Winter term 2009/10

Below you will find all classes taught by staff members associated with the English, Postcolonial and Media Studies in winter term 2009/10.

Please note that this is only an overview.

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein
Dr. Marga Munkelt
Dr. Silke Stroh
Dr. Markus Schmitz
Dr. Christine Vogt-William
Dr. des. Eva Bischoff

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein

Postcolonial Literatures

No.: 095035 | Vorlesung | 2 SWS | Wedn. 16-19.30 (14.10.-02.12.2009) | Audimax

The past century in particular has seen the rise of an enormous wealth of poetry, fiction, and drama from territories previously colonised by Britain; as a result our understanding of “English literature” has been entirely revised. This lecture course surveys Anglophone postcolonial writing from Africa, Australia, Britain, Canada, the Caribbean, the Pacific and South Asia. Whilst the focus of the lecture is on literary texts, the theoretical arsenal of “postcolonial theory” will also be drawn upon in individual lectures. Students are encouraged to read texts by renowned authors such as Chinua Achebe, Witi Ihimaera, Doris Lessing, David Malouf, VS Naipaul, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie.
Some texts will be made available on the BSCW server. A syllabus and a bibliography will be provided in the first lecture.
Students wishing to incorporate this lecture in their "Modulabschlussprüfung" should also attend selected sessions of my "Betreuungsseminar"

The Colonial Rise of the Novel

No.: 095570 | Hauptseminar | 2 SWS | Thur. 10-12 (14.10.-02.12.2009) | Rm. 101|

This seminar invites students to consider how a genre -- the novel -- is related to a political system -- colonialism, -- how the rise of colonialism and the rise of the novel are intertwined.
England's colonising mission and, later, the "fact of Empire", register in the novel form; and the novel, by laying claim to spaces abroad, by representing the Other, has arguably contributed to securing and maintaining colonial power. It is issues such as these that we will unravel through reading several theoretical texts as well as a range of novels. This seminar will help students to grasp how the novel became a popular genre and how colonialism unfolded. You will need to give an oral presentation, work in a weekly study group, and contribute regularly to discussions in class in order to join this seminar.

The seminar will take part during the first half of the semester. It ends with a "Blockseminar" at Rothenberge (30.11. - 2.12.09).

First meeting: October 22, 2009
Mid-term Papers due December 17, 2009

Obligatorische Einführungsveranstaltung: Donnerstag, d. 16. Juli 2009, 18.00 Uhr, H19
In dieser Sitzung werde die Arbeitsgruppen gebildet, Hausarbeitsthemen besprochen, Referatthemen vergeben, der Semesterplan (syllabus) abgestimmt sowie die relevante Literatur bekannt gegeben. Teilnahme an dieser Sitzung ist erforderlich.

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko. (1688). Norton Critical ed. ISBN 0393970140 .
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719). Penguin Classics. ISBN 0141439823
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814). Penguin Classics. ISBN 0141439807
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (1847). Penguin Classics. ISBN 0141441143
Further Reading:
William Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1848). Penguin Classics.

You need to finish reading Behn, Defoe, Austen, and Bronte by October 15, 2009, when a short test will take place.

Postcolonial, Transnational, and Transcultural Studies

No.: 095839 | Oberseminar | 2 SWS | Thur. 16-18 (22.10.-10.12.2009) | Rm. 401

The colloquium provides the space for discussing recent as well as by now classic texts from postcolonial, transnational and transcultural studies. The thematic focus for the winter semester will be social, cultural, and intellectual transmigrations. It is also a forum for presenting ongoing reserach towards MA-, Staatsexamen-, PhD-theses, or Habilitationen.   

per Email an unter Angabe
von Namen,
Fachsemester und

Betreuungsseminar Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft (für Examenskandidaten)

No.: 095604 | Kolloquium | 2 SWS | Fri. 8.30-12 (23.10.-04.12.2009) | Rm. N.N.

Diese Veranstaltung ist für Studierende geeignet, die sich bei mir zum Examen angemeldet haben, die bei mir eine Modulabschlussprüfung absolvieren, oder denen ich vom Prüfungsamt als Prüfer zugewiesen wurde.
Es geht es um schriftliche Prüfungen (Klausuren), mündliche Abschlussprüfungen (Staatsexamen/Magister), Modulabschlüssprüfungen sowie um die Anfertigung von schriftlichen Hausarbeiten. Spezifische Probleme und Strategien der Prüfungsvorbereitung werden besprochen; Prüfungssimulationen können durchgeführt werden.

