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DSaP Curriculum


Most seminars are available for either graduate or undergraduate credit. 2016 courses included the following:

Course No. Course Title

Ger 301/302
Ger 411/511
Ger 412/512

(4 credits)

Language Courses
Language and conversation courses for undergraduates include the intensive study of grammar and syntax, with emphasis on vocabulary in daily usage. Grading for the language courses is based on written and oral participation. Suitable for all students!

Ger 301/302 Intermediate German
Vocabulary, conversation, grammar, writing

Ger 411/511 and 412/512 Advanced German
Vocabulary, conversation, grammar, and syntax; text analysis, essay writing

Ger 407/507

(4 credits)

Filmseminar: Staging Fantasy in Early German Film
Fantasy in early German film is a matter of formal staging. As opposed to imitating reality, many films in the period before WWII sought to bring inner life to the big screen through formal and technical means. In this course, we will view and analyze high points of early film with the aim of illuminating the relationship between form and the psyche. We will watch films by F.W. Murnau, Josef von Sternberg, and Leni Riefenstahl (among others), as well as examine texts by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Walter Benjamin. Suitable for all students.

Ger 408/508

(4 credits)

Theater Workshop
Become a theater star - in German! You don't need to be experienced onstage to take part in this workshop! This workshop is open to anyone who wants to combine practicing German pronunciation and intonation with the fun of play and interaction. We will work on short scenes and sketches taken from classic German comedy plays, read and discuss texts, and develop our own versions of it - in German of course! At the end you will speak a much more sophisticated German and take part in the final stage performance at the "Fir Acres Theater" on the Lewis & Clark campus. Suitable for all students.

Ger 410/510

(4 credits)

Humor in German Literature
Ist deutsche Literatur lustig? Do Germans laugh? Are German writers and poets funny? Definitely! And if you don't believe this you definitely need this seminar. From the medieval stores of the "Schildbürger" or "Til Eulenspiegel" to Goethe's poems, from the father of the worldwide comic strip culture Wilhelm Busch or the conman-novel of Thomas Mann, the witty ladies of the roaring twenties to the contemporary masters of comical German literature: You will get to know why and how Germans laugh when they read.  Especially suitable for less advanced students.

Ger 410/510

(4 credits)

Hauptseminar: Fantasy of Subjectivity/Subjectivity of Fantasy
Modern subjectivity is grounded less on reason than on fantasy and magic. Subjectivity is based on fantasy to the extent that the subject generates fantasy. We will examine this aporia in poems, fairy tales, writings on aesthetics, and short stories of German Romanticism - the cultural movement coeval with the rise of bourgeois subjectivity. Our themes will include the gaze, the sublime, the symbol, song, as well as the critique of subjectivity. We will read texts by J.W. von Goethe, Novalis, Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Heinrich von Kleist. Readings will be supplemented by musical selections from Beethoven and Schumann, as well as the landscape painting of C.D. Friedrich. Recommended for graduate and advanced undergraduate students.


Ger 484/584

(4 credits)

Stylistics: Creative Writing
Students will study different types of German writing and improve their own writing style and writing techniques. A goal of the course is to use our own writing as well as ideas that emerge in class discussions and readings to create a catalog of writing guidelines. Recommended for graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

To see a tape of the final production of the Theater Workshop 2012, go to: Alltagsmasken   

The Deutsche Sommerschule also offers the Goethe Institut tests: B1, B2 and C1.

Graduate Study in German

  • The Deutsche Sommerschule, in conjunction with Portland State University, offers a graduate study program leading to the Master of Arts degree in German. Prospective candidates are expected to have a BA from an accredited institution with a concentration in the field of German. Graduate students from other universities may arrange transfer credit.
  • Prospective MA students need to apply to the Deutsche Sommerschule AND the graduate school separately.
  • Contact Steven Fuller for more information.

    Sommerschule logo

Credit Load

  • Students earn 12 quarter hours of undergraduate or graduate credit in the five-week session. Credit is granted through Portland State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students may wish to arrange transfer credit with their home institutions. Classes are also available on a pass/no pass or audit option.