Summer Term 2020

Below you will find all classes taught by staff members associated with the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies during the summer term 2019. 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


From Equiano to Evaristo
090591 | Lecture | Tues. 12-14 | JO 1

"Man Moses, you are still living in the Dark Ages! You don’t even know that we have created a Black Literature,
that it have writers who write some powerful books what making the whole world realize our existence and our struggle.”

(Sam Selvon, Moses Ascending, 1975: 43)

From the 1700s until today, black and Asian writers have created and published texts in the British Isles. They not only changed the face of English literature beyond recognition but, effectively, have become a key element in what we consider to be English literature today. Equiano and Evaristo, two black British writers of Nigerian descent, bookend this lecture course; not in order to mark a beginning and an ending of the literature in question, but to suggest (a) the historicity of this body of writing, (b) its essential diasporic connections to spaces elsewhere, and (c) the intertextual connections within and across black and Asian British writing. The lecture course, then, surveys this extensive and varied body of black and Asian British writing, introducing students to texts such as Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative (1789), Mary Prince’s History (1831), Mary Seacole’s Wonderful Adventures (1857), Cornelia Sorabji’s India Calling (1934), Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners (1956), Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1988), Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000), and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other (2019). These texts not only forge links across time and space, drawing upon and creating connections between Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the UK. Increasingly, the sense of a literary tradition and a cultural history emerges, with texts referring back to earlier writing; such dialogues will be observed in terms of form, thematics, and language. This lecture explores the cultural locations of these texts; it invites reflection on critical terminology such as ”black British” and ”British Asian”, situating cultural production in British, postcolonial, diasporic, transnational, and translocal contexts. For some sessions, reading samples or audio-visual material to be discussed in the lecture will be made available via learnweb.

Secondary reading can be found here: The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing (2020) which can be accessed online or in print via the ULB.
https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108164146

Transgenerational Memory
090746 | Seminar | Thu.10-12 | AE 209

The present is troubled by the past – and memory is the lynchpin. If memory is a fluid, dynamic, even unbound phenomenon, if it is a process rather than a reified object, then which are the ways in which it links past present and future? Transgenerational memory, passed on across the ages, and across cultures too, stands at the centre of this seminar. With the help of theoretical texts as well as fiction we will try to understand this phenomenon better. The seminar is a conversation about how the past has shaped the present and how the present may shape the future – and what the consequences and the potential of such a model are.

A reading list will be made available to participants.

© Meller Ehlert 'Divisve Constructions'

Hostile Terrains
090764 | Seminar | Tue. 16-18 | ES 226

Instructors:
Annika Reketat and Mark Stein

This project seminar investigates hostile terrain, the deathly strip of land that divides Mexico from the US – tackling questions of border regimes; contingent belonging; agency; art, activism, and remembrance. It is a project seminar because its work directly feeds into an ongoing art project, relying on considerable engagement and commitment from seminar participants. A participatory art installation, ‘Hostile Terrain 94’ is organized by the Undocumented Migration Project, a non-profit research-art-education-media collective. The exhibition is composed of c. 3,200 handwritten toe-tags, filled out by teams of volunteers, each representing a refugee who’s died trying to cross the Sonora Desert between the mid-1990s and 2019. These geolocated tags are mounted on a large map of the Sonora Desert, pinpointing the exact locations where remains were found. This summer, WWU Münster and the English Department are hosting this installation which will take place simultaneously at different institutions across the globe from May 2020. Seminar participants read and write about the history and legacy of border deaths and their memorialisation while reflecting on border regimes in North America, Europe, or elsewhere, as sites and sights of cultural crises.

Note that after FIVE sessions (14.4. to 12.5.2020), this seminar will be conducted as a Blockseminar.
Block #1: Friday, 15.5.
Block #2: Friday, 19.6.

Reading for the first sessions: t.b.c.

This project seminar directly feeds into an ongoing art project, relying on considerable engagement and commitment from seminar participants.

Students need to be prepared to support the art project "Hostile Terrain 84", hosted in Münster for two weeks this summer.

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II: Gruppe V
090638 | Lecture | Wed. 10-12 | ES 131

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies is a two-semester course: Part I of the course took place in the winter semester and covered seminal theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture.

In the summer semester, Part II of the course will focus on the practice of reading and interpreting literature. It will, in more detail, explain the ways in which theoretical, methodological, and historical considerations can be usefully applied to reading literature and other media, like film. Using examples from a variety of primary texts, it introduces analytical tools and interpretive approaches such as genre theory, narratology, and film analysis. Reading American, British, and postcolonial texts and building on the knowledge acquired in the winter term, students learn how to combine specific critical and theoretical perspectives with detailed exploration of three set texts.

Participants need to have attended Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies I.

