Introduction to German Literature

I.     Course Prefix/Number: GER 210

       Course Name: Introduction to German Literature

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

German 202 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course involves reading excerpts of selected masterpieces from various periods. Content includes oral reading stressing pronunciation and diction, speaking based on discussion of works read, and writing based on readings and class discussion.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To acquaint the student with major authors, movement and styles in German literature from the Middle Ages to the present.
  2. To increase reading skills, both silent and oral.
  3. To enhance conversational skills through class discussions.
  4. To advance fluency in writing through assigned short compositions based on discussed reading material.
  5. To learn the techniques of detailed textual analysis.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

1 - 2 Introduction to course objectives and policies/lectures on Middle Ages to Enlightenment/Xeroxed hand-out.
3 18th century lecture: "AufKlarung"/Lessing.
4 18th century lecture: "Strum and Drang" to "Klassik"/Goethe.
5 18th century; Schiller.
6 19th century lecture: "Klassik" versus "Romantik" (emphasis "Fruhromantik"); xeroxed hand-out: "Kunstmarchen" by Tieck/Schlegels' concepts/Novalis excerpts.
7 19th century lecture: Spatromantik; Eichendorff/Morike.
8 19th century; Kleist.
9 19th century; Heine./early 20th century: Hauptmann
10 20th century; Schnitzler; Kafka
11 20th century; Hesse; Hofmannsthal
12 20th century; Rilke; Mann
13 20th century; Brecht.
14 20th century lecture on East German literature/Biermann/ Kunert/Chr. Wolf/Plenzdorf.
15 H. Boll/G. Grass.
16 16 Presentation of Final Papers in class.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will consist of background lectures, discussions, oral readings and occasional in‑class written analysis of readings.  Most of the activities are conducted in German.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Students are expected to come to class prepared for the day's activities; complete assigned exercises and submit them on the date specified in the syllabus.  Students are expected to spend two hours per week listening, viewing, and reading assigned audio-visual and authentic material and submit written or oral reports.

Students in this course are required to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester.  These may be assigned in a variety of ways including essays, journals, response papers, lab or project reports, etc.

The mid-term and final exams will include speaking, listening, reading, and writing components. 

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.

  1. B. Blume, German Literature:  Texts and Contexts, McGraw‑Hill, or any similar anthology.
  2. Xeroxed hand‑outs selected by the instructor.
  3. Any German‑English Dictionary.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The student's grade will be based on attendance and participation in class, preparation of readings and regular written assignments, oral reports, as assigned, and a final 3 page paper (on out‑of class reading of excerpts from the work of an author of the student's choice from a list of contemporary authors not discussed in class.)  All written work is to be completed in German.  Quality of ideas and information and quality of German will count equally.

  • Specifically:  Attendance: 25%
  • Verbal participation in discussions of assigned reading material 25%
  • Bi‑weekly 1‑2 p. summaries and interpretations of selected readings (half in class/half at home) 25%
  • Final paper and oral presentation based on paper 25%

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.