German 160C1: Syllabus

SYLLABUS for Ger 160C1: The German Speaking

 World, Spring 2015

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Albrecht Classen, Dept. of German Studies, 301 Learning Services Building, Office 318; tel. 621-1395;;


CLASSROOM: Mod. Lang. 350

OFFICE HOURS: Mo and We 11a.m.-12 p.m., and any other time after appointment (but always feel free simply to stop by at my office, email me, call me to make sure that I am in)

COURSE GOAL: Development of a overview of the history of German-language culture, literature, and history from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century, using each text as a kaleidoscope to study specific cultural and historical periods. You will achieve a high level in your ability to situate major texts and other cultural products into their historical-cultural context. You will also understand the major role which the German culture has played in the western world throughout the ages.

Although it is assumed that you will attend all class sessions, you are informed hereby that excessive absences will have consequences. For details see below in the grading section. If justified circumstances prevent you from attending, please inform me in writing either before or after the event, and provide satisfactory documentation (e.g., a doctor’s note). I will call out or post, at random, a group of students’ names to verify your attendance. So be forewarned. You need to come up to me and show me your Catcard at the end of class.

Please treat each other with respect and tolerance. People do have different views and opinions, but all these can only contribute to the rich learning experience I hope you all will have in this class. You are strongly encouraged to participate in class as much as possible. The two class meetings per week will only be of profit for you if you respond to my questions and those of your classmates.


The University of Arizona is committed to fostering a learning, working, and living environment free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment. The University’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The policy also prohibits retaliation for opposing discriminatory conduct, filing a discrimination-related complaint, or participating in the investigation of a discrimination-related complaint.
For definitions of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, please see the University's Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy here or visit the Office of Institutional Equity website.

For information on the University of Arizona Policy on Threatening Behavior by Students, click on this link:

SPECIAL NEEDS: Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to participate fully in course activities or meet course requirements must register with the Disability Resource Center. Students need to submit appropriate documentation to the instructor if they are requesting reasonable accommodations. See their webpage
If you use secondary material for your papers, make sure that you indicate clearly where you took it from. Plagiarism and cheating violate the Code of Academic Integrity. For further information, see:
Do not ever copy from the work produced by published authors, by your classmates, by other students who might have taken this course in previous semesters, or by yourself in a previous or parallel class. If you receive help in writing your papers, make sure that the final outcome still represents your own work. You can discuss your papers with your fellow students and others, but at the end they need to consist of your own ideas and words! Be advised that the Web is a great search tool, but never, never copy from there without identifying very clearly what you used (and then only sparingly). At this point the scholarly value of web-based material still is not totally reliable, and the chances that you might stumble upon a most dubious webpage with untrustworthy information are very high. When you quote from a secondary source, clearly identify the quote and tell the reader in a footnote where you quoted it from. Every year more than 800 students at the UA are caught having committed the crime of plagiarism, resulting in penalties that could be as severe as expulsion from the University! You are smart enough not to copy from other people.

If there is any doubt in your mind whether you might commit plagiarism, see:

If you commit plagiarism, you could either receive a 0 on your specific assignment, or an F for the entire course. Depending on the gravity of the case, you might even be expelled from the University. Every plagiarism case must be reported to the head of my dept., to the head of your dept., and to the Dean of Students.
Help with writing: The Writing Skills Improvement Program offers a number of valuable workshops at 1201 E. Helen Street. Please consult with them if you have a need to improve your writing skills (no walk-ins). For perhaps more immediate help, see the Writing Center: (walk-ins allowed). Tel.: 621-5849

Writing Center: The Writing Center is a free resource for UA undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff. At the Writing Center, a trained peer consultant will work individually with you on anything you're writing (in or out of class), at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing. Appointments are recommended, but not required. For more information or to make an appointment, visit their website at, stop by at 1201 E Helen St., main level, or call (520) 626-0530.


1. Gordon A. Craig, The Germans

2. Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Images

3. Ingeborg Bachmann, The Thirtieth Year

GRADING: (1000 points total):
1. Attendance: your attendance is a given; you will lose points, however, for unexcused absences (3-4 x = 3%; 5-6 x = 5%; 7-8 x = 7%, more than 8 times = automatic F in class)
2. 5 essay-based exams: 20%, 20%, 20%, 20%, 20% (three will be take-home exams, 2 will be in-class exams). We will check each take-home for plagiarism issues, so be forewarned!

