Summer Term 2018

Below you will find all classes taught by staff members associated with the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies during the summer term 2018. Additional courses will be added throughout the following weeks.

Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein
AOR Dr. habil. Markus Schmitz
Felipe Espinoza Garrido
Deborah Nyangulu
Julian Wacker

Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein

To be announced


AOR Dr. habil. Markus Schmitz

The Transnational Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations
092740 | Tue. 14-16 | ES 130 | 2 SWS

Although Anglophone Arab literatures and cultures have been in existence since the late 19th century and although the last two decades have seen a particular dramatic increase in publication, creating both new spaces for Anglophone Arab voices as well as new urgencies of expression, these very cultural expressions have only recently begun to be recognized as a research field in its own right.

This class starts from the premise that the narrative/performative strategies and cross-cultural meaning of Anglophone Arab representations (its particular aesthetics and ethics) can be fully grasped only in relational readings which transcend both analytical frameworks of national cultures, linguistic belongings and ethnic identity as well as the neatly fenced off geographical allocation of disciplinary cognizance and expertise. Going beyond the conventional focus on so-called ethnic literature from the post 9/11 era in Arab American studies and Arab British studies, the seminar offers a wide-ranging overview of 20th century Anglophone Arab representations produced across the world in various realms and genres of cultural production, including criticism, the performance arts and film. Using the first Arab novel written in English (Ameen Fares Rihani’s The Book of Khalid, 1911) as a constant narrative reference and metafictional vehicle, we will explore the historical transformation of literary and cultural practice in relation to the most important shifting social, political and legal contexts that have pushed Arab writers and artists to address an English speaking global audience. By doing so we will (trans-)locate these works within the larger nomenclatures of postcolonial, transnational, and relational diasporic criticism.

Confronting themselves with selected cultural articulations ranging from early 20th century Mahjar writings to recent artistic practices of transnational Palestinian resistance class participants are expected to question their learned surities regarding (self-)representation, cultural authenticity, cross-cultural translation or inter-subjectivity and to explore these works particular narrative-performative transgressivity of archival dissonance, their identitarian inconsistency and extra-moral interruption of intercultural truthfulness. Further issues to be addressed are cultural practices of counter-lying, representational inaccuracy, the invention of half-truth or risky truth, matters of act, strategic opacity, unreliability, and incoherence, faking, forging or counterfeiting.

Set text and introductory readings:
Students need to purchase a (photo-)copy of Ameen Rihani. The Book of Khalid (New York: Melville House, 2012, first 1911) and must have read the novel by the first in-class meeting

In addition the following introductory readings must be read before the beginning of the summer semester: 

Nouri Gana. The intellectual History and Contemporary Significance of The Arab Novel in English, Introduction of The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English: The Politics of Anglo Arab and Arab American Literature and Culture. Ed. Nouri Gana (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013): 1-35.

Waïl S. Hassan. The Rise of the Arab American Novel: Ameen Rihani’s The Book of Khalid, in The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English: The Politics of Anglo Arab and Arab American Literature and Culture. Ed. Nouri Gana (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013): 39-62.

Students are expected to give a short oral presentation and contribute regularly to discussions in class. For accreditation, a term paper (approx. 5.500 words, MLA-style) is required. Set novel and introductory texts must be read before the beginning of the semester.
First in-class meeting: 17.04.2018

NTS Postgraduate Class Literary and Cultural Studies – Research Module I
092761 | Wed. 14-16 | ES 226 | 2 SWS

This is the second postgraduate class of a two-semester research module for students of National & Transnational Studies. Designed to assist participants in independent studies that may lead to their final MA theses (setting-off a process of seriously committed research which can lead to such project) it is organized as a combination of in-class presentations and discussions. Students will receive feedback and advice, both thematic and organizational. In addition the lecturer offers individual supervision outside the classroom.
Providing a safe laboratory and collaborative forum for the critical reflection of provisional research conceptions and first results the postgraduate class aims at guiding NTS students through the often difficult process of finding a topic, conceptualizing the its exploration, and composing a first draft of an MA thesis exposé.  Participants are expected to present first project ideas, research questions, hypotheses, theoretical frameworks, methods, and preliminary results and to hand in an academic portfolio of approx. 6.500 words (including proposal, exposé or related essay).
Details on syllabus, scope and contents will be discussed during the first class meeting (students are asked to inform the lecturer on their individual project before the beginning of the semester).

First in-class meeting: 18.04.2018


Felipe Espinoza Garrido

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II: Gruppe IV
092652 | Thurs. 14-16 | ES 131 | 2 SWS

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies is a two-semester course concluding with a written exam at the end of the summer term. Part I of the course took place in the winter semester and covered both literary and non-literary cultural representations.

In the summer semester, part two of the course focuses on literature. It provides an overview of literary genres and discusses methods and tools for textual analysis and interpretation. Reading American, British, and postcolonial texts, students are introduced to the practice of literary and cultural studies. Building on the knowledge acquired in the winter term, they learn how to combine specific critical and theoretical perspectives with detailed exploration of three set texts.

Mandatory texts:

William Shakespeare. Hamlet. c. 1599. Ed. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. London: Arden, 2006. Print.

Walt Whitman. ”Leaves of Grass.” 1855. In: Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. New York: W.W. Norton 2002. Print.

Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions. Banbury: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, Ltd., 2004.

Students must have read all three texts by the beginning of the summer semester.
The listed editions of Hamlet and Leaves of Grass are strongly recommended, but others - including online editions - are acceptable as well


Deborah Nyangulu

Postgraduate Supplementary Seminar: Literary & Cultural Studies
092756 | Tue 10-12 | ES 226 | 2 SWS

 This seminar open to MA NTS students supplements the lectures Contemporary Anglophone Literature and #Black_Texts_Matter. In this seminar students follow up, debate, and discuss the main themes raised in the two lectures.

Academic Skills II, Group VIII (Joint class for groups VIII & VI)
092667 | Wed 8-10 | ES 131 | 2 SWS

This practical course is open to BA students. Students will analyse short stories and practice oral presentation skills as well as giving constructive feedback to their peers.

Academic Skills II, Group IX
092668 | Tue 8-10 | ES 226 | 2 SWS

This practical course is open to BA students. Students will analyse short stories and practice oral presentation skills as well as giving constructive feedback to their peers.


Julian Wacker

Griming the city: Young 'urban' culture and contemporary Black British writing
092675 | Mo. 14-16 | ES 130 | 2 SWS

This course will focus on British Grime music and explore its connections to other forms of Black British cultural production. Grime, which emerged from UK Garage, Jungle, and Dubstep in the early 2000s, has today come to describe ”the sound of a generation” (Boakye 2017). Through its raw language, break beats, and use of sampling techniques, Grime artists such as Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, and Stormzy are said to voice experiences of a young, largely disenfranchised generation hailing from Britain’s housing estates. While British mainstream culture is increasingly appropriating Grime as a cultural outlet, poets, writers, and filmmakers seem to find new artistic trajectories in this musical art form. Our seminar will thus explore the development of Grime as well as how contemporary poetry, fiction, and film interact with its culture. We will pay special attention to Grime’s distinct aesthetics and its portrayal of young Black imaginaries.

As mandatory texts, please read the following novels:

Evaristo, Bernardine. Hello Mum. Penguin, 2010.

Popoola, Olumide. When We Speak of Nothing. Cassava Republic Press, 2017.

Zaphaniah, Benjamin. Gangsta Rap. Bloomsbury, 2004.