Why Study German Language and Literature at New College?

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.

German Language and Literature area of concentration

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



Students re-enact the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

Recent Theses

  • The End of History? Far-Right Authoritarian Parties in Europe and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
  • A Study in Nationalism and its Effects on Historical Writing: German Nationalism and the Investiture Contest
  • Luciferian Proto-Individualism in Two Adaptations of the Faust Legend
  • ’Eres tú, Antígona?: Intertextuality and Representations of Authoritarianism in Two 20th-Century Retellings of Antigone
  • Sie sind wieder da: The Return of the Far-Right to German Parliamentary Politics
  • Access: Graffiti Through a Privileged Lens
  • Of Mafia and Men: Observing Transnational Organized Crime Structures in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • “There Goes the Neighborhood”: Racial Politics from the Good Neighbor to the New Jim Crow
  • Madness in Arthur Schnitzler’s Therese: Chronik eines Frauenlebens
  • 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
  • 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.

More Information

German Language and Literature Curriculum

At least one course in German history (modern German history) is required; and relevant coursework in art history, religion, music, or German philosophy is encouraged.

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Division of Humanities

In Humanities, you will engage in critical and analytical study of primary works such as literature, historical documents, cultural artifacts and documentation, as well as critical engagement with secondary or scholarly approaches to these objects and their fields. Areas of study include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, English, religion, art and visual and performing arts such as music and theater.

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