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What is GSLL offering next semester?

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.

In the event you have questions, contact the director of undergraduate or graduate studies.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the instructional mode for courses are subject to change. 

 

Spring 2021 Course Descriptions

First Year Seminars

GSLL 55.       Fantasies of Rome: Gladiators, Senators, Soothsayers, and Caesars.

Introduces students to study of humanities by examining how the idea of Rome evolved through poetry, history, philosophy, opera, even forgery into a concept that has long outlasted the Romans.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: HS, CI, WB.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Koelb.

 

GSLL 56.       Germans, Jews, and the History of Anti-Semitism.

This seminar offers first-year students an introduction to the German-Jewish experience and the history of anti-semitism in Germany, from early modernity to the present day. Students in this seminar will learn to analyze a variety of texts (both literary and philosophical), musical works, and films in relation to the history of Jews in German-speaking countries, and will be able to apply their knowledge to their analysis of present-day manifestations of anti-semitism and xenophobia in Germany. The course has no requisites and presumes no prior knowledge of the subject matter.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: HS, CI, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Nester.

 

GSLL 75.       The Book of Books: Literature and the Bible.

The Bible is the single most influential book in all of Western civilization. It is the top bestseller of all time and the most translated work in history. No other text has been read, discussed and interpreted as often and no other book had a comparable impact on the arts. In this class we will familiarize ourselves with the stories, poems, letters, historical documents, songs, witness accounts and philosophical treatises that the Bible contains, and we will examine how works of art have preserved or transformed this biblical material.This seminar examines the influence the Bible had on great works of Western literature and traces this powerful literary tradition through different cultures and historical periods.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: LA, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: In Person.

Prica.

 

GSLL 80.       Not Just Dogs: Animals in Russian Literature.

This course explores the question of the animal in the works of major Russian writers (Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov, Platonov). Among the topics to be discussed are: The animal as the other; animal and human natures: dominance and submission, ethics of human/animal relations, and the trope of “talking” animals.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: LA, BN.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Lapushin.

GSLL 89.        Manifestos, Revolutions and the Avant-Gardes.

   Marxist Surrealism, Fascist Futurism, Anarchist Situationism: what do these different “-isms” have in common?  They are some of the most influential artistic movements to issue manifestos in the twentieth century.  This course examines these radical literary groups and the traditions of thought out of which they emerged.  Through the lens of the manifesto, we will consider the relationships between literature and politics.  Students will also research a topic of contemporary political, social, artistic, and/or personal importance and write their own manifestos in response.

                        All texts and class discussions in English.

                        Gen Ed:  LA,CI, GL.

                        Instructional Mode planned for this course as of November 11, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

                        Gill.

 

Language Instruction

BCS 402.        Elementary Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian Language II.

Proficiency-based instruction at the elementary level that develops the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing). In addition to mastering basic vocabulary and grammar, students will learn to read and write in both Latin and Cyrillic alphabet as well as communicate in the target language about everyday topics. This course is designed to encourage active participation and support collaborative learning.

Prerequisite, BCS 401 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Dzumhur.

 

DTCH 403.     Intermediate Dutch.

The second course in the Dutch language sequence, DTCH 403 focuses on increased skills in speaking, listening, reading, global comprehension, and communication. Emphasis on reading and discussion of longer texts. Completion of DTCH 403 fulfills level 3 of a foreign language.
Prerequisite, DTCH 402 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Thornton.

 

GERM 101.    Elementary German.

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.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

001: Staff.

002: Staff.

003: Staff.

 

GERM 102.    Advanced Elementary German.

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.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

001: Staff.

002: Staff.

004: Staff.

005: Staff.

006: Staff.

 

GERM 203.    Intermediate German.

Students acquire 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.

Prerequisite, GERM 102 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

001: Staff.

002: Staff.

004: Staff.

 

GERM 204.    Advanced Intermediate German.

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 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

001: Staff.

002: Staff.

 

GERM 301.    Communicating in German.

Emphasis is on speaking and writing, with shorter readings on contemporary German life to provide subject matter for in-class discussion and regular written compositions. Further goals include improvement of pronunciation and a mastery of grammar.
Prerequisite, GERM 204 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: CI, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Nester.

