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.
At New College, our AOC in German Studies gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in German culture and language by developing a personalized course of study in close consultation with your faculty advisor. You’ll benefit from small classes led by experienced faculty who are experts at bringing subject matter to life. We also believe that learning German is about more than sitting in a classroom. In fact, most German majors at New College spend at least one month or longer in a total immersion program in Germany. And one of our professors, Wendy Sutherland, has traveled to Berlin with small groups of students who completed at least four semesters of German language to study Berlin history and architecture.
Taking full advantage of modern technology and using current literature in addition to traditional course materials, you will explore such complex and varied topics as the impact of immigrants on post-reunification Germany, the history and significance of architecture in the capital city of Berlin, and how socialists used Brothers Grimm fairy tales and films derived from them to construct a sense of German “values” in the German Democratic Republic.
While some students choose to pursue German Studies as a stand-alone major, others prefer to combine it with study in another discipline as well. Such dual majors, or Slash AOCs as we call them, allow our German Studies students to gain in-depth knowledge of an area or field that is of special interest to them. Among the more popular slash AOCs pursued by our German Studies students are German/Art History, German/Music, German/History, German/International Studies, German/Philosophy, German/Religion and German/Economics.
In the past five years, several New College German students have received prestigious Fulbright scholarships. One student, Erin Boggs, earned a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Germany. A former Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winner, she integrated her language and theater skills in helping German students better understand American society. Fulbrighters Chris Mulholland and Ryan Tisdale used their German studies at New College to supplement their concentrations in Biology for specialized research in Germany during their Fulbright year. Mulholland conducted cancer research at the Center for Integrated Protein Science at the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität in Munich. Tisdale studied the sleep patterns of black birds at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen.
The advanced linguistic, critical thinking, and written and oral communications’ skills students gain from our German Studies program prepares them well for graduate school as well as a diverse array of career paths. Teaching, government and foreign service work, translation and law are among the most common.
The study of German at New College begins with a two-year, four-course sequence (four full-semester courses: Elementary German I & II and Intermediate German I & II). For students who have either completed the above sequence or who can demonstrate the appropriate proficiency in German, faculty regularly offer advanced-level courses such as Advanced German: Die deutsche Lyrik, German Culture: The New Germany, German Culture: Berlin and the New Germany and Advanced German: Kulturgeschichte der Bundesrepublik, as well as individual and group tutorials in advanced language skills, German literature in the original and cultural topics.
In addition to the curriculum in German in the original, there is usually one course each semester on a German Studies topic that is accessible to students who have no previous background in the language. Students also routinely undertake January Independent Study Projects (ISPs) involving month-long immersion through German language programs at various branches of Goethe Institute in Germany and by utilizing the National Student Exchange either full year or semester-long programs at the Universitat Kassel. Two recent German majors utilized Wayne State University’s Junior Year in Munich program for a semester of study at the Universtat Munchen, and a student with a dual major in German and Art History spent her spring semester conducting independent thesis research and auditing two art history courses at the Humboldt Universitat in Berlin.
As with all New College programs, a senior thesis approved by faculty within the discipline is required in order to graduate.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in German:
German Language Courses
Elementary German II
Intermediate German I
Intermediate German II
Courses on German Literature and Culture Taught in German
Advanced German: Integration, Cultural Clash, and the New Germany
Advanced German: Berlin History, Architecture, and Cityscape
Advanced German: Tales of the Brothers Grimm in Text and Defa Film
Advanced German: Deutsche Kulturgeschichte 1945-2007
Advanced German: Die Deutsche Lyrik
Courses on German Literature, Film and History Taught in English
Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
From Caligari to Goodbye Lenin!: A Cultural History of German Cinema
From Minnesang to Migrantenlyrik: Nine Centuries of German Poetry in English Translation:
Snow White in Text and Film
The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht: 100 Years of German Drama
Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, and Robert Musil and the Crisis of Identity in Early 20th Century Central Europe
Women and Seduction in 18th- and 19th-Century German Drama
Adam Bresnahan graduated from New College in 2011 with a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany. After his Fulbright year, he continued to teach English in Germany at the Anne Frank Grundschule. As a New College student, he took an intensive German course at the Goethe-Institut in Bremen, Germany. In his second year he studied at the Universität Kassel, where he honed his interest in philosophy, focusing on the role aesthetics plays in political and ethical problems. For his New College thesis project, he translated and analyzed Herta Müller’s collection of short stories Barefoot February. Bresnahan says his thesis work taught him “to focus on the immense shifts in meaning that can be produced by the translation of single words, and the subtle nuances that can be produced by an accurate translation. I learned that not only in translation, but in all aspects of language, I have a responsibility to pursue and question ambiguities in understanding and meaning.”
