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What courses is GSLL currently offering?

Every semester GSLL offers undergraduate students:

  • First-Year Seminars;
  • Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Language Courses;
  • English-Language Seminars and Lectures on Language, Linguistics, Literature, Film, Philosophy, and Culture;
  • Language, Linguistics, Literature, Film, Philosophy, and Culture Seminars taught in the Target Language;
  • Individual Seminars on Independent Readings;
  • Honors Thesis Mentoring.

GSLL also offers every semester for graduate students German- and English-language courses in Literature, Linguistics, Theory, Film & Media Studies.

The following catalogue of current courses is organized according to language and level.


Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

GSLL 51. First-Year Seminar: Stalin and Hitler: Historical Issues in Cultural and Other Perspectives.

Critical issues that dominated the 20th century:

  • The rise of fascism out of the carnage of WWI
  • The Bolshevik Revolution
  • The key figures: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and their roles
  • The defeat of fascism and its effects in Western and Eastern Europe
  • The origins and evolution of Cold War
  • The dissolution and democratization of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union

And then, against the tragic background of the past, we ask: what is the outlook for democracy in the future?
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: HS, GL. PIKE. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

GSLL 53. First-Year Seminar: Early Germanic Culture: Myth, Magic, Murder, and Mayhem.

This seminar is an introduction to early Germanic culture as it is preserved in a broad specimen of myths, lays, sagas, charms, inscriptions, and historical documents. We examine specific Germanic myths as well as the nature of myth (e.g., as explanatory stories), Germanic heroes, the Viking exploration and settlement of North America, and sagas that focus on society as a whole, revealing institutions and practices that mitigate a “might-makes-right” culture. Themes include outlawry, use and abuse of power, feuds, and love triangles.
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: HS, NA, WB. ROBERGE. TTH 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM.

GSLL 69. First-Year Seminar: Laughing and Crying at the Movies: Film and Experience.

How do movies make us laugh, cry, cringe, or desire?
Why do we seek out this experience?
We will look at genres including drama, comedy and horror to think about emotional and physical responses to film. Students learn the basics of film analysis, gain an overview over genre cinema, and study approaches to emotion, affect and the body.
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: VP. POLLMANN. TTH 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM.

GSLL 83. First-Year Seminar: We, Robots: Identifying with our Automated Others in Fiction and Film.

The word “robot” was invented by Czech author Karel Capek in 1920. Science fiction has had a long-running obsession with robots. Fiction and film dream up robots who have mastered and often surpassed the strange art that is being human. In this class, we will read and watch stories about robots from East and Central Europe, with occasional detours into American culture.
Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: LA, BN. ROSE. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

IDST 190.012. Triple-I: Humans and the Cosmos.

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to some of the most essential and exciting debates about humanity’s relationship to the universe. We explore such topics as the beginning of existence, the nature of time, contact with the supernatural world, and predictions about the end of all things–from the perspective of philosophy, physics, history, and related disciplines.
Gen Ed: NA.
TROP, DRUT, WORTHEN. TTH 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM.
Language Instruction

BCS 403. Intermediate Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian Language I.

Continuation of the proficiency-based instruction started in Elementary Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian. Previously offered as SECR 403. Prerequisite, BCS 402; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
DZUMHUR. TTH 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

DTCH 402. Elementary Dutch.

Did you know that UNC is one of only a few universities in the US where you can learn Dutch?
The first course in the Dutch language sequence, DTCH 402 is a rapid introduction to modern Dutch with emphasis on all fundamental components of communication.
Completion of DTCH 402 fulfills level 2 of a foreign language.
THORNTON. MWF 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM.

GERM 101. Elementary German I.

Develops the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) in a cultural context. In addition to mastering basic vocabulary and grammar, students will communicate in German about everyday topics.

  • 001: MW 9:05 AM to 9:55 AM; 9:00 AM to 9:50 AM TTH.
  • 002: MW 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM; TTH 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM.
  • 003: MW 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM; TTH 11:05 AM to 11:55 AM.
  • 004: MW 12:20 PM to 1:10 PM; TTH 12:30 PM to 1:20 PM.
  • 005: MW 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM; TTH 1:30 PM to 2:20 PM.

GERM 102. Elementary German II.