Es werden drei verbindliche Plenarsitzungen besucht, sowie ausgewählte thematische Sitzungen.

Persönliche Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich (sie erfolgt in der ersten Sitzung am 23.10.09); die elektronische Anmeldung in HISLSF ist erforderlich.

1. Session: 23.10.2009, 8-10h (obligatorische Plenarsitzung)
Set Text: “Dissemination” by Homi K. Bhabha


Dr. Marga Munkelt

From Page to Stage: Selected Contemporary Plays

No.: 095475 | Hauptseminar | 2 SWS | Tue. 16-18 | Rm. H20

This seminar assumes the interdependence of playtext and performance and will focus on performance studies as a profitable critical approach to and teaching method of drama. In other words, students will be involved in using performance techniques as a means of studying plays and simultaneously teaching them through rehearsal and acting out.
The classwork will include practical but also theoretical activities. Thus, students will revive their knowledge of the basic characteristics of the genre drama and transfer it to the phases of theatrical work, such as casting, preparing a script, thinking about costumes and props etc.
Among the authors discussed will be Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett and selected contemporary British playwrights.

There will be an obligatory preliminary meeting in room 101 on July 15, 12 p.m.
Please check the notice board for further information on the texts and the first regular meeting.

Seminar für MEd. Gym/Ges, BK, BAB -  nicht für MEd. GHR!

Bob Dylan

No.: 095088 | Hauptseminar | 2 SWS | Tue. 14-16 | Rm. H19

Bob Dylan, who became famous as "songpoet" of the protest-movements in the 1960s and 1970s, has since then developed into an icon of American culture as well as a global twentieth-century icon. Attempts at categorising him have failed because his works exceed boundaries between disciplines and genres. Thus, in addition to being labelled "demigod of folk" or "anti-establishment composer," he has, since 1996, been regularly nominated for the Nobel Prize of Literature. In 1999, he was awarded an Academy Award for his music to the film Wonder Boys, and in 2005, his "Like a Rolling Stone" was named "greatest song ever written." His "Desolation Row" was canonised by inclusion in The Oxford Book of American Poetry, and literary scholars have compared him to Shakespeare, Blake, Byron, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound but also detected parallels with the works of Virgil, Ovid, Dante and Petrarch. Although Bob Dylan has also written narrative fiction, the seminar will focus on his lyric poetry and songs. The goal is to recognise and analyse the richness of Dylan's themes and language, his use of myths and cultural traditions, the host of intertextual references in his poems and songs and especially the relationship between lyrics and music.

There will be a mandatory preliminary meeting on Wednesday, 15 July 2009, 18-19 hrs in room H 19.
First meeting: see notice board

Main text: Detering, Heinrich, ed. Bob Dylan: Lyrics. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2008. Other texts will be announced.

Betreuungsseminar Bachelorarbeit: Literaturwissenschaft

No.: 095092 | Seminar | 2 SWS | Wedn. 10-12 | Rm. 031

This class is intended for students in their final BA-phase. We will discuss key theoretical and methodological aspects of literary and cultural studies and focus on students’ needs for their final theses. Students who intend to write their BA-theses with me would be well advised to attend this class, but other students who are trying to define the scope and/or the goals of their topics or need advice on the organisation of their initial research are also welcome. There will be group meetings as well as individual sessions of supervision—depending on the number of participants.
Details will be discussed in a preliminary meeting, which will take place on Thursday, 16 July, 18-19 hrs in room 101.

First meeting: see notice board.

Research Modul I: Postgraduate Class

No.: 095953 | Übung | 2 SWS | Thur. 14-16 | Rm. 101

This two-semester postgraduate class intends to assist students in choosing and defining fields of interest within the MA curriculum that are appropriate for independent study.  The purpose is to outline possible research areas, topics, and approaches that might ultimately be relevant for students’ final MA-theses. We will discuss key theoretical and methodological aspects within literary and cultural studies in general and this MA curriculum in particular, but focus will be on students’ needs for their own research. The class will be a combination of in-class discussions and presentations and individual supervision in sessions outside the classroom.  In this first part of the class (i.e., the first semester), each student will perform  at least one writing assignment. Details will be discussed in the first class meeting.

