SUNKA SIMON, Professor and Program Coordinator
HANSJAKOB WERLEN, Professor
MADALINA MEIROSU, Visiting Assistant Professor
CHRISTOPHER SCHNADER, Senior Lecturer
Peter Baumann, Professor (Philosophy)
Tamsin Lorraine, Professor (Philosophy)
Robert Weinberg, Professor (History)
Thomas Whitman, Associate Professor (Music)
The German Studies Program offers students a wide variety of courses in language, literature, film and culture taught in German, as well as classes in anthropology and sociology, art, history, music, philosophy, and political science. Stressing the interrelatedness of linguistic competency and broad cultural literacy, German studies classes cover a wide range of literary periods, intellectual history, and film and visual culture. The diverse approaches to German culture(s) prepare students for graduate work in several academic disciplines, as well as for a variety of global careers. German studies can be pursued as course major or minor or as a major and minor in the Honors Program.
Students are expected to be sufficiently proficient in the German language to use it for written and oral work. To this end, we strongly advise students to spend an academic semester-preferably spring semester-in a German-speaking country before their senior year.
Students wishing to major or minor or do honors in German Studies should plan their program in consultation with the program coordinator.
The Academic Program
All German courses numbered 50 and above taught in the target language are open to students after successful completion of GMST 020 or to students with level-appropriate proficiency in reading and writing German (German placement test results or instructor permission). To enroll in GMST courses taught in English that are cross-listed with LITR or another program, please consult the individual entry requirements in the course catalogue. Since not all advanced German courses or seminars are offered every year, students wishing to major or minor in German Studies should consult the sophomore paper plan and discuss their plan of study with the program coordinator.
Course Majors Requirements
Majors must complete a minimum of 8 credits in courses numbered 003 and above.
- Majors in course are required to take Topics I and II in German Studies (GMST 020 , GMST 091 ) in progression and, for Topics III, enroll in a class above 100. Up to 3 credits may be taken in English from among the courses #50s and #60s relevant to German studies listed in the catalog under literature in translation (e.g., LITR 054G or LITR 066G) or from courses listed as eligible for German studies (see list below).
- Comprehensive requirement: seniors in course are required to submit a bibliography of 20 works to form the basis of a discussion and an extended, integrative paper (approximately 15 double-spaced pages in length) on a topic agreed to by the program coordinator. This paper, due by May 1, is complemented by a discussion of the paper with members of the program, in German, in mid May.
- Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester in Germany or at least participate in a summer program in a German-speaking country. Of the classes taken abroad, a maximum of 2 credits will normally count toward the major. In cases of double majors, this number might be increased in consultation with the German studies coordinator. After studying abroad, majors must take at least one additional German studies class.
Typical Course of Study:
*denotes options at either end:
- GMST 003 (Fall Year 1 or 2)
- GMST 008 (Spring Year 1 or 2)
- GMST 020 Topics in German Studies I (Fall Year 2 or 3)
- GMST cross-listed course #40s-60s (in English) (Fall Year 2 or 3)
- GMST 091 Topics in German Studies II (Spring Year 3 or 4)
- GMST cross-listed course #40s-60s (in English) (Spring Year 3 or 4)
- GMST100+ Topics in German Studies III (Topic changes every year) (Fall Year 4)
- Independent Study or Thesis (Spring Year 4)*
- See the annually updated list of eligible cross-listed courses on the GMST website
Course Minors Requirements
Of these courses, Topics in German Studies I (GMST20) and Topics in German Studies II (GMST91) are required.
Up to two credits can come from courses eligible for German studies, usually numbered in the #40s-60s.
Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester in Germany or at least participate in a summer program in a German-speaking country. Of the classes taken abroad, a maximum of 2 credits will normally count toward the minor. In case of double majors, this number can be increased in consultation with the German Studies coordinator.
Typical Course of Study:
*denotes options at either end
- FYS First Year Seminar*
- GMST 003 (Fall Year 1 or 2)
- GMST 008 (Spring Year 1 or 2)
- GMST 020 Topics in German Studies I (Fall Year 1 or 2)
- GMST cross-listed course #50-60 (in English) (Year 1 o 2)
- GMST 091 Topics in German Studies II (Spring Year 2 or 3)
- GMST cross-listed course #50-60 (in English)* (Year 2 or 3)
- GMST 100+ Topics in German Studies III* (Fall Year 4)
Honors Major and Minor in German Studies
All majors and minors in honors are strongly advised to spend one semester or at least a summer in a German-speaking country. Honors majors and minors are encouraged to apply for GMST program funds to supplement their study abroad.
