This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.
Notes about this minor:
This minor is closed to fluent native speakers of German.
Posting of the minor on the student’s academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Choose five consecutive language courses:
Beginning German I
This is the first course in a two-course sequence. The sequence provides students without prior exposure to the language with a sound basis for learning German as it is used today in its spoken and written forms. The goal of the sequence is proficiency in communication skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency. The sequence also acquaints students with contemporary culture and life in the German-speaking countries. Students must take a placement exam if this is their first RIT class in German and they have some prior study of German.
Beginning German II
This is the second course in a two-course sequence. The sequence provides students without prior exposure to the language with a sound basis for learning German as it is used today in its spoken and written forms. The goal of the sequence is proficiency in communication skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency. The sequence also acquaints students with contemporary culture and life in the German-speaking countries.
Intermediate German I
This is the first course of a two-course sequence at the intermediate level. The sequence provides students with the tools to increase their ability to function in German. Communicative activities, contemporary texts, and the study of vocabulary and grammar are used to expand all communication skills, espe-cially oral proficiency. This sequence continues to address issues of contemporary German life and culture.
Intermediate German II
This is the second course of a two-course sequence at the intermediate level. The sequence provides students with the tools to increase their ability to function in German. Communicative activities, contemporary texts, the study of vocabulary and grammar are used to expand all communication skills, especially oral proficiency. This sequence continues to address issues of contemporary German life and culture.
Advanced German I
This is the first course of a two-course sequence at the advanced level. This sequence is designed to develop in-depth proficiency in the four language skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. This sequence develops the ability to understand and communicate freely on a variety of familiar and unfamiliar topics by expanding the vocabulary base and by discussions, compositions, and oral reports based on cultural and literary texts and audio-visual materials. The sequence includes a rigorous study of advanced grammatical structures and usage. Students must take a placement exam if this is their first RIT class in German and they have prior study of German.
Advanced German II
This is the last course of a two-course sequence at the advanced level. This sequence is designed to intensively develop proficiency in the four language skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. This sequence develops the ability to understand and communicate freely by expanding the vocabulary base and by discussions, compositions, and oral reports, based on cultural and literary texts and audio-visual materials. The sequence includes a rigorous study of advanced grammatical structures and usage Students must take a placement exam if this is their first RIT class in German and they have prior study of German.
German Conversation and Oral Practice
This course is designed to help students further develop two of the four basic language skills: listening and speaking. Students will expand on skills they have attained in previous language courses with particular emphasis on the advancement of their speaking proficiency in German. Through a task-based approach the course aims to assist students in learning to speak German with a greater degree of fluency and accuracy. Students will communicate solely in German throughout the course. Each class session will consist of communicative activities and practice. The learning of the German language will occur through the completion of communicative tasks in different formats and circumstances (e.g. interviews, situational sketches, oral projects). There will be little emphasis on grammar, but the emphasis on pronunciation and vocabulary will be significant. Authentic audiovisual materials will be an integral part of the course, as will the submission and review of spoken samples of German on the part of the student via MyCourses.
German Grammar through Reading and Writing
In this course, students will read a variety of German texts. Through this process, they will develop the grammar and vocabulary skills needed to comprehend written German in specific fields. Students will work with texts from various sources, including articles in their own discipline. They will learn to analyze written texts and thereby develop useful language skills as well as specific vocabulary, as pertinent to their fields. A series of graduated reading exercises will also increase their overall grammar skills in German. At the same time, students will intensively practice their writing skills. They will be assigned a variety of writing assignments, compositions and essays in accordance with the topics covered by their reading exercises. Their writing activities will cover a number of different formats and styles, such as film/book reviews, letters to the editor, personal essays, creative essays, analytical texts, short newspaper articles, and scientific abstracts.