This continuation of GERM 101 emphasizes speaking, listening, reading, writing in a cultural context. Students enhance their basic vocabulary and grammar and will regularly communicate in German about everyday topics.

  • 001: MW 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM; TTH 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM.
  • 002: MW 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM; TTH 11:05 AM to 11:55 AM.

GERM 203. Intermediate German I.

Students acquire the necessary materials and opportunities to develop further their language skills in a cultural context. They review and expand upon the basic grammar covered in beginning German.

  • 001: MWF 9:05 AM to 9:55 AM.
  • 002: MWF 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM.
  • 004: MWF 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM.
  • 005: MWF 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM.

GERM 204. Intermediate German II.

Emphasizes further development of the four language skills (speaking, reading, writing, listening) within a cultural context. Discussions focus on modern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in literature and film. Prerequisite, GERM 203.

  • 001: MWF 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM.
  • 002: MWF 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM.

GERM 301. Advanced Applied German: Life, Work, Fun

Advanced German language and culture course:

  • Improve your discussion and presentation skills in German
  • Broaden your vocabulary
  • Review and practice German grammar
  • Read and interpret an array of texts
  • Practice writing in different genres

Prerequisite, GERM 204; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: CI, NA. NESTER. MWF 9:05 AM to 9:55 AM.

GERM 302. Advanced Communication in German: Media, Arts, Culture.

Introduction to contemporary German society, emphasizing sustained reflection on family structures, class, gender, race, demography, and the political economy of present-day Germany.

Emphasis is on advanced communication and writing based on shorter readings from contemporary life and culture in German-speaking societies. The readings provide subject matter for in-class discussion and regular written compositions that explore a variety of practical genres (report, article, essay). Prerequisite, GERM 204; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: SS, CI, NA. LANGSTON. TTH 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

GERM 304. Business German.

An introduction to the language and culture of German business, commerce, and industry. Special emphasis is given to the acquisition of advanced business-related language skills. Prerequisite, GERM 204; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: NA. ROCKELMANN. MW 3:35 PM to 4:50 PM.

PLSH 401. Elementary Polish I.

Proficiency-based instruction at the elementary level develops the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing). In addition to mastering basic vocabulary and grammar, students will communicate in Polish about everyday topics.
MWF 9:05 AM to 9:55 AM.

PLSH 403. Intermediate Polish I.

Continuation of the proficiency-based instruction begun in elementary Polish.
Prerequisite, PLSH 402; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
MWF 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM.

RUSS 101. Basic Russian Communication I.

Essential basics of Russian for everyday conversations. Lays the foundation for the development of four language skills (speaking, writing, listening, and reading) indispensable for communication on everyday topics in a variety of contexts. Fosters interaction through the acquisition of essential communicative and conversational strategies. Introduces learners to the structure of contemporary standard Russian through culturally relevant materials.

  • 001: MWF 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM; TH 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM.
  • 002: MWF 11:15 AM to 12:10 PM; TH 11:05 AM to 11:15 AM.
  • 003: MWF 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM; TH 1:30 PM to 2:20 PM.
  • 004: MWTHF 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM.

RUSS 203. Intermediate Russian Communication I.

Transitional skills for fluent speaking, writing, listening and reading for intermediate learners. Furthers learners’ competency for communication on everyday topics. Prepares learners for communication on subjects beyond their immediate needs. Expands interactive skillset necessary to maintain conversations and present individual opinions using complex structures. Employs adapted and non-adapted learning materials to promote mastery of contemporary standard Russian. Prerequisite, RUSS 102; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.

  • 001: MWF11:15 AM to 12:05 PM.
  • 002: MWF 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM.

RUSS 409. Intermediate-to-Advanced Russian Communication, Conversation, and Composition in Context I.

Intermediate-to-advanced communication, conversation, composition, phonetics, and grammar in contemporary cultural context. Meets the needs of learners looking to expand their practical knowledge of contemporary standard Russian in the context of present-day culture, while developing active applied skills pertaining to comprehension, production of, and communication in Russian.
Prerequisite, RUSS 204; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: BN. MWF 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM.

RUSS 411. Advanced Communication, Conversation, and Composition in Contemporary Standard Russian I.