Orientation Week

Übung | 05.-09.10.2009

During the orientation week you will be introduced to structural and content aspects of your prospective studies. Basic questions such as how to organize your schedule or how to get your credits will be answered, but there will also be a meet-and-greet with your future professors. Furthermore, you will get introductory insights into the topics of the study program as well as the chance for first academic discussions.


Dr. Silke Stroh

Nation, Nationalism, Transnationalism : Historical and Theoretical Foundations

No.: 095915 | Seminar | 2 SWS |Wedn. 10-12 | Rm. 101

This course will explore a wide variety of texts, issues and concepts which are central to the study of nationhood, nationalism and transnationalism. This will be done from an interdisciplinary perspective, focusing especially on the fields of history, the social sciences, as well as literary and cultural theory. Topics will include: pre-modern political and cultural (as well as national?) constructs of community; modernity and the nation state; the nation as ‘imagined community’; nation(alism) and colonialism/anti-colonialism/postcolonialism; nation and language; the role of minori­ties; regionalism; stateless nations; heterogeneity in terms of class and gender; as well as recent transnational developments in the fields of supra-national cooperation (for instance on EU or UN level), economic and cultural globalisation, migration and diasporas. We will explore these general topics by focusing on a number of national/regional case studies from different parts of the world, including the British Isles, America and Africa.

We will discuss excerpts from a wide range of publications. Set texts will be made available in the dept. library during the term.
Lists with recommendations for additional (optional) reading (for this class and for this M.A. course in general) will likewise be made available during term-time.

For those who wish to do preparatory reading during the summer, here is a selection of texts we will discuss over the first eight weeks of term:

  • Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983), new ed. London & New York: Verso 2006, excerpt: 2-4, 6-14, 19, 24-26, 33-38, 40-42, 47-50, 61, 63-65, 67-82, 90-94, 113-116, 118-120, 133-135, 139 f, 143-146, 163 f, 168-175, 178-185, 204-206.
  • McLeod, John. Beginning Postcolonialism. Manchester & New York: Manchester UP 2000, pp. 67-130, 136-138.
  • Bhabha, Homi K. "Introduction: Narrating the Nation." Bhabha (ed), Nation and Narration, London & New York: Routledge 1990, 1-7.
  • Gardiner, Michael. Modern Scottish Culture, Edinburgh: Edin­burgh UP 2005, 11-14, 17, 21.
  • Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837. New Haven CT & London: Yale UP 1992. Repr. London et al.: Pimlico 1994, 5-8, 164-177, 193 f, 219-228, 364-375.
  • Ernest Renan, "Qu' est-ce qu'une nation?" (Lecture, 11th Mar 1882, Sorbonne, Paris. Oeuvres Complètes, Paris 1947-1961, vol. 1, 887-907. Transl. (by Martin Thom) as "What is a Nation?", in: Homi K. Bhabha (ed), Nation and Narration, London & New York: Routledge 1990, 8-22.)
  • Vecoli, R. "The Significance of Immigration in the Formation of an American Identity", The History Teacher 30.1 (1996): 9-27.
  • Hollinger, D. "Authority, Solidarity, and the Political Economy of Identity: The Case of the United States", Diacritics 29.4 (1999): 116-27.
  • Basch, Linda; Cristina Szanton Blanc; & Nina Glick Schiller. Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Global Predica­ments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States. Amster­dam et al.: Gordon & Breach 1994, 4th ed. 1997. 40-45.
  • Gerstle, G. "Liberty, Coercion, and the Making of Americans", The Journal of American History 84.2 (1997): 524-58.Spickard, Paul. Almost All Aliens, 2007, ch. 9.
  • Frantz Fanon, "On National Culture," from The Wretched of the Earth
  • Achebe, Chinua. "The African Writer and the English Language," Morning Yet on Creation Day, London: Heinemann, & New York: Anchor/Doubleday 1975; e.g. repr. in Laura Chrisman & Patrick Williams (ed), Colonial Discourse and Postcolo­nial Theory: A Reader, New York: Columbia UP 1994, 428-434.
  • Ngugi, "The Language of African Literature," Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, London et al.: James Currey et al. 1986, 4-33)
  • Anthias, Floya; & Nira Yuval-Davis. "Introduction." Anthias & Yuval-Davis (ed), Woman - Nation - State, Basingstoke et al.: Macmillan 1989, 1-15.
  • Kandiyoti, Deniz. "Identity and its Discontents: Women and the Nation," Millennium Journal of Inter­national Studies 20.3 (1991), repr. in Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader, ed. Laura Chrisman & Patrick Williams (New York: Columbia UP, 1994): 376--91.

