GERMAN 416 - Seminar in German Studies
Fall 2022, Section 001 - German Humor
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
One year beyond GERMAN 232. Students may not take the same topic twice.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Seen alongside prevailing cultural stereotypes of German seriousness, philosophical inwardness, punctuality and technocratic efficiency, the phrase ‘German humor’ seems like a contradiction in terms. This course seeks to challenge such notions of Teutonic humorlessness by excavating a rich tradition of thinking about and practicing comedy in German-speaking Europe – from Enlightenment theater to the cabaret, from silent cinema to the comedy club, from Jewish theater to the novels of Franz Kafka, from political satires of Nazi propaganda to those of Socialist bureaucracy and contemporary multiculturalism. In addition to film screenings, written assignments, and readings by key figures such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Helmut Plessner, Walter Benjamin, and Sigmund Freud, students will be asked to write several of their own jokes over the course of the semester and ultimately to put together a short, 2-3-minute standup routine based on course materials.

Intended Audience:

Students with competence in the German language who are also interested in literature and cultural history.

Class Format:

Class conducted in German.


GERMAN 416 - Seminar in German Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for GERMAN 416.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for GERMAN 416 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)