Sample courses

Courses in Dal's department of German focus on three areas: language acquisition, literature, and philsophy or thought. But you'll learn more than grammar in a German language course. In fact, many profs incorporate literature and philosophy as language teaching tools, especially in upper-year courses.

Some German courses are in English, so you'll still have opportunties to explore German literature and thought even if you can't speak German. See the sample courses below, or consult with the German Department for more details.

GERM 1010
German for Beginners

For this year-long seminar class, you don’t need any previous knowledge of German. It’s equivalent to two years of German in high school with a final mark of 75 percent or better. The curriculum emphasizes speaking skills, and provides you with a thorough knowledge of basic German grammar. You’ll also be required to attend conversational tutorials.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

GERM 1020
German Fiction in Novel and Film

You’ll have fun satisfying Dalhousie's writing requirement by reading popular German novels and comparing them to their film versions. Through the texts and films presented, you’ll explore the transition from the printed word to the screen, with literary works by Kleist, Fontane, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Böll, and Handke. The film versions, some of the most innovative in film history, were made by renowned directors including Fassbinder, Herzog, Schlöndorff, Wenders, von Trotta, and Visconti. All texts will be read in English translation, while all German language films will either be dubbed into English or shown with English subtitles.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

GERM 1080
German Folk and Fairy Tales

You’ll begin with the great Germanic epic, the Nibelungen—about Siegfried the dragon slayer—and finish with the famous collection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. This class will familiarize you with the most significant Germanic myths and tales through a variety of writing assignments. As well, you’ll discover the relationship between Old Norse and German tales.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

GERM 3550
Germany and the Environment

Today, Germany is known as a progressive international leader in the development of environmental policies. This seminar class, taught in English, will take you on a tour back through the complex history of thinkers, politicians, activists, and poets whose work contributed to Germany’s unique perspective on the environment. You’ll study topics such as the origin of ecology as a science in the 19th century and the rise of the first Green Party to attain prominence on a national level. You’ll look at how Germany has contributed and responded to man-made environmental catastrophes. And finally, you’ll also discover how environmental policy was defined and coerced under the Nazi regime and communist East Germany. By the end of the class, you’ll have a complex understanding of Germany’s contributions to the most fundamental issues in the history of ecology and environmentalism.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.