Your German language studies will be developed and consolidated to prepare for the year abroad. In addition to your core language work, you will take modules in literature, culture, history, politics and society, and may opt for modules in linguistics. Second-year single honours students may continue to take modules outside German studies (in another language or in a non-language subject).
You have to successfully pass year 2 and is weighted at 33% of your final degree classification.
The Life and Demise of the GDR
This module investigates GDR society over four decades of communist rule and considers social changes in Eastern Germany after the demise of the GDR. We will examine the principles of communist ideology that the Socialist Unity Party attempted to legitimise as the only viable alternative to fascism. We will also look at how people negotiated their lives within officially imposed ideological structures. Finally we will look at how a new kind of “public authority” during the Wende period in the GDR triggered the disintegration of communist power structures.
Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages
This module introduces you to some major theories of how languages are learned and to some approaches to how languages can be taught. We will consider:
- the differences between first and second language acquisition
- whether there is a best age to learn a foreign language
- factors affecting language learning
- the role of technology in language learning and teaching
- the role of culture in language classroom
Students will have the opportunity to investigate one or more of these questions in their assessed essays.
Contemporary Translation Studies
Explore possible career avenues and gain practical experience in this interesting module which will show you how to apply your language learning to translation.
You'll gain a good understanding of the key concepts of translation theory, including equivalence, text type and skopos alongside linguistic theories such as register and relevance.
With these theories under your belt, you'll be guided through their application to your own translations. We'll work on the translation of a variety of texts to help you strengthen and embed your new skills.
Leben und Arbeiten in Deutschland: Introduction to Contemporary Germany
This module is aimed at students on our intensive beginners’ pathway. The module will use a range of authentic and adapted German sources to combine language learning with an introduction to some aspects of contemporary German society, focusing on elements which are particularly relevant for the year abroad. We will practise working with the types of texts that are particularly useful for students preparing for the year abroad, as well as text genres which you will encounter during your time in Germany and Austria (e.g. application letters, CVs, how to approach an interview). Classes will also help you to develop your understanding of key aspects of contemporary German society.
English Literature in Modern Languages contexts
This is a comparative literature module that considers key authors and works of English literature in European and American contexts, and with a particular emphasis on the language studied for which it will count as 10 credits non-subsid. module.
The module integrates the study of canonical British/Irish literature with an international resonance – such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Othello or The Tempest, British Romantic poetry, or selected novels by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte – into the analysis of its international reception across the Americas and Europe.
At the same time it also explores international literary responses to these canonical English works from the eighteenth century to the present, including postcolonial authors ‘writing back’, along with transnational writing in English by authors such as James Joyce, Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov.
Discussing English literature from international perspectives and using current comparative methodology, it covers North American literature and literature in the European languages (French, German, Russian and others) that is available in English translation.
The Language of German Media - Linguistic and Journalistic Perspectives
This module investigates the specific language used by the German media from linguistic and journalistic perspectives. You will learn about the distinctive pragmatic and semantic features of the language used on radio, on television and in the print media. This linguistic analysis then enables us to explore how journalists attract their target audience.
We will look at various text types and media genres including news and advertisements, as well as analyse the differences between media-specific language and the language used in society at large. In this context you will not only learn how journalists write for different media and genres, but also about the ethics of journalistic writing and how ethical concerns affect the language of the media.
Introduction to Literary Translation
The module provides an introduction to literary translation from German into English. We will analyse key issues of cultural difference and historical distance by comparing different translations of the same original text. As part of the assessment for the module you will compose your own translation of a literary text of your choice and summarise your translation strategy. Class discussions and the translation work you undertake for this module will help you to improve your understanding of the linguistic and cultural differences between English and German, develop enhanced translation skills, and gain insights into literary texts.
Reason and its Rivals from Kant to Freud
In this module we will examine a selection of approaches to modernity, beginning with Kant’s assertion of individual reason as the founding stone of enlightened social organisation. We will move on to examine how Marx and Engels, Nietzsche and Freud all interrogated Kant’s position in their work. Our discussions will touch on the nature of the individual subject, the role of culture, as well as competing ideas of the status of reality as based in social conditions, or the product of the will, drives, or ideology.
Media in Germany
This module explores the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigates the relationship between media content and culture. You will develop a foundation in the key concepts of media studies and gain insight into the connection between media and ideology. You will also have the opportunity to undertake research into primary sources from our extensive newspaper archive.
Nationalist Socialist Germany
This module focuses on the social, economic and political-ideological structures which shaped domestic and foreign policy between 1933 and 1945. We will begin by examining the process through which Weimar democracy was overthrown and the structures of dictatorship imposed. We will then turn to the social, economic and ideological factors which shaped the transformation of Germany into a Volksgemeinschaft before examining the development of Nazi foreign policy and the genesis of the Holocaust. Throughout the module we will consider political, social, economic and ideological factors in shaping Nazi policy at home and abroad.
The Fairy Tale in German Culture
This module explores key moments in the history of the fairy tale in German culture, from their 19th century appropriation to underpin notions of a national folk culture to critical reworkings of fairy tales. We use a number of different approaches in analysing the tales and investigating their cultural significance, including Marxism, feminism and psychoanalysis.
Primary material includes folk tales, literary fairy tales and fairy tale films such as the Brothers Grimm Kinder- und Hausmärchen collection, East German fairy tale films, Weimar proletarian tales, Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette animations, and Wolfgang Petersen’s film The Neverending Story.
Reading German History: Nation and Society
This module offers an introduction to the study of German history based on issues surrounding nationhood at key points from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century. We will examine the emergence and development of the great political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism that shaped German state and society throughout this period.
Through the study of relevant primary sources, the module focuses on the revolutionary changes and constitutional settlements experienced in modern German history at three key stages of national political development: the 1848 Revolution, National Unification in 1871 and the Revolution of 1918/19 that gave birth to the Weimar Republic in 1919.
German National Socialism (1933-1945): Hitler and the Third Reich
This module explores the period of National Socialism in Germany (1933-1945). After an outline of the historical context of this period we will critically view the ideology and politics of the time with particular focus on society and culture.
We will evaluate original sources (in translation) such as posters, speeches, newspapers and films. Theoretical writings on select topics such as propaganda, leader cult, media, childhood, womanhood and 'the other' will assist our critical analysis.