 

GERM 302.    Contemporary German Society.

Introduction to contemporary German society from a sociological perspective. The course emphasizes sustained reflection on family structures, class, gender, race, demography, and the political economy of present-day Germany.
Prerequisite, GERM 204 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: SS, CI, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Langston.

 

PLSH 404.      Intermediate Polish II.

A direct continuation of PLSH 403, PLSH 404 develops proficiency in language skills (speaking, reading, composition) while moving systematically through grammar principles. Language topics are introduced in the context of Polish culture and current events such as issues of social justice. The curriculum utilizes authentic texts in the target language and encourages active student participation. PLSH 404 equips students with a toolkit for self-directed and/or specialized study at advanced levels.

Prerequisite, PLSH 403 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Rose.

 

RUSS 102.      Basic Russian Communication II.

Further basics of Russian for everyday conversations. Continues to lay the foundation for development of four language skills (speaking, writing, listening, and reading) indispensable for communication on everyday topics in a variety of situational contexts. Fosters further interaction through acquisition of essential communicative and conversational strategies active in contemporary standard Russian through culturally relevant materials.
Prerequisite, RUSS 101 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

001: Lang.

                        002: Lang.

                        003: Lang.

                        004: Magomedova.

 

RUSS 204.      Intermediate Russian Communication II.

Skills for fluent speaking, writing, listening, and reading for intermediate-to-advanced learners. Develops and deepens learners’ mastery of contemporary standard Russian. Stresses communication, individual expression, and fosters cultural sensitivity through systematic expansion of learners’ ability to conduct conversations in contemporary standard Russian on a widening variety of culturally relevant subjects.
Prerequisite, RUSS 203 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for all sections of this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

                        001: Chernysheva.

                        002: Chernysheva.

 

RUSS 410.      Intermediate-to-Advanced Russian Communication, Conversation, and Composition in Context II.

Hones skills necessary for advanced communication, conversation, and composition. Presents phonetics and grammar in contemporary cultural context. Learners expand their practical knowledge of contemporary standard Russian in the context of present-day culture, while developing applied skills pertaining to comprehension, production of, and communication in Russian actively using authentic cultural materials.
Prerequisite, RUSS 409 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: BN.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Chernysheva.

 

RUSS 412.      Advanced Communication, Conversation, and Composition in Contemporary Standard Russian II.

Prepares advanced learners of contemporary standard Russian for communication with educated native speakers of the language in the area of their professional competence. Furthers interactive skills for speaking, writing, listening, and reading in a variety of communicative situations pertaining to the learners’ professional expertise.
Prerequisite, RUSS 411 or permission of the instructor.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Magomedova.

 

Large Undergraduate Lectures

GERM 279.    Once Upon A Fairy Tale: Fairy Tales and Childhood, Then and Now.

Considers fairy tales from several different national traditions and historical periods against the backdrop of folklore, literature, psychoanalysis, and the socializing forces directed at children.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: LA, NA.

Recitation required.

Crosslist: CMPL 279.

Instructional Mode planned for this course (including all recitations) as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Downing.

 

GERM 281.    The German Idea of War: Philosophical Dialogues with the Literary and Visual Arts in WWI.

This course brings into dialogue key ideas from seminal German philosophers who anticipated, experienced, or survived the Great War, with contemporary works of German literature, film, and painting. Of concern are the ways philosophy’s concepts and art’s themes shaped both one another and the idea of war. Questions this course poses include:​

  • Why and how did the arts praise war before its outbreak?​
  • How did the arts idealize the experience of war?​
  • How did the war push the limits of artistic expression?​
  • What exactly was war supposed to achieve and how did the brutality of war alter these aspirations?​
  • What lessons did art learn in the shadow of the Great War?​

In addition to literary texts by some of the greatest German-language writers of the early 20th century (Jünger, Kraus, Remarque, Richthofen, Rilke, Schnitzler, Trakl), students will encounter attendant philosophical ideas by such thinkers such as Benjamin, Dilthey, Freud, Lukcás, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein as well as screen films (Hofer, Lang, Reinert, Wiene) and view art (Dix, Kandinsky, Marc, Nolde) held in the Ackland Museum collection.​

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: PH, NA.