Honors Major Preparations
While requirements for Honors Majors are generally identical to the course major requirements (minimum of 8 credits above GMST 003 ), a set of special requirements applies to Honors:
- All honors majors must include Topics in German Studies I (GMST20) and II (GMST91) in their course of study.
- In coordination with the German Studies coordinator, Honors majors in German studies need to combine three upper level GMST courses (e.g. Special Topics in German Studies I, II and III) and three taught in English from affiliated programs numbered in the #40s-60s (e.g. FMST 51 or 54). Alternatively, eligible independent studies or thesis courses can be combined with regular upper level GMST courses for honors preparations. Honors majors can further petition GMST faculty members for an honors attachment to any upper level GMST course.
- Honors students participate in the external examination process required of all Swarthmore honors students and the Senior Honors Study (SHS) process explained below.
Honors Minor Preparations
Honors Minors prepare for their examination in German studies by following the course minor requirements (minimum of 5 credits above GMST 003 ). A set of special requirements applies to Honors Minors:
- All honors minors must include Topics in German Studies I (GMST20) and II (GMST91) in their course of study.
- All honors minors must complete Senior Honors Study (described below)
Senior Honors Study (SHS) and Mode of Examination
For SHS, students are required to present an annotated bibliography of criticism - articles or books - concerning at least five of the texts in each advanced course or seminar used as honors preparations for external examination. Students are required to meet with the respective instructor(s) of the advanced courses or seminars being examined by Feb. 15 to discuss their planned bibliography and to meet with the instructors for a second time when the approved bibliography is handed in by May 1. The annotated bibliography, which carries no credit, will be added to course syllabi in the honors portfolio. The honors examination will take the form of a 3-hour written examination based on each seminar and its SHS preparation as well as a 1-hour oral panel examination based on the three written examinations for majors or a 30- to 45-minute oral examination for minors.
Special Major in Linguistics and Languages
1. Complete three credits numbered 008 or above
2. Complete GMST 008, 020, 091
3. In place of GMST 091, a seminar may be taken
All German majors and minors are strongly advised to spend one semester or at least a summer in a German-speaking country. Majors and minors are encouraged to apply for GMST program funds to supplement their study abroad. There are several excellent opportunities to participate in an approved program, such as the Columbia Consortium Program in Berlin, Duke University in Berlin, the Macalester College German Study Program in Berlin/Vienna, or the Dickinson College Program in Bremen. Students should consider going abroad in the spring semester. This will enable them to participate fully in the semester schedule of German and Austrian Universities.
Not all advanced courses or seminars are offered every year. Topics in German Studies I, II, III (GMST 20, 91 and 100) change their topics every year, please check the webpage for the most current information on each course’s content. Students wishing to major or minor in German should plan their program in consultation with the section. All courses numbered 050 and above are open to students after GMST 020. (See note on enrolling in seminars .)
Eligible Courses in German Studies
- ARTH 005. Modern Art in Europe and the United States
- ARTH 019. Contemporary Art
- ARTH 153. Modern Architecture and Urbanism
- GMST 020. Topics in German Studies I
- GMST 054. German Cinema
- GMST 091. Topics in German Studies II
- GMST 100. Topics in German Studies III
- HIST 003A. Modern Europe, 1789 to 1918: Revolutionaries, Citizens, and Subjects in Europe’s Long 19th Century
- HIST 034. Varieties of Zionist Thought: Judaism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, and the Jewish Question
- HIST 037. The Holocaust: History, Representation, and Culture
- HIST 116. European Intellectual History: Rethinking the Scientific Revolution
- MUSI 006B. Music and War
- MUSI 007B. Beethoven and the Romantic Spirit
- MUSI 022. 19th-Century European Music
- PHIL 039. Existentialism
- PHIL 049. Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud
- PHIL 139. Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Poststructuralism
- POLS 031. Borders and Migration (CP)
- POLS 059. Middle East Politics (CP)
- POLS 079. Islam, Race, and Empire (CP)
German seminars (Topics in German Studies III, GMST 100+) are scheduled on an annually rotating schedule. Preparation of topics for honors may be done by particular courses plus attachments only when seminars are not available. Recurring Topics of German Studies Seminars include: Age of Goethe, Wien und Berlin 1900, German Television, German Romanticism, Die deutsche Romantik, German Short Prose, Uncomfortable Classics - from Goethe to Grass
Note. Students enrolling in a seminar are expected to have done the equivalent of at least one course beyond the GMST 020 level.