Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Jason Roberts


LecturerPhD, University of Texas at Austin

Jason Roberts

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 232-9125
  • Office: BUR 474
  • Office Hours: Spring 2019: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10–11am

Interests


Intellectual history of confessional theology including discourses of demonology and magic, representations of time and space in systems of divination, Siberian shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy.

Biography


Jason holds a joint appointment in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and the Department of Religious Studies. He completed his PhD in an ad hoc program in UT’s Department of Germanic Studies and a PhD portfolio in Religious Studies. He also holds an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature from UT Austin and an MM in piano performance from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. His research focuses on theology as intellectual history and its impact on historical metanarratives and the social sciences. His current research examines confessional changes in the concepts of purity and authority within the context of Christian exorcism and magic from the first through the sixteenth century. Other areas of interest include Siberian shamanism, representations of space and time in systems of divination, and ritual theory. 

Courses


R S 346M • Music/Religus Identities Us

42105 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 303
(also listed as AMS 325E)

Music can play an important part in the formation of a religious identity. How a religious community uses its voices, the words it sings, which instruments are deemed acceptable, and aspects of music such as melody, harmony, polyphony, and rhythm all combine in specific ways that are recognized as “religious,” or more specifically, as belonging to a particular religious tradition (or not!). Additionally, musical performance conventions – the physical embodiment of religious music – can reflect religious conceptions of the individual in relation to the divine as well as to his or her community. Likewise, the music rejected by a given religious community (“the Devil’s music!”) can be as defining as the music it embraces. From Catholic Gregorian chant, to Jewish camp songs, from African-American gospel music to Sacred Harp singing, from Lutheran hymns to Islamic recitation, and including many other traditions, this upper-division, undergraduate course explores the diversity of the American experience of religious identity through its musical traditions. Come ready to read and discuss but also ready to listen to and sing some of the music we will talk about. One of our tools for exploring the relationship of religious music to religious identity is “theory of the body” and an important part of understanding embodiment is experiencing it! This course includes includes both writing and "cultural diversity in America" flags.

 

Basis for evaluation:

  • Short observer paper (3-5 pages) 10%
  • Short participant observer paper (3-5 pages) 10% 
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: Syncretism/Anti-syncretism theory 20%
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: theory of the body 20%
  • Final paper: abstract 250 words 5%
  • Final paper: peer editing of abstract (on Canvas) 5%
  • Final paper: first page, for initial feedback 5%
  • Final paper (12-15 pages), due on exam day 25%

 

Required Texts:

  • Bohlman, Philip V, Edith W. Blumhofer, and Maria M. Chow. Music in American Religious Experience. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Fraser, Mariam, and Monica Greco. The Body: A Reader. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Hoffman, Lawrence A, and Janet R. Walton. Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992.
  • Leopold, Anita M, and Jeppe S. Jensen. Syncretism in Religion: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 2005.

REE 385 • Accel Romanian For Research

42790 • Fall 2019

Please check back for updates.

EUS 346 • Heretics & Freedom Fighters

36060 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as GSD 360, HIS 362G, R S 357)

This course reaches back to the first centuries of Protestantism in Central Europe, from about 1400 to about 1700. The Czech Lands, under the names of Bohemia and Moravia, and under the dominion of the Habsburg Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, were heavily implicated in the various breaks from and returns to Catholicism, as the reformation started by Luther gave way to the counter-reformation of the organized Catholic Church, resisting the fracturing of its One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This hotbed of religious dissidence pitted newly emerging Protestant groups on several sides of each doctrinal and political issue that arose as the region sought its religious identity: Utraquists, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Czech Brethren, and others.  

The course will explore the theologies, politics, and personal identities that emerged, and passed away in this era through the accounts in primary sources, including the writings of the reformers as well as through the lenses provided by current scholarship. In addition, the course examines the visual arts and music (especially hymns) that played such a huge role in this battle for land, power, hearts, and minds shaping the lives of believers and non-believers alike. The course concludes with an examination of the evolutions within Catholicism reflected in the Catholic catechism as a result of the Counter-Reformation.

REE 325 • Rus Orthodox Religion/Cultr

43585 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GAR 2.128
(also listed as R S 357)

Description:

Founded in 988 in Kievan Rus’ with the semi-mythical conversion and baptism of Prince Volodimir, the Russian Orthodox Church (or the Moscow Patriarchate as it is now officially known) has grown to be the largest of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, and accounts for over half of the world’s more than 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), along with its primate, is preceded only by the four ancient Patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem) in order of precedence. Moreover, as Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’, the Primate of the ROC claims exclusive spiritual jurisdiction not only over Russia, but over all of the former Soviet Republics excluding only Georgia and Armenia. Throughout its thousand-year history, the Russian Orthodox Church has been a powerful cultural force shaping the art, architecture, literature, and even the letters of the Cyrillic alphabet as well as the moral, philosophical, and political realities of those who live within its sphere of influence.

This course examines the role and force of the Orthodox Church in Russian history from the Christianization of the pagan Slavs beginning in the 10th century, through the 1551 Stoglav Council under Ivan “the Terrible” (as a result of which, the ROC’s communion with the other Eastern Orthodox Churches was noticeably strained), through the Russian Revolution into the Soviet era (when a number of its priests were KGB!), and up to the present including Pussy Riot’s guerilla performance of “Punk Prayer” at Christ the Savior Cathedral and an icon-kissing Vladimir Putin. Throughout the course, we turn from the prescriptive tenets of the Orthodox faith (religion) to descriptive experiences of life within and under Russian Orthodoxy (religiosity), comparing the ROC’s moral ideals with its sometimes-immoral associations as well as its expectations of the faithful with a level of religion they are willing to accept. The tension revealed by these comparisons serves, in turn, as context for our discussion of religious groups that broke with the ROC such as the Old Believers (starovery), the Spirit Wrestlers (dukhobory), and the “Milk Drinkers” (molokany). Our investigation of Russian Orthodox religion and culture draws on everything from mystical theology and holy icons, Old Church Slavonic chants of monastery choirs and ascetic practices of prophetic hermits, to the celebration – both in and out of church – of the yearly cycle of religious holidays, the ROC’s complex relationship with the unofficial practices of Russian folk religion, and the literature and film in which all these things are reflected.

