JYM Courses

JYM language courses and area studies courses are taught at the JYM institute. All students are required to enroll in Advanced German Language (JYG 3100/3200). All or part of the Advanced German Language requirement may be waived if the Resident Director deems a student's level of German language proficiency is sufficiently high. JYM area studies courses utilize Munich's prestigious cultural, educational and historical resources as an integral part of the curriculum whenever possible. Courses may include visits and/or assignments related to museums, archives, theatrical performances, or even travel beyond Munich. All JYM courses are conducted in German.

Not all courses listed below may be offered in any one year of the program. Changes to the schedule of JYM courses we plan to offer may be made depending on the final composition of the JYM student group. JYM reserves the right to require a minimum number of students to be enrolled in a JYM course before it will be offered.

Courses marked "WiSe" are generally offered only in the Wintersemester (first semester). Courses marked "SoSe" are generally offered only in the Sommersemester (second semester).

Download JYM Course Descriptions Catalogue (PDF) which describes the courses below in more detail.

JYG 3100, 3200 Advanced German Language I, II, Cr. 3
Required. Developed in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, German language proficiency-based instruction during the WiSe (JYG 3100) and SoSe (JYG 3200) focuses on increasing grammatical accuracy, expanding subject-specific vocabulary, and strengthening conversational skills. Supplementary tutoring is also provided. (WiSe, SoSe) How to prepare for JYM's Language Placement test.

JYG 3110 Written Communication and Expression, Cr. 3
This course focuses specifically on developing students' writing skills and oral expression. Emphasis is placed on 1) strengthening clarity of written expression in German as needed in both academic and non-academic environments, and 2) accuracy and appropriateness of diction and pronunciation. (WiSe only)

JYG 4100 Introduction to the Study of German Literature, Cr. 3
An introductory course for students who have had little formal experience studying German literature.  Includes an analysis of literary texts related to a specific theme, an introduction to methods of literary study and literary terminology, and practice in literary interpretation. (WiSe, offered irregularly)

JYG 4200 Contemporary German Culture, Cr. 3
This course explores German politics, society, culture from the standpoint of current affairs in Germany today. Drawing on examples from newspaper articles, magazines and popular culture media, topics explored may include the social, economic and political challenges facing Germany today, Germany’s place within the European Union, and how these are manifested in contemporary German cultural activity.  (WiSe, SoSe)

JYG 4300 History of Art, Cr. 3
Munich’s world famous museums allow students to study treasures of art history up close and personal – works of art that otherwise are found only find in books or on the internet. With more than 35 museums, there’s no need for PowerPoints when students study art in Munich. Just around the corner from JYM is the Lenbachhaus Museum, home to the Blaue Reiter expressionist group. Minutes away are Munich’s three world renowned Pinakothek galleries: Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and Pinakothek der Moderne. And then there are the museums of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture am Königsplatz (also just around the corner from JYM), the Brandhorst Museum, Schack Gallerie, Villa Stuck, and many more. Methods and criteria of analysis contextualize exemplary works of German architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts in relation to European artistic periods, styles and genres. Instruction takes place at JYM, in museums and on field trips. (SoSe only)

JYG 4400 German Drama and Theater, Cr. 3
Spending an evening in the theatre is a way of life in Germany, where there are more publicly funded stages than anywhere else in the world. This course will guide JYM students as they enter the mysterious, enjoyable and thought-provoking world of German theatre by attending select plays at a number of Munich’s 60 theatres. In preparation for attending theatrical performances in Munich, dramatic texts are first discussed in class and individual scenes are analyzed in detail. This provides the analytical tools for students to appreciate new interpretations of masterpieces of German drama, as well as works by contemporary German playwrights. Written assignments are designed to sharpen students’ ability to recognize artistic/theatrical forms of expression and to critically debate performances. There’s a long train of thought within the history of German drama that insists that what happens on stage should be more than mere entertainment, and this uniquely German social mission of drama will be an underlying focus of inquiry and discussion. (SoSe only)

