The Program

The curriculum of Earlham's German Program anticipates the future as much as it honors the past. To come to know the rich cultural heritage and the political and intellectual history of German-speaking countries is an educational end in itself. However, our work as teachers is equally intent on presenting the complexities of today's increasingly diverse German-speaking world and its many future challenges. One of our central goals, therefore, is to help students understand and appreciate that world from its earliest beginnings to the present.

All of our courses adhere to the nationally articulated Standards for Foreign Language Learning. In our basic language courses, we focus on both language and culture, while introducing students to authentic texts, literary as well as non-literary. In upper-level literature, culture and film courses, students learn to describe, analyze and interpret a broad variety of texts in social, cultural and historical contexts. In all of our courses students work toward raising their level of proficiency in the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational. Through the texts they study, they also learn to appreciate the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of the German-speaking world.

Communication and cooperation are essential ingredients in the way Earlham students and faculty learn and work together. All of our courses, whether they focus on language, literature or culture, afford students some opportunity to work with others in a group setting. Many upper-level students also work with faculty on a Ford/Knight collaborative project. All students of German, whether majors or not, may choose to live in German House, where they use the language in an informal setting. Each year an International Language Assistant also lives in German House. Students wanting to spend time in a German-speaking country may choose the semester-long Germany/Austria Program or the May Term in Berlin.

German majors and minors often combine their work with study of another discipline. For example past graduates have majored in German and Psychology, German and Religion, German and Economics, and German and International Studies. Our minors use German to complement their studies in a number of other disciplines. German also is one of the languages that students may choose as part of the Comparative Languages and Linguistics (CLL) major. Many of our majors, both graduates and undergraduates, receive internships, scholarships or fellowships to work or study in German-speaking countries.

A combination of German with another field has proved to be invaluable to graduates as they have pursued further study or as they have entered into a profession. Recent graduates of our program now work in such diverse areas as the arts, information science, business education, journalism, psychology, the airline industry, translating and language testing. Their career successes and personal satisfaction tell us that we prepare our students well for the demands of the global world.

General Education Requirements

The Program offers three courses that fulfill the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, GER 101, 102 and 201; and two that fulfill the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, GER 344 and 345. A number of General Education Requirements may also be fulfilled through off-campus study.

Note: GER 344 New Voices: German Jewish Writers and GER 345 New Voices: Germans of Color are both offered for seven weeks in German and seven weeks in English. Students who register for both seven-week courses in German or in English may receive 4 credits to complete the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement.

Program Options

Students may major or minor in German. All majors participate in an off-campus study program in a German-speaking country. Students majoring in German may apply three courses from Earlham's Germany/Austria Program toward the Major. Those who minor in German may apply two courses from Earlham's Germany/Austria Program toward the Minor. Some General Education Requirements can be completed in these programs.

The Major

German majors must take:

  • 28 credits at the 300-level or above.
  • Both of the following courses:
    • GER 454 Drama and Dramatic Tradition
    • GER 455 German Narrative
  • At least one of the following:
    • GER 343 Women in German Literature and Culture
    • GER 344 New Voices: German Jewish Writers
    • GER 345 New Voices: Germans of Color
  • At least one of the following:
    • GER 346 Classic and Contemporary German Film
    • GER 407 Translation: Theory and Practice
    • GER 408 Contemporary German-Speaking Countries
  • German majors may take up to two electives outside the German Program, chosen from the following:
    • TESO 344 Studies in Language Learning and Teaching
    • TESO 345 Linguistics
    • TESO 348 Sociolinguistics
    • PHIL 365 Philosophy of Language
  • Students wishing to choose electives not listed here may do so with the consent of the German faculty.

The Minor

German minors must complete:

  • 16 credits at the 300-level or above.
  • At least one of the following:
    • GER 454 Drama and Dramatic Tradition
    • GER 455 German Narrative
  • At least one of the following:
    • GER 344 New Voices: German Jewish Writers
    • GER 345 New Voices: Germans of Color
    • GER 346 Classic and Contemporary German Film
    • GER 408 Contemporary German-Speaking Countries
  • German minors may take one elective outside the German Program, chosen from the following:
    • TESO 344 Studies in Language Learning and Teaching
    • TESO 345 Linguistics
    • TESO 348 Sociolinguistics
    • PHIL 365 Philosophy of Language
  • Students wishing to choose an elective not listed here may do so with the consent of the German faculty.

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*GER 101 BASIC GERMAN I (5 credits)
Proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes the development of language skills and cultural competence. Incorporates the national Standards for Language Learning: Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Connections and Communities; and the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational. (D-L)

*GER 102 BASIC GERMAN II  (5 credits)
A continuation of German 101. Prerequisite: GER 101 or equivalent. (D-L)

*GER 201 INTERMEDIATE GERMAN (4 credits)
Continues to develop language and cultural competence and to improve reading strategies. Prerequisite: GER 102 or equivalent. (D-L)

GER 301 ADVANCED GERMAN (3 credits)
Develops a number of competencies, including knowing about text types and discourse genres, developing analytical and critical thinking skills, and using advanced grammatical structures to communicate in culturally appropriate contexts. Prerequisite: GER 201 or equivalent.