 

Required Texts:

  • Bacovcin, Helen. The Way of a Pilgrim ; And, the Pilgrim Continues His Way: A New Translation. Garden City, N.Y: Image Books, 2003.
  • Bremer, Thomas. Cross and Kremlin: A Brief History of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Grand Rapids, Michigan [u.a.: Eerdmans, 2013.
  • Coleman, Heather J. Orthodox Christianity in Imperial Russia: A Source Book on Lived Religion. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014.
  • Pouncy, Carolyn J. The "domostroi": Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014.

 

Grading

  • 6 online unit quizzes – 40%
  • 4 short précis – 40%
  • 1 online final exam – 20%

REE 345 • Shamanism & The Primitive

43605 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as ANS 340, ANT 324L, R S 352)

All over the world, we find people who are called (and who call themselves) “shamans.” But what does the term really tell us about the people to whom it is applied? The word itself probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia, and may have already been in use for more than a millennium when it was introduced to the West after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552. Yet in anthropology and the study of religion – let alone in popular culture – the use of the word “shaman” extends well beyond the Tungusic Siberian context from which it was borrowed. It has assumed the form and function of a universal category even as it has come to refer to people whose beliefs, practices, and even appearances are wildly varied. So, what makes a shaman a shaman? And what, moreover, is “shamanism?” This upper division course uses anthropological as well as historical literature focusing on shamans and shamanism in Central Asia to examine such beliefs and practices as three-worlds symbolism, divination, spirit helpers, drumming, chanting, dancing, hallucinogens, trance, and soul retrieval. However, it also examines the ways in which various theories of shamanism constitute and appropriate the exotic in a variety of broadly construed religious settings – the ways in which westerners, from missionaries to social scientists, have viewed the beliefs and practices of the shaman as an “ism” analogous to a religion even when that is not necessarily the case. Students of this course will learn to identify the major theories of “shamanism” along with the inherent biases of those theories in order to better read accounts of shamans and “shamanism” (from historical to modern, anthropological to popular) against the grain and discern when collected data reveals as much about the observers as it does about the shamans they observe.

MUS 376G • Us Music/Religious Identity

22710 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PHR 2.114
(also listed as AMS 325, R S 346)

Music can play an important part in the formation of a religious identity. How a religious community uses its voices, the words it sings, which instruments are deemed acceptable, and aspects of music such as melody, harmony, polyphony, and rhythm all combine in specific ways that are recognized as “religious,” or more specifically, as belonging to a particular religious tradition (or not!). Additionally, musical performance conventions – the physical embodiment of religious music – can reflect religious conceptions of the individual in relation to the divine as well as to his or her community. Likewise, the music rejected by a given religious community (“the Devil’s music!”) can be as defining as the music it embraces. From Catholic Gregorian chant, to Jewish camp songs, from African-American gospel music to Sacred Harp singing, from Lutheran hymns to Islamic recitation, and including many other traditions, this upper-division, undergraduate course explores the diversity of the American experience of religious identity through its musical traditions. Come ready to read and discuss but also ready to listen to and sing some of the music we will talk about. One of our tools for exploring the relationship of religious music to religious identity is “theory of the body” and an important part of understanding embodiment is experiencing it! This course includes includes both writing and "cultural diversity in the U.S." flags.

Basis for evaluation: 

  • Short observer paper (3-5 pages) 10%
  • Short participant observer paper (3-5 pages) 10% 
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: Syncretism/Anti-syncretism theory 20%
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: theory of the body 20%
  • Final paper: abstract 250 words 5%
  • Final paper: peer editing of abstract (on Canvas) 5%
  • Final paper: first page, for initial feedback 5%
  • Final paper (12-15 pages), due on exam day 25%

Required Texts:

  • Bohlman, Philip V, Edith W. Blumhofer, and Maria M. Chow. Music in American Religious Experience. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Fraser, Mariam, and Monica Greco. The Body: A Reader. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Hoffman, Lawrence A, and Janet R. Walton. Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992.
  • Leopold, Anita M, and Jeppe S. Jensen. Syncretism in Religion: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 2005.

REE 302 • Russian Icons/Propaganda

43897 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 108
(also listed as R S 315)

Description:

“(Russian) Icons and Propaganda” is a course about signs, symbols, and the contexts that give them meaning. The particular types of signs and symbols that we explore in this lower division course are religious iconography and political propaganda. Our exploration involves many of the sites where these images are found (e.g. cathedrals, public spaces, private homes, etc.) and many of the various media in which they occur (e.g. paintings, posters, television, film, etc.). While it would certainly be possible to study them separately, the two sets of symbols that we examine in this course share a context that allows us to consider them together: Russia.

Without a context, symbols are just pictures – maybe not even that! Within a context, however, they function in many of the same ways that language does. Signs and symbols convey meaning, and as with language, the more developed the system, the more information it is possible for them to convey. The “languages” of Russian icons and propaganda are quite developed and very much alive. Moreover, the amount of overlap between them may seem surprising… but it shouldn’t. The reason for this is that the imagery – the “language” – of Russian propaganda grew out of the already-existing symbolism of Russian religious iconography. And while the signs and symbols of Russian propaganda have since developed along their own paths, they still share much in common. To a certain extent, to understand one of these symbolic systems is to understand them both. 