Modern German Culture through Film
This course is organized around the notion of what Germany is today and the historical, social, cultural and literary determinants of that concept. Through a series of texts, films and videos designed to introduce the students to contemporary German society, thought and cultural practices, the course seeks to explore the following questions: What is Germany today? What is it to be German today? How do the Germans see themselves, and how are they seen by others? In what ways do cultural practices, globalization, and ethnicity influence the formation of modern German identity (and is there one?)? Where do these notions come from? How does that compare to notions of identity and society in the US? Discussions will include analysis of cultural stereotypes, family life, sports, language, media, politics, immigration, etc. The focus of this course is cultural analysis, exploration, and comparison. In order to critically examine these questions, this course focuses on various aspects of modern German culture from the 1950’s to the present. Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, German society has undergone numerous changes, which manifest themselves politically, socially, culturally and economically. Through films, readings in history and social science, magazine articles, literature and books, this course will scrutinize these changes and their meaning within the context of present-day German society.
History of Modern Germany
This course covers major themes in German history from the formation of the German Empire in 1870 to the present. Topics include nation building and nationalism, industrialization and urbanization, imperialism at home and abroad, the first world war, the Weimar Republic, Nazi racism and the second world war, the divided Germany and the Cold War, and reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The course may focus on specific questions such as gender, class, religion or race and ethnicity. This course leads you to explore how German history shaped the role of Germans and Germany in the world today as well as how it informs problems facing other regions and eras.
German for Science and Technology
This course teaches specialized terminology and linguistic structures important for communicating scientific and technological knowledge in German. The focus is on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interpreting technical German. Students will learn science and technology terms and structures in a broad range of technical areas via experiential learning activities. In addition, students will research and present topics of their own interest or beyond their disciplines. Students will expand their knowledge of the target language to include technical terms/structures and prepare themselves to better apply their language skills in internships, research, and work environments while exploring and understanding the culture in professional workplaces.
The course gives students an opportunity to study professional language and culture as well as to practice presentation and negotiation skills, especially in professional and formal contexts. Students will improve speaking, listening, reading and writing skills developed in the elementary/intermediate sequence to master formal interactions in German. They will learn professional vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structures through readings, conversation, and discussion. They will cultivate expressive skills through discussion, writing assignments, and a video tutorial project. This course will be useful for students who are planning to seek employment in international companies or in companies doing business abroad, and also for students who want to learn more about business in the target culture. This is a language class; proficiency equivalent to Intermediate German II is required.
Students can take up to two culture courses as part of the German minor. In addition to culture courses listed for the minor, other courses from other departments dealing with aspects of German and German-speaking cultures may also be approved by the faculty adviser.
Bach, Händel and the Baroque
European society experienced many changes during the late 16th through the early 18th centuries, and music's role and development within the context of these changes was varied, and profound. This course explores the creation and performance of music within the context of European cultural, religious, political and artistic ideals from 1580 to 1750, culminating in in-depth discussion of the life and works of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel.
Era of Haydn, Mozart ,& Beethoven
Many of the characteristics of art music up to the present day have their beginnings in the late 18th century. This course explores the creation and performance of music within the context of European cultural, political and artistic ideals from 1740 to 1825, with particular attention given to the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
This course will provide an overview of some of the major currents in Continental European philosophy, the distinctive philosophical approach and style of thinking that emerges in the early 20th century largely as a critical response to German Idealism, Marxism, and the antecedent existentialism of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Continental European philosophy is rooted in the history of philosophy, attentive to the world of experience, and develops in constant conversation with various other areas of human activities such as literature, politics, psychoanalysis, and religion. Among the major currents to be examined in the course are phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction, structuralism, poststructuralism, French feminist theory, posthumanism, and speculative realism. Traditional philosophical topics such as ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, language analysis, feminist theory, ethics, and politics will be considered in the light of their reassessment by Continental European philosophy. Figures covered may include Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Foucault, Levinas, Deleuze, Nancy, Derrida, Agamben, Irigaray, and iek, among others.