Recitation required.

Instructional Mode planned for this course (including all recitations) as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Langston.

 

RUSS 278.      Russian and Soviet Science Fiction.

What were the dreams that inspired and underpinned the USSR’s pioneering space program? RUSS 278 surveys some of the books and movies that give us insight into the hopes, fears, and doubts regarding what to this day remains a spectacular technological achievement. Books by Mikhail Bulgakov, Evgeny Zamiatin, the Strugatsky brothers, Dmitry Glukhovsky, and movies by Andrei Tarkovsky will help us understand the technological, philosophical and socio-political worldview of a totalitarian society that prided itself on having accomplished the unthinkable as it claimed it had ushered in a new stage in human evolution. Tales of the future from the land of futurism, RUSS 278, is an overview of Russian and Soviet science fiction.

Readings and discussions in English.

Recitation required.

Gen Ed: LA, BN.

Instructional Mode planned for this course (including all recitations) as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Shvabrin.

 

Small Undergraduate Seminars

GERM 245.    Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud.

An introduction to the writings of three great German writers of the 19th century who have had enormous impact on the lives of people around the world. The course will not only try to offer students the chance to get to know the principal writings of these important writers; it will also show how the three belong together as part of an intellectual enterprise centered on the project of what might be called the “historicization” of fields not previously considered subject to historical thinking. All three understand phenomena once thought to be essentially static as in fact dynamic, as changing in time according to demonstrable principles.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: PH, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Koelb.

 

GSLL 225.     Popular and Pious: Early Modern Jewish Literature.

This seminar covers popular and pious literature written by and for Jews in the 15th to 18th century in German-speaking countries. Originally written in Old Yiddish, this literature preserved the popular European genres and nonfiction accounts of Jewish community and family life. This literature preserves genres popular in medieval Europe including chivalric romances, fables, and merry tales, together with early examples of Jewish journalism and autobiography. The course will exam a wide variety of texts in translation to illuminate Jewish life in the context of surrounding Christian cultures. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

Readings and class discussion will be in English.​

Gen Ed: LA, NA, WB.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Von Bernuth.

 

GSLL 254H. The Division of Germany, Reunification, and Conflict with Russia.

Why was occupied Germany divided into two states after World War II? Were the Cold War and division inevitable? We explore these questions in two chronological contexts: 1945-1949 and 1989-present, with emphasis on the reemergence of Western conflict with Putin’s Russia.

Readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: HS, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Asynchronous Remote.

Pike.

 

GSLL 287.     Into the Streets: 1968 and Dissent in Central Europe.

Protest movements of 1968 are often remembered as one “planetary event.” In Western Europe, protesters demanded revolution, while in Eastern Europe, protesters living under communism demanded reform. In this course, we will explore dissent and counterculture in Central Europe through the stories of this one year. Through film and fiction from both sides of the Iron Curtain, we will investigate the impact of the Central European ’68(s) worldwide.

Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.

Gen Ed: LA, BN, EE-Mentored Research.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Rose.

 

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. ​

An appropriate conclusion to GERM 101-204, it also provides the background for more advanced undergraduate literature and culture courses.
​Readings, discussions, and essays in German.

Pre- or corequisite, GERM 301 or 302 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: LA, CI, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Trop.

 

GERM 367.    Contemporary German and Austrian Cinema.

Examines exciting new directions in German and Austrian cinema from the past 20 years. By analyzing weekly films, students develop skills in film analysis and criticism; read reviews, interviews, and film-theoretical texts; write a film review; and produce a critical essay.

Films, readings and discussions in German.

Prerequisite, GERM 303 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: VP, CI, NA.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Pollmann.

 

RUSS 415.      Introduction to Russian Literature.

Reading and discussion of selected authors in Russian aimed at improving reading skill and preparing the student for higher level work in Russian literature. In this course you will read seminal works of contemporary Russian literature as well as social, political, cultural, and historical issues of Russian society.

Readings and class discussions in Russian.