The symbolism of Russian Orthodox iconography reached its impressive capacity to convey meaning in part because of a need to teach often complicated religious ideas to illiterate peasants before (and even during) the twentieth century. By pulling heavily from a symbolic “language” that the Russian masses already understood, propagandists were able to enter the scene with symbolically sophisticated messages in a “language” that everyone could already read. In this course students learn to read the signs and symbols of icons and propaganda in their Russian context. From subway ceilings to cathedral walls, living room shrines to murals on municipal buildings, kid’s cartoons to epic film, students will engage with the both the symbols and their contexts using basic semiotic (symbols) and discursive (contextual) techniques for analyzing and interpreting meaning in these two fascinating and surprisingly similar symbolic “languages.”

Selected Readings:

  • Bonnell, Victoria E. Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters Under Lenin and Stalin. Berkeley [u.a.: Univ. of California Press, 2007. 
  • Hall, Stuart, Jessica Evans, and Sean Nixon. Representation: Edited by Stuart Hall, Jessie Evans and Sean Nixon. London: Sage Publications, 2013.
  • Ouspensky, Leonid, and Vladimir Lossky. The Meaning of Icons. Crestwood, N.Y: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999.

Grading

  • 5 short analysis papers      5% each
  • 5 chapter précis                   15% each

REE 385 • Accel Romanian For Research

43992 • Fall 2018

Please check back for updates.

REE 302 • Russian Icons/Propaganda

44110 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 0.132
(also listed as R S 315)

Description:

“(Russian) Icons and Propaganda” is a course about signs, symbols, and the contexts that give them meaning. The particular types of signs and symbols that we explore in this lower division course are religious iconography and political propaganda. Our exploration involves many of the sites where these images are found (e.g. cathedrals, public spaces, private homes, etc.) and many of the various media in which they occur (e.g. paintings, posters, television, film, etc.). While it would certainly be possible to study them separately, the two sets of symbols that we examine in this course share a context that allows us to consider them together: Russia.

 

Without a context, symbols are just pictures – maybe not even that! Within a context, however, they function in many of the same ways that language does. Signs and symbols convey meaning, and as with language, the more developed the system, the more information it is possible for them to convey. The “languages” of Russian icons and propaganda are quite developed and very much alive. Moreover, the amount of overlap between them may seem surprising… but it shouldn’t. The reason for this is that the imagery – the “language” – of Russian propaganda grew out of the already-existing symbolism of Russian religious iconography. And while the signs and symbols of Russian propaganda have since developed along their own paths, they still share much in common. To a certain extent, to understand one of these symbolic systems is to understand them both.

 

The symbolism of Russian Orthodox iconography reached its impressive capacity to convey meaning in part because of a need to teach often complicated religious ideas to illiterate peasants before (and even during) the twentieth century. By pulling heavily from a symbolic “language” that the Russian masses already understood, propagandists were able to enter the scene with symbolically sophisticated messages in a “language” that everyone could already read. In this course students learn to read the signs and symbols of icons and propaganda in their Russian context. From subway ceilings to cathedral walls, living room shrines to murals on municipal buildings, kid’s cartoons to epic film, students will engage with the both the symbols and their contexts using basic semiotic (symbols) and discursive (contextual) techniques for analyzing and interpreting meaning in these two fascinating and surprisingly similar symbolic “languages.”

GMOs.

 

Selected Readings:

  • Bonnell, Victoria E. Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters Under Lenin and Stalin. Berkeley [u.a.: Univ. of California Press, 2007. 
  • Hall, Stuart, Jessica Evans, and Sean Nixon. Representation: Edited by Stuart Hall, Jessie Evans and Sean Nixon. London: Sage Publications, 2013.
  • Ouspensky, Leonid, and Vladimir Lossky. The Meaning of Icons. Crestwood, N.Y: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999.

 

Grading

  • 5 short analysis papers      5% each
  • 5 chapter précis                   15% each

REE 325 • Heretics & Freedom Fighters

44125 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.122
(also listed as EUS 346, GSD 360, HIS 362G, R S 357)

This course reaches back to the first centuries of Protestantism in Central Europe, from about 1400 to about 1700. The Czech Lands, under the names of Bohemia and Moravia, and under the dominion of the Habsburg Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, were heavily implicated in the various breaks from and returns to Catholicism, as the reformation started by Luther gave way to the counter-reformation of the organized Catholic Church, resisting the fracturing of its One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This hotbed of religious dissidence pitted newly emerging Protestant groups on several sides of each doctrinal and political issue that arose as the region sought its religious identity: Utraquists, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Czech Brethren, and others.  

The course will explore the theologies, politics, and personal identities that emerged, and passed away in this era through the accounts in primary sources, including the writings of the reformers as well as through the lenses provided by current scholarship. In addition, the course examines the visual arts and music (especially hymns) that played such a huge role in this battle for land, power, hearts, and minds shaping the lives of believers and non-believers alike. The course concludes with an examination of the evolutions within Catholicism reflected in the Catholic catechism as a result of the Counter-Reformation.

