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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 315 • German-Texans: The Immigrant Experience-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30385 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Course Description

Have you ever wondered why German is spoken in places like New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, Texas? This course explores the relationship between the German-speaking immigrants who came to Texas starting in the 1840's, the communities they created, and the legacy they left for future generations. We will examine the language and culture they brought with them and how they translated these aspects into their daily life in their new home. Using this as our focus, we will discuss other topics such as the social and political climate of the country these immigrants left behind, hardships they encountered in the new state, and the effect of two World Wars on subsequent generations. Guest speakers, a visit to the German-Texas Historical Society, as well as immigrant letters, published accounts, and selections by historians and anthropologists will augment cultural and linguistic insights.

Readings, discussions, and assignments will explore the following questions, among others: " What motivated these German-speaking immigrants to leave their homeland? " What is Texas German and how did social and historical events influence its development? " How did the distinctive language and culture of these different German-speaking immigrants shape the communities they established? " What effect did national policies have on these immigrants and their posterity?

Grading Policy

Homework Assignments & Quizzes: 15% Mid-term exam (take-home) : 20% Reaction papers: 4 two-page reactions to articles on reading list: 25% Term Paper: Annotated Bibliography w/Thesis Statement: 10% First draft (5-7 pages): 10% Final draft (8-10 pages): 20%


Text: Struve, Walter. 1996. Germans and Texans. Austin: UT Press. Course Readings available on Blackboard course site


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