At various times throughout the year, beyond regular language classes for children and adults, the DANK Haus offers a range of enrichment courses to deepen an appreciation and understanding of German culture. These special programs include German History, German Theater, German for Travel, and German Summercamp. Read some of the course descriptions below, and watch our events page and newsletter to learn about taking part in these special opportunities. Our successful Kulturküche series is also offered on a monthly basis, to introduce people to the recipes and techniques of German cuisine.
Do you have an interest in German History? Do you like to understand the politics and wars behind the building of a nation, or are you a German-American interested in learning more about your roots or ancestry? Join us at the DANK Haus for a series of classes that will look at Germany's history through the analysis of language, wars and politics. One course begins with prehistoric populations and extends through the reign of Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne). Another course describes the many changes that began in the medieval era, with trade leagues, princes and intrigue galore. Beyond simply learning facts about the past, these topics also shine a light upon the present, helping to understand the German World and Culture today.
More than just a lecture, attendees will engage in hands-on activities to discover their own German connection. Though not offered as an accredited college level course for degree seeking college or graduate students, this experience provides an opportunity for laypersons to broaden their general knowledge and basic understanding of the very foundations of Western European civilization.
This event will take place at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center in Lincoln Square, a historically German neighborhood. The ancient history class is held Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm-9:00pm. The medieval history class is held Thursday evenings from 7:00pm-9:00pm.
There is a fee of $200 with all materials included. Our Moderator is Mike Haas, who holds a Master's degree in History from DePaul University and writes for several publications.
This theater class invites native speakers and more advanced German students (at Level 2 and above) to use the content of interesting plays to increase their German language fluency. The goal is to enjoy the creative process of speaking German and at the same time develop skills needed for critical dialog and discussion. Drama excerpts become the basis for improvisations of short scenes and dialogs. Students practice speaking, reading and pronunciation. There is also an opportunity to create and write original plays.
The plays, by both German and foreign playwrights, such as Strauss, Brecht, Boell, Kisch, Schlemmer, Kroetz, Beckett, Hochhuth, Feuchtwanger and Mueller, are read in the original German language. While discussing the content of the plays, students learn about people living in different parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland during many different time periods, and become deeply engaged in the life of the German-speaking people. This season, we are reading and discussing excerpts by Sandeep Aggarvval ("Die Freunde"), Eileen Ferguson ("The Creationist Museum") and Botho Strauss ("The Hypochonder").
The instructor, Marianna Buchwald, a native German speaker, worked as language arts teacher at the German Cultural Center, Goethe Institute, Chicago, Illinois. She taught German theater courses using plays by Brecht, Handke, Botho Strauss, Duerrenmatt and Boell. She currently produces plays in Germany once a year in her home town of Hannover and has produced performances with the German Theater class at the DANK Haus since 2013. She also directed youth at Carl Sandburg High School to perform German plays, fairy tales and improvisation and taught German singing. Please visit www.internationalartadventures.com for more information.
The course meets once a month, each 2nd Tuesday evening. There is a $20 fee. Sessions take place at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, located in Lincoln Square at 4740 N. Western Ave., Chicago.