 

REE 345 • Shamanism & The Primitive

44150 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANS 340, ANT 324L, R S 352)

Course Number: R S 342 Course Title: Shamans and the Idea of Shamanism Semester / Year: Spring 2018 Instructor & Rank: Jason Parker-Roberts, Lecturer Cross Listings: ANT, REE, ANS • Upper division course, small seminar format, ideally MW or TTh • Religious Studies course, cross-lists with Slavic Studies, anthropology, Asian Studies • Course level flag through Slavic Studies: world culture All over the world, we find people who are called (and who call themselves) “shamans.” But what does the term really tell us about the people to whom it is applied? The word itself probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia, and may have already been in use for more than a millennium when it was introduced to the West after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552. Yet in anthropology and the study of religion – let alone in popular culture – the use of the word “shaman” extends well beyond the Tungusic Siberian context from which it was borrowed. It has assumed the form and function of a universal category even as it has come to refer to people whose beliefs, practices, and even appearances are wildly varied. So, what makes a shaman a shaman? And what, moreover, is “shamanism?” This upper division course uses anthropological as well as historical literature focusing on shamans and shamanism in Central Asia to examine such beliefs and practices as three-worlds symbolism, divination, spirit helpers, drumming, chanting, dancing, hallucinogens, trance, and soul retrieval. However, it also examines the ways in which various theories of shamanism constitute and appropriate the exotic in a variety of broadly construed religious settings – the ways in which westerners, from missionaries to social scientists, have viewed the beliefs and practices of the shaman as an “ism” analogous to a religion even when that is not necessarily the case. Students of this course will learn to identify the major theories of “shamanism” along with the inherent biases of those theories in order to better read accounts of shamans and “shamanism” (from historical to modern, anthropological to popular) against the grain and discern when collected data reveals as much about the observers as it does about the shamans they observe.

R S 346 • Us Music/Religious Identity

43615 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CMA 3.114
(also listed as AMS 325, MUS 376G)

Music and Religious Identities in America


Music can play an important part in the formation of a religious identity. How a religious community uses its voices, the words it sings, which instruments are deemed acceptable, and aspects of music such as melody, harmony, polyphony, and rhythm all combine in specific ways that are recognized as “religious,” or more specifically, as belonging to a particular religious tradition (or not!). Additionally, musical performance conventions – the physical embodiment of religious music – can reflect religious conceptions of the individual in relation to the divine as well as to his or her community. Likewise, the music rejected by a given religious community (“the Devil’s music!”) can be as defining as the music it embraces. From Catholic Gregorian chant, to Jewish camp songs, from African-American gospel music to Sacred Harp singing, from Lutheran hymns to Islamic recitation, and including many other traditions, this upper-division, undergraduate course explores the diversity of the American experience of religious identity through its musical traditions. Come ready to read and discuss but also ready to listen to and sing some of the music we will talk about. One of our tools for exploring the relationship of religious music to religious identity is “theory of the body” and an important part of understanding embodiment is experiencing it! This course includes includes both writing and "cultural diversity in America" flags.

 

Basis for evaluation:

 

  • Short observer paper (3-5 pages) 10%
  • Short participant observer paper (3-5 pages) 10% 
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: Syncretism/Anti-syncretism theory 20%
  • Short paper (3-5 pages), basic theoretical analysis of in-class example: theory of the body 20%
  • Final paper: abstract 250 words 5%
  • Final paper: peer editing of abstract (on Canvas) 5%
  • Final paper: first page, for initial feedback 5%
  • Final paper (12-15 pages), due on exam day 25%

 

Required Texts:

  • Bohlman, Philip V, Edith W. Blumhofer, and Maria M. Chow. Music in American Religious Experience. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Fraser, Mariam, and Monica Greco. The Body: A Reader. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Hoffman, Lawrence A, and Janet R. Walton. Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992.
  • Leopold, Anita M, and Jeppe S. Jensen. Syncretism in Religion: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 2005.

REE 302 • Magic And Power In Prague

44530 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CLA 1.108
(also listed as HIS 306N, R S 306)

In this lower division, undergraduate course we examine authentic historical texts from four different “magical” traditions (witchcraft, alchemy, Kabbalah, nigromancy) to find the truth behind the fiction and the historical events that sometimes permitted and sometimes persecuted the religious, philosophical, and scientific ideas we have come to refer to collectively as “magic.” The site of our study is post-Reformation Bohemia during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II where we concern ourselves with how the practice of magic affected politics and religion as well as with how politics and religion affected the practice of magic. In the process of disambiguating four very different mystical and religious traditions, which are too often misleadingly grouped together under the undifferentiated term “magic,” students will also expand their knowledge of the history of Bohemia and the city of Prague. For more, see: https://www.facebook.com/MAGICandPOWERinPRAGUE

 

Required texts

(1)             Title: The Magic Circle of Rudolph II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaisance Prague

                  Author: Peter Marshall

                  ISBN: 978-0802715517 

 

(2)             Title: Malleus Maleficarum: The Original Guide to the Catching and Burning of Witches

                  Author: Mike Rosen

                  ISBN: 978-1593622138

 

(3)             Title: The Golem and the Wondrous Deeds of the Maharal of Prague

                  Author: Yudl Rosenberg     

                  ISBN: 0300143206

 

Grading

A.               5 take-home essay tests = 75% 

B.               Homework and class assignments = 25%  

REE 345 • Northern Lands And Cultures

43795 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 214
(also listed as EUS 346, GRG 356T)

FLAGS:   GC

Description:

Designed to develop a geographical understanding of the Circumpolar region of the North, an ancient human habitat and a home to distinct, millenia old, civilizations. These indigenous Arctic cultures and livelihoods are being constantly challenged by modern industrial powers, and the clash between two contesting realities is profound. Emphasis is given to a historical geographical perspective on the major processes forming cultural and natural landscapes (including global warming), and influence society, economy, spiritual life and politics. Regions include: Alaska, the Canadian northern territories, Scandinavian North, including Sapmi (Lapland), Iceland, Greenland, the Russian North, and Siberia.

