Course Descriptions

GERM 131 Elementary German I (1)

Listening/comprehension, speaking, and reading developed through intense oral practice and frequent language laboratory exercises.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 132 Elementary German II (1)

Listening/comprehension, speaking, and reading developed through intense oral practice and frequent language laboratory exercises.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 231 Intermediate German I (1)

Ability to read with direct association in German. Listening/comprehension and basic grammar patterns. The second semester includes discussion of cultural topics and practice in directed writing.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 132
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 232 Intermediate German II (1)

Ability to read with direct association in German. Listening/comprehension and basic grammar patterns. The second semester includes discussion of cultural topics and practice in directed writing.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 231
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 241 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Topics in German Culture (in translation) (1)

This course enables students to acquire knowledge of selected artists and thinkers, genres and periods in the German cultural tradition. Potential topics include film, plays, fairy tales, novels and poetry as well as selected readings in Philosophy and the Arts.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 331W German Composition and Discussion (1)

In this course the emphasis will be on developing and refining skills for written and spoken expression in various contexts of German. Accuracy, fluency and complexity in language use will be our goal. Our discussions and assignments will be based on texts from various media, with the focus on contemporary issues in German-speaking countries.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 232 or consent of instructor.
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 333 Contemporary German Culture (1)

In this course students will continue to improve their language competence in German by exploring cultural, Political and everyday aspects of contemporary Germany. Themes and issues will include the role of Germany in the European Union, Ostalgie and German reunification, youth culture, literature, music, art, multiculturalism, cross-cultural comparisons, and the realities of the media world.  Emphasis will be placed on developing skills in contextualizing, interpreting, and critiquing a variety of texts.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 340 (IT) Introduction to German Literature (1)

In this course, students will acquire interpretive tools for reading, analyzing and discussing German literary texts. With this background, students will then explore representative works from major periods and a variety of styles. We will also be concerned in locating and understanding these works in their historical and cultural context. Selective grammar review and vocabulary-building will be included. Taught in German.

  • General Education Requirement:  Interpreting Texts
  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring Semester
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 431 (TH) Changing German Realities Since the Congress of Vienna (1)

In the past two hundred years political events, intellectual ventures and technological innovations have profoundly changed the realities in which people tried to make sense of their life and social role. The demise of empires, the redrawing of borders, the shifts in lifestyle from the early machine age to the digital era, and the repositioning of gender and cultural difference all led to far-reaching adjustments in values and patterns of behavior. We will explore a variety of German literary texts, historical documents and films to understand the impact that these changes and developments have had from the early nineteenth century to the European context of today . Conducted in German.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 340 or consent of instructor
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Thinking Historically
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 432 Realism and Naturalism (1)

German literature and related forms of artistic and intellectual expression from Goethe's death to the end of the 19th century, considered against the background of general European cultural history. Selected readings from Grillparzer, Buchner, Droste-Hulshoff, Stifter, Keller, Storm, Hauptmann, and their contemporaries. Conducted in German.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 340 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

GERM 433 Modernism in Vienna and Berlin (1)

In an explosion of cultural production, the turn of the 20th century opened exciting new horizons for knowledge and experience. Freud's work on the unconscious and splendid new 'isms' in the arts, technical innovations and the development of new media dramatically changed the perception of urban life. In this course we will consider a selection of texts from this time period, as well as films from its beginnings to the 1930s.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 340 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 490-491 Reading and Conference (.5 or 1)

Designed to enable a student to acquire the necessary knowledge and experience of literary periods which are not covered by courses offered at Willamette University.

  • Prerequisite: GERM 331W, Junior or Senior standing and G.P.A. of 3.0 or better
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 496W Senior Seminar (1)

The seminar will focus on the life and works of one major author (e.g., Goethe, Rilke, Nietzsche, Mann, etc.). Students are expected to write a research paper and present it to the class at the end of the semester.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: Senior standing in German
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

GERM 497 Literary Research (.5)

Students will meet with a professor in the German program for seven seminar meetings and discuss a theme or an author within the area of German literature. The emphasis will be on the relationship between literature and society. Students are expected to write a 15-page research paper which will be presented to a larger audience at the end of the semester.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Zheng

RUSS 131 Elementary Russian I (1)

The course introduces the basic features of Russian grammar and provides an essential Russian vocabulary for practical conversation, reading, writing, and aural comprehension. Classroom work is supplemented with laboratory and multimedia practice.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 132 Elementary Russian II (1)

The course introduces the basic features of Russian grammar and provides an essential Russian vocabulary for practical conversation, reading, writing, and aural comprehension. Classroom work is supplemented with laboratory and multimedia practice.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 150 (IT) Tolstoy's War and Peace (1)

This course is devoted to a close reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace -- for many, one of the world's greatest novels. Topics include Tolstoy's use of language and literary innovation; Tolstoy's representations of consciousness and knowledge, human intentions and responsibility; Tolstoy's views on history and historiography; his depictions of life and his comments on the meaning of life; and, the role and meaning of war. Taught in English.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting texts
  • Offering: Alternate years in fall
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 231 Intermediate Russian I (1)

