Courses in winter term 2007/2008

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

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein

Prof. Dr. Mark Stein is currently on sabbatical.

Dr. Marga Munkelt

Ana Castillo, Selected Works

No.: 094422     Seminar          2 SWS      Thurs. 12:00 - 14:00       room: 031 Englisches Seminar

Ana Castillo is one of the best known current female Mexican-American authors and belongs to the second generation of the Chicano/a movement. Her work includes all literary genres but she is also an acknowledged literary scholar and critic, who, according to herself, “crosses boundaries of cultural criticism, social sciences and creative literature.” Castillo calls attention to the special case of the Chicanas as mestizas of various ethnic and cultural origins, on the one hand, and to their exposure to diverse types of machismo, on the other. In order to demonstrate the multicultural challenges and chances lived by both Chicanos and Chicanas, she experiments with a variety of narrative and linguistic techniques and combines, for example, traditional fairy-tale modes of narration with their postmodern fragmentation.

1. Required
Castillo, Ana. So Far From God: A Novel. Harmondsworth: Penguin/Plume Books, 1994 (ISBN: 0-452-27209-2);
Castillo, Ana. Loverboys: Stories. Harmondsworth/Plume Books, 1997 (ISBN: 0-452-27773-6).

2. Recommended
Castillo, Ana. My Father was a Toltec and Selected Poems 1973-1988. New York: Norton, 1995 (ISBN: 0-393-31354-9).

Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundkurs I : Gruppe I

Nr.:  094035     Grundkurs       2 SWS     Tues.   16 - 18    room: AudiMax Englisches Seminar

This introduction to literary and cultural studies will extend over two semesters and will be concluded with a written exam (Modulabschlussklausur) after the second semester (SS 2008).

The goal of Grundkurs I is to teach students how to look at, deal with, and talk about literature professionally. This goal involves that students recognise interconnections between literature and culture, learn about classifications of texts, and become familiar with the scholarly terminology appropriate for this discipline. Thus, in addition to presenting basic possibilities of defining *literature, *culture, *text, and *medium, the course will focus on the constituent and characteristic elements of literary genres and their forms of reception, the history and canonisation of literature, as well as ways of assessing the reliability and authenticity of printed texts. The theoretical introductions to these aspects will be supported and illustrated by examples from a variety of primary works (lyric and epic poems, narrative texts, and plays).

In order to stimulate and assist students' future independent literary and cultural studies, the course will acquaint the participants with relevant research tools (printed as well as electronic versions).

Texts (also to be used in Grundkurs II):

  • Meyer, Michael. English and American Literatures. 2. überarb. Aufl. Tübingen und Basel. Francke, 2005 (UTB Basics 2526).
  • Fabian, Bernhard. "Text und Textausgaben." Ein anglistischer Grundkurs: Einführung in die Literaturwissenschaft. Ed. Bernhard Fabian. 9. Aufl. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2004. 1-28 (Kapitel I).
  • Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights (jede beliebige Ausgabe).
  • Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night's Dream (jede beliebige Ausgabe).

Shakespeare, The Love Tragedies

Nr.:  094877     Hauptseminar  2 SWS      Thurs. 16 - 18    room: H19 Englisches Seminar

The seminar will be devoted to Romeo and Juliet (1595-6), Othello (1604) and Antony and Cleopatra (1606-7). These plays represent not only different phases of Shakespeare’s career, but also different views of tragedy, different settings and historical contexts as well as different types of love and lovers.

The course work will mainly draw on three theoretical approaches---concepts of tragedy, gender studies and postcolonial criticism---to analyse the plays’ concerns with love embedded in their frameworks of social and domestic problems, of cultural difference, and of political power. The discussion will also include aspects of genre and the conditions that have had an influence on performances of these plays on the stage and on screen.

Romeo and Juliet, ed. G. Blakemore Evans; Othello, ed. Norman Sanders; Antony and Cleopatra, ed. David Bevington (all part of the New Cambridge Shakespeare). But you are welcome to use any other modern critical edition if you already have one.

Dr. des. Silke Stroh

Asian British Culture on Film and TV

No.: 094331     Proseminar      2 SWS      Thurs. 14 - 16    room: H20 Englisches Seminar

Public images of Britain and ‘Britishness’ have become increasingly multicultural (or even transcultural) in recent years. The British South Asian community as one of the largest diasporic groups in the country has played an important role in this context; and diasporic communities and their culture have become increasingly visible and successful even in mainstream media and the mainstream market. Film and TV provide various examples of these developments. Apart from multiculturalism, transculturality, as well as (potential revisions of?) images of Britishness and its cultural ‘Others’(?), further interesting issues raised by these filmic images include stereotyping, racism and Orientalism; postcolonialism and hybridity; diasporic identities; gender; intertextuality; and the generation and function(s) of humour. This course will explore these and related issues through a selection of films and TV shows, including comedies as well as more serious representations, mainly focusing on the period since the 1990s.

Works to be discussed include Stephen Frears & Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Damien O’Donnell & Ayub Khan-Din’s East Is East (1999); Gurindher Chadha’s Bhaji on the Beach (1993), Bend it like Beckham (2002) and Bride and Prejudice (2004); Kenneth Glenaan & Simon Beaufoy’s Yasmin (2004); Ken Loach & Paul Laverty’s Ae Fond Kiss (2004); as well as TV comedy shows Goodness Gracious Me (1998) and The Kumars at No. 42 (2001–2006).

East African Literature: Ngugi wa Thiong'o

No.:  094437     Seminar          2 SWS     Tues. 10 - 12      room: 032 Englisches Seminar

The Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (born 1938) is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential voices in modern African literature. He is also an academic and language activist. Between the publication of his first novel in 1964 and his latest novel in 2006, Ngũgĩ has produced a huge oeuvre which not only comprises various novels, but also short stories, plays, children’s books, as well as literary and (often socialist) political essays. He has lived in Kenya, Uganda, England and the USA. As an outspoken critic of post-colonial Kenyan economics and politics, Ngugi spent a year as a political prisoner in the 1970s, and has lived in exile since the 1980s. While he first wrote mainly in English, since the 1980s his choice of primary literary medium has shifted to his native language, Gikuyu, with subsequent translation into English. We will explore a broad selection of his works in relation to their historical, cultural, political and literary context. Issues to be explored include colonialism, anti- and postcolonial nationalism, ethnicity, class, socialism, the global economy, language and gender.

Students should equip themselves with the following three novels (no preferred edition):

  • Ngugi, A Grain of Wheat (1st publ. 1967).
  • -----, Petals of Blood (1st publ. 1977).
  • -----, Wizard of the Crow (1st publ. 2006).


Dr. des. Markus Schmitz

No courses this semester.