ⓘ German studies

German studies

ⓘ German studies

German studies is the field of humanities that researches, documents, and disseminates German language and literature in both its historic and present forms. Academic departments of German studies often include classes on German culture, German history, and German politics in addition to the language and literature component. Common German names for the field are Germanistik, Deutsche Philologie, and Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft und Literaturwissenschaft. In English the terms Germanistics or Germanics are sometimes used, but the subject is more often referred to as German studies, German language and literature, or German philology.

Modern German studies is usually seen as a combination of two sub-disciplines: German linguistics and Germanophone literature studies.


1. German linguistics

German linguistics is traditionally called philology in Germany, as there is something of a difference between philologists and linguists. It is roughly divided as follows:

  • Modern German Standard German, German dialectology 18th – 21st centuries
  • Middle High German Mittelhochdeutsch 11th – 14th centuries
  • Early New High German Fruhneuhochdeutsch 14th – 17th centuries
  • Old High German Althochdeutsch 8th – 11th centuries

In addition, the discipline examines German under various aspects: the way it is spoken and written, i.e., spelling; declination; vocabulary; sentence structure; texts; etc. It compares the various manifestations such as social groupings and geographical groupings dialects, etc.


2. German literature studies

The study German literature is divided into two parts: Altere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft deals with the period from the beginnings of German in the early Middle Ages up to post-Medieval times around AD 1750, while the modern era is covered by Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft. The field systematically examines German literature in terms of genre, form, content, and motifs as well as looking at it historically by author and epoch. Important areas include edition philology, history of literature, and textual interpretation. The relationships of German literature to the literatures of other languages e.g. reception and mutual influences and historical contexts are also important areas of concentration. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory: Fourth Edition ISBN 0-14-051363-9 is printed in English but contains many German-language literary terms that apply cross-culturally in the field of literary criticism; quite a few of the in terms in the book originated in German but have since been adopted by English-language critics and scholars.


3. German teacher education

At least in Germany and Austria, German studies in academia play a central role in the education of German school teachers. Their courses usually cover four fields:

  • Specifics of the didactics of teaching German Fachdidaktik
  • Linguistics of German Sprachwissenschaft
  • German language and literature since approximately 1750 Neuere Literaturwissenschaft
  • German language and literature of up to about 1750 Altere Sprache und Literatur

Several universities offer specialized curricula for school teachers, usually called Deutsch Lehramt ". In Germany, they are leading to a two step exam and certificate by the federal states of Germany cultural authorities, called the Staatsexamen "state exam".


4. German media studies

In recent years, German has looked for links with the fields of communications, cultural studies and media studies. In addition, the sub-branch of film studies has established itself.


5. History

As an unsystematic field of interest for individual scholars, German studies can be traced back to Tacitus Germania. The publication and study of legal and historical source material, such as Medieval Bible translations, were all undertaken during the German Renaissance of the sixteenth century, truly initiating the field of German studies. As an independent university subject, German studies was introduced at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Georg Friedrich Benecke, the Brothers Grimm, and Karl Lachmann.


6. University departments and research institutions

  • Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Department of Germanic Studies, Indiana University
  • Department of German, Yale University
  • Department of German, New York University
  • Department of Germanics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • German Program of the Department of World Languages & Literatures, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • German and Scandinavian Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Department of Germanic Studies, University of Texas at Austin
  • Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania
  • Department of German Studies, Cornell University
  • Department of Germanic Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Department of German Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Department of German Studies, University of Cincinnati
  • Department of German, University of California, Berkeley
  • Department of German, Northwestern University
  • Department of Germanic Languages, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Department of Germanic Languages, Columbia University
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literature, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Department of German Studies, Brown University
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Virginia
  • Department of German, Duke University
  • Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch, University of Minnesota
  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
  • Department of German, Princeton University
  • Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Department of German, University of Cambridge
  • Department of German, University of Oxford
  • Department of German Studies, University of Warwick
  • Department of German, University of Manchester
  • Institute for German Studies Institut fur Germanistik, University of Vienna
  • Department of German Language and Literature, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Institute of German and European Studies, Tongji University, Yangpu District, Shanghai
  • Department of German, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Haidian District, Beijing
Czech Republic
  • Department of German Studies, Palacky University in Olomouc
  • Department of German and Austrian Studies, Charles University in Prague
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University India
  • Department of German, National University of Ireland – University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  • Department of Germanic Studies, Trinity College, The University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Haifa Center for German and European Studies – University of Haifa
  • Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society – University of Haifa

"German studies" is taught at many German universities. Some examples are:

