Summer term 2006

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

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein

Caribbean Literature in English

No.:  094340     Vorlesung              2 SWS         Wedn. 12:00 - 14:00         room: F 1 Fürstenberghaus

This lecture provides a survey of the history of anglophone and anglocreole Caribbean literature. Poetry and prose are examined with respect to the history of colonialism, slavery, indenture and genocide, the experience of migration, diaspora, and racism as well as the processes of linguistic creolization, cultural syncretism, and transculturation. The lecture opens with early modern ideas of the New World and the 'colonial encounter' which are considered via the figures of Prospero, Caliban, and Robinson Crusoe. After touching on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writing, the lecture will centre upon twentieth-century literature. It will emerge that Caribbean literary and cultural identity are deeply affected by the history set in train by the arrival of the Europeans. Dominant paradigms of Caribbean literary criticism such as anti-colonialism, nationalism, and 'doubly-colonised' women are explored alongside more recent subjects and texts.

Four Caribbean Novels

No.:  094580     Proseminar            2 SWS         Wedn. 14:00 - 16:00          room: 032 Englisches Seminar

Beginning with Tom Redcam's Becka's Buckra Baby (1903), anglophone Caribbean novels have been written throughout the 20th century, gaining momentum from the late 1940s onwards. In this class we will read four seminal Caribbean novels and place emphasis on central features of Caribbean expression such as polyphony, the theme of displacement, intertextuality, and historiography.
The set texts are:

  • CLR James, Minty Alley (1936)
  • VS Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas (1961)
  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
  • Caryl Phillips, Cambridge (1991)

Hanif Kureishi: Novels, Short Stories, Essays, Films

No.:  094977     Hauptseminar        2 SWS         Blocktermine

This seminar focuses on the novelist, playwright, screenwriter and film-maker Hanif Kureishi (1954-) whose work has continually and in many ways engaged with social change and the evolution of a culturally diverse Britain. The seminar seeks to devise ways for analysing different aspects of Kureishi's work – formal properties such as the sustained use of irony, postethnic narration, or the bildungsroman genre as well as themes such as extremism, racism, migration, sexualities, and aging. We will read two of Kureishi's novels as well as several short stories, essays, and film scripts.
Before the first session in late April, make sure to finish reading The Buddha of Suburbia and The Black Album. A list of further reading will be posted on my notice board.

Dr. Marga Munkelt

G. B. Shaw: Selected Plays

No.:  094575     Proseminar            2 SWS         Wedn. 10:00 - 12:00          room: 401 Englisches Seminar

G. B. Shaw was a man of several identities–social critic, music and drama critic, essay writer, novelist and playwright. In his long life (1856-1950) he invited controversy and censorship but was nevertheless awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925–one of the few awards which he accepted.

The seminar will be concerned with the playwright Shaw. We will discuss four of his plays, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, and Pygmalion, and approach them in terms of their genres, subject matters and historical contexts. The discussion will focus on the coexistence in these plays of social criticism (outspoken or implied) and the quality of entertainment – with emphasis on the connection of language, tone and theatricality. We will explore the plays not only as printed texts but also touch on them as stage or film versions.


  • Shaw, George Bernard. Plays: Mrs Warren’s Profession, Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Major Barbara. Ed. Sandie Byrne. Norton Critical Edition. 2nd ed. New York and London: Norton, 2002 (ISBN 0-393-97753-6) and
  • Three Plays for Puritans: The Devil’s Disciple, Caesar and Cleopatra, Captain Brassbound’s Conversion. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. Penguin Classics. London: Penguin, 2001 (ISBN 0-14-043792-4).

Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundkurs II, Gruppe III

No.:  094374     Grundkurs              2 SWS         Tues. 10:00 - 12:00         room: 031 Englisches Seminar

Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundkurs II, Gruppe VI

No.:  094408     Grundkurs              2 SWS         Tues. 16:00 - 18:00         room: 031 Englisches Seminar

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 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, they will explore questions such as class, gender, race, authorship, canonicity, textuality and intertextuality, and they will address interactions between literature, politics, history and culture.

  • Peter Barry, Beginning Theory (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2002).
  • Richard Bradford, Introducing Literary Studies (London: Pearson Education, 1996).