Required reading for all students

Please get a copy of the following texts and read them before the beginning of the term:

  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2006). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series. Or
  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet: Revised Edition. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series.
  • Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. (New York: W.W. Norton 2002).
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions. (Banbury: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, Ltd., 2004).

Students must have read all three texts by the beginning of the summer semester. It is essential that students obtain a copy of Hamlet published in the Arden Shakespeare series, and a 'Norton Critical Edition' of Leaves of Grass.

Postgraduate Class - Research Module II (Literary Studies)
090747 | Colloquium | Wed. 08-10 | ES 2

Kolloquium "Postcolonial, Transnational and Transcultural Studies"
090758 | Oberseminar | t.b.a. | t.b.a.

Date and room for this seminar will be discussed and settled at a later point in time.

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AOR Dr. habil. Markus Schmitz


Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II: Groups VIII & IX

Group VIII | 090641 | Lecture | Tues. 16-18 | ES 131

Group IX | 090642 | Lecture | Wed. 18-20 | ES 131

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies is a two-semester course: Part I of the course took place in the winter semester and covered seminal theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture.

In the summer semester, Part II of the course will focus on the practice of reading and interpreting literature. It will, in more detail, explain the ways in which theoretical, methodological, and historical considerations can be usefully applied to reading literature and other media, like film. Using examples from a variety of primary texts, it introduces analytical tools and interpretive approaches such as genre theory, narratology, and film analysis. Reading American, British, and postcolonial texts and building on the knowledge acquired in the winter term, students learn how to combine specific critical and theoretical perspectives with detailed exploration of three set texts.

Participants need to have attended Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies I.

Required reading for all students

Please get a copy of the following texts and read them before the beginning of the term:

  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2006). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series. Or
  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet: Revised Edition. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series.
  • Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. (New York: W.W. Norton 2002).
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions. (Banbury: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, Ltd., 2004).

Students must have read all three texts by the beginning of the summer semester. It is essential that students obtain a copy of Hamlet published in the Arden Shakespeare series, and a 'Norton Critical Edition' of Leaves of Grass.

Angel/s of History: Benjamin and Literary Hauntologies of the 20th and 21st Centuries

090722 | Seminar | Wed. 12-14 | ES 131

In 1940, shortly before the deadly end of his escape from Nazi persecution, the German-Jewish critic Walter Benjamin devoted the ninth of his “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (“Über den Begriff der Geschichte”) to a meditation on Paul Klee’s 1920 painting Angelus Novus. In Benjamin’s vision, Klee’s image represents the Angel of History, sucked into the future by the storm of progress, his face looking back to the catastrophic past. The posthumously published fragment not only has a troubled exegetical history, but also inspired numerous creative works.

This course, rather than searching Benjamin’s critical corpus for ciphers to decode the fragments’ philosophical meanings, focuses on the complex literary afterlife of the Angel of History. Drawing on works by such diverse writers as Anna Seghers, Bruno Arpaia, W. G. Sebald, Kazuo Ishiguro or Rabih Alameddine it stresses the particular capacity of what with Jacque Derrida might be coined literary hauntologies to bring the past into an dialogue with our uncanny present.

The writings to be read, presented, and discussed in class re-imagine a here-and-now as it presents itself unexpectedly, in moments of danger. Narrating emergency situations as they flash up in (post-)traumatic memories these writings intentionally explode the continuum of history. Instead, they articulate a ghostly state of temporal disjointedness in which human presence is always-already haunted by the events of the past and so-called states of exception cease to be exceptions (cf. Giorgio Agamben).

Class participants are invited to explore the post-Beniaminian aesthetics of counter-memory and secular redemption in selected literary angelologies of the 20th and 21st Centuries and to discover these works’ power to question dominant narratives of linear historical progress which disavow the experience of the oppressed.

Required reading for all students

Students must have read the following texts before our first in-class meeting:

  • Benjamin, Walter. "Theses on the Philosophy of History," Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), pp. 255-266. [new translation by Dennis Redmond as "On the Concept of History" from Walter Benjamin. Gesammelte Schriften I:2. Suhrkamp Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, 1974. Online]
  • Richter Gerhard. "Introduction: Benjamin’s Ghosts," Benjamin’s Ghosts: Interventions in Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory. Ed. Gerhard Richter (Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2002), pp. 1-19.


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Felipe Espinoza Garrido


Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II: Gruppe IV
090637 | Lecture | Mon. 14-16 | ES 131

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies is a two-semester course: Part I of the course took place in the winter semester and covered seminal theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture.

In the summer semester, Part II of the course will focus on the practice of reading and interpreting literature. It will, in more detail, explain the ways in which theoretical, methodological, and historical considerations can be usefully applied to reading literature and other media, like film. Using examples from a variety of primary texts, it introduces analytical tools and interpretive approaches such as genre theory, narratology, and film analysis. Reading American, British, and postcolonial texts and building on the knowledge acquired in the winter term, students learn how to combine specific critical and theoretical perspectives with detailed exploration of three set texts.

