Topics in German Studies


How well do you need to speak German to be German? Who counts as a native speaker of German? Are varieties of German such as Kiezdeutsch "real" German? What about all the English slang used by young people on social media? These questions have animated many of the recent debates about immigration and (linguistic) identity in Germany. The question of multilingualism is inextricably interwoven with questions of heritage, belonging, and cultural expression. In this course we will study a variety of text types, from novels to films to news and social media, in order to develop an understanding of what it means to be multilingual at the individual as well as the societal level, and how the impacts of multilingualism on society, on literature, and on the language itself play out in the German context. We will also examine some research from the fields of linguistics and second language acquisition. Students should leave this course with a more nuanced understanding of multilingualism in Germany, the ability to compare different cultural contexts, and the linguistic skills necessary to discuss and write about topics of cultural and political relevance in German. All readings, assignments, and discussions in German. Prerequisite: German 302D and German 340C/340D OR German 341/341D OR German 342/342D or permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD; AS LS; AS WI I; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Topics in German Studies
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