Shakespeare: The Roman Plays

No.:  094518     Hauptseminar          2 SWS          Wedn. 16:00 - 18:00         room: 032 Englisches Seminar

The modern classification of Titus Andronicus (Tit.), Julius Caesar (JC), Antony and Cleopatra (Ant.), and Coriolanus (Cor.) as “Roman Plays” indicates that their Roman historical context sets them apart from the exclusively English “Histories” in Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623). In the First Folio’s arrangement of “Comedies,” “Histories,” and “Tragedies,” the four plays are subsumed within the tragedies.

The seminar will be concerned with the “Romanness” of Tit., JC, Ant., and Cor., as well as with their concepts of tragedy. In these plays, both aspects are, to varying degrees, embedded in the presentation of conflicts caused by cultural differences, on the one hand, and by the differing types of power associated with gender concepts, on the other (e.g., Roman civilisation vs. Gothic barbarity in Tit., Rome’s control of the world vs. Egypt’s surrender to love and pleasure in Ant., or principles of manhood and honour vs. ideals of humanity and patriotism in JC and Cor.). In addition to these thematic areas, we will touch on the editorial and critical receptions of the four plays as well as their stage histories–and also explore possible reasons for their vastly differing popularity. The two most popular plays, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra will be the focus of our attention.

Participants in this seminar are expected to read all four plays before the beginning of the semester. There will be a short test in the first class meeting on 05 April 2006.


  • Titus Andronicus, ed. Alan Hughes;
  • Julius Caesar, ed. Marvin Spevack;
  • Antony and Cleopatra, ed. David Bevington;
  • Coriolanus, ed. Lee Bliss (all in The New Cambridge Shakespeare, updated editions where available). If you have another modern critical edition of these or one of these plays, you are welcome to use it.

Dr. des. Silke Stroh

Introduction to Postcolonial Theory

No.:  094427     Proseminar              2 SWS            Wedn. 12:00 - 14:00         room: 401 Englisches Seminar

Course outline: Postcolonial literary and cultural theory is sometimes regarded (particularly among students) as a rather intimidating and arcane subject open only to a few initiated. Nonetheless, anybody trying to study modern African, Canadian, South Asian or ‘Black British’ literatures (to mention only a few) will soon find that even the (seemingly) more ‘easy’ and ‘down to earth’ types of secondary sources (e.g. those focusing mainly on ‘close reading’) constantly refer back to certain famous theorists, concepts and ‘buzzwords’. A basic knowledge of these theoretical reference points thus seems to be indispensable background information for the study of many different postcolonial literary and cultural phenomena. This course will provide a systematic introduction to most important postcolonial approaches, theorists and terminology; and will welcome both absolute ‘beginner’ and those who already have some experience with postcolonial studies. The course aims for an ‘easy access’ approach, trying to make theory less ‘intimidating’ and less ‘abstract’, and hoping to build confidence (and curiosity) for future dealings with these subjects.

We will use two textbooks: John McLeod’s Beginning Postcolonialism (Manchester UP 2001) and Laura Chrisman & Patrick Williams’s Colonial Discourse / Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (Columbia UP 1994).

(Post)colonial and transcultural moments in Scottish literature

No.:  094431     Proseminar               2 SWS             Wedn. 18:00 - 20:00         room: 031 Englisches Seminar

Course outline: The boom which postcolonial and transcultural studies have experienced in recent years has also led to a considerable 'inflation' of postcolonial and transcultural alignments, some of them in (at least at first sight) rather unlikely places, such as the 'Celtic fringes' of the British Isles, which often claim to have been victimised by English 'internal colonialism'. This course will offer a case study of the Scottish experience in this context, both within Britain and in its overseas diaspora. Issues discussed will include: textualisations of culture-contact; cultural hierarchies; social and discursive marginalisation (and resistance); relations between culture and politics and minority language issues. We will study selected aspects of Scottish/British/imperial history which have been cited as arguments for and against the 'postcolonial inclusion', as well as a wide variety of texts including poetry, short stories, travel writing, journalism, political propaganda, literary and cultural theory, and (in excerpts!) novels. While we will focus on the 18th to 21st centuries (and especially on the last few decades), there will also be brief 'excursions' into earlier periods, such as Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Authors studied include Tacitus, William Dunbar, Walter Scott, Hugh MacDiarmid, Neil M. Gunn, Alan Riach and Robert Crawford. All set texts will be made available in a reader when the course begins.

Dr. des. Markus Schmitz

No courses this semester.