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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Media in Germany
This module explores the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigate 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. They will also have the opportunity to undertake research into primary sources from our extensive newspaper archive.
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.
European Silent Cinema
This module will examine the development of cinema during the silent era, from its invention in the 1890s through to the early 1930s, in France, Germany and the Russian Empire/Soviet Union. Because silent cinema was easy to translate and export from one country to another, it was highly transnational, and the module will enable you to see how filmmakers in different countries entered into dialogue with one another. You will be able to compare and contrast the themes and preoccupations of films produced in these countries, and consider how these reflected distinct political and cultural agendas.
The first part of the module will introduce students to the history of early film, primarily as it developed in France, looking at short actualité films produced by the Lumière brothers and others. It will consider the practices of display of ‘silent’ film (looking especially at how it was accompanied by music, speech and sound effects), and look at its appeal to popular audiences as well as its broader critical reception. We will then go on to consider a range of films made during the silent era, which represent two main tendencies:
- a tendency towards realism and the examination of everyday life
- a tendency towards fantasy and the creation of spectacular new realitie
You will be introduced to the fundamentals of film language and will be encouraged to engage in close analysis of short extracts from the films.
Films will include (but will not be limited to):
- Georges Méliès, Voyage to the Moon (1902)
- Louis Feuillade, Fantômas serial (1913)
- Paul Wegener, The Golem (1920)
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.
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.
Contemporary Translation Studies
The module introduces the key concepts of translation theory, such as equivalence, text type, skopos, alongside relevant linguistic theories such as register and relevance, with a focus on enabling students to apply these concepts to translation practice.
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.
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.
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.