Please note: There will be NO session for THIS class in the 1st week of term (14 Oct 2009) (it might be different with your other classes, however - please check on an individual basis!)

Caribbean Short Stories

No.: 095107 | Proseminar | 2 SWS | Tue. 8-10 | Rm. 031

This course will give students the opportunity to further develop their skills in the analysis of short stories. At the same time, the course aims to provide an introduction to Caribbean literature. We will  thus also relate the short stories we read to historical, social and wider cultural frameworks, both local and international. Moreover, the course will study different ways in which these short stories can be (and have been) approached in literary criticism.

All students should be provided with a copy of:
Brown, Stewart; & John Wickham (ed), The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, Oxford: OUP, repr. 2001.


Dr. Markus Schmitz

Permission to Narrate: Palestinian Autobiographies in English

No.: 095202 | Seminar | 2 SWS | Wedn. 14-16 | Rm. 401

The power to communicate their own history was long denied to the Arabs of Palestine by the international (the Arab as well as the Western) cultural industry. For Palestinians articulating their own experiences thus became an act of self-defense against efforts to silence their voices. This course investigates the changes of political motives and narrative strategies that have appeared in recent Palestinian autobiographical writings in English. It explores the auto-narrative attempts of individual authors to transform a passive victim of historical events into an active subject of a contemporary emancipatory struggle.
In class, we will critically reflect upon selected works ranging from Fawaz Turki’s The Disinherited (1972) to Edward W. Said’s Out of Place (1999). The course invites participants studying Palestinian lives not through Western representations but through the personal stories of some of its most engaged writers and critics. Going beyond traditional categories  such as national literature or ethnic literature and transgressing the distinction between collective testimony and individual self-narration, it simultaneously provides an introduction to seminal theoretical debates within the field of postcolonial autobiography criticism.
Prerequisites: Students are expected to participate actively and to give an oral presentation in class. For accreditation, a term paper (3.000 words, MLA-style) is required. Participation in the preliminary meeting on 22.07.2009, at 18:00 (s.t.) in room H20 is obligatory. Please sign up for this meeting (see notice board). Introductory texts must be read before the beginning of the semester.

First class meeting: 14.10.2009

Introductory reading:

  • Said, Edward W. The Question of Palestine. New York: Random, 1979.
  • Said, Edward W. "Permission to Narrate." The London Review of Books 6.3 (1984):13-17.
  • Enderwitz, Susanne. "The Mission of the Palestinian Autobiographer." Conscious Voices. Concepts of Writing in the Middle East. Ed. Guth, Stephan, Prisca Furrer and Johann C. Bürgel. Beirut: Orient Institute, 1999, pp. 29-50.

ERASMUS-STUDENTS only: ECTS: 3 credits / with paper, presentation 5 credits

The Colonial Home : Representations of the Rural in 19th Century British Literature

No.: 095073 | Proseminar | 2 SWS | Tue. 12-14 | Rm. 031

During the nineteenth century Britain not only consolidated its existing empire, but also experienced an unprecedented expansion in its colonial possessions. The tremendous upsurge of imperial activity, though physically taking place in areas distant from British shores, had a broad and pervasive impact on British culture. The literature of the period is inextricably embroiled in the imperialist project. The influence of colonialism on works set in the distant lands is evident and has been described by many critics. However this impact is not restricted to so-called colonial novels. The nineteenth century's dominant genre of domestic fiction and in particular the so called countryside literature is also implicitly informed by colonial-racist ideology. Though these novels focus on domestic British society located in an isolated rural idyll, Britain's overseas possessions frequently play an important role as distant references. Colonialism thus provides an expanded matrix even to the representation of rural life. At the same time, the implicit presence in these novels of ideas such as the savage nature of natives and the white man's burden also involves these texts in the dissemination of racial and colonial ideologies.
Drawing on postcolonial theory, we will critically reflect upon selected works of writers such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot. The course explores the greening of the nineteenth-century British novel within the cultural and historical context of colonialism. Our readings will focus on connections between the colonial endeavor overseas and the narratives of domestic order.
Of particular concern will be how the imperial possession and organization of foreign land enter the imaginative economy of countryside literature and how these fictional representations of the rural in turn help to shape new concepts of a home culture that assumes the experience of empire.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to participate actively and to give an oral presentation in class. For accreditation, a term paper (3.000 words, MLA-style) is required.
Participation in the preliminary meeting on 22.07.2009, at 19:00 (s.t.) in room H20 is obligatory.
Please sign up for this meeting (see notice board).
Introductory texts must be read before the beginning of the semester.
First class meeting: 13.10.2009