Each paper will be graded as follows:

Must be typed, with at least 1" margin on all sides, at least 12 points letter size. Bring the print-out to class when paper is due. Submit also in electronic form to the dropboxes in D2L, though only the paper copy will count. Again, keep in mind that each paper will be automatically examined as to the degree of similarities with other papers (turnitin software!). When there is suspicion of plagiarism, I will call you in for a conference, and the consequences for plagiarism might be very harsh. Do not write your paper together with a classmate, though you can, of course, discuss the topics with him/her. If you copy from another paper/chapter/article in print or online, without acknowledging the author and without indicating the extent to which you have copied by means of quotation marks and references, you commit plagiarism.

Always submit a hard copy and upload a version to the dropbox on D2L! You must do both!

Each take-home exam means that you'll have all the material available. You must hence make a serious effort to analyze it and engage with it. I expect at least half a page for each question.


Jan. 20 and 22: Introduction to the German-Speaking World. Read Craig, chpt. 1: Historical Perspectives; consult also

Jan. 27 and 29: A late medieval German voice Johannes von Tepl, The Plowman (ca. 1400):

Gryphius: Fatherland

Feb. 3 and 5: Craig, chtp. 4. Martin Luther: Protestant Reformation, consult:; read his 95 Theses (1517):

Poems/Hymns by Luther; Organ accompaniement

Feb. 10 and 12: Craig, chpt. 5: Money; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848):

or: Manifesto

Feb. 17 and 19: Craig, chpt. 3 and 2: Politics in a New Key, and: Hitler and the New Generation

World War II

Brief history of the Nazis

Gunther Eich: Inventar

German Nobel Prize winners

Feb. 19: 1st take-home exam 

Feb. 24: Craig Chpt. 2. End of WWII

End of the WWII

Feb. 26: Craig, chpt. 6: Germans and Jews
We also read:

Hitler about Jews, in Mein Kampf (treat with greatest caution; this is extreme racism!)

Memory: Japan and the Comfort Women

Armenian Genocide

March 3: Craig, chpt. 8

Professors and Students

see University of Heidelberg

University of Munster

University of Ulm

Free University of Berlin

University of Braunschweig

University of Marburg

The concept of Bildung

Humboldt and Bildung

Humboldt III


March 5: 1st in-class exam

March 10 and 12: Craig, chpt. 7: Women; watch “Run Lola Run”

March 14 to 22: SPRING BREAK    

March 24 and 26: Prepare yourself: watch this Video at home. For more visuals, see: Video. Read: Craig, chpt. 9: Romantics; Heinrich von Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas

March 26: Craig, chpt. 9.

March 31: chpt. 9, and chpt. 10: Literature and Society;

2nd take-home exam is due

April 2: Kohlhaas; bring the text with you, either in electronic form or as a print-out, chpt. 10: Literature and Society

April 7 and 9: Craig, chpt. 11: Soldiers (skipped!)

April 14:  Lessing: Nathan the Wise

April 16: Change: We continue with Lessing's text, then we turn to: Bachmann story 4: Among Murderers and Madmen

April 21: Rainer Maria Rilke . Read "The Panther" or this version first; then 5-15 pp. Here are more of his famous poem

We will be joined today by my colleague, Prof. Tom Kovach, who will give us some background on Rilke.

Bachmann story 4: Among Murderers and Madmen

April 23: teaching evaluation; please bring a pencil #2 with you. I'll collect the 3rd take-home exam only at the end of class!

Craig, chpt. 13: Democracy and Nationalism; Bachmann story 5; Rilke, 19-27, 31, 33, 39, 61-67. See also:


and we read:


April 28: Craig, chpt. 13: Democracy and Nationalism; Rilke 71-83; Paul Celan: Death FugeRead Senocak

The Experience of Immigration to Germany


April 30: Paul Celan: Death FugeCraig, chpt. 14: The German language, not at all awful; Rilke 91, 95, 109-111, 143-165; Craig, Afterword

May 5: last day of class: 2nd in-class exam: comprehensive! You must bring with you: 1. a small blue book, 2. the poems by Rilke, 3. a pen (not a pencil!)


Students are responsible for picking up their graded papers either in class or from the dept. within max. 10 school days after they have been returned officially in class. Similarly, students are responsible for checking on their grades posted on D2L. After 10 school days no further review is possible.
Possible Changes:
The information contained in the course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policies, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.

Final Grade Review: If there might be a problem with your grade, you can ask me for a review until May 13, 12 p.m. Beyond that, there will not be any opportunity to revisit your grade.


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