Germanic Languages and Literatures

Germanic Languages and Literatures: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degree Programs​

Germanic Languages and Literatures

MA

  • Fields:
    • German Literature, Culture and Theory;
    • Yiddish Studies

Germanic Literature, Culture and Theory

PhD

  • Field:
    • Germanic Literature, Culture and Theory​

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree programs as listed below:

Overview

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto is the oldest and largest department of German in Canada encompassing 11 full-time faculty who contribute to a curriculum that speaks to our traditional strength in literary and intellectual history. Our faculty and students conduct research in German cinema, critical theory, language pedagogy, Yiddish studies, medieval studies, travel literature, as well as post-colonial, psychoanalytic, and transnational studies.

Past graduates have secured tenure-track teaching positions as well as employment in the arts, in cultural programming, the publishing industry, and educational administration. We are committed to providing our graduate students with exposure to a diversity of methodological approaches among our faculty and those of affiliate units. We also emphasize early progress towards professionalization through participation in faculty research projects, attendance at local and international conferences, and enrolment in campus writing workshops. We cultivate a departmental climate of mutual respect and collegiality in the shared pursuit of critical inquiry.

The department offers a graduate program of study leading to two degrees: Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The MA degree usually takes eight months (September to April) to complete, while the PhD degree is normally completed in four to five years.

Contact and Address

Web: german.utoronto.ca
Email: german@chass.utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 926-2321
Fax: (416) 926-2329

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
3rd Floor, 50 St. Joseph Street
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1J4
Canada

Germanic Languages and Literatures: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Fenner, Angelica - BA, MA, PhD
Goetschel, Willi - PhD
Hager, Michael - MA, PhD
Lehleiter, Christine - MA, PhD (Graduate Coordinator)
Noyes, John - BA, MA, PhD
Shternshis, Anna - MA, PhD
Soldovieri, Stefan - BA, MA, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Stock, Markus - MA, PhD
Zilcosky, John - BA, MA, MA, PhD

Members Emeriti

Dierick, Augustinus - BA, MA, PhD
Hempel, Wolfgang - PhD
Mayer, Hartwig - PhD, PhD
Saas, Christa - BA, MA, PhD
Seliger, Helfried - PhD

Associate Members

Bergen, Doris - MA, PhD
Budde, Antje - PhD
Clark, Caryl - BMus, MA, PhD
Cohen, Adam - PhD
Comay, Rebecca - BA, MA, PhD
DiCenso, James - BA, MA, PhD
Esterhammer, Angela - BA, PhD
Gibbs, Robert - BA, MA, PhD
Jenkins, Jennifer - BA, MA, PhD
Kim, Hang-Sun - AB, MA, PhD
Lahusen, Thomas - MA, PhD
Levy, Evonne - MFA, PhD
Retallack, James - BA, DPhil
Revermann, Martin - PhD
Seidman, Naomi - PhD
Wittmann, Rebecca - AB, MA, PhD

Germanic Languages and Literatures: Germanic Languages and Literatures MA

​Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures is offered in two fields:

  • German Literature, Culture and Theory

  • Yiddish Studies

The course-based, one-year MA program normally spans two sessions. Students have the option to concurrently enrol in one of the collaborative specializations at U of T, such as Women and Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Transnational and Diaspora Studies, or Book History and Print Culture. This also requires registration in their respective core course(s). The MA in German is a full-time program, but may also be taken part-time under extenuating circumstances. Graduates may continue on to doctoral studies as well as embarking on careers in translation, language teaching, literary editing, cultural programming, and corporate and administrative positions requiring advanced communication and analytical skills.

 

Field: German Literature, Culture and Theory

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants to the one-year MA program in the field of German Literature, Culture and Theory must have completed an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university that includes at least 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in German language, literature, and culture, with an average grade of at least a B+.