New College is proud of the many German Language and Literature graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Miranda Tedholm is associate instructor at Indiana University in the Department of Communication and Culture. She holds an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University and completed the Berlin School of English in CELTA/TESOL certification at the University of Cambridge.
• Erica Haas earned a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Germany and completed her master’s in German at the University of Georgia, Masters Universitat Bamberg. She is currently teaching English at the University of Jena in Germany.
• Sean Wilson concentrated on German and Economics at New College and was awarded a Fulbright to Germany. He also earned his master’s at the University of Minnesota. He is currently working for the Department of Labor.
• Remy Luria is principal attorney with his firm, The Luria Law Firm.
• David Mukai is a doctor with the U.S. Army Public Health Command in Bel Air, Maryland
• Ahmet Sapmaz is vice president of global business development at Valleyforge Fabrics USA. He concentrated in German and Economics at New College.
• Erin Boggs earned a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study in Russia and a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany. She currently is working toward her master’s degree at Universitat Leipzig while working as a translator and English instructor there. She has also done freelance translation work for such leading businesses as Porsche and Thomson Reuters.
• Michael Powers earned a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany and is currently completing his Ph.D. at Brown University.
• Lauren White earned a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany and is currently completing a master’s degree at the Universitat Leipzig.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in German Language and Literature
• Yale University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in German Language & Literature:
“Herta Muller’s Barefoot February: A Translation” by Adam Bresnahan
“The Alps as Symbol of National Identity: An Analysis of the German Bergfilm” by Lauren White
“The Better German: Asylum and the Construction of German National Political Identity, 1949-1993” by Hannah Woerner
“WAS BEDEUTET BIO FUR EUCH? Exploring Collaborative Research on a Demeter Farm in Germany” by Lee Ellen Reed
“Experience Over Reason: Werner Herzog’s Kasper Hauser” by Michael Powers
“Asserting Identity: Jewish Repatriates in the GDR” by Alia Schultz
“Marleni: An Annotated Translation” by Erica Haas
“To Blast away the Things that Block Men’s Ears’: Adorno’s Relevance for Contemporary Music” by Thomas W. Patteson
“An Economic and Social Analysis of Nazi Germany and the Volkswagen Project” bySean Wilson
“Comparison and Interpretation of two Literary Works by German Women Authors: Kindheitsmuster by Christa Wolf and Herbstmilch by Anna Wimschneider” by AnnetteMulholland
“The Individual and the Modern Age: Early 20th Century Vienna” by Devra Kiewit
“The Ideology and Practice of Liberal Nationalism in Prussia from Herder to the Wars of Liberation” by Karin Breuer
“An Historical Examination of Klaus Mann’s Mephisto: Roman Einer Karriere” byCaroline Huey
“Frederick II of Prussia: Enlightened Despotism in Action” by Gay Urvoas
“The Rise of American Imperialism by Hans-Ulrich Wehler: translated by Meriwether” by Charlotte Meriwether
“The Artist & Society: A Study of Thomas Mann” by Anita Campitelli
“Adolf Hitler: Insight to the Man” by Monica Klein
“Getting in Tune: Prolegomena to a Study of Philosophical Receptivity Among Different Languages” by Remy Luria
“King Lear: Konig Lear; A Comparative Criticism” by David Daisaku Mukai
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library at New College is home to a broad assortment of books, films, scholarly journals, national and international databases, and other print and electronic media related to the study of German and is available to students throughout the year. Among the library’s many state of the art features is the Academic Resource Center (ARC), which houses the College’s Language Resource Center (LRC), designed to provide resources and support to language students and faculty. Audio-visual and print resources, language software and games are available. It’s also a social space where students can work individually or in groups as well as relax or interact with each other.
Also available at the library is the Dr. Helen N. Fagin Holocaust Collection. Named in honor of Holocaust survivor and New College benefactress Dr. Helen Fagin, the collection holds materials related to the Holocaust, genocide and humanitarian studies. The Fagin room can be reserved for occasional small meetings connected with the collection.
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New Topics New College is a public lecture series that runs from October through March. Free to students, the series features guest speakers discussing a wide range of current topics and issues — local, national and international.
New College has hosted the annual International Career Development Seminar fort three years. The event is co-hosted by Young Professionals for International Cooperation (UNA-USA) Sarasota Chapter and New College of Florida. Through panel discussions, breakout Q&A sessions and networking, presenters share their international work experience in business, public health and medicine, the Peace Corps, the United Nations and the U.S. Foreign Service.
The German American Social Club of Sarasota regularly provides scholarships for New College students to advance their research and study abroad opportunities.