  • Germanistisches Seminar der Universitat Bonn, Institut fur Germanistik, vergleichende Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn
  • Germanistisches Seminar, Heidelberg University Faculty of Modern Languages
  • Institut fur Germanistik I & II, Hamburg University
  • Institut fur deutsche Philologie, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Institut fur deutsche Sprache und Literatur I & II, Albertus-Magnus-Universitat zu Koln
  • Deutsches Seminar, Tubingen University Faculty of Modern Languages
  • Germanistisches Institut, Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster
  • Faculty of German Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • School of German Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Department of Area Studies, Moscow State University
  • Area de Filologia Alemana, University of Salamanca


7.1. Bibliography Books

  • Berman, Antoine: Lepreuve de letranger. Culture et traduction dans lAllemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Holderlin. Paris: Gallimard, 1984. ISBN 978-2-07-070076-9.
  • Shitanda, So." Zur Vorgeschichte und Entstehung der deutschen Philologie im 19. Jh.: Karl Lachmann und die Bruder Grimm,” in Literarische Problematisierung der Moderne. Medienprodukte: Zugange-- Verfahren-- Kritik, ed. by Teruaki Takahashi. Munich: Iudicium, 1992.
  • Muckenhaupt, Manfred: Text und Bild. Grundfragen der Beschreibung von Text-Bild-Kommunikation aus sprachwissenschaftlicher Sicht. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 1986.
  • Hartweg, Frederic G. Fruhneuhochdeutsch. Eine Einfuhrung in die deutsche Sprache des Spatmittelalters und der fruhen Neuzeit. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 2005.
  • Kanzog, Klaus. Einfuhrung in die Filmphilologie. Munich: Schaudig, Bauer, Ledig, 1991.
  • Schumacher, Meinolf. Einfuhrung in die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2010. ISBN 978-3-534-19603-6
  • Schneider, Jost, ed. Methodengeschichte der Germanistik. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2009.
  • Die Deutschen Klassiker CD-ROM.
  • Hermand, Jost. Geschichte der Germanistik. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1994. ISBN 978-3-499-55534-3
  • Prokop, Dieter: Medienprodukte. Zugange – Verfahren – Kritik. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 1981.
  • Hickethier, Knut, ed. Aspekte der Fernsehanalyse. Methoden und Modelle. Hamburg: Lit, 1994.
  • Van Cleve, John W. and A. Leslie Willson. Remarks on the Needed Reform of German Studies in the United States. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1993.
  • Ernst, Peter. Germanistische Sprachwissenschaft. Vienna: WUV, 2004.
  • Bogdal, Klaus-Michael, Kai Kauffmann, & Georg Mein. BA-Studium Germanistik. Ein Lehrbuch. In collaboration with Meinolf Schumacher and Johannes Volmert. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2008. ISBN 978-3-499-55682-1
  • Beutin, Wolfgang. Deutsche Literaturgeschichte. Von den Anfangen bis zur Gegenwart. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1992.
  • Atlas Deutsche Sprache. Berlin: Directmedia Publishing. 2004.
  • Fohrmann, Jurgen & Wilhelm VoSkamp, eds. Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Germanistik im 19. Jahrhundert. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1994.
  • Hickethier, Knut. Film- und Fernsehanalyse. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1993.
  • Hohendahl, Peter U. German Studies in the United States: A Historical Handbook. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
  • Burger, Harald. Sprache der Massenmedien. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1984.


7.2. Bibliography Journals

  • Journal of Germanic Linguistics
  • New German Critique
  • Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift fur Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte
  • Germanistik in Ireland
  • Zeitschrift fur Germanistik
  • New German Review
  • The Journal of English and Germanic Philology
  • Neues Curriculum
  • German Studies Review
  • Zeitschrift fur deutsche Philologie
  • Muttersprache
  • Teaching and Research in German American studies is mostly done on the level of universities. Many English Studies departments have one or more professorships
  • of German - speaking Europe. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2016 impact factor of 0.413. Official website German Studies Review
  • The German Studies Association GSA is an international organization of scholars in history, literature, economics, cultural studies and political science
  • The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies is a German research institute. It analyses political, economic and social developments in Africa
  • for Medieval German Studies SMGS, pronounced smugs is an academic organization for scholars working in the fields of medieval German language and
  • Oxford German Studies is a quarterly peer - reviewed academic journal covering German studies It was established in 1965 and was published by Maney Publishing
  • Studies at the University of Bonn in German Celtic Studies in German Current Courses in German Scottish Studies Centre Archived October 3, 2008, at
  • the wider field of Oriental studies Iranian studies is broader than and distinct from Persian studies which is the study of the modern Persian language
  • Area studies also regional studies are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national federal
  • Slavic studies North America Slavonic studies Britain and Ireland or Slavistics borrowed from Russian славистика or Polish slawistyka is the academic
  • Afro - Germans German Afrodeutsche Black Germans German schwarze Deutsche are people who are citizens and or residents of Germany and who are of
  • Eastern studies and Asian studies Traditional Oriental studies in Europe is today generally focused on the discipline of Islamic studies while the study of