Requirements and Grading

The final grade for the course is based on 3 exams

REE F302 • Magic And Power In Prague

86430 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 228
(also listed as HIS F306N, R S F306)

In this course we examine authentic historical texts from four different magical traditions to find the truth behind the fiction and the historical events that sometimes permitted and sometimes persecuted the religions, philosophies, and sciences we have come to call “magic.” In this course you will study post-Reformation Bohemia and the practice of magic during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II in the discourse of heresy. We will concern ourselves primarily with how the practice of magic affected politics and religion as well as with how politics and religion affected the practice of magic.  You will also expand your knowledge of the history of Bohemia and the city of Prague and begin to separate four very different mystical and religious traditions, which are too often misleadingly grouped together under the undifferentiated term “magic.”

For more information about the course: https://www.facebook.com/MAGICandPOWERinPRAGUE

RUS 507 • First-Year Russian II

44445 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 12:00PM-1:00PM BUR 128

Welcome back to UT and to Russian 507! This course is the continuation of your introduction to

the language and culture of one of the most influential and important regions of the world.

Russian is spoken by more that 200 million people in the former Soviet Union, and an additional

150 million throughout the world. As you begin your adventure in learning Russian, use the

resources of the Slavic Department and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian

Studies to further your knowledge of this fascinating region, people, and culture. And most of

all, use your instructor as a live source of information, advice, and support! ?????!

 

Required Textbook: • Davidson, Gor, and Lekic. Russian: Stage One: Live from Russia!

vol. 2, (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. 2009). This packaged set

comprises one basic textbook, one workbook, one audio CD, and one DVD. Available

at the University Co-op.

 

GRADING

1. Testing: 50%

2. Homework: 25%

3. Participation: 20%

CZ S301K • Magic And Power In Prague

87545 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 228

In this course we examine authentic historical texts from four different magical traditions to find the truth behind the fiction and the historical events that sometimes permitted and sometimes persecuted the religions, philosophies, and sciences we have come to call “magic.” In this course you will study post-Reformation Bohemia and the practice of magic during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II in the discourse of heresy. We will concern ourselves primarily with how the practice of magic affected politics and religion as well as with how politics and religion affected the practice of magic.  You will also expand your knowledge of the history of Bohemia and the city of Prague and begin to separate four very different mystical and religious traditions, which are too often misleadingly grouped together under the undifferentiated term “magic.”

For more information about the course: www.facebook.com/magicandpowerinprague

REE 325 • Heret/Frdom Fghtrs, 1350-1650

45240 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CPE 2.206
(also listed as CZ 324, EUS 346, GRC 327E, HIS 362G, R S 357)

This course reaches back to the first centuries of Protestantism in Central Europe, from about 1400 to about 1700. The Czech Lands, under the names of Bohemia and Moravia, and under the dominion of the Habsburg Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, were heavily implicated in the various breaks from and returns to Catholicism, as the reformation started by Luther gave way to the counter-reformation of the organized Catholic Church, resisting the fracturing of its One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This hotbed of religious dissidence pitted newly emerging Protestant groups on several sides of each doctrinal and political issue that arose as the region sought its religious identity: Utraquists, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Czech Brethren, and others.  

The course will explore the theologies, politics, and personal identities that emerged, and passed away in this era through the accounts in primary sources, including the writings of the reformers as well as through the lenses provided by current scholarship. In addition, the course examines the visual arts and music (especially hymns) that played such a huge role in this battle for land, power, hearts, and minds shaping the lives of believers and non-believers alike. The course concludes with an examination of the evolutions within Catholicism reflected in the Catholic catechism as a result of the Counter-Reformation.

Prerequisites: none

Readings: The reading list will consist mainly of primary sources, available digitally in the public domain and scholarly articles to which the students have digital access through the library. In addition, there will be some required film viewing and music recordings.

Grading: attendance and participation 10%, multiple précis (one page written assignments) throughout the semester 40%, mid-term 20%, final exam 30%

CZ S301K • Magic And Power In Prague

87867 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM RLM 5.112

In this course we examine authentic historical texts from four different magical traditions to find the truth behind the fiction and the historical events that sometimes permitted and sometimes persecuted the religions, philosophies, and sciences we have come to call “magic.” In this course you will study post-Reformation Bohemia and the practice of magic during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II in the discourse of heresy. We will concern ourselves primarily with how the practice of magic affected politics and religion as well as with how politics and religion affected the practice of magic.  You will also expand your knowledge of the history of Bohemia and the city of Prague and begin to separate four very different mystical and religious traditions, which are too often misleadingly grouped together under the undifferentiated term “magic.”

For more information about the course: www.facebook.com/magicandpowerinprague

CZ 324 • Heret/Frdom Fghtrs, 1350-1650

44958 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 208
(also listed as EUS 346, HIS 362G, R S 357, REE 325)

This course reaches back to the first centuries of Protestantism in Central Europe, from about 1400 to about 1700. The Czech Lands, under the names of Bohemia and Moravia, and under the dominion of the Habsburg Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, were heavily implicated in the various breaks from and returns to Catholicism, as the reformation started by Luther gave way to the counter-reformation of the organized Catholic Church, resisting the fracturing of its One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This hotbed of religious dissidence pitted newly emerging Protestant groups on several sides of each doctrinal and political issue that arose as the region sought its religious identity: Utraquists, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Czech Brethren, and others.  

The course will explore the theologies, politics, and personal identities that emerged, and passed away in this era through the accounts in primary sources, including the writings of the reformers as well as through the lenses provided by current scholarship. In addition, the course examines the visual arts and music (especially hymns) that played such a huge role in this battle for land, power, hearts, and minds shaping the lives of believers and non-believers alike. The course concludes with an examination of the evolutions within Catholicism reflected in the Catholic catechism as a result of the Counter-Reformation.

Prerequisites: none

Readings: The reading list will consist mainly of primary sources, available digitally in the public domain and scholarly articles to which the students have digital access through the library. In addition, there will be some required film viewing and music recordings.

