Courses - Autumn 2020

German      Scandinavian      Swedish      Yiddish

Please note that this webpage will be updated as information becomes available

For GE courses, please check out our General Education Web page.


German 1101.01 • German I

4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Foreign Language course
Introduction to language and culture of the German-speaking world, with emphasis placed on the acquisition of basic communication skills in cultural context. CEFR Levels A1/A2. Not open to native speakers of this language through regular course enrollment or EM credits, or to students with 2 or more years of study in this language in high school, except by permission of dept.
TextISBN 978-3-12-606128-5  Netzwerk A1: Deutsch als Fremdsprache

German 1102.01 • German II

4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Foreign Language course
Continued development of German-language skills and cultural knowledge for effective communication. Emphasis on more advanced language structures, sustained interactions, reading and writing. CEFR Levels A2/B1. Not open to native speakers of this language.
Prereq: 1101.01, or 4 sem cr hrs of 1101.51 or 1101.61.
TextsISBN 978-3-12-606128-5  Netzwerk A1: Deutsch als Fremdsprache;
    and ISBN 978-3-12-606998-4 Netzwerk A2: Deutsch als Fremdsprache

German 1103.01 • German III

4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Foreign Language course
Development of skills for independent use of German. Discussions, presentations, writing, & listening/viewing activities that address topics of contemporary German-speaking world. CEFR Level B1. Not open to native speakers of this language through regular course enrollment or EM credit.
Prereq: 1102.01, or 4 sem cr hrs of 1102.51 or 1102.61.
TextISBN 978-3-12-606998-4 Netzwerk A2: Deutsch als Fremdsprache

German 1101.61 • 1102.61 • 1103.61 
Self-paced Distance Learning option

GE Foreign Language course 
(1-4 credit units) | Autumn Semester 2020

German 1101.51 • 1102.51 • 1103.51  -  Cancelled AU20
Self-paced Individualized Instruction

GE Foreign Language course (1-4 credit units)

German 2101 • Texts and Contexts I: Contemporary German Language, Culture and Society

Grotans | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020
Grotans | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Development of communication skills and knowledge about recent social, cultural, and political developments in German speaking countries through texts, media and film; CEFR level A2/B1. Closed to native speakers of this language.
Prereq: 1103.01 or 1103.51, or equiv, or permission of instructor. No audit. 

German 2102 • Texts and Contexts II: 20th-Century German Language, History and Culture

Heck | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020
Heck | 3 credit units Autumn Semester 2020

Continued development of communication skills; gain an understanding of major social and cultural developments in 20th century German history through texts, media, film. CEFR level B1/B2. Closed to native speakers of this language.
Prereq: 2101 or equiv, or permission of instructor. FL Admis Cond course.
Damals war es Friedrich (Hans Peter Richter), ISBN: 978-3-423-07800-9.

German 2251 • Marx in Literature and Film - German Literature and Popular Culture

Reitter | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Study of popular culture forms in relation to the artistic, intellectual, historic, and literary traditions of the German-speaking world. 

GE lit course. Taught in English.

German 2254 • Grimms' Fairy Tales and their Afterlives

Birkhold | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

In the present course, we will be trying to understand the meaning and the enduring appeal of one of Germany’s greatest successes in the realm of cultural exportation—a book whose circulation figures are exceeded in Western culture only by those of the Bible, namely, Grimms’ fairy tales.  This will mean asking a series of interlocking questions.  How did the fairy tales come about?  What were the aims of their compilers?  How do the tales play to those aims?  How do they exceed them?  How do the tales tend to work structurally?  What have their social and psychological effects been?  How have they helped shape—and been reshaped by—popular cultures outside Germany, like popular culture in the U.S.  In reckoning with these questions, we will be enlisting the help of a parade of great critics, including Vladimir Propp, Bruno Bettelheim, Erich Auerbach, and Jack Zipes.
Required Texts:
Jack Zipes, The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Assigned films will be available at
Other readings will be posted on Carmen.
All works in English translation; taught in English.
Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs. GE lit course.

German 2350 • Introduction to German Studies

Byram | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

This course provides a broad introduction to German history and culture and to the field of German Studies. Taught in English, it is an ideal course for students considering a major or minor in German, or for those with a general interest in German-language history and culture.