Introductory Reading:

  • Said, Edward W.  Culture and Imperialism.  New York: Vintage, 1994 (Introduction and Chapter Two, II)
  • Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. New York: Oxford UP, 2006 (Introduction)

ERASMUS-STUDENTS only: ECTS: 3 credits / with paper, presentation 5 credits


Dr. Christine Vogt-William

Nature and Gender in Postcolonial Fiction

No.: 096319 | Bachelorseminar | 2 SWS | Blockveranstaltung (18.01.-06.02.2010) | Rm. 032

There will be a mandatory preliminary meeting on Thursday, 22 October 2009, 16-18 hrs in room 032.

Food in Diaspora

No.: 096323 | Hauptseminar | Blockveranstaltung (18.01.-06.02.2010) | Rm. 401

There will be a mandatory preliminary meeting on Friday, 23 October 2009, 16-18 hrs in room 401.

Writing Workshop

No.: 096290 | Übung | Blockveranstaltung (18.01-06.02.2010) | Rm. SAC

There will be a mandatory preliminary meeting on Monday, 19 October 2009, 16-18 hrs in room SAC.

South Asian Women's Autobiographical Writing

No.: 096304 | Übung | Blockveranstaltung (18.01.-06.02.2010) | Rm. SAC

There will be a mandatory preliminary meeting on Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 16-18 hrs in room SAC.


Dr. des. Eva Bischoff

Introduction to postcolonial theory

No.: 094942 | Übung (zur Vorlesung "Postcolonial Literatures") | 2 SWS | Mon 14-16 | Rm. 401

Postcolonial theory is a school of thought that was initiated by (mostly but not exclusively expatriate) ‘Third World’ scholars, struggling with the analysis of a globalised world in which the consequences of historical colonialism are still very present. As such, it engages with problems which are not only of great epistemological interest, such as the construction of identity, but also with current political questions, such as the nature of a multicultural society or the condition of our neo- or postimperial world. However, its terminology often renders postcolonial theory inaccessible for interested readers or students. Moreover, as Robert Young stated in his recently published introduction into the field, postcolonial theory is a “collective work”. Far from being a homogenous set of rules, it “comprises instead a related set of perspectives, which are juxtaposed against one another, on occasion contradictorily.”

In this class, we will reconstruct this heterogeneous set of perspectives, discuss its central concepts (such as “subaltern”, “mimicry”, or “Orientalism”), and we will reconstruct their theoretical background in Marxism, psychoanalysis, or discourse analysis. Instead of relying on a single introduction or handbook, we will read a number of selected texts or clippings from books, which had a lasting effect on the development of postcolonial theory, for instance Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the subaltern speak?” or Homi K. Bhabha’s Location of culture. It is the aim of this class to provide you with a basic understanding of the key tools and concepts of postcolonial theory, which has become an integral part not only of literary studies but also of an interdisciplinary scholarly debate on the effects of globalisation and (neo)colonialism.

Set texts will be made available on the e-learning platform “Learnweb” ( as all other material, i.e. a list with recommendations for additional (optional) reading for this class.

First meeting: 2 November 2009

Introductionary Reading:

  • Ashcroft, Bill/ Griffiths, Gareth/ Tiffin, Helen. Post-colonial studies. The key concepts, 2. ed. London: Routledge 2009.
  • Loomba, Ania. Colonialism, postcolonialism, 2. ed. London: Routledge 2005.
  • Young, Robert. Postcolonialism. A very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford UP 2007.


