German Studies

Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures

  • MIRKO M. HALL, chair
  • DOUG P. BUSH
  • RAFAEL E. HERNÁNDEZ
  • CATHERINE JONES
  • STEFANIA LICATA

Mission

The mission of the Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures is to enable Converse students to embrace diversity and complexity in the world through communication in other languages and knowledge of other cultures. The department will achieve this goal by preparing students in the following areas:

  1. competence in oral comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of the target language;
  2. knowledge of the culture and literature of the major language;
  3. preparation to enter an advanced degree program, public service, business, or the professions.

The Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with the majors of German Studies and Hispanic Studies. Students majoring in German Studies or Hispanic Studies must complete 30 credit hours in courses numbered 202 and above.

The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts.

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative Reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-Being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course
  • Capstone experience

Calculation of Major and Minor GPA in Languages, Cultures and Literatures

To earn a major or minor in German Studies or Hispanic Studies, or a minor in French and Francophone Studies, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 across all of their required and elective courses on the Degree Completion Form for that specific program.

Elective credits beyond the required number may not be considered in the calculation.

For the major in German Studies, this GPA includes the allowance of two elective courses from other departments with a substantial Germanic component. For the major in Hispanic Studies, this GPA includes the allowance of one elective course, either SPN 400 or HST 477. Transfer credits from other institutions do not figure into the calculation for major or minor GPAs.

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

GER 101–102 : ELEMENTARY GERMAN

A course for beginners designed to initiate students not only into a foreign language, but also into a new and exciting culture. Up-to-date teaching methods and techniques are employed throughout the program.

Credits

6

GER 125 : FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR

First-Year Seminars constitute a common and academically significant experience in a student’s first year at Converse University. All incoming first- year students are required to take a 3-credit hour FYS in the fall semester, choosing from a variety of discipline specific topics. Each FYS carries the corresponding departmental prefix, but with the common course number (except for designated honors sections). Each FYS course is designed to have no more than 18 students, and counts in some designated category of the General Education Program. Strong writing and speaking components are required elements of the course.

Credits

3

GER 199H : FRESHMAN HONORS SEMINAR

Offered periodically in rotation with seminars in other disciplines. A study of a selected subject within the discipline that will vary from term to term. The course is designed to encourage student participation in the intellectual processes through class discussion, research and writing, special projects, problem solving, and evaluation and defense of positions. When the subject matter duplicates that of another course, credit toward graduation will be granted for only one of the courses. Offered periodically in rotation with seminars in other disciplines.

Credits

3

GER 202 : INTERMEDIATE GERMAN

This course will emphasize speaking and listening with progressively increased practice in reading and writing.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

GER 201 or placement in GER 202.

GER 265 : LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND LITERATURE STUDY SEMINAR

Students will study the target language and enroll in a foreign study program or participate in a Converse designed program, studying the language and discussing important topics on culture and contemporary life. Grades in the course will be determined either by the native language teacher or by a Converse professor, based on class participation, tests and graded assignments. Offered during Jan Term or Summer Terms, contingent upon sufficient enrollment.

GER 299H : INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS COURSE

This course is team taught by members in two departments and is open to Nisbet Honors Program participants and to others who meet Honors Program guidelines. All students registering for these courses must register not only through the Honors Program but also with their adviser and the Registrar’s Office.

GER 301 : ADVANCED GERMAN

This course expands communicative competence in German and provides a review of advanced grammar concepts. Discussions and compositions are based on selected topics in contemporary German culture. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

GER 202 or the equivalent.

GER 302 : CONTEMPORARY GERMANY

An interdisciplinary survey of contemporary German society and its multicultural and transnational influences. Emphasis is placed on post-unification cultural, political, and social issues. Taught in German.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

GER 202 or the equivalent.

GER 303 : GERMAN LITERARY STUDIES

A general introduction to German literature (poetry, drama and prose) and its socio-historical contexts from the Enlightenment to the present. Emphasis is placed on developing techniques for close reading and literary-cultural interpretation. Taught in German. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

GER 202 or the equivalent.

GER 304 : GERMAN CINEMA STUDIES

A close analysis of select feature films from German-speaking countries. Films are studied as both an aesthetic practice and a medium of cultural history. Special emphasis is placed on developing techniques for critical visual literacy. Taught in German. Fine Arts Film credit.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

GER 202 or the equivalent.

GER 305 : GERMAN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

An interdisciplinary seminar that investigates some of the key intellectual discussions surrounding critique, praxis and emancipation in the German-speaking world since the Enlightenment. Focuses on theoretical texts that explore prominent issues in aesthetics, philosophy, and politics as well as the rhetorical strategies of knowledge production. Humanities credit. Cross-listed with PHI 230.

Credits

3

GER 314 : SPECIAL TOPICS IN GERMAN STUDIES

This interdisciplinary seminar explores a special topic in the cultures of German-speaking countries. Particular emphasis is placed on the increasingly transnational and multicultural contexts of German cultural studies. Topics may include German cultural history, intellectual history, literature, media studies, and sound studies. Conducted in English. GEP designation contingent on seminar topic. Writing Intensive.

Credits

1 - 4

GER 320 : PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY AND CRITICISM

An interdisciplinary seminar that investigates the works of Sigmund Freud and those who followed in his tradition. Focuses on the historical development of psychoanalyis and examines the revolutionary impact of Freud and psychoanalysis on art, culture, film, music, literature, and philosophy. Humanities credit.

Credits

3

GER 365 : LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND LITERATURE STUDY SEMINAR

Students will study the target language and enroll in a foreign study program or participate in a Converse designed program, studying the language and discussing important topics on culture and contemporary life. Grades in the course will be determined either by the native language teacher or by a Converse professor, based on class participation, tests and graded assignments. Offered during Jan Term or Summer Terms, contingent upon sufficient enrollment.

Credits

3

GER 490 : DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY

This course allows students to pursue a course of study not covered by regular offerings in German Studies. Both teacher and student will select the topic of study according to the student’s needs and interests.

Credits

3

GER 496 : FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERNSHIP

An internship in business or a public or private agency requiring the use of the student’s foreign language skills. Pass/fail grading.

Prerequisites

One course numbered 300 or above and permission of the instructor.

GER 499 : SENIOR SEMINAR

Students complete a bilingual portfolio—including personal statement, independent research project, and public presentation— that highlights their experiences, accomplishments, and scholarly work in the program. Capstone.

Credits

3