German Language and Literature area of concentration

At New College, our faculty believe strongly that the study of German is about much more than simply reading, writing and conversing in the language. Instead, they emphasize a fully immersive approach with practical applications designed to help you understand not only the rich and diverse history and literature of Germany but the social, cultural and economic opportunities and challenges it faces today.

View Curriculum What Can I Do with a German AOC?

What You’ll Learn

An area of concentration in German requires a command of the language gained by completing coursework beyond the second year and/or participating in a program at another institution, especially one in a German-speaking country. In the past, New College students have accomplished this by completing summer ISPs and off-campus semesters at branches of the Goethe Institute in Germany.

At least one course in German history (Modern German History) is also required; and relevant coursework in art history, religion, music, or German philosophy is encouraged. Students should demonstrate knowledge of major works and authors in German literature from the 18th century to the present.

The senior thesis may focus on any aspect of German cultural studies; and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.


  • Lauren Hansen, Visiting Assistant Professor of German Language and Literature
    Wendy Sutherland, Associate Professor of German, Black European and Diaspora Studies

Recent Theses

  • Women, Sexuality, and Virtue: The Study of a Gender Paradigm in Weimar Film
  • The Individual in the Modern Age: Early Twentieth Century Vienna
  • Joseph K’s Inner Struggle: An Analysis of Franz Kafka’s The Trial
  • Manuscripts Don’t Burn: The Evolution of the Faust Legend From Marlowe to Bulgakov
  • An Economic and Social Analysis of Nazi Germany and the Volkswagen Project
  • Asserting Identity: Jewish Repatriates in the GDR
  • Experience Over Reason: Werner Herzog’s Kaspar Hauser
  • Die Brücke: A Bridge to Artistic Revolution
  • Herta Müller’s “Barefoot February”: A Translation
  • “Was bedeutet Bio für Euch?” Exploring Collaborative Research on a Demeter Farm in Germany
  • Of Mafia and Men: Observing Transnational Organized Crime Structures in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • The Alps as Symbol of National Identity: An Analysis of the German Bergfilm
    The Better German: Asylum and the Construction of German National Political Identity, 1949–1993
  • “Was ich bin sind meine Filme”: Cultural Reclamation and the Difference between Direction and Performance in Werner Herzog’s Work with Klaus Kinski and Bruno S.
  • Madness in Arthur Schnitzler’s Therese: Chronik eines Frauenlebens