The German Department offers students training in the German language and exposure to the literature and culture of the German-speaking countries. Beyond the acquisition of speaking facility, language courses can foster better understanding of how language both reflects and shapes consciousness of the world. In the best liberal arts tradition, language study enhances our ability to deal with ambiguity and cultural pluralism.
A major in German can lead to careers in teaching, research or translation work, foreign service, international business, or work in international service organizations. A minor in German can enhance one’s preparation for professions in communications, journalism, the natural and social sciences, or any work involving trans-cultural communication.
In considering a major or minor in German Studies, students should consult early in the first year or sophomore year with a member of the department about how best to plan meaningful sequences of courses, ideally including at least a semester of study abroad.
The curriculum is intended to:
- expose students at the intermediate level to varieties of spoken and written styles;
- encourage active development of one’s written and spoken facility with German in a broad range of topic areas;
- exercise skills in intercultural thinking and communication;
- introduce students to the methods and questions central to the study of German literature and cultural history; and
- foster critical inquiry into a number of specific areas prior to Independent Study.
The German Studies major encompasses inquiries into literary, artistic, historical, and everyday cultural aspects of German-speaking areas. It includes the study of periods, genres, major themes of German culture, and questions of cultural theory, and begins with the history and methods course, German 260. This course, which is offered annually in the spring, must be taken at the College of Wooster.
The major consists of a minimum of eleven semester courses beyond the 100 level, including three units of Independent Study (401, 451, 452). German Studies majors complete German 250 (Advanced German: Texts and Contexts), German 260 (Kulturkunde: Introduction to German Studies), two to four of the literature/culture courses offered in German, and one course on a topic related to German in English [e.g., German 228 (German Film and Society), History 208 or 209 (European History)]. Majors may also count German 230 (Theaterpraktikum) [a theater production course offered every 2-3 years], and approved transfer credits acquired during study abroad in a German-speaking country towards their major courses.