Course Description: Films can provide a far more intense experience of a country’s culture and society than textbooks full of facts and data. Films can give an overview of important events in the history of any people. They can help students better comprehend and appreciate many aspects of a distant foreign culture. In this class we will explore 20th-century German identity, culture, history, and politics through film analysis and readings. We will view and discuss 14 German films that were made between 1919 and 2000.
This course will be taught in English. All readings are in English. All films are in German with English subtitles. It fulfills one of the three humanities basic liberal arts requirements.
The main goals of German 1111 are:
Required Texts and Reading Materials: Click here for a detailed bibliography on German films.
Attendance: Regular attendance is essential for academic achievement. Therefore, attendance is mandatory. Two unexcused absences will lower the final grade by 3%, three by 6%, four by 9%, and so on. Excused absences are at the discretion of the instructor. Absences caused by college-related activities are excused only if the instructor is made aware of them in advance.
Honor Code: The honor code will be strictly enforced. Students must
sign the honor pledge on all assignments and tests, and write it on all
essays. The honor pledge is posted in every classroom.
Attendance: Regular attendance is essential for academic achievement. Therefore, attendance is mandatory. Two unexcused absence will lower the final grade by 3%, three by 6%, four by 9%, and so on. Excused absences are at the discretion of the instructor. Absences caused by college related activities are excused only if the instructor is made aware of them in advance.
Changes to all aspects of this syllabus are at the discretion of the instructor.
Essays: Each student will write 2 out of 4 essays, 4 pages each, one essay before fall break (essay 1 or 2) and one after fall break (essay 3 or 4). Each essay must be typed (double-spaced). In each essay you should analyze certain aspects of one of the films and develop a coherent argumentation. Present your opinion about the film and back it up with an argument. You should not only give a summary of the content. All essays should include:
Here are some general ideas about the topics for the essays. These are not written in stone. Please, choose your own specific topic if you so wish.
Film evaluations: Each student will evaluate all films. You have to fill out an evaluation form or write a reflection on Blackboard for each film. Evaluations and reflections are due by Monday following the screening of the film. Some of the evaluations will be done in class and handed in the same night the film is shown.
participation and homework: Active
participation in class discussions and weekly preparation are absolutely
vital to academic growth. You must have read the assigned pages or
articles listed on the schedule. I’ll be asking specific questions
on these reading assignments, both during the semester and in the final
Final exam: The final exam will cover films and materials studied in the semester. Among others, there will be questions about films and directors, year of making, film devices and historical, social, political, and other issues that the films deal with. Make sure that you read all required materials on time and take notes during class discussions.
trips: Students will be offered the opportunity to participate
in field trips to the German Embassy
or the Goethe Institute in Washington DC which
show recent German films that are yet not available for rental or purchase.
Important: Do not ignore problems, ask questions. Do not fall behind. Complete all required readings on time. Be active in your group. Send me an e-mail message or call me for an extra appointment.
CITING ON-LINE SOURCES: Writers should bear in mind that standards for citing on-line sources yet not well established. Here are a few guides available on-line, which are based on currently-accepted styles for citing print documents.
Check the following very good web site on German Cinema:
information on movies (title, director, cast, plot line, etc.)
If you are looking
for any recent information on Germany today try the following