GER 302 ADVANCED GERMAN CONVERSATION (1 credit)
Concentrates primarily on developing and using students' oral skills to communicate in culturally appropriate contexts. Prerequisite: GER 102 or equivalent.

GER 343 WOMEN IN GERMAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE (3 credits)
Critical reading of representative works. Focuses on the contributions of women to the literary life and cultures of German-speaking countries. Also explores myths and misconceptions regarding women by addressing questions of image and reality. Prerequisite: GER 301 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as WGSS 343. (AY)

*GER 344 NEW VOICES: GERMAN JEWISH WRITERS (2 credits)
Examines issues of Jewish identity in Germany and Austria and what it is like to live as a Jew in German-speaking Europe. This seven-week seminar studies the prose, poetry and essays of German Jewish writers who respond to these issues in a variety of ways. Also listed as JWST 344. Offered in German (first seven weeks) and English (second seven weeks). (D-I) (AY)

*GER 345 NEW VOICES: GERMANS OF COLOR (2 credits)
Introduces students to texts written by Afro-Germans as well as texts by authors with migration backgrounds. Explores the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of contemporary German-speaking countries through literary and non-literary texts, films and music. Also listed as AAAS 345. Offered in English (first seven weeks) and in German (second seven weeks). (D-I) (AY)

GER 346 CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY GERMAN FILM (3 credits)
Examines films in the historical and social contexts from the Expressionist period of the early 1920s to contemporary German cinema. Also looks at cinema as an art form and film style. Also listed as FILM 346. (DI) (AY)

GER 407 TRANSLATION: THEORY AND PRACTICE (3 credits)
Considers a range of issues in translation, which may include comparative stylistics, gender in translation and machine translation. In addition to readings, discussion and research on particular aspects of translation, students design and carry out individual and group translation projects. Prerequisite: GER 301. (AY)

GER 408 CONTEMPORARY GERMAN SPEAKING COUNTRIES (3 credits)
Explores cultural, socio-economic and political developments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 1945. Prerequisite: GER 301 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. (AY)

GER 454 DRAMA AND DRAMATIC TRADITION (4 credits)
Explores drama as an enduring art form and looks at the essential characteristics of a dramatic work. Examines some of the most significant works and dramatic forms of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Discusses drama as an art form that depends on and challenges tradition within German and Austrian cultural history. Prerequisite: GER 301 or consent of the instructor. (AY)

GER 455 GERMAN NARRATIVE (4 credits)
Introduces students to a number of significant works of German prose and to critical evaluation of those texts. Examines both literary and non-literary texts from the Middle Ages to the present and explores how they reflect the culture and times in which they were written. Prerequisite: GER 301 or consent of the instructor. (AY)

GER 481 INTERNSHIPS, FIELD STUDIES AND OTHER FIELD EXPERIENCES (1-3 credits)

GER 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Topics vary.

GER 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)
Reserved for International Teaching Assistants.

GER 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

GER 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Intended for advanced students. An investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser.

GER 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (3 credits)
Designed to serve the broadest possible mix of interests of Junior and Senior majors. Topics vary.

Germany/Austria Program Courses

*ART 352 ART HISTORY (3 credits)
With special attention to Baroque and fin-de-siècle Vienna, the course introduces the history of western art. Regular museum visits and excursions take advantage of the vast architectural and artistic treasures of Vienna. (A-TH)

GER 301 GERMAN LANGUAGE (6 credits)
Intensive language course offered in Marburg and Berlin. Helps students gain language and cultural competence. In-class work is complemented by a number of course-related excursions.

GER 350 AUSTRIAN LITERATURE (3 credits)
Focuses primarily on works from the 19th century 20th and 21st centuries. Examines both literary and non-literary texts in the context of the powerful political and social changes taking place in Austria and Europe.

*GER 355 AUSTRIA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION (3 credits)
Introduces the history of Austria and examines the European integration process after World War II. Examines the structure and role of the European Union; the challenges of EU enlargement; the relationship between Europe and the U.S.; and the role of Europe on the global stage. (D-I)

GER 360 CONTEMPORARY GERMAN CULTURE (2 credits)
Taught in Marburg and Berlin, examines issues confronting 21st-century Germans. Topics vary but may include migration and population changes, Germany as a multicultural society, and Germany's role in Europe and in the European Union.

GER 362 ETHNOGRAPHIC PROJECT (1 credit)
Students examine in detail one aspect of German or Austrian culture in which they have a particular interest. Students are not expected to do extensive library research for the project but instead are encouraged to interact with Germans or Austrians and to develop good listening and observation skills. Learning to become effective participant observers is central to the success of the project.

Berlin May Term Course

GER 318 MAY TERM IN BERLIN (3 credits)
Examines ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in Berlin. Focuses on four of the many communities living in the city: Afro-Germans, Turkish Germans and Jewish Germans and Berlin's Muslim population. Explores first, how Germans define diversity, multiculturalism and intercultural living; and second, how Germans respond to their own diversity and address its attendant issues. Examines the historical context of Berlin's multiculturalism and considers its implications for all of Germany and for greater Europe. No prerequisites. Course offered in English. (AY)

Print Friendly and PDF

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
47374-4095
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions