inequality and gender-conscious views of the politicized personal or cosmopolitan plurality. Readings incl. I.Bachmann, J.Franck, K.Hacker, Y.Kara, H.Müller, J.Zeh and others.

Columbia Courses 

GERM UN1101 Elementary German Language Course, I. 4 points.

Upon completion of the course, students understand, speak, read, and write German at a level enabling them to communicate with native speakers about their background, family, daily activities, student life, work, and living quarters. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/13224 T Th F 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Varol Kahveci 4 6/15
GERM 1101 003/13321 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Xiran Lu 4 4/15
GERM 1101 004/13319 M W Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 4 15/15
GERM 1101 006/13322 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Skye Savage 4 13/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1101 001/10254  
4 0/15
GERM 1101 002/10255  
4 0/15
GERM 1101 003/10256  
4 0/15

GERM UN1102 Elementary German Language Course, II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1101 or the equivalent.

Students expand their communication skills to include travel, storytelling, personal well-being, basic economics, and recent historical events. Daily assignments and laboratory work.

Fall 2020: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/13323 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Luca Arens 4 5/15
GERM 1102 002/13325 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Carl Claussen 4 11/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 1102 001/10257  
4 0/15
GERM 1102 002/10258  
4 0/15
GERM 1102 003/10259  
4 0/15

GERM UN1125 Accelerated Elementary German I & II. 8 points.

Equivalent to GERM V1101-V1102.

This intensive semester provides all of elementary German enabling students to understand, speak, read, and write in German. Topics range from family and studies to current events. Conducted entirely in German, requirements include oral and written exams, essays, German-culture projects, and a final exam.

GERM UN2101 Intermediate German I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 or the equivalent.

Complete grammar review through regular exercises. Wide range of texts are used for close and rapid reading and writing exercises. Practice in conversation aims at enlarging the vocabulary necessary for daily communication.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/13327 M T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Didi Tal 4 4/15
GERM 2101 002/13328 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Hazel Rhodes 4 11/15
GERM 2101 005/00399 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Irene Motyl 4 17/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2101 001/10261  
4 0/18
GERM 2101 002/10262  
4 0/18

GERM UN2102 Intermediate German II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2101 or the equivalent.

Language study based on texts concerning culture and literature. Assignments include compositions in German and exercises of grammatical forms, both related to the texts. Class discussions in German provide oral and aural practice.

Fall 2020: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/13331 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Cosima Mattner 4 8/15
GERM 2102 002/13330 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Silja Weber 4 7/15
Spring 2021: GERM UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 2102 001/10263  
4 0/18
GERM 2102 002/10264  
4 0/18
GERM 2102 003/10265  
4 0/18

GERM UN2125 Accelerated Intermediate German I, II. 8 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN1102 Elementary II

Accelerated language study as preparation for Study Abroad in Berlin.

GERM UN3001 Advanced German, I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the Director of the German Language Program's permission.

Designed to follow up the language skills acquired in first- and second-year language courses (or the equivalent thereof), this course gives students greater proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing German, while focusing on topics from German society today through German newspapers and periodicals.

Fall 2020: GERM UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3001 001/13334 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Jutta Schmiers-Heller 3 12/15

GERM UN3002 Advanced German II: Vienna. 3 points.

Corequisites: Course either taken before or after GERM V3001.

Intensive practice in oral and written German. Discussions, oral reports, and weekly written assignments, based on material of topical and stylistic variety taken from German press and from literary sources.

GERM UN3333 Introduction To German Literature [In German]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GERM UN2102 or the equivalent.

Examines short literary texts and various methodological approaches to interpreting such texts in order to establish a basic familiarity with the study of German literature and culture.

Fall 2020: GERM UN3333
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GERM 3333 001/13335 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Claudia Breger 3 18/25