Prerequisite, RUSS 410 or permission of the instructor.

Gen Ed: LA, BN.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Magomedova.

 

Dual-Level Seminars: Open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students

CZCH 469.     Milan Kundera and World Literature.

This course traces Milan Kundera’s literary path from his communist poetic youth to his present postmodern Francophilia . His work will be compared with those authors he considers his predecessors and influences in European literature.

Taught in English. Some readings in Czech for qualified students.

Gen Ed: LA, BN.

Crosslist: CMPL 469.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Pichova.

 

GERM 502.    Middle High German.

Introduction to medieval German language, literature, and culture. Readings in English, German and Middle High German. Discussions in German. This course offers a survey of German literature, language and culture from 1000-1700, as well as an introduction to research methods in medieval and early modern German literature. During this period, German literature begins to differentiate itself from other discourses like that of religion, philosophy, rhetoric and history; early aesthetic forms begin to take shape at the interface between orality and textuality. In order to be able to read medieval literature in the original and produce viable scholarly translations, students will be introduced to the Middle High German language, including grammar and semantics. ​

Prerequisite, GERM 303 or permission of the instructor.

Requirement for Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in Jewish Studies.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Prica.

 

GERM 514.    Old Norse I (Old Icelandic).

Reading and linguistic analysis of Old Norse (Old Icelandic) texts, with study of phonology, morphology, and syntax; comparison with other older dialects of Germanic. An introduction to the language and culture of medieval Scandinavia and gateway to the Viking Age.  The course typically draws students interested in linguistics, philology, medieval studies, folklore, and mythology. The primary focus is on developing a basic reading proficiency so that students can avail themselves of the prose literature in the original, with a dictionary.​

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Roberge.

 

GSLL 465.     Literature of Atrocity: The Gulag and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Historical contexts and connections through artistic representation of the Holocaust and Soviet terror in Eastern Europe and the USSR.

Taught in English

Gen Ed: LA, BN, GL.

Crosslists:  JWST 465, PWAD 465.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Asynchronous Remote.

Pike.

 

RUSS 465.      Chekhov.

Study of major works of Chekhov and survey of contemporary authors and literary trends relevant to his creative career. In addition to the study of Chekhov’s major works, this course analyzes the relationship between his texts and their various adaptations on stage and screen. ​

Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.

Gen Ed: LA, BN.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Lapushin.

 

Non-GSLL Courses Taught by GSLL Professors

 

CMPL 240.    Introduction to Film Theory.

This course introduces students to debates in classical and post-classical film theory. Likely topics include medium specificity; the ideological functions of narrative cinema; film theory’s investments in psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, and phenomenology; the advent of digital media; feminism; national and transnational cinema; spectatorship; authorship; genre theory; and film and philosophy.

Gen Ed: VP.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Pollmann.

 

LING 542.      Pidgins and Creoles.

Examination of the social contexts of language contact and their linguistic outcomes, with particular emphasis on the formation of pidgins and creoles. The course investigates the structural properties of these new contact languages and evaluates the conflicting theories that explain their genesis.
Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.

Crosslist: ANTH 542.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Roberge.

 

Carolina-Duke Graduate Level Courses

 

GERMAN 740S.        East/West/Zion:  German Jewish Modernism.

A graduate course about Jewish literary writing in the first half of the 20th century. Topics include space and place, tradition and modernity, identity and belonging, language, nationality, religious practice, and politics. Special focus on the role of Eastern Europe in the literary imagination of German-Jewish writers, and the use of modernist form and style.

Class discussions in English; readings mostly in German, with some additional texts in Polish, Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew. Most texts available in English.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Gellen.  Duke University.

 

GERMAN 790-4.       Topics in German Idealism.

                        An introductory exploration of certain aspects of German Idealism (Kant and Hegel) with some attention to their legacy in later thinkers.  Topics may include: Self-consciousness, the nature of judgment, experience, and the philosophy of action.

All discussion and primary readings in English, though knowledge of German is helpful.

Crosslist:  Philosophy.

Instructional Mode planned for this course as of October 28, 2020: Synchronous Remote.

Pickford.  Duke University.