  • Applicants should arrange for two supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record as evidenced through transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, the supporting letters, a sample of written work (such as a term paper), and a Letter of Intent (500-word maximum) identifying current career goals and areas of academic interest.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.5 FCEs including:

    • GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE)

    • at least 1.5 FCEs of the remaining 3.0 FCEs must carry a GER designator

    • the remaining course selection which is made in consultation with the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department and must be approved by the department.

  • Pass a German language competence test at the beginning of the program. Only one attempt is permitted.

Program Length

2 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W);
5 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

Field: Yiddish Studies

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants to the one-year MA program in the field of Yiddish Studies must have completed an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university that includes at least 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in Yiddish language and 2.0 FCEs in Yiddish literature and culture or another area of Jewish Studies, with an average grade of at least a B+.

  • Applicants should arrange for two supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record and upon the evidence of the supporting letters.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.5 FCEs including:

    • ​​​GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE)

    • CJS 1000H Core Methods Seminar in Jewish Studies (0.5 FCE)

    • GER 1050H Methods and Texts in Yiddish Studies (0.5 FCE)

    • GER 2050Y Research Paper in Yiddish Studies (1.0 FCE)

    • The remaining elective courses (1.0 FCE) are selected from a course list approved by the department.

  • Pass a Yiddish language competency test at the beginning of the program. Only one attempt is permitted.

Program Length

2 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W);
5 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Germanic Languages and Literatures: Germanic Literature, Culture and Theory PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program in Germanic Literature, Culture, and Theory is taken on a full-time basis and is fully funded for five years. The curriculum engages debates and questions salient to the discipline of German Studies while also forging generative ties with other disciplines to facilitate a synthesis of history and theory, textual analysis, and cultural study. Students have the option to concurrently enrol in one of the collaborative specializations at U of T, such as Women and Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Transnational and Diaspora Studies, or Book History and Print Culture. This also requires registration in their respective core course(s).

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master’s degree or 2) direct entry following completion of an appropriate bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission to the PhD program requires an appropriate master's degree in German from a recognized university, with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– in the applicant's overall program.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department that they are capable of independent research in German at an advanced level.

  • Applicants should arrange for three supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record, a writing sample, a Letter of Intent (500-word maximum), and the evidence of the supporting letters.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Applicants admitted on the basis of a master's degree must take a minimum of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE) with an average grade of at least an A–.

    • At least 3.5 FCEs by the end of Year 1.

    • Any remaining courses required for the degree by the end of Year 2. Course selection may include 1.5 FCEs in a department other than Germanic Languages and Literatures.

    • Course selection is made in consultation with the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department and must be approved by the department.

  • Students must provide evidence of reading knowledge of French or, in exceptional circumstances, of another language approved by the department.

  • Students must pass a qualifying examination with written and oral components in the second session of Year 2 of the PhD program. The qualifying examination has two components:

    • The proficiency exam is based on a student-created and committee-approved, comprehensive list of works and entails writing exams in four (4) epochs (three for the Yiddish field), followed by an oral exam.

    • The research field paper on a topic approved by the examination committee offers a means to explore key theoretical readings and test firsthand the traction of at least one central methodology pertinent to the future thesis. This paper, between 25 and 30 pages in length, is completed during the Summer session following the proficiency examination and strives towards publishable quality.

  • The thesis proposal encompasses an abstract, literature review, detailed discussion of the methodology, tentative chapter outlines, and bibliography/mediagraphy.

  • Students must pass a thesis proposal review under the guidance of their supervisory committee, whose members will read the proposal, and approve the examinee for doctoral candidacy.

  • Students must deliver a departmental lecture on their dissertation topic within one year following the thesis proposal review.

  • Students must submit the doctoral thesis and successfully complete the Final Oral Examination.

  • The department may permit a candidate to write the doctoral thesis in German when the candidate's advisory committee so recommends and when the candidate has satisfied the School of Graduate Studies' conditions (see 12.1.2.8 Thesis section in Degree Regulations, Doctor of Philosophy).

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission to the PhD program requires an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university that includes at least 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in German language, literature, and culture, with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+ in the applicant's overall program and of at least an A– in the applicant's German courses.