Grading: attendance and participation 10%, multiple précis (one page written assignments) throughout the semester 40%, mid-term 20%, final exam 30%

GER 507 • First-Year German II

37970 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM JES A307A

Course Description

German 507, a second-semester German course, continues instruction begun in German 506. (Note: If you have prior knowledge of German and did not take GER 506, you must take a placement test before taking classes at UT.) By the end of German 507, students will be familiar with most basic structures of the German language and will have developed basic cultural knowledge about the German-speaking world. As vocabulary and grammar sophistication grow, students will become increasingly proficient at expressing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a variety of subjects related to everyday life. To this aim, each lesson centers on linguistic, communicative and cultural goals.

The functional communicative approach that we take in this course—and in the larger German program at UT—focuses on learning to use basic German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts in a variety of real-life situations and across spoken and written genres. To help students develop their ability to communicate effectively in German, they are expected to come prepared for class, use German, and actively participate in pair and group activities. Students should expect to spend two hours studying for each class period in order to keep up with the pace of the class.

 

Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)

 

Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories:

1      Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2      Homework (20%)

3      Short writing tasks with multiple drafts (15%)

4      Chapter tests (30%)

5      Regular quizzes (10%)

6      Reading journals (5%)

7      Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)

 

There are no incompletes given in German 507. A grade of C or better is required to enroll in German 612 (i.e., a C- is not a passing grade).

REE S302 • Magic And Power In Prague

88095 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 0.132
(also listed as CZ S301K, HIS S306N, R S S306)

In this course we examine authentic historical texts from four different magical traditions to find the truth behind the fiction and the historical events that sometimes permitted and sometimes persecuted the religions, philosophies, and sciences we have come to call “magic.” In this course you will study post-Reformation Bohemia and the practice of magic during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II in the discourse of heresy. We will concern ourselves primarily with how the practice of magic affected politics and religion as well as with how politics and religion affected the practice of magic.  You will also expand your knowledge of the history of Bohemia and the city of Prague and begin to separate four very different mystical and religious traditions, which are too often misleadingly grouped together under the undifferentiated term “magic.”

For more information about the course: www.facebook.com/magicandpowerinprague

GER 506 • First-Year German I

37885 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:00PM JES A305A

Course Description

German 506, a first semester German course, assumes no prior knowledge of German. (Note: If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take a placement test before taking classes at UT.) German 506 introduces students to the language and culture of the modern German-speaking world. Every effort is made to present opportunities to use the language: for self-expression in everyday situations, for basic survival needs in German-speaking language communities, and for personal enjoyment. To this aim, lessons center on linguistic, communicative, and cultural goals.

The functional communicative approach that we take in this course—and in the larger German program at UT—focuses on learning to use basic German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts in a variety of real-life situations and across spoken and written genres. To help students develop their ability to communicate effectively in German, they are expected to come prepared for class, use German, and actively participate in pair and group activities. Students should expect to spend two hours studying for each class period in order to keep up with the pace of the class. 

 

Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)

 

Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories:

1  Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2  Homework (15%)

3  Short writing tasks with multiple drafts (15%)

4  Chapter tests (25%)

5  Structured reflections on learning experiences (5%)

6  Regular quizzes (10%)

7  Short collaborative video project (10%)

8  Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)

 

Opportunities for extra credit are available. There are no incompletes given in German 506. A grade of C or better is required to enroll in German 507 (i.e., a C- is not a passing grade).

GER 612 • Accel Sec-Yr Ger: Read Mod Ger

37985 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 9:00AM-11:00AM JES A303A

Course Description

German 612 is an intensive intermediate German course that builds on language abilities acquired in German 506-507 (or equivalent). With a mostly content-based approach to language instruction, the course helps students not only to review and expand their German language abilities, but also to develop these within a meaningful context that supports the development of specific content knowledge.

The functional communicative approach to language learning that we take in this course focuses on learning to use German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts across both spoken and written genres. The course aims to develop students’ ability to interpret (not merely read or listen), communicate (not merely give and receive information), and perform (not merely write or speak) in German. In other words, the course will help students to become literate users of the German language. To this end, students of German 612 are expected to take on greater involvement in their own learning than they have in their beginning-level German language classes. Class activities (from class discussions to group projects) will require collaborative and cooperative learning on the part of all class members. 

Please note that this accelerated course requires that students commit approximately 60-120 minutes per weekday (not per class day) to homework and studying outside of class. Students not able to make this commitment over the entire span of the upcoming semester should consider taking German 612 during a semester that allows them to focus fully on the language. 

 

Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)

 

Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories: 

1      Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2      Daily homework (20%)

3      Short writing tasks (10%)

4      Chapter tests (40%)

5      Quizzes (10%)

6      Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)

RUS F506 • First-Year Russian I

88305 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTH 8:30AM-11:30AM MEZ 2.122

Required Textbook: • Davidson, Gor, and Lekic.  Russian: Stage One: Live from Russia! vol. 1,  (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. 2008).  This packaged set comprises one basic textbook, one workbook, one audio CD, and one DVD.  Available at the University Co-op.

Recommended

• Cruise, Edwina. English Grammar for Students of Russian, (Ann Arbor, MI: Olivia and Hill Press, 1993).

• Garza, Thomas. Fundamentals of Russian Verbal Conjugation for Teachers and Students, (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt and ACTR Publications), 1993.

• Katzner, Kenneth, ed. English Russian/Russian English Dictionary, (New York: Wiley Publishers, 1994).