Develops and maintains advanced skills for speaking, writing, listening, and reading in contemporary standard Russian in a variety of communicative situations. Assists advanced learners in solving a wide range of communicative tasks with the aid of unadapted authentic cultural materials.
Prerequisite, RUSS 410; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
MAGOMEDOVA. MWF 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM.

RUSS 515. Professional Russian I.

Provides advanced learners with opportunities to develop linguo-cultural skills necessary to practice their profession in Russian. While engaged in academic discourse in contemporary standard Russian, learners research topics in their academic majors, prepare and give presentations and lead discussions focusing on their areas of professional competence. In addition to student-centered segments, the course comprises instructor-led discussions of current affairs and academic subjects. Readings, viewing materials, and discussions in Russian.
Prerequisite, RUSS 412
Gen Ed: BN, EE
SHVABRIN. MW 3:35 PM to 4:50 PM.

Large Undergraduate Lecture

GSLL 212. Game of Thrones and the Worlds of the European Middle Ages.

Game of Thrones is one of the most successful shows in TV history. In this course, we will focus on examining the European medieval history behind the show and ask how literary and cinematic adaptation works. We will discuss topics such as family, politics, religion, violence, gender, slavery, outcasts, knighthood, travel, heroes, myths, and magic.
Readings and discussions in English. Gen Ed: LA, WB.
PRICA. TTH 2:00 PM to 2:15 PM.
Recitation Required:

  • 601: F 10:10 AM to 11:00 AM.
  • 602: F 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM.
  • 603: F 12:20 PM to 1:10 PM.
  • 604: F 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM.

Small Undergraduate Seminars

GERM 227. Luther and the Bible.

What is the legacy of the Protestant Reformation on modern life today? Learn how Reformation ideas have influenced religion, society, economics, and politics from early modern to modern times! Readings include Luther’s On the Freedom of a Christian and That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew, Melanchthon’s The Pope-Ass Explained, Brant’s Ship of Fools, as well as hymns, carnival plays, and Bible translations.
The only prerequisite: an inquiring mind.
Readings and discussions in English. Gen Ed: HS, WB. Same as: RELI 227.
VON BERNUTH. TTH 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM.

GERM 268. Auteur Cinema.

  • What sense does it make to speak of a film director as an author?
  • Why use the French word auteur?
  • What are some of the greatest German directors?

We will discuss the films of several German film directors and discuss questions of style, vision, collaboration, and worlding.
Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: VP, CI, NA. POLLMANN. TTH 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

GSLL 246. Reality and Its Discontents: Kant to Kafka.

We will examine one of the most fundamental and contested ideas of the modern world, the concept of “reality.” The course will treat some of the most important philosophers and philosophical issues of the past 250 years, placing these ideas in the cultural context from which they emerged and upon which they had a decisive impact. The course places a major emphasis on the seminal influence of Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and the romantic philosophers, but it also includes literary and cultural material concerned with the problem of the relation between the way we perceive the world and the way that world may be actually constructed. A major goal of the course is to show how subtle and apparently esoteric philosophical issues play a role in the way in which people actually understand and live their lives, with examples from literary depictions of such people. Reality…What a concept! — Robin Williams.
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: PH, NA. KOELB. MWF 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM.

GSLL 255. Germany and Cold War: Occupation, Division, Reunification, Renewed Conflict with Russia (1945-Today).

This course investigates the central role played by the “German question” in the break-up of the wartime alliance, the emergence of East-West political blocs, the subsequent dissolution of the USSR, and the return to new Russian-Western antagonisms.
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: HS, GL, NA. PIKE. TTH 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM.

GSLL 295 Research, Creativity, and Innovation in the Humanities.

Extend an assignment, question, or curiosity from your coursework in literary studies and bring it to fruition as an innovative research project, in a format that you choose. A humanities research lab, this course gives you the time, space, camaraderie, and guidance to design your individual or group project on the basis of your own interests. It is about the stages, sources, and horizons of research and innovation in the humanities. You can use it as a springboard: for your honors thesis; internship and graduate school applications; to apply for grants and scholarships; and/or as a space to experiment with your role as a creator in the academic and public humanities. No prerequisite; taught in English; open to all students.
Gen Ed: CI, EE – Mentored Research.
Same as: ROML 295, CMPL 395. (ROML will host the class.)
MACKENZIE. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

RUSS 276. Mystery and Suspense in Russian Literature.

