Language: German Studies

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Academic Unit: 
German Studies

Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in German, creating a concurrent major that includes German, or adding a German minor to their program are in for a variety of fun, thought-provoking, and engaging experiences. We offer classes to help you begin, improve upon, and advance your German language learning adventure with a core faculty eager to help you succeed. Beyond achieving your goals of becoming a life-long learner of German, our classes also provide opportunities for exploring how people in German-speaking communities:

  • understand the world through literature, film, the performing arts, and other cultural practices
  • engage with the worlds of politics, economics, social justice, and humanitarianism
  • think deeply about philosophy, the influence of history, and the environment
  • have become global leaders in the fields of business, engineering, and the natural sciences

You can even experience these things first hand by participating in our summer study abroad program in Regensburg, through a Global Intensive Experience (like GER455) or in another recommended semester program in Germany.

And our expertise extends further than just the challenging courses we offer! We help students prepare for their careers with our growing connections to local companies and annual career fair, and through a focused Business German class in cooperation with the Phoenix Chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce. We also offer professional language exams through the Goethe-Institut, support fellowships/scholarships through Fulbright and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and provide Fulbright language evaluations for students pursuing research and study abroad. Don't forget, Germany has some of the most attractive and affordable BA, Masters and Ph.D. programs.

Take advantage of a major, minor, or concurrent degree program in German and watch as the opportunities and points of connection to other parts of the globe take you in directions you never thought possible. Whether you are interested in engineering, science, health, sustainability, global business, art or literature, you will see immediate benefits from studying German. 

Join us today by visiting the School of International Letters and Cultures. Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in German should contact the lead FHA.

Faculty Honors Advisors

Daniel Gilfillan

Thesis/Creative Projects: 

An undergraduate honors thesis in German Studies allows students the opportunity to produce sustained, research-based, qualitative and/or quantitative arguments about a topic that explores the diversity of German-speaking communities. These topics could involve second language acquisition, literature, film, history of science, sustainability, linguistics, and many other cultural studies areas. The SILC program in German abides by Barrett’s requirements for who can serve on an honors thesis committee: the director must be a continuing faculty member at ASU with a terminal degree (e.g. Ph.D., MFA, MA) and the second member can be anyone with sufficient expertise in the thesis topic. Graduate students and teaching assistants may not serve on the honors thesis committee.

Academic Preparation: 

Successfully completing a thesis in the SILC-German program involves a good command of the German language in spoken and written form and a broad understanding of the history and culture of German-speaking Europe and its impact on communities worldwide. Students must be able to complete research on their own, to prepare a bibliography of source materials, and be capable of reading their sources critically in order to scholarly books and articles in their own written argument.

Other Honors Opportunities: 

Often our faculty will offer honors enrichment contracts, which are usually created on a case-by-case basis. Examples of successful contracts include:

  • the development of a lesson plan in a course on Language and Disability
  • the creation of a science fiction short story in a German writing class
  • a paper about Bismarck’s efforts in unifying Germany in the late 19th century
  • an investment analysis and portfolio recommendations for investments in Germany
  • a comparison of German and US Romantic literature, and much more

Several 400-level courses have an integrated honors section – these include:

  • Reading Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud
  • Holocaust and German Memory
  • Experimental Narrative
  • Weimar-Era German Cinema

and we hope that this list will continue to grow. 

Faculty in German: Areas of Expertise

Nina Berman, Professor
Transnational Germany; Multicultural Germany; German colonialism; Germany and the Middle East; Translation Studies

Daniel Gilfillan, Associate Professor
20th-Century German Literature and Film, Sound Studies, Holocaust Studies

Eva Humbeck, Instructor
Cultural and Political Geography, Women and Space, Youth Literature 

Christopher Johnson, Associate Professor
17th- to 20th-Century German Literature and Thought

Sara Lee, Lecturer
Second Language Pedagogy, Disabilities, Dyslexia, Bilingual Learning 

Kristi McAuliffe, Instructor
Holocaust Studies, German Literature, Intercultural Communicative Competence, Reader Response Theory

Christiane Reves, Instructor, Lower Division Coordinator
Migration Studies, 17th- and 18th-Century History, Economic and Business History, Jewish History, Journalism