The course continues the study of basic Russian language skills, introducing various language styles and adding to the students' vocabulary base. In second semester, students complete reading and composition assignments, and discuss and write reports on simple videos. Classroom work is supplemented with laboratory and multimedia practice.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 131 and RUSS 132 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 232 Intermediate Russian II (1)

The course continues the study of basic Russian language skills, introducing various language styles and adding to the students' vocabulary base. In second semester, students complete reading and composition assignments, and discuss and write reports on simple videos. Classroom work is supplemented with laboratory and multimedia practice.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 131 and RUSS 132 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 233W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Russian Culture: Russian Ways and Views of Russia (1)

This writing-centered course acquaints students with major artistic achievements in Russian society from the 10th century to the present day -- in architecture, painting, literature, and music -- and explores particularly Russian manners and customs that define the everyday lives of its people. It examines the possible ways in which these achievements, manners, and customs might be said to define that society in a certain period. The materials are presented historically through films, music, pictures, paintings, readings, and food.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Thinking Historically; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Alternate years in springs
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 235 (CA; 4th Sem Lang Req) Russian and Soviet Cinema (1)

A survey of masterpieces of Russian Film from the 1920s to the present including works by Eisenstein, Vertov, and Tarkovsky. The course will examine the ways in which directors, like authors of novels and other literary genres, create a fictional world; the historical and social context in which these films were made will also be discussed. Taught in English

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Bishop

RUSS 242W (IT) Great Short Stories from Russia (1)

This course will examine masterpieces of Russian short fiction from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition to analyzing the individual stores closely, students will consider the tradition of the short story within Russian literary history and will explore the dialogue taking place among the texts. Stories will include the ridiculous tales of Gogol, the classic short prose of Chekhov, and the magical realism of Nabokov. Taught in English.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Interpreting Texts
  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Bishop

RUSS 245W (IT) From Russia with Love: Family and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (1)

Tolstoy famously wrote, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Beginning with his controversial novella, "The Kreutzer Sonata," this course will examine love and family in Russian literature, a problem which becomes particularly complicated in the twentieth century. Topics will include androgyny in the writings of the symbolists, the regimentation of sex in Zamiatin's anti-utopian novel We, mystical love in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, questions of disease and sterility in Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward, and generational conflict in the writings of Tsvetaeva and Petrushevskaia. The course does not require a background in Russian history of culture; only a curiosity and desire to explore new literary worlds. Taught in English.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Interpreting Texts
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Bishop

RUSS 320W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel (1)

The course considers the development of some of the greatest longer works of nineteenth-century Russian literature, including novels by Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. It examines the development of these works in terms of literary contexts, social changes, and ideas, giving special attention to such topics as love, justice, fate, free will, and Russian national identity. Taught in English.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Interpreting Texts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Alternate years in fall
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 325 (IT) Topics in Russian Literature (1)

This course enables a student to acquire knowledge of selected authors, genres, and literary periods in Russian literature. Potential texts include Chekhov's plays, Dostoevsky's political novels, Russian fairy tales, Nabokov's prose, and the stories of contemporary women writers in Russia. Taught in English.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts
  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 330 Advanced Russian Grammar: Stylistics and Translation (.5)

This course will introduce students to grammar and devices commonly used in a variety of genres of fictional and non-fictional texts. We will give special attention to how language and communication styles define texts and aspects of cultural interaction. We also will consider challenges that come with translating such texts and examine aspects of translation theory in attempts to understand how meaning might be affected by translation.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 232
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Bishop, Conliffe

RUSS 331 Russian Composition and Discussion (1)

In this course the three creative elements of language learning, speech and writing are given foremost attention. Oral and written composition based upon reading of texts emphasizing Russian culture, as well as literary texts enabling the student to become acquainted with the literary vocabulary needed in more advanced letters courses. Exercises in syntax and introductory phonetics. Laboratory exercises stressing comprehension and pronunciation. Conducted in Russian.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 232 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: The Ukraine visiting professor

RUSS 333 Russian Civilization and Culture (1)

Studies in geography, history, economics and the chronological development of culture and ideas. Class discussions. Oral and written reports in Russian.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 331 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Bishop

RUSS 370 Introduction to Russian Literature (.5)

The course examines selected works (in Russian) of Russian prose and poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to examining the works in their literary context (style, genre, linguistic peculiarities, rhetorical devices, irony, satire, etc.) the historical and societal viewpoint will also be discussed, so that the student will have a better understanding of the Russian people in each particular period of history. Course to be taught in Russian.

  • Prerequisite: RUSS 331
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Conliffe

RUSS 499W Senior Thesis (1)

The Senior Thesis course requires students to write a major research paper. This work is completed under close supervision of a faculty member and in consultation with student peers. The student's work undergoes regular criticism and rewriting in order to enhance the student's appreciation for the research process modes of inquiry, and methodologies, as well as to make sure that work on the project continues to be productive and clear.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered
  • Prerequisite:  RUSS 331
  • Offering: Every Semester
  • Instructor: Bishop, Conliffe