Through the works of major Russian writers, this course investigates the development of mystery and suspense in Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Readings and class discussions in English.
Gen Ed: LA, BN. LAPUSHIN. TTH 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM.

RUSS 280. Russian Villains, Western Screens: Ethno-Cultural Stereotypes on Page and Stage, in Movies and Minds.

A survey of fascinating history of Hollywood stereotypes of Russian villainy from Elizabethan England to Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, Ivan Drago, and Xenia Onnatop. What do these theatrical buffoons, cartoon-movie monsters, and cinematic seductresses tell us about Russia—and about ourselves as consumers of stereotypes?
Readings and discussions in English.
Gen Ed: VP, BN. SHVABRIN. MW 1:25 PM to 2:40 PM.
Upper-Level Undergraduate Seminars (Taught in Target Language)

GERM 303. German Literature and Culture.

An overview of German literature, culture, and politics, highlighting works from various periods. Students will engage in discussions about German literature, and will be encouraged to think and re-think the significance of literary production beyond the confines of the written word.
Readings, discussions, and essays in German. Pre- or corequisite, GERM 301 or 302; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: LA, CI, NA. TROP. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

GERM 370. Readings in German Intellectual History.

Introduction to German intellectual history from the Enlightenment to the rise of fascism. Close readings and discussions of texts by Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Benjamin.
Readings and lectures in German. Prerequisite, GERM 303; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: PH, NA. PRICA. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

GSLL 489. GSLL Across the Curriculum: Russian LAC: Travels Across the Russian Speaking World

Looking to improve your Russian conversation skills? Ready to explore different regions of the Russian Federation and Russian-speaking communities around the world?
Sign up for this one-credit-hour discussion course conducted entirely in Russian!
Prerequisite, RUSS 204; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. DOUBLEDAY. TH 9:30 AM to 10:20 AM.

Dual-Level Seminars: Open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students

RUSS 445. 19th Century Russian Literature and Culture.

An action-packed tour of some of the greatest texts ever written, with stops at: Chekhov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy.
Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.
Gen Ed: LA, BN. LAPUSHIN. TTH 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

RUSS 477. Wicked Desire: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, on Page and Screen.

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita (1955) became a global phenomenon due to its unflinching portrayal of pedophilia. This course will delve deeper into the novel’s moral complexity, its international context, and its reflection in mass culture, including movies by Stanley Kubrick (1962) and Adrian Lyne (1997). Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.
Gen Ed: LA, NA. Same as: CMPL 477.
PICHOVA. TTH 12:30 AM to 1:45 PM.

Non-GSLL Courses Taught by GSLL Professors

CMPL 130. Great Books II.

This course introduces students to representative literary and intellectual texts from the modern world and to relevant techniques of literary analysis. Works originally written in foreign languages are studied in translation. We will focus particularly on the theme of culture versus nature in works from the mid nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries.
Gen Ed: LA, NA.
KOELB. MWF 11:15 AM to 12:05 PM.

CMPL 450. Major Works of 20th-Century Literary Theory: Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes.

This course is designed to explore some of the many tantalizing intersections between the work of two of the twentieth century’s most important critics. Among the topics that will concern us are theories of language, photography, mythology, autobiography, and fashion, and both Benjamin’s and Barthes’ writings on Proust. Works to be read include Benjamin’ essays “On Language as Such,” “Brief History of Photography” and “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility,” “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” “The Image of Proust,” his autobiographical Berlin Childhood and several sections of The Arcades Project. For Barthes, we will read Writing Degree Zero, Camera Lucida and “The Photographic Message,” Mythologies, The Fashion System, Roland Barthes and The Pleasure of the Text.
DOWNING. TTH 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM.

JWST 697. Utopia, Diaspora and other Jewish Futures in Eastern Europe.

Does Jewish utopia lie in Eastern Europe’s future? This course explores Jewish futures imagined in the past and present by anarchists, activists, poets, artists and others.
ROSE. TTH 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM.

LING 541. Sociolinguistics.

Introduces advanced undergraduates and first-year graduate students to the field of sociolinguistics and to language variation in American English, covering social, regional, ethnic, and gender-based differences.
Prerequisite: LING 101 or 400.
Same as: ANTH 541.
ROBERGE. TTH 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM.

Carolina-Duke Graduate Level Courses

GERM 616. Cultural Foundations in German Studies III: 1800 to Present.

