Summer term 2007

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

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein

African Literatures: An Introduction    

No.:  094232     Vorlesung         2 SWS         Tues. 14:00 - 16:00             AudiMax Englisches Seminar

This lecture course provides you with an introduction to a range of Anglophone literatures from Africa. It also includes historical surveys of the colonial and postcolonial periods. In order for students to better follow the lectures, some of the texts discussed will be made available in the course of the semester.

African Poetry

Nr.:  094911     Hauptseminar        2 SWS          Blockseminar                    room: 101 Englisches Seminar

In this course we will examine major works of Anglophone poetry from West, East and Southern Africa. There will also be some preliminary reading and discussions of the social and historical contexts of these texts. Students will form study groups in order to prepare their oral presentations. Reading of set texts and active participation are a prerequisite to gaining credit in this class. A reading list will be made available during the semester break.

After Empire: Multiculturalism and Cultural Theory

No.:  094926     Hauptseminar        2 SWS         Wedn. 10:00 - 12:00         room: H19 Englisches Seminar

Since the demise of its Empire, Britain has witnessed an increasing cultural diversity. This is partly due to migration from the former colonies to the former imperial centre. In this course we will read and discuss the cultural theory which seeks to describe this development and its consequences. Students will form study groups in order to prepare their oral presentations. Reading of set texts and active participation are a prerequisite to gaining credit in this class. A reading list will be made available during the semester break.

Betreuungseminar Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft (für Examenskandidaten)

No.:  095129     Kolloquium            2 SWS         Wedn. 18:00 - 20:00         room: 031 Englisches Seminar

Diese Veranstaltung richtet sich an Studierende, die derzeit schriftliche oder mündliche Examina absolvieren bzw. Abschlussarbeiten schreiben.

Postcolonial Studies

No.:  095368     Oberseminar          2 SWS         Wedn. 16:00 - 18:00

This seminar is a forum for reading and discussing new as well as by now classic texts from Postcolonial Studies. It is open to those with an interest in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies and related areas. Send an email if you are interested in participating, or just come to the first meeting on April 11.

Dr. Marga Munkelt

Übung zu 'Grundlagen der Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft'

No.:  094304     Übung                    2 SWS            Frid. 10:00 - 12:00            room: 032 Englisches Seminar

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.

Performing Shakespeare

No.:  094380     Proseminar             2 SWS            Thurs. 14:00 - 16:00          room: H 19 Englisches Seminar

The fact that each stage production offers only one of several possible interpretations of a play has sometimes been used to question the authenticity of theatrical transmission. This class, however, assumes the interdependence of playtext and performance and will focus on performance as a profitable critical approach to drama. One goal of the seminar is to explore the interpretative potential of enactment as opposed to a silent reading of a text, and we will do so by experiencing (most of) the steps essential to the staging of a play. Our sample play will be Shakespeare’s The First Part of King Henry the Fourth (1H4).

The class work will include practical as well as theoretical activities: on the one hand, we will study a sample play by rehearsal and attempt to develop performance concepts and acting strategies; on the other hand, we will examine the performance history and criticism of the same play against our own reading.

Text: Shakespeare, William. The First Part of King Henry the Fourth. Ed. Herbert Weil and Judith Weil. The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge: CUP, 1997.

Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundkurs II

No.:  094251     Grundkurs               2 SWS            Tues. 16:00 - 18:00           room: AudiMax 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 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).

Chicano Literature

No.:  095478     Hauptseminar          2 SWS            Thurs. 16:00 - 18:00         room: 101

In its original sense, the term Chicano/a designates those Americans whose roots are both Mexican and Native American (though often–if inaccurately--"Chicano/a", "Hispanic", "Latino/a", and "Mexican American" are used as synonyms). Since about the 1960s, as part of the various liberation movements in the USA, the Chicanos have been concerned with the contradiction between their American citizenship and their mestizo/a heritage. Thus, such typically Anglo-American oppositions as city and nature, reality and vision, science and miracle, history and myth or storytelling (etc.) are thematised in Chicano literature.

The seminar will be devoted to selected Chicano novels and short stories. We will focus on two Chicano authors belonging to different phases of Chicano writing, Rudolfo Anaya and Richard Rodriguez. Attempting to determine their contrasting approaches to the Chicano question, we will analyse two autobiographical works, Bless Me, Ultima (1972) by Anaya and Hunger of Memory (1981) by Rodriguez, and assess them in terms of their emotional, moral and intellectual stances as well as their narrative techniques. Several pieces of short fiction composed between the 1960s and 1990s will complete our survey of Chicano literature.

All participants in this seminar must have read Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya and Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez before the beginning of the semester: there will be a short test in the first class meeting.

  • Anaya, Rudolfo. Bless Me, Ultima (1972). New York: Warner Books, 1994 (ISBN 0-446-60025-3);
  • Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1981). New York (etc.): Bantam Books, 1983 (ISBN 0553272934);
  • Munkelt, Marga, ed. Mexican-American Short Stories. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2004 (ISBN: 3150091241).

Dr. des. Silke Stroh

Canadian women's writing: Margaret Laurence's Manawaka cycle

No.:  094433     Proseminar              2 SWS            Thurs. 14:00 - 16:00         room: 032 Englisches Seminar

Margaret Laurence (1926–1987) is often regarded as one of the foremost Canadian women writers. Her Manawaka cycle is a group of five books (four novels and one volume of short stories), all set in the fictional small town of Manawaka in the Canadian prairies. The cycle covers the history of this place from the late 19th century to the 1970s. Each book has a different protagonist: all protagonists are women (most of whom know each other), but they are of different classes, generations, ages and life situations – one of them was born in the 19th century, is 90 years old and suffers from dementia; another one is a twelve-year-old girl; the third one is a middle-aged teacher who is frustrated by spinsterhood and envies her married sister; the fourth one is that married sister (who has family problems and sometimes in turn envies her unmarried sister); and the fifth one is a writer who moves about between various parts of Canada and the UK and has a (socially often unaccepted) relationship with a Métis (a man of mixed French and Native Canadian ancestry).
This multiperspectivity, and the wide time frame of the cycle, provide interesting perspectives on subjectivity, different attitudes to gender roles, as well as on the history of these women’s social community, the history of Canada, social class relations, and constructions of ethnic and national identity in colonial and postcolonial North America.
Since you will have to do a lot of reading for this class, please start reading the books (in the order given above) during the term holidays! You should have read at least The Stone Angel by week 2!!
Students should equip themselves with the following books:

  • The Stone Angel (preferred edition: Virago)
  • A Bird in the House (preferred edition: Phoenix / Univ. of Chicago Press)
  • A Jest of God (preferred edition: Phoenix / Univ. of Chicago Press)
  • The Fire-Dwellers (preferred edition: Phoenix / Univ. of Chicago Press)
  • The Diviners (preferred edition: Phoenix / Univ. of Chicago Press)

Additional texts (secondary sources) will be made available at the start of term.

What does it take to (un)make a nation? Readings in theory and literature

No.:  094376     Proseminar              2 SWS            Tues. 10:00 - 12:00         room: 031 Englisches Seminar

The idea of nationhood as a cultural, linguistic and intellectual community, and the political embodiment of nationhood in nation states, are arguably one of the most prominent features of modernity. The emergence of these concepts is commonly associated with 18-century events and developments in Europe and North America, e.g. the French and American Revolutions, the rise of newspapers (as nationwide media helping to equip the public with a shared mental space and com¬mon frameworks of reference), literary Romanticism etc. The idea of national culture and ‘national character’ has also played a part in the development of educational canons (e.g. literary ‘classics’ who are supposed to ‘embody’ the essence of national character, or illustrate important phases in the nation’s history). Nationhood has also played a crucial part in 19th- and 20th-century western politics.
The non-western world has also had its own take on the subject: partly introduced through European colonial educational and value systems, the idea of nationhood and nation states was appropriated, ‘indigenised’ and developed further by anti-colonial movements and post-colonial non-western states. However, this has also been criticised, e.g. by ‘nativists’ rejecting the adoption of ‘foreign’ western political ideas, as well as by people disillusioned with the corruptness of post-colonial third-world regimes that use nationalist/patriotic rhetoric merely as a sham cover-up of their ‘selfish’ and undemocratic doings, or by intra-national minorities who feel that they are not appropriately represented in the national mainstream’s cultural self-image, economy or politics. All these issues are important features in anticolonial and postcolonial literature and culture.
Recently, concepts of nationhood and nation states have also been increasingly challenged in the west itself, for instance with regard to increased supra-national cooperation on EU or UN level, as well as economic globalisation, on the one hand; while on the other hand many sub-national movements aim for greater regional autonomy. Again, these developments are also significantly reflected in (and in turn influenced by) the cultural and literary scene.
This course will explore the treatment of these issues in various theoretical and literary texts from both western and non-western contexts.

Dr. des. Markus Schmitz

No courses this semester.