No.: 094851 | Übung (zur Vorlesung "Postcolonial Literatures") | 2 SWS | Mon 16-18 | Rm. 104

Cosmopolitanism is commonly known as “the idea that all of humanity belongs to a single community possibly based on a shared morality”, or at least this is the definition given in the popular online encyclopaedia “wikipedia”. Yet, what seems to be a forthright and simple concept carries a significant historical, political and philosophical weight with it. It raises questions such as: What is the nature of moral values? Where did the idea of cosmopolitanism originate from? Can we observe it in social or cultural practice? How to translate it into a political agenda? Critics say, considering the ongoing debates on the difficulties to establish a multicultural society in any European nation state, that there are no common values to build upon and refer to an allegedly inevitable “clash of civilizations”. Others claim that cosmopolitanism is a relict from colonial discourse and European Enlightenment, relying on the exclusion of non-Europeans from the concept of humanity in the first place. In contrast to all these objections the philosopher Anthony Appiah has made a compelling argument to reconsider cosmopolitanism and its potential as a political and philosophical tool to conceptualise a postcolonial world.In this class, we will pick up the questions mentioned above, retrace Appiah’s arguments and those raised by the sceptics. We will also contrast his notion of “cosmopolitanism” with concepts of other contemporary thinkers, such as the idea of “conviviality”, which has been argued for by the sociologist Paul Gilroy.

First meeting: 2 November 2009

All students should be provided with a copy of:

  • Gilroy, Paul. After empire. Melancholia or convivial culture? Abingdon: Routledge 2004.
  • Appiah, Anthony. Cosmopolitanism. Ethics in a world of strangers, New York: Norton 2007.

Additional texts will be made available on the e-learning platform “Learnweb” ( as all other material, i.e. a list with recommendations for additional (optional) reading for this class.

The empire on which the sun never set? History and historiography of the British empire

No.: 096137 | BA-Seminar | 2 SWS | Tue 8-10 | Rm. 104

“The trouble with the English is that their hiss- hiss- history happened overseas, so they do- do- don't know what it means.” Although put rather bluntly and possibly exaggerated, Whiskey Sisodia’s statement in Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses contains a grain of truth. British history and culture are indeed deeply intertwined with the nation’s colonial endeavours. Thus, the history of the British empire, the practices to commemorate it, and the scholarly debates about its impact on British society as a whole form an important background for English literary and cultural studies.This seminar provides an introduction to the history and the historiography of the British empire from its beginnings in the Elizabethan Age to its dismantlement after World War Two. We will focus on topics such as: the role of Ireland as a testing ground for the colonial project, slavery and emancipation, the British rule in India and the influence of “Orientalism”, decolonisation and British postcolonial immigration society. Also, we will reconstruct in which ways categories such as race and gender were instrumental for imperial rule and the construction of (post)colonial identities.Apart from discussing research literature we will also analyse historical sources, literary, visual, and cinematic material. Set texts and sources will be made available on the e-learning platform “Learnweb” ( as all other material, i.e. a list with recommendations for additional (optional) reading for this class.

First meeting: 3 November 2009   

Introductionary Reading:  

  • Howe, Stephen. Empire. A very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford UP 2002.·      
  • Lloyd, Trevor Owen. The British Empire 1558-1995. Short Oxford History of the Modern World, Oxford: Oxford UP 2008.·        
  • Webster, Anthony. The debate on the rise of the British empire, Manchester: Manchester UP 2006.

Postgraduate Research Skills

No.: 095943 | Übung (MA NTS "Transferable Skills" | 2 SWS | Tue 12-14 | Rm. SAC

Interdisciplinary research requires a number skills ranging from the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions to locating (and assessing the relevance of) research literature, or archival material. This class will focus on developing and refining these skills in order to enable students to pursue their own research projects. We will practice how to

  • retrieve scholarly information, using tools as diverse as the internet or databases such as the AHL or the MLA,
  • organise and evaluate the resulting quantities of material, using software such as “procite” or “citavi”,
  • design, formulate, and present research papers.

Moreover, we will discuss a selected number of central theoretical concepts of disciplines connected to questions of national and transnational studies, for instance anthropology or historiography. Students will familiarise themselves with ongoing scholarly debates within these fields by examining and compiling short profiles of renown scientific journals. There will also be room for individual questions concerning the student’s ongoing projects.

Set texts will be made available on the e-learning platform “Learnweb” ( as all other material, i.e. a list with recommendations for additional (optional) reading for this class.

First meeting: 3 November 2009.

Introductionary Reading:

  • Barry, Peter. Beginning theory. An introduction to literary and cultural theory. 3. ed. Manchester: Manchester UP 2009.
  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 7. ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America 2009.
  • Saukko, Paula. Doing research in cultural studies. An introduction to classical and new methodological approaches. London: Sage 2003.