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

The concentration in German Studies/German language and literature 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 already have an adequate knowledge of German, courses such as:

  • German Conversation and Composition
  • Berlin Metropolis: Stadt als Text
  • Afro-German Autobiography
  • Heinrich von Kleist’s Novellas in Text and Film
  • Individual and group tutorials in advanced language skills, German literature in the original, and cultural topics are offered every semester.

In addition to the curriculum in German language and literature in the original, there is usually one course each semester on a German Studies topic that is accessible to students with no background in the language. Courses taught in English translation include:

  • Seduction and Gender in 18th- and Early 19th-Century German Bourgeois Drama
  • Black, White, and German: Afro-Germans and German Identity
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: “Snow White” in Text and Film
  • Red Riding Hood in Text and Film
  • Protest Cultures of East and West Germany
  • Transnational Perspectives on the Holocaust
  • Group tutorials “Hansel and Gretel,” “Bluebeard,” “Sleeping Beauty”

View German Language and Literature Academic Learning Compact

View German Language and Literature courses offered in last 5 years


Area of Concentration Requirements

An area of concentration in German requires a solid 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 a thorough knowledge of major works and authors from the modern and classical periods in German literature. 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


SAMPLE PATHWAYS to complete AOC Requirements

These pathways show how you could complete the AOC requirements within four years at New College or within two years after earning an associate’s degree. Please consult with your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate courses for your area of concentration.