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Germanic Languages

Undergraduate Requirements

For a Major in German Literature and Cultural History

The goal of the major is to provide students with reasonable proficiency in reading a variety of literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original and, through this training, to facilitate a critical understanding of modern German-speaking cultures and societies. Students should plan their program of study with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible. Competence in a second foreign language is strongly recommended, especially for those students planning to attend graduate school.

A minimum of 30 points is required, distributed as follows:

  1. GERM V3001 or GERM V3002
  2. GERM W3333
  3. Any two of the survey courses in German literature and culture, GERM W3442, GERM W3443, GERM W3444, GERM W3445; (at least one of these must focus on pre–20th-century cultural history)
  4. One course in German intellectual history
  5. GERM C3991 is required of all majors in their senior year, but may also be taken as a seminar by juniors
  6. The remaining courses to be chosen from the 3000- or 4000-level offerings in German and Comparative Literature–German

Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is not required for the major. Students interested in a senior thesis or research project may do so through independent study with a faculty member over one or two semesters.

For the Track in Yiddish Studies

First- and second-year Yiddish language courses emphasize spoken and written communication, and provide a basic introduction to Eastern European Jewish culture. Goals include mastery of the structure of the language and enough cultural understanding to interact comfortably with native speakers.

After second-year Yiddish language courses are completed, students should feel sufficiently comfortable to begin to work with Yiddish literature in the original. Upper-level undergraduate/graduate courses are designed to accommodate students with a range of Yiddish language experience, and intensive language summer study is also encouraged for improvement in language acquisition and comprehension.

The goal is to provide students with reasonable proficiency in reading a variety of literary, philosophical, and historical texts in the original and, through this training, to provide them with a critical understanding of Yiddish-speaking culture and society. Students should plan their program of study with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible.

A minimum of 30 points is required distributed as follows:

  1. At least three courses of intermediate/advanced language study
  2. Two courses in Yiddish literature, at least one of which is not taught in translation
  3. One course in the senior seminar or independent study
  4. Four related courses, at least one of which is in medieval or modern Jewish history

A senior thesis is required for the track in Yiddish studies. Students interested in a senior thesis or research project may do so through independent study with a faculty member over one or two semesters.

For a Concentration in German Literature and Cultural History

A minimum of 21 points in German courses numbered GERM V3001 and above, including the senior seminar GERM C3991, which may be taken in the junior or senior year.

For the Track in Yiddish Studies

A minimum of 24 points distributed as follows:

  1. At least three courses of beginning/intermediate language study
  2. Two courses in Yiddish literature
  3. Three related courses, at least one of which is in medieval or modern Jewish history