Winter Semester 22/23

Here are the classes taught by staff members of the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies during the winter semester 2022/23.

Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein
AR Felipe Espinoza Garrido
Can Çakır
Rita Maricocchi
Peri Sipahi


Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein

Writing from "Down Under": Indigenous, migrant, and post/colonial short stories
090755 | Seminar | Wed 08.30 - 10

Writing "Down Under": Indigenous, migrant, and post/colonial short stories 

As Stephen Torre has suggested, "the short story is both diagnostic and constitutive of trends in Australian literary creativity." He adds that the genre displays "a globalised literary imagination, with many of today's authors producing work for an international audience” (2009). In this seminar, we will first read up on concepts of and approaches to the short story genre; on Australian history; and then analyze a range of short stories from Australia by different authors: Indigenous, migrant, or post/colonial; cisgender or queer; urban or rural. The earliest story on the syllabus dates from the late nineteenth century, the latest one from this decade. Authors include Henry Lawson, Henry Handel Richardson, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Patrick White, Oodgeroo, Mena Abdullah, David Malouf, Frank Moorhouse, Gerald Mumane, Murray Bail, Peter Carey, Alexis Wright, Tim Winton, and more.

Participants are required to complete the set reading each week, participate in class discussion, and give an oral presentation or chair a session.

Postgraduate Class (Literary Studies)
090869 | Colloquium | Tue 08.30 - 10 (s.t.)

The Cosmopolitan Novel
090873 | Seminar | Tue 12 - 14

PTTS Colloquium
090889 | Advanced seminar


AR Felipe Espinoza Garrido

Nation, Nationalism, Transnationalism: Historical and Theoretical Foundations
090863 | Seminar | Wed 08.30 - 10 & Fri 10 - 12

This MA level seminar offers a transdisciplinary take on the study of nationhood, nationalism, and transnationalism and engages with various conceptualