Courses in summer term 2008

Below you will find all classes taught by the Chair's staff in summer term 2008.
Please note that this is only an overview. For a full description including requirements for admission etc., please follow this link.

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein
Dr. Marga Munkelt
Dr. des. Silke Stroh
Dr. des. Markus Schmitz 

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein

Australian Literature: An Introduction

No.:  094268    Vorlesung          2 SWS      Thurs. 12:00 - 14:00          room: AudiMax Engl. Sem.

This lecture will familiarize students with Australian literature. You will read and hear about writing from the colonial and the postcolonial periods; literature by white settlers, the aboriginal population, and by migrant writers; we will deal with different genres such as travelogue, diary, letter, novel, drama and poetry.

Between Worlds: Edward Said's Cultural and Literary Theory

No.: 094875     Hauptseminar     2 SWS      Blockseminar         room: see noticeboard

Edward Said was one of the foremost thinkers in Postcolonial Studies; his Orientalism is a foundational text of this field. The seminar will familiarize students with three of Said's monographs, Orientalism (1978), The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983), and Culture and Imperialism (1993), with some of his essays, and with a selection of the critiques and responses these texts have prompted. The seminar is intended for students with an interest in critical or postcolonial theory; it involves a good amount of reading.

The set text for the seminar is The Edward Said Reader, ed. M. Bayoumi and A. Rubin (Lon: Granta, 2001); you need to bring along your own copy of the set text for the first session. For further details consult the notice board.

Writing Australia: Colonial, Postcolonial and Indigenous Short Stories

No.:  094674     Hauptseminar     2 SWS       Wedn. 10:00 - 12:00        room: 101 Engl. Sem.

In this seminar we will first read up on different concepts of and approaches to the short story genre and then dissect and discuss a range of Australian short stories. The earliest story on the syllabus dates from the late nineteenth century, the latest one from this decade. Authors include Henry Lawson, Henry Handel Richardson, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Patrick White, Oodgeroo, Mena Abdullah, David Malouf, Frank Moorhouse, Gerald Mumane, Murray Bail, Peter Carey, Tim Winton.

Postcolonial, Transnational and Transcultural Studies

No.:  095097     Oberseminar      2 SWS        Wedn. 18:00 - 20:00 every fortnight        room: 101 Engl. Sem.

The colloquium provides the space for discussing recent as well as by now classic texts from postcolonial, transnational and transcultural studies.

Betreuungsseminar Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft (für Examenskandidaten)

No.:  094401     Kolloquium        2 SWS         Thurs. 16:00 - 18:00         room: 101 Engl. Sem.

This seminar is aimed at students in the last phase of their studies. If you are about to or in the process of writing your final exam thesis or are preparing your oral exams, this is a forum for clarifying issues that arise. We will discuss work in progress, technical aspects of research and thesis-writing and the ins and outs of oral examination.
Starting 24.4.2008.

Dr. Marga Munkelt

Doris Lessing, Selected Stories

No.:  094291     Proseminar         2 SWS         Thurs. 12:00 - 14:00        room: H20 Engl. Sem.

Further details to be announced.

Literature and Musical Theatre   

No.:  094359     Seminar              2 SWS         Thurs. 16:00 - 18:00        room: 031 Engl. Sem.

Further details to be announced.

Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundkurs II    

No.:  094014     Grundkurs          2 SWS         Tues. 16:00 - 18:00         room: N.N.

The primary goal of this course is to provide an overview of various literary theories and different methods of literary analysis applicable to British Studies, American Studies and the so-called New English Literatures. Another course objective is to introduce some of the most important bibliographies in our field and to make the students familiar with the basic methods of scholarly research.
Participants in this course will extend their critical vocabulary and will gain an insight into the ways in which critical theory can illuminate specific texts and current debates. Using theoretical strategies such as structuralism, feminist criticism, new historicism and postcolonial criticism, students will explore questions such as class, gender, race, authorship, canonicity, textuality and intertextuality, and they will address interactions between literature, politics, history and culture.


  • Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2002.
  • Bradford, Richard, ed. Introducing Literary Studies. London: Pearson Education, 1996.
  • Fabian, Bernhard. „Die wissenschaftliche Literatur und ihre Ermittlung.“ Ein anglistischer Grundkurs. Ed. Bernhard Fabian. 9. Aufl. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2004. 256-87 (Kapitel 8).

Übung zu 'Grundlagen der Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft' (Wahlveranstaltung)

No.:  094029     Übung                2 SWS         Frid. 10:00 - 12:00          room: 101 Engl. Sem.

The class is meant to give students the opportunity to intensify, in a smaller group, their knowledge of selected material taught in the "Grundlagenmodul." This course is not mandatory and no credit points are given.

Dr. des. Silke Stroh

Travel Writing

No.:  094325     Proseminar         2 SWS         Tues. 10:00 - 12:00         room: H20 Engl. Sem.

This seminar will examine selected central aspects of the genre of travel writing, e.g. with regard to defining features of the genre, its history, its manifestations in different regional contexts, and especially its role in the negotiation and representation of culture contact.
Travel routes and travel writing establish (literal and literary) contact zones in which individuals from dif¬ferent cultures come to meet. This also entails the meeting of different cultural norms and different systems of representation (e.g. oral vs. written traditions). Travel authors assume the role of border-crossers, mediators and translators between those different worlds, but straddling the boundaries between cultures is not always an unproblematic undertaking: for instance, the travel writer as mediator may experience con¬flicting loyalties and a clash of value systems which can inspire considerable anxieties. While there may be attempts to construct and exoticise the ‘alien’ culture as completely ‘Other’, such binary concepts of cultural boundaries are also complicated by numerous instances of hybridity and can thus become highly unstable.
Further complexities concern the position of the readers: for instance, their own engagement with a certain piece of travel writing and the world it constructs/describes might be significantly influenced by their own cultural and social position, e.g. as foreign ‘outsiders’ or ‘native insiders’ to the places depicted in a text. Moreover, perhaps especially in colonial (or e.g. postcolonial 'Third World') contexts, travel (writing) can involve considerable economic and discursive power imbalances between the traveller/writer on the one hand, and the societies visited and written about on the other.
This seminar will discuss these issues with regard to various examples of travel writing from the British Isles and the (former) British empire, and from a wide range of historical periods. We will also relate these primary sources to a range of theoretical texts, with particular emphasis on the fields of colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial/transcultural studies.
Set reading materials consist of a selection of a variety of shorter texts which will be made available in a reader/mastercopy folder at the start of term.

Writing Colonial Australia

No.:  094363     Seminar                2 SWS         Thurs. 14:00 - 16:00         room: 031 Engl. Sem.

This course will study the history and culture of colonial Australia, as well as its treatment in colonial and post-colonial literature. We will use a wide variety of texts, including novels, short stories, poetry, secondary texts on our literary primary sources, other academic texts from the fields of Literary and Cultural Studies (incl. colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory), as well as History and Cultural Studies.
We will read two novels in their entirety. Details on these two novels will be announced in January.
In addition, a selection of a variety of shorter texts which will be made available in a reader/mastercopy folder at the start of term.

Dr. des. Markus Schmitz

Literary Re-Visions of Empire: Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe, and Tayeb Salih

No.:  095120     Proseminar            2 SWS        Blockseminar                    room: 031 Engl. Sem.

Many literary narratives in the nineteenth and twentieth century are directly connected with the redemptive force and horror of Europe's mission in what was perceived as the dark world. The historical experience of colonialism and imperialism as well as that of resistance against empire not only gave rise to new forms of modern novelistic writing in the West but also was immensely important in the transformation of non-Western literatures produced by writers seeking to transcend the limitations of the imperialist world vision. Both movements share a common thematic pattern: the intertwined histories of imperial and anti-imperial cultures.
The seminar focuses on three of the most read and taught novels in the field of colonial discourse analysis and post-colonial studies: Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad, Things Fall Apart (1959) by Chinua Achebe, and Season of Migration to the North (1967/69) by Tayeb Salih.
We will read these literary texts and use them as vehicles for reflecting upon the relation between narrating and counter-narrating empire. While introducing students to seminal debates in literary criticism on colonial representations and writings back from the post-colony, the seminar encourages exploring post-colonialism as a strategy of critically re-reading canonical English novels instead of simply replacing its universalizing Eurocentrism with a set of counter-narratives. By looking at very different theoretical and artistic attempts at decoding the deep-seated images of imperial representations (ranging from Achebe's vilification of Conrad's work as totally deplorable and "bloody racist" to Edward Said's reading of Heart of Darkness as an invocation of the "self-deluding corruption of overseas domination" and Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of the novel in his movie Apocalypse Now (1978-79), the seminar seeks to illuminate continuing conjunctures of politics with aesthetics and criticism.

Students should acquaint themselves with the above-mentioned novels (no preferred edition) in advance. All class participants are required to read Conrad's Heart of Darkness and watch Coppola's Apocalypse Now (Redux Version, 2001) before the first session.
Secondary texts to be discussed include:

  • Achebe, Chinua. "An Image of Africa." Massachusetts Review 18 (1977):782-94.
  • Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London, New York: Routledge, 1989.
  • Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. London: Penguin, 2001 (first Engl. edition N.Y.: 1963).
  • Parry, Benita. Conrad and Imperialism: Ideological Boundaries and Visionary Frontiers. London: Macmillan,1983.
  • Schwarz, Daniel R. Rereading Conrad. Columbia/Mo: U of Missouri P, 2001.
  • Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage, 1994.
  • Tayeb Salih Speaks. Four Interviews with the Sudanese Novelist, trans. and. ed. by Constance E. Berkley and Osman Hassan Ahmed. Washington: Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Sudan, 1982.