Welcome to Russian 506! This course is designed to introduce you to the language and culture of one of the most influential and important regions of the world – today and over a millennium of history. Russian is spoken by more than 200 million people in the former Soviet Union, and an additional 150 million throughout the world. It is the language of some of the world’s greatest literature: Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pasternak, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Gorky, and Solzhenitsyn. It is the culture of some of the greatest scientists and innovators in the West: Lomonosov, Mendeleev, Pavlov, and Gagarin. And it is the country of some of most influential politicians of the Twentieth Century: Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev, Putin – and Medvedev! The major cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg attract thousands of tourists, businesspeople, and students every year, while in Siberia and the Caspian, oil and petroleum products are produced at a rate that rivals that of the Middle East. As a Member of the Group of Eight, Russia has become in the 21st century a power player in global policy from economics to terrorism to the environment. And, as events last year in North Ossetia and Georgia indicate, Russia remains as unpredictable in the shaping of world affairs as it was during Soviet times. As such, a command of the Russian language is a powerful (and lucrative!) facility in virtually any area of employment, be it government service, business, law, medicine, teaching, engineering, or the military. As you begin your adventure in learning Russian, use the resources of the Slavic Department and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies to further your knowledge of this fascinating region, people, and culture. And most of all, use your instructor as a live source of information, advice, and support! ????? ???! Good luck!

I.            General

Course Content: This course is the first semester of Russian language instruction developing functional proficiency in listening, speaking, and reading.  Writing will be developed primarily through workbook home assignments.  We will cover Units One through Unit Six in the textbook (Vol. 1), spending about two weeks on each unit.

Attendance Policy: You are expected to attend daily classes regularly, participate actively in class, do all assigned coursework, and take all exams.  You will be allowed a maximum of five (5) absences, excused or otherwise, during the semester.  Each absence beyond the fifth shall result in the lowering of your final course grade by a diacritic (a B+ goes to a B, a B to a B-, etc.). A student shall be considered absent after 15 minutes have elapsed from the beginning of class and the student has failed to arrive. 

Tardiness: You are to arrive to class on time. Students who arrive after class has begun shall incur a tardy. A total of three (3) tardies shall be equivalent to one (1) absence and shall count towards the five absences allowed each student. Students are expected to be aware of their own accumulated absences and tardies. Although the instructor will maintain daily records of attendance, he/she will not update students on the status of their attendance unless otherwise requested.

Course Requirements: A Course Syllabus for the entire semester, briefly describing goals and in-class activities, is found on pp. xiii - xx in your Textbook. Corresponding homework assignments for each daily class meeting are found in the Workbook. PREPARING AND HANDING IN DAILY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS IS ESSENTIAL TO PASS THE COURSE!  This means that you should go over and be familiar with this material (or prepare relevant questions) in advance of class. Note that Days Eight and Nine in the syllabus are combined into ONE review day for us.  You are also responsible for learning all of the words and expressions contained in the texts and exercises covered in the Course Syllabus which appear in non-italic type in the vocabulary lists at the end of each unit.  You should plan to spend about two hours of preparation for each hour in the classroom.  If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor or another student and find out what was covered and make up the missed work. 

Technology Policy:  Students should turn off all cell phones and pagers before class begins.  Texting or taking/making calls during class is unacceptable and shall reflect poorly on students' participation grade. Although many students prefer to take notes on a computer, a language class is generally not conducive to this type of note taking.  Please refrain from using a computer during class unless you have sought and received the express consent of the instructor. 

Special Accommodations: If you have extenuating physical circumstances, all instructors in the Slavic Department will make themselves available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that you may require as a student with a disability.  Before course accommodations will be made, students may be required to provide documentation to the Office of the Dean of Students -- Services for Students with Disabilities.

Testing:  There will be six in-class one-hour tests and a final examination for this course.  The in-class tests, each covering one unit, will be given on September 16, September 30, October 14, October 28, November 11, and November 29. A comprehensive final exam will be given during the University's exam period between December 8 and 15, 2010.

 

II. Grading

There are three components of your final course grade.  These components and their relative weights are:

1.  Testing:  55%

In-class tests: 25%

Final exam: 30%

Because of the time constraints and pace of this course, make-ups on any of the tests will be given only in unusual cases with extenuating circumstances.

2.  Homework:  30%

Written homework or in-class quizzes (e.g., vocabulary, grammar checks, etc.) will be graded on a credit (4) / no credit (7) basis.  All assignments from the Workbook must be turned in on the class day after being assigned; a "no credit" assignment may be resubmitted for credit on the following day after being returned to the student.  Your homework grade will be the percentage of "credit" assignments you submit during the term.

3.  Participation:  15%

 

Your instructor determines this component as a reflection of your overall preparedness and performance in class; it is NOT merely an attendance grade.  You are expected to a) attend class daily, b) prepare assigned material in advance for each class, and c) respond in class with reasonable accuracy and, of course, enthusiasm.

The result of these calculations will be on a number on a scale of 0-100.  This numerical grade will be converted to a letter grade as follows:

98 – 100 = A+

94 – 97 = A

90 – 93 = A-

88 – 89 = B+

84 – 87 = B

80 – 83 = B-

78 – 79 = C+

74 – 77 = C

70 – 73 = C-

68 – 69 = D+

64 – 67 = D

60 – 63 = D-

59 and below = F 

III. Supplementary Materials

Your Textbook comes with an audio CD and a DVD that correspond to many of the exercises in each unit, indicated by a "cassette" and "camera" symbol, respectively.  You will greatly enhance your own listening comprehension of Russian by downloading and using these media in your iPod or home/car stereo as often as possible.  If you prefer to use the media on campus, there are

facilities available in several locations, such as the Perry Castañeda Library and Flawn Academic Center. In addition, the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies also has in Calhoun 422 a collection of both classic and very recent DVDs with movies, music, speeches and documentaries from and about Russia and the former Soviet states.  These DVDs are interesting from both a cultural and purely entertainment point of view.  Many of the DVDs have both English subtitles (which can help you build your confidence and facility in hearing spoken Russian and deriving meaning), and some also have Russian subtitles, which are a real benefit to building listening comprehension as you gain a larger vocabulary and fluency. These may be checked out for home viewing; see your instructor for suggestions.  