  • Applicants must satisfy the department that they are capable of independent research in German at an advanced level.

  • Applicants should arrange for three supporting letters to be sent to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies of the department, preferably on forms available from the department.

  • Admission is based upon the applicant's academic record, a writing sample, a Letter of Intent (500-word maximum), and the evidence of the supporting letters.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Applicants admitted on the basis of a bachelor's degree must take a minimum of 7.0 FCEs, including:

    • GER 1000H German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text (0.5 FCE) with an average grade of at least an A–.

    • The department may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of the registration and eligibility of a student who fails to complete at least 3.5 FCEs, with an average of at least an A–, during Year 1.

    • The remaining courses required for the degree, with an A– average, by the end of Year 2.

  • Students must provide evidence of reading knowledge of French or, in exceptional circumstances, of another language approved by the department.

  • Students must pass a qualifying examination with written and oral components in the second session of Year 3 of the PhD program. The qualifying examination has two components:

    • The proficiency exam is based on a student-created and committee-approved, comprehensive list of works and entails writing exams in four (4) epochs (three for the Yiddish field), followed by an oral exam.

    • The research field paper on an approved topic approved by the examination committee offers a means to explore key theoretical readings and test firsthand the traction of at least one central methodology pertinent to the future thesis. This paper, between 25 and 30 pages in length, is completed during the Summer session following the proficiency examination and strives towards publishable quality.

  • The thesis proposal encompasses an abstract, literature review, detailed discussion of the methodology, tentative chapter outlines, and bibliography/mediagraphy.

  • Students must pass a thesis proposal review under the guidance of their supervisory committee, whose members will read the proposal and approve the examinee for doctoral candidacy.

  • Students must deliver a departmental lecture on their dissertation topic within one year following the thesis proposal review.

  • Students must submit the doctoral thesis and successfully complete the Final Oral Examination.

  • The department may permit a candidate to write the doctoral thesis in German when the candidate's advisory committee so recommends and when the candidate has satisfied the School of Graduate Studies' conditions (see 12.1.2.8 Thesis section in Degree Regulations, Doctor of Philosophy).

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Germanic Languages and Literatures: Germanic Languages and Literatures MA and Germanic Literature, Culture and Theory PhD Courses

Not all courses are offered every year. The department should be consulted each session as to actual course offerings.

GER 1000H
German Studies Seminar: Culture, Theory, Text
GER 1050H
Methods and Texts in Yiddish Studies
GER 1051Y
Yiddish Language and Literature for German Speakers
GER 1200H
Middle High German
GER 1210H
Medieval German Romance: Tristan und Isolde
GER 1220H
Medieval Arthurian Romance
GER 1480H
Goethe's Faust
GER 1485H
Goethe's Novels
GER 1540H
Revolutions
GER 1550H
Origins: Myths of Beginning in German Literature and Thought
GER 1661H
Modernism in Context
GER 1690H
Theatre in the Weimar Republic
GER 1722H
Kafka
GER 1730H
Travel Writing
GER 1735H
Transnational Literatures
GER 1770H
Reviewing the 50s: German Cinemas under Reconstruction
GER 1771H
Topics in German Cinema Studies
GER 1775H
Cinemas of Migration
GER 1780H
Topics in German Visual Culture
GER 1785H
Remaking the Movies in German Cinemas
GER 1820H
The Learning and Teaching of German
GER 1821H
Reading Course in Second Language Acquisition
GER 1860H
Introduction to Critical Theory
GER 1880H
Gottfried Keller and the Politics of Poetic Realism in a Minor Key
GER 2000H,Y
Reading Course in Approved Field
GER 2050Y
Research Paper in Yiddish Studies
GER 6000H
Reading German for Graduate Students
JGC 1660H
Modernism and the Other
JGC 1740H
Humans and Things
JGC 1855H
Critical Theory in Context: The French-German Connection
JGF 1733H
Autobiographical Documentary: History, Alterity, and Performativity