The course will have four components

  • lectures on history (social, cultural, political, and linguistic)
  • lectures on contemporary German-language society and culture
  • discussion about works of literature, film, philosophy, art, music, etc.
  • introductions to methods for studying language and culture

In the end, students will have a broad overview of German-language history and culture and a catalog of questions that will include tools for analyzing everything from medieval sagas to television shows, political speeches to the words they use.
Taught in English.
Required books (in recommended English editions):
Das Niebelungenlied: The Lay of the Niebelungs.Oxford Classics, ISBN 978-0199238545
The Sorrows of Young Werther. Oxford Classics, ISBN: 978-0199583027
These books are also available as open-access editions, or contact instructor for information about German or German-English editions.
Recommended book:
Mary Fulbrook, A Concise History of Germany, ISBN: 978-0521540711

German 2451 • Hollywood: Exiles and Émigrés

Cancelled! | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

German cinema has played an influential role in the development of international film genres. In this class we look at examples of films made in Hollywood that bear the stamp of German influence. We also look at films made in Germany that show that influence flows in both directions. This course assumes no prior knowledge of German, German films, or film theory in general.
Taught in English. GE Visual and Performing Arts course.

German 3101 • Texts and Contexts III: Historical Perspectives

Taleghani-Nikazm | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Development of intermediate/advanced communication skills; broadening of cultural and historical knowledge through interaction with literary and non-literary materials informed by historical perspective; CEFR level B2. Closed to to native speakers of this language.
Prereq: 2102 or equiv, or permission of instructor.

German 3252 • The Holocaust in Literature and Film

Richards | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Why, faced with a historical catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, would we devote a class to film and literature about it, rather than to “the facts”?


Come find out why.

Taught in English. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for Yiddish 3399. GE lit and diversity global studies course.

German 3254H • Representations and Memory of the Holocaust in Film


Holub | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Visual and Performing Arts, GE Diversity: Global Studies, Honors Course

Students will view, discuss, and examine major filmic representations of the Holocaust from several countries from the 1940s through the 1990s. Students will learn how these films have contributed to our understanding of a complex phenomenon of WWII and how the directors have coped with the thorny issues of representing something that many people consider to be unrepresentable. Taught in English.
Prereq: Honors, and Soph, Jr, or Sr standing, or permission of instructor.

German 3300 • Amerika aus deutscher Sicht - Topics in German Culture Studies, Social and Intellectual History

Byram | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Often, the way we respond to others reveals a lot about ourselves.

So, what do German-speakers’ responses to American culture and politics tell us about the way they understand themselves, their culture, and the world? To explore this question, we will read letters and stories, watch films and newsreels, listen to popular music and propaganda, look at photographs and artwork, surf the web, and follow social media. We will cover German reactions to the American Revolution, the Wild West, Henry Ford’s assembly line, American occupation of Germany after WWII—and, for a month in October and early November, to the American presidential race.

In the end—who knows what we might learn about U.S. culture and society looking through German eyes?

The class will be conducted in German. We will discuss and practice advanced topics in grammar and language, and the course will be structured to help students improve reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. All materials will be made available through Carmen.

German 3353H • German Intellectual History: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud

Cancelled! | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are essential for understanding intellectual thought in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. They have retained their importance into the twenty-first century. The focus of the course will be the way in which Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud reconceived the notion of history, historical progress, and historiography.

GE cultures and ideas course.

German 3602 • German for the Professions 1

Heck | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Development of cultural knowledge and communication skills for the professions; introduction to the world of German business through audio, video, print materials; CEFR level B1-B2.
Prereq: 2102 or equiv, or permission of instructor. No audit.

German 4200 • Marx - Senior Seminar in German: Literature, Art and Film (German) 

Reitter | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Taught in German. Counts toward fulfillment of advanced requirement for the major.
Prereq: 3101 and one course at the 3000 level, and Sr standing, or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

German 6400 • Introduction to German Film

Davidson | 3 credit units | T/Th 2:20-3:40 pm   Autumn Semester 2020

Taught in English, this Introduction to German Film is designed to familiarize graduate students to central texts, historical periods, and formal analysis relevant to the study of German cinema. This course will be divided into units that each address a particular (sub-)period and theme. The class will meet twice per week in 80-minute class sessions covering:

  • Introductory lecture, discussion of historical period, and one or more formal cinematic element;
  • Film discussion and analytical application [viewing assignments completed outside of class]

The aim of the course is to equip students with the tools needed to engage with film and visual material critically as they encounter it in further coursework and/or stages of scholarly development, be that further work in cinematic research or in preparation for Area 3 of Germanic L&L’s Master’s Assessment. Those who successfully complete this course should be able to integrate German film into their teaching profile as generalists in Germanistik or in a European cinema-studies context. This class counts in the Film Studies graduate program.