GER 507 • First-Year German II

37750 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM JES A307A

Course Description

Welcome to German 507! It is a 2nd semester course that continues where GER 506 left off. If you earned an A or B in 506, you have a good foundation for GER 507. If you earned a C, you have some deficiencies you need to address. There is a review period during at the beginning of the semester, and you should use it to full advantage. If you earned a D in GER 506, you are not eligible to take this course. If you did not take GER 506 at UT, see your instructor soon; you will need to familiarize yourself with the material covered in GER 506. As GER 506, this course also emphasizes equally listening, speaking, reading and writing. The primary goal of instruction in 507 is to help you develop your ability to communicate in German. German 507 is a five-credit course that meets Mondays through Thursdays. How much time you should spend studying outside of class depends on a number of individual factors such as your linguistic aptitude, self-discipline, your desire to learn a foreign language, etc. You should, on average, plan to spend at least 1-2 hours each day studying German: completing written homework, reviewing, reading, and building your vocabulary. Your instructor can offer some tips on how to study effectively.

Grading Policy

All German 507 students are evaluated according to the same criteria: A. 5 chapter exams = 50% B. 2 Oral examinations = 10% Each oral exam is worth 5% of your grade. The first one will be administered during the first half of the semester, the second one during the second half of the semester. The best preparation for these exams is regular and active participation in class. The more you participate in class, the more fluently you will speak. C. Brief Quizzes = 15% These quizzes are given in class and can be announced or unannounced. D. Class participation and homework = 25% This grade includes participation and attendance (5%), hand-in homework, attendance at the German Film Series (at least twice / semester), assignments from the Kurspaket, the WebQuests, from Grimm Grammar, etc. (15%).

There is no final exam during the final exam period in GER 507 due to the cumulative nature of all of the tests you take. If you show up late for a test, you will still have to finish the test at the same time as the other students. If you do not show up for an exam without having obtained permission from your instructor in advance of the test, you will not receive any credit for the test. Emergencies that can be substantiated to the satisfaction of your instructor will be treated as exceptions. There are no Incompletes given in German 506.

Texts

Deutsch im Blick (2008). Kurspaket (combined textbook & workbook) Available for purchase at IT Copy (512 MLK Boulevard; 476-6662). The video clips can be found at: http://tltc.la.utexas.edu/dib (If you find any links that don't work, please report them to Dr. Per Urlaub at urlaub@mail.utexas.edu, Dr. Abrams at zsabrams@mail.utexas.edu). Grimm Grammar is the grammar portion of the online program. The topics you need to learn are included in each chapter of your Kurspaket, and can be reached through the GG homepage at: http://tltc.la.utexas.edu/gg

GER 506 • First-Year German I

37952 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM RLM 6.120

Course Description

German 506, a first semester German course, assumes no prior knowledge of German. (Note: If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take a placement test before taking classes at UT.) German 506 introduces students to the language and culture of the modern German-speaking world. Every effort is made to present opportunities to use the language: for self-expression in everyday situations, for basic survival needs in German-speaking language communities, and for personal enjoyment. To this aim, lessons center on linguistic, communicative, and cultural goals.

The functional communicative approach that we take in this course—and in the larger German program at UT—focuses on learning to use basic German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts in a variety of real-life situations and across spoken and written genres. To help students develop their ability to communicate effectively in German, they are expected to come prepared for class, use German, and actively participate in pair and group activities. Students should expect to spend two hours studying for each class period in order to keep up with the pace of the class. 

 

Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)

 

Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories:

1  Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2  Homework (15%)

3  Short writing tasks with multiple drafts (15%)

4  Chapter tests (25%)

5  Structured reflections on learning experiences (5%)

6  Regular quizzes (10%)

7  Short collaborative video project (10%)

8  Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)

 

Opportunities for extra credit are available. There are no incompletes given in German 506. A grade of C or better is required to enroll in German 507 (i.e., a C- is not a passing grade).

GER 506 • First-Year German I

38325 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:00PM JES A305A

Course Description

German 506, a first semester German course, assumes no prior knowledge of German. (Note: If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take a placement test before taking classes at UT.) German 506 introduces students to the language and culture of the modern German-speaking world. Every effort is made to present opportunities to use the language: for self-expression in everyday situations, for basic survival needs in German-speaking language communities, and for personal enjoyment. To this aim, lessons center on linguistic, communicative, and cultural goals.

The functional communicative approach that we take in this course—and in the larger German program at UT—focuses on learning to use basic German language forms, i.e., grammar and vocabulary, in meaningful contexts in a variety of real-life situations and across spoken and written genres. To help students develop their ability to communicate effectively in German, they are expected to come prepared for class, use German, and actively participate in pair and group activities. Students should expect to spend two hours studying for each class period in order to keep up with the pace of the class. 

 

Required Texts:

  1. Course textbook: Christine Anton, Tobias Barske, Jane Grabowski, & Megan McKinstry (2016). Sag mal. An Introduction to German Language and Culture. Second Edition. Vista Higher Learning.
  2. Sag mal Basic Supersite
  3. Sag mal WebSAM (Student Activities Manual)

 

Grading Policy

Students’ progress in the class will be assessed during the semester across the following categories:

1  Class participation assessed weekly (10%)

2  Homework (15%)

3  Short writing tasks with multiple drafts (15%)

4  Chapter tests (25%)

5  Structured reflections on learning experiences (5%)

6  Regular quizzes (10%)

7  Short collaborative video project (10%)

8  Final oral exam done in pairs (10%)

 

Opportunities for extra credit are available. There are no incompletes given in German 506. A grade of C or better is required to enroll in German 507 (i.e., a C- is not a passing grade).

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