College of Arts and Science Courses in Berlin
2022 Program Dates
Student Arrival: Monday, May 23, 2022
Student Departure: Saturday, July 2, 2022
Please click the NYU Berlin link for dates of participation, courses, costs, application forms, and contact information.
Elementary German I - GERM-UA 9001 - 4 points
Conducted in German. Open only to students with no previous training in German; others require permission of the department.
Elementary German II - GERM-UA 9002 - 4 points
A continuation of Elementary German I. Prerequisite: Elementary German I or equivalent. Conducted in German.
Intermediate German I - GERM-UA 9003 - 4 points
This first intermediate course stresses the acquisition and practice of more sophisticated written and spoken German. The focus is on expanding conversational skills, but the course also includes guided composition practice, vocabulary work, and grammar review. Open to students who have completed the equivalent of one year of elementary language instruction and to others on assignment by placement examination. Conducted in German.
Intermediate German II - GERM-UA 9004 - 4 points
Identical with GERM-UA 4. A continuation of Intermediate German I.
Prerequisite: Intermediate German I or equivalent. Conducted in German.
German Conversation and Composition - GERM-UA 9111- 4 points
Designed to permit post-Intermediate students to perfect their German while in Berlin. Conducted in German.
Comparative Modern Societies: Berlin in the Third Reich - SOC-UA 9133 or HIST-UA 9133 or POL-UA 9133 - 4 points
Cross listed with HIST-UA 9133 and POL-UA 9133. This course explores the remnants of Hitler’s capital and the crimes planned within it through visits to historical sites in contemporary Berlin including the former Luftwaffe and Propaganda ministries, the 1936 Olympic Stadium, the Wannsee Conference villa, Sachsenhausen concentration camp and several surviving bunker complexes. Readings will center on diaries and memoirs of Berlin life between 1933 and 1945 written from a variety of perspectives: that of an American journalist, a young Jewish woman, and an aristocratic member of Berlin high society.
Cultures and Contexts: Germany - CORE-UA 9556 - 4 points
This course seeks to introduce students to modern German culture through the works of seven emblematic figures—both positive and negative—whose ideas have helped shape, for good and for ill, that culture over the past century and continue to do so in varying degrees in our own day. We begin with Lessing and Kant, Enlightenment thinkers whose values in part provide the legitimacy for today’s democratic Federal Republic of Germany, then turn to the ambiguous universal genius Goethe, long considered the country’s equivalent to Shakespeare but whose relationship to enlightened values is far from clear.
Next we examine the case of Richard Wagner, perhaps the most influential artistic figure of the 19th century, who saw his own masterpieces of music drama as proof of German cultural superiority and whose theoretical writings provided the basis for the racist national socialist theory of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, first a supporter and then a vocal opponent of Wagner, was also later idealized by the Nazis, though his writings attacked and even ridiculed the German nationalism of his day. We then analyze the self-presentation, as found in Mein Kampf, of Adolf Hitler himself, the impact of whose life and horrific deeds continues to cast a shadow on an almost daily basis over Germany.
Finally, we turn to the great, recently deceased East German writer Christa Wolf, who for most of her life fervently believed that her communist homeland was the "better Germany," even while illustrating the reality and human costs of this state in her novels. Extensive readings from all of these figures will be supplemented by lecture tours through relevant areas of greater Berlin and an extended day trip Weimar and Leipzig.