Prereq: Grad standing, or permission of instructor.

German 6601 • Teaching Practicum

Taleghani-Nikazm | 1 credit unit |  Autumn Semester 2020

This course is for GTAs who are teaching a 1000-level German language class. The course provides graduate students with instruction and practice in designing and implementing instructional materials for their undergraduate classes. It offers best practices in creating tests, developing speaking portfolios, designing culture components, and becoming reflective practitioners.
Prereq: Grad standing, and permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs. This course is graded S/U.


German 8200 • Literature and Law - Seminar in Literature and Literary Culture 

Birkhold | 3 credit units | Mon.  8:30am    Autumn Semester 2020

In this class, we will explore the ways in which law and literature intersect – not just by reading literary musings on the law, but through a close examination of how the law uses narratives to tell stories about guilt and innocence. Readings include works by Kafka, Kleist, Arendt, and Freud as well as legal cases, the torture memos, and other legal documents.

No knowledge of German necessary.

All works can also be read in English. Taught in English.

Prereq: 6200, or Grad standing, or permission of instructor.


German 8200 • Political Romanticism: From Revolution to Christian Nation - Seminar in Literature and Literary Culture 


The historian Reinhart Koselleck has described the period from 1750 to 1850 as the saddle period for the modern world. The Romantic movement, in particular, can be read as a conflicting incubation phase for numerous social and political changes and emerging structures that dominate our lives to this very day.  Popular utopian and dystopian visions, social imaginaries and ideologies of what we label today the political right and left can be studied in their literary gestations. Among others, our discussions will include conceptions and literary imaginations of the revolution, the nation, xenophobia, anti-capitalism (avant la lettre), counterculture, religion, and gender. I am open to suggestions, but currently anticipate that we might read stories, poems and essays by F. Schlegel, Tieck, Arnim, Brentano, Kleist, Hoffmann, Chamisso, Görres, Arndt, and Ascher.
Prereq: 6200, or Grad standing, or permission of instructor.


German 8600 • Language and Society: An introduction to multilingualism - Seminar in Seminar in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Taleghani-Nikazm | W 4:00pm | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Multilingualism is the norm, not the exception. Individuals have a large number of linguistic resources at their disposal consisting of more than one variety of languages, styles, genres, and accents. This seminar offers an introduction to the many facets of multilingualism in a changing global world. In this seminar, we begin with the key question of what multilingualism actually is and examine the role that languages play in multilingual societies from a social and cultural perspective. We systematically explore multilingualism with respect to individual, institutions, cities, nations, and cyberspace and discuss how in each of these domains, the dynamics of language choice are undergoing changes as a result of economic, political, and cultural forces.  In addition, we examine research methods for investigating multilingualism and engage critically with questions and findings. Topics include language contact, maintenance and loss, endangered languages, language planning and politics, multilingual and heritage language education, urban youth language, and language and identities. We will explore these topics and phenomena based on examples form several language groups, including German language varieties, and you will be able to apply concepts to other languages and language varieties. 
Weber, J.-J., & Horner, K. (2012). Introducing Multilingualism. A Social Approach. London: Routledge.
Coulmas, F. (2018). An Introduction to Multilingualism: Language in a Changing World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
We will read selected chapters from these books. Each chapter and topic will be complemented with journal articles that include examples and cases from several languages.  Journal articles will be available on course’s Carmen site.
No knowledge of German required. Readings and Discussions are in English.
Prereq: 6600, Grad standing, or permission of instructor.

German 8500 • Doctoral Colloquium

Reitter | 1 credit unit | Autumn Semester 2020

Regular student-driven discussions of ongoing dissertations, current topics in the professional field, and new research approaches to Germanic Studies.
Prereq: Successful completion of Ph.D. candidacy exams or permission from Director of Graduate Studies and instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs. This course is graded S/U. Admis Cond course.