JYG 4500 Munich and National Socialism, Cr. 3
This course explores the origins of National Socialism and the establishment of Munich as the administrative, symbolic and artistic center of the Nazi movement, explores everyday life in Munich under the Nazi dictatorship, antisemitism and the holocaust, persecution and resistance, de-nazification and coming to terms with the past. Includes visits to sites of historical significance in and around Munich, e.g. the Dachau concentration camp memorial, the new Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism in Munich, and Nürnberg (site of the 1934 Nazi Party rally and stage for Leni Riefenthal's Triumph des Willens). (WiSe, SoSe)

JYG 4600 Goethe's Italian Journey, Cr. 3
In September 1786 Johann Wolfgang Goethe embarked on what would become the most famous journey in the history of German literature. His travels from Weimar to Munich, over the Brenner Pass and on to Verona and Venice would give rise to the genre of Bildungsliteratur and the lofty aspirations of Weimar Classicism. Many years later Thomas Mann would take issue with the personal transformations Goethe reflects upon in his Italian Journey. The inward journey of self-discovery Mann explored in his Death in Venice results instead in a clash of Dyonisian and Appolinian principles that realign the North-South divide within cultural representations of Italy and Germany in the 20th century. This course traces the philosophical, aesthetic and literary paths taken by Goethe, Mann and others in their search for German cultural identity in southern Europe, and provides students with a literary-historical context for their own travels abroad. (WiSe only)

JYG 4700 Munich Modernism, Cr. 3
The social dislocations that accompanied rapid urbanization in late 19th century Germany set the stage for the emergence of numerous movements in literature and the visual arts that have become subsumed under the broad rubric of “modernism”. Although Berlin and Paris are often considered the capital cities of modernism, events in Munich – from the founding of the Blaue Reiter in 1911 to the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937 –  frame the beginning and end of “classical modernism” in Germany. This course explores the innovative ways that German writers, thinkers and artists responded to the social and cultural upheavals of modernity in an attempt to grasp what they saw as shockingly new about the modern world, and how anti-modernist forces turned against them. (offered irregularly)

JYG 4800  Topics in German Studies: Comparative Eco-Politics, 3 Cr.
Climate change, mass extinction, alternative energy ‒ we cannot understand present-day debates about the future of our planet without looking to the past. This seminar examines the relationships between nature and society in Germany over the past 250 years.  Our historical journey will take us from the belching smokestacks of the Ruhr Valley in the nineteenth century, to the protests against nuclear energy in the 1970s and 1980s, to the twenty-first-century wind farms that currently dot the German landscape. We will also compare Germany’s environmental history and policy decisions with those of the former GDR, the European Union and the USA. Students will learn to work critically with a range of historical sources and genres: texts, images and films, as they explore the initiatives and challenges along the way to a Green Germany. (SoSe)

JYG 4800 Topics in German Studies: Mountains in German Literature and Film, Cr. 3
Mount Olympus was the home of the Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world and humans have been captured by the spell of mountains ever since. Although mountains always have been climbed, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the golden age of alpinism and mountaineering took hold. When Edward Whymper ultimately reached the summit of the Matterhorn in 1865 (after many failed attempts), mountains were finally conquered and “brought into the middle of civilization.” During the age of the industrial revolution, mountains were perceived as a symbol of purity and authenticity. The novel Heidi (1880) by the Swiss author Johanna Spyri, was translated into fifty languages in just a few years of its publication. National Socialism used the notion of Heimat and mountains as metaphors to legitimize NS ideology, and even today there are innumerable comics, tv series and films that deal with the Heidi theme. This seminar will analyze classical and philosophical references to mountains, German poetry and prose about mountains, as well as the genre of Bergfilme (mountain films) of the 1920s. (SoSe)

JYG 4900 Undergraduate Research Project, Cr. 3
Independent study or Undergraduate Research Project approved by the student's advisor, noted on the application form, and supervised by the Resident Director.

JYG 5890 Overseas Internship, Cr. 3
Internship experience approved for credit in advance by the student's advisor.