Participants need to have attended Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies I.

Required reading for all students

Please get a copy of the following texts and read them before the beginning of the term:

  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2006). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series. Or
  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet: Revised Edition. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series.
  • Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. (New York: W.W. Norton 2002).
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions. (Banbury: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, Ltd., 2004).

Students must have read all three texts by the beginning of the summer semester. It is essential that students obtain a copy of Hamlet published in the Arden Shakespeare series, and a 'Norton Critical Edition' of Leaves of Grass.

Undergraduate Research Class II
090691 | Seminar | Mon. 12-14 | ES 3

In this class, students will be able to further develop their BA projects, based on feedback by their peers and the lecturer. Possible foci may include methodology, scope, corpus, but also individual close-readings and/or media analyses. Students will present their BA projects (30 minutes) and hand in a written assignment outlining the project (2,500 word), which comprise 100% of their module grade.

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Deborah Nyangulu


Hashtag Activism and Shifting Public Spheres
090733 | Seminar | Thu. 10-12 | ES 226

The public sphere is understood as a realm of our social life where public opinion can be formed (Habermas 1964) and this MA-level seminar explores how hashtag activism is shaping the public sphere and political participation. Has the proliferation of the digital opened up democratic spaces or is the idea of public sphere still fraught with questions of access, algorithmic bias, state and corporate control, censorship, and unequal power relations? Some examples of hashtag activism to be explored in this class include movements such as #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, #GandhiMustFall and #FridaysForFuture. Students are encouraged to suggest hashtag-powered-movements emerging from different parts of the world that they would like to examine as part of this seminar. Please read the texts indicated below before the first day of class.

  • Fraser, Nancy. Rethinking the Public Sphere. (1990).
  • Fuchs, Christian. Social Media and the Public Sphere. (2014).
  • Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity Press. (1989).
  • Peters, Benjamin. Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture. Princeton: Princeton UP. (2016).

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II: Gruppe II, VI & VII
090635 | Lecture | Tue. 10-12 | ES 227
090639 | Lecture | Tue. 12-14 | ES 131
090640 | Lecture | Tue. 14-16 | ES 131

Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies is a two-semester course: Part I of the course took place in the winter semester and covered seminal theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture.

In the summer semester, Part II of the course will focus on the practice of reading and interpreting literature. It will, in more detail, explain the ways in which theoretical, methodological, and historical considerations can be usefully applied to reading literature and other media, like film. Using examples from a variety of primary texts, it introduces analytical tools and interpretive approaches such as genre theory, narratology, and film analysis. Reading American, British, and postcolonial texts and building on the knowledge acquired in the winter term, students learn how to combine specific critical and theoretical perspectives with detailed exploration of three set texts.

Participants need to have attended Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies I.

Required reading for all students

Please get a copy of the following texts and read them before the beginning of the term:

  • William Shakespeare. Hamlet. Eds. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2006). The Arden Shakespeare Third Series.
  • Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. (New York: W.W. Norton 2002).
  • 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.

Postgraduate Class (Literary Studies)
090750 | Colloquium | Wed. 10-12 | AE 209

Research module II runs through the third and fourth semesters of the MA NTS curriculum. Students taking this part of research module II will build on knowledge, experience and skills gained in ”Research Module I” and in semester 3. Students will further develop specialised research interests, pursuing independent studies on one or several subjects of their choice which may/will lead to (and later complement) their Master theses. The colloquium is specifically designed as a space for presenting progress made on individual MA thesis projects with peers and the course instructor providing feedback. Students also receive guidance on how to plan for and write their MA theses in a timely manner. Information on research methodologies and theoretical frameworks, including career advice will also be provided depending on students' needs.

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Julian Wacker


Black British Sound Cultures: Music, Literature, Film
090650 | Seminar | Wed. 16-18 | ES 130

This seminar will introduce students to a variety of black (British) musical genres: calypso, dub, jungle, jazz, UK garage, grime, and UK drill. After historicizing and contextualizing the lineages that inform black British music, the seminar will branch out and not only critically engage with several musical genres and sound cultures but also pose questions as to how these musical forms find expression in literature and film respectively. Some of the guiding questions are: How did the musical genres evolve and did they potentially respond to specific socio-cultural and political circumstances? Are techniques used to produce these musical forms translated into the written and audiovisual languages of both literature and film, and if so, how? What about music video? In short: Can we identify some of the musical poetics in the other media? The primary readings will consist of three literary texts, which will be announced in due course. Selected theoretical conceptualizations from e.g. audiovisual studies, black studies, urban spatial studies, gender and queer studies, as well as anglophone literary and cultural studies will accompany our analyses.

Primary reading: t.b.a.

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