Scandinavian 4250 • Scandinavian Folklore of the Supernatural - Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature

Kaplan | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

If you know one creature from Scandinavian folklore, it is the Troll, but there’s a lot more in the archive than just one cranky monster under a bridge. This course is an introduction to the folklore of Scandinavia and the Nordic area with emphasis on narratives and beliefs about the supernatural – trolldom – not just trolls but witches, water horses, the Hidden Folk, and the people in the next village who just aren’t right. We’ll read texts translated from Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Sámi, and Greenlandic. Students will learn to interpret folklore as a reflection of the society that created it and of the interests of the scholars who collect it.

Selected masterpieces of Scandinavian literature from contemporary theoretical perspectives.
GE lit course. No prerequisites.



Swedish 1101 • Swedish I

Risko | 4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Foreign Language course
Introduction to language and culture of Sweden with emphasis on the acquisition of basic communication skills in a cultural context. Closed to native speakers of this language.
Prereq: Not open to students with 2 or more years of study in this language in high school, except by permission of dept.
GE for lang course.
Text: Althén, Anette. Mål 1 Lärobok (textbook with CD); Althén, Anette. Mål Övningsbok (workbook). Both Stockholm: Natur och Kultur (2007 edition).

Swedish 1103 • Swedish III

Risko | 4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE Foreign Language course
Development of skills necessary for the independent use of Swedish. Discussions, presentations, writing and listening/viewing activities address topics of contemporary Sweden.
Prereq: Grade of C- or better in 1102.
GE for lang course.
Text: Althén, Anette. Mål 2 Lärobok (textbook with CD); Althén, Anette. Mål Övningsbok (workbook). Both Stockholm: Natur och Kultur (2007 edition).




Yiddish 1101 • Yiddish 1

Gollance | 4 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

Ohio State used to have
one of the largest Yiddish programs in North America. 
Yiddish language classes haven’t been taught here for over a decade. 

Now, we’re bringing Yiddish back!
Take Yiddish 1101 in Autumn 2020.

Yiddish 1101 is an introduction to the Yiddish language and Ashkenazic culture. The course is designed to help you learn to communicate in culturally appropriate ways in Yiddish. We aim to help you develop balanced skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. At the end of the semester you should be able to listen to simple conversations or stories and understand them, read and understand short texts, engage in brief conversations on everyday topics, and write short essays on familiar topics using the structures and vocabulary you have learned. In addition, you will learn about Ashkenazic culture in Europe, Israel, and the United States.
Required Textbook
In eynem: a communicative approach to Yiddish. Authors: Asya Vaisman Schulman, Jordan Brown, Michael Yashinsky. (Accessed through Yiddish Book Center website.)


Yiddish 3399 • Holocaust in Yiddish and Ashkenazic Literature

Gollance | 3 credit units | Autumn Semester 2020

GE lit and diversity global studies course
Reading and analysis of texts, films and music pertaining to the topic of the Holocaust, the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against European Jewry, and its impact on Ashkenazic-Jewish civilization.

Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
85% of them spoke Yiddish.
Let’s hear what they had to say.

In speaking about the Holocaust, people often say that we should “Never Forget” – but what do we choose to remember? The genocide of European Jewry during the Holocaust enacted a horrific human toll and devastated Ashkenazic civilization in Europe. An emphasis on Yiddish, the language spoken by ten million Ashkenazic Jews on the eve of World War II, demands that we focus on victims, survivors, and resistors, rather than perpetrators or liberators. This course puts Jews at the center of the story of their own suffering. It delves into messy emotions, including anger, which writers might not have felt comfortable expressing in a language that was easily accessible to non-Jews. 

Yiddish culture went through a renaissance in the early twentieth century, which was cut cruelly short by the Holocaust. Many of the same cultural activists who participated in pre-war Jewish life used Yiddish to confront the horror that engulfed them during World War II. By examining works of Yiddish literature about the Holocaust, this class will examine how Yiddish speakers confronted the destruction of Jewish communities in Europe. From the historians of the Oyneg Shabes Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto to the Auschwitz Sonderkommando, from Yiddish writers in America to post-war film makers who use Yiddish dialogue, this class engages with a variety of powerful perspectives on catastrophe and considers the ways that literature and film can help us negotiate some of the most painful moments in history.

This class fulfills the Literature and Diversity Global Studies GE. 
No knowledge of Yiddish required.