Elizabeth Hamilton, Associate Professor of German; Department Chair
Sonja Boos, Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Steven R. Huff, Associate Professor of German
Sabine Marina Jones, Faculty-in-Residence and Lecturer
Peter Wawerzinek, Max Kade Writer-in-Residence
Two majors are offered. A basic knowledge of the German language is fundamental to both.
- The German Major is concerned primarily with the study of literature. Genres, literary movements, and individual authors and themes are examined with the aim of expanding the student’s capacity for literary analysis and appreciation. The German major consists of a minimum of 31 semester hours which should be accumulated as follows:
- at least 22 hours in German language, literature, and cinema at the 300 and 400 level. Of these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses, including 433, and at least one semester of 315 (Writer-in-Residence, formerly numbered 304) are required;
- of the 22 hours, no more than nine hours in translation; and
- at least nine hours of upper-level courses in related literary fields, e.g., comparative literature, literary theory, or other literature courses.
A minimum of 12 semester hours in German language and literature (above 204) must be completed at Oberlin. Private reading courses do not normally count toward the major.
Strongly recommended correlated fields include European History, German History, History of Art, History of Music, and French.
- The German Studies Major places more emphasis on cultural expressions other than literature (e.g., music, art, film, philosophy, history). It consists of a minimum of 32 semester hours which may be accumulated as follows:
- at least 15 hours in German language and literature courses at the 300 and 400 level but not including courses in translation. Of these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses (including 433) and at least one semester of 315 (Writer-in-Residence, formerly numbered 304) are required;
- of the15 hours, no more than six hours in German literature in translation; and
- at least nine hours to be selected from courses with total or substantial (50 percent or more) German content in two or more disciplines other than German literature.
A minimum of 16 hours toward the German Studies major must be completed at Oberlin. Private reading courses do not normally count toward the German Studies major. The entire German staff will constitute a special committee to administer the German Studies major.
Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C-/CR/P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
Qualified German and German Studies majors may be invited to participate in the Honors Program. Within the framework of either the German major or the German Studies major, the Honors Program allows honors candidates to extend their competence by adding breadth and depth to the regular German curriculum. The Honors Program also serves as excellent preparation for graduate study in German. Students interested in pursuing Honors should consult the department chairperson by the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.
Qualifications for admittance: Participation in the Honors Program is competitive. Except under unusual circumstances only two students will be admitted each year. Admittance to the program requires a minimum GPA within the major of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.0. Potential students will be asked to submit a rationale in German describing the intended substance of the two required papers and explaining also their motivation for pursuing the honors projects. The ability to speak and write German at an advanced level (as manifested in both the rationale and in previous course work) is a firm prerequisite for admission to the German Honors Program.
Requirements: The Honors Program consists of three components:
1. Two honors papers written within the context of two 400-level courses.
2. Completion of the Honors Reading List.
3. A two-part, written and oral honors examination conducted by a committee comprised of members of the German Department and at least one outside evaluator.
A minor in German consists of 15 hours at the 300 and 400 levels, which may include one course in translation. One three-hour course must be at the 400 level.
The Max Kade German House, a four-class coeducational dormitory, serves as
the focal point for German activities on campus. It affords German students a unique opportunity
to develop their speaking skills in an informal setting. Native speakers are regularly in residence.
Students interested in German are encouraged to live in German House for at least one year.
Exchange Scholar Program.
Competitive exchange scholarships are offered for
study at a German university in the junior year. The program is open to all students with
sufficient preparation in German language and literature. Credits earned in this program are
subject to the transfer of credit fee. Students on financial aid should consult the Director of
Financial Aid. The faculty will also advise students about other opportunities for study in
German-speaking countries and assist with applications and enrollment.
The department normally offers an intensive Winter Term Beginning German
course that covers the basic elements of grammar and offers practice in simple conversation. This
course is not the equivalent of German 101 and does not automatically qualify students to enter
102. Students who have progressed exceptionally well in the Winter Term course, however, may
upon recommendation of the instructor advance into German 102.
German staff members are available during Winter Term to sponsor individual and group
projects, within their discipline or areas of their interest.
The Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center, located on the third floor of Peters Hall, is designed for both class and individual use at all levels of language learning. Audio, video, and computer materials are available for student use. Laboratory practice is encouraged for all students so that they can further develop their speaking and listening skills.
For further information, consult the German web page: www.oberlin.edu/german.
Language Courses (Offered Every Year)
Advanced Literature Courses