This intensive graduate seminar surveys German-speaking cinema and literary history between the years of 1900 and the present. Instead of beginning with literary modernism, this seminar starts by introducing students to the birth of cinema and will proceed by bringing film into productive dialogue with both literature and theory. Grasping German literary history throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century will accordingly seek out the productive points of contact with other bodies of thought as well as other mediums. In addition to early narrative and experimental cinema, the course will explore the cinema of the Weimar Republic, Nazi cinema, rubble cinema, the cinema of divided Germany, as well as post-unification cinema like the Berlin School. Similarly, the course will also introduce students to the plurality of styles around 1900, the historical avant-gardes, New Objectivity, Nazi literature, rubble literature, Gruppe 47, socialist realism, documentary literature, new subjectivities, postmodernism, and pop literature.
Readings in German; class discussions in German and English.
Permission of the instructor for undergraduates.
LANGSTON. TTH 3:10 PM to 4:25 PM. Carolina Campus.

GERM 700. Foreign Language Pedagogy: Theories and Practice.

German 700 provides students with foundational knowledge for teaching German within a collegiate U.S. educational context. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to engage theoretical knowledge pertaining to language learning, pedagogy, and curriculum with issues from the practical context of the language classroom, e.g., by conducting guided classroom observations, developing extended lesson plans, reflecting on their teaching and students’ learning, and creating a teaching philosophy.

Topics covered in the seminar include: Teaching languages in U.S. higher education, language and language learning theories, language teaching methods and approaches (e.g., communicative language teaching, task- and content-based instruction, literacy approaches), supporting different modalities (writing, speaking, listening, writing), teaching for intercultural understanding, the role of curriculum, and professional development and reflective teaching.
WEILER. T 4:40 PM to 7:10 PM. Carolina Campus.

GER 750. The Eternal Feminine: Gender & Aesthetic Theory.

This seminar asks about the historical role played by feminine figures—muses, maidens, mothers, lovers—in the construction of aesthetic epiphanies and metamorphoses. The notion of Woman as a conduit for inspiration has a long theological, philosophical and literary tradition, from the early Christian topos of the Virgin Mary as an “aquaduct of grace,” to the Beatrices and Lauras of Renaissance poetry, to the “eternal feminine,” “beautiful soul,” and “blue flower” of German classicism and romanticism, to the Salomes and Lulus of European modernism, to the earth mothers and Pandoras of contemporary theory. We will interrogate this topos in search of a different and deeper understanding of what it has meant, historically, to be transformed by a work of art. Authors to be explored include Dante, Rousseau, Goethe, Novalis, Schopenhauer, Wagner, Bachmann, Lacan, Irigaray, Kittler, and Stiegler.
Readings Available in Original or in English Translation; discussions in English.
POURCIAU. M 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. Duke Campus.

GERM 825. Topics in Early Modern Literature. Life in the First Person: German and Yiddish Autobiography from the 16th century to the 18th century.

How does one narrate one’s life in German or Yiddish? When does biographical writing in the first person start? What is fictional and what is nonfictional autobiography? When do women start writing about their lives? And how reliable can a first-person narrator be? This seminar will discuss these and such questions, looking at memoirs, “confessions,” self-portraits, and autofiction written by nuns and businesswomen, converts and accountants in German and Yiddish between the sixteenth century and the eighteenth century.
Readings are in German or in English translation; discussion in German.
VON BERNUTH. TH 4:40 PM to 7:10 PM. Carolina Campus.

GERM 860. Topics in Aesthetics and Criticism: Wagner’s Legacy.

No figure has revolutionized opera and modern conceptions of the artwork like the German composer Richard Wagner, whose antisemitic and nationalistic convictions continue to challenge and scandalize cultural critics and opera connoisseurs to this day.

This graduate seminar will explore the reverberations of Wagner’s philosophical legacy in the writings of Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, Heidegger, Adorno, Benjamin, Lacoue-Labarthe, Badiou, Kittler, and others. Our Investigations will focus on different approaches to aesthetic artifacts of the past, the liminal space between art and technics, and the socio-political nature of aesthetic modernism after Wagner.

Readings in German or English; discussion in English.
NESTER. F 11:30 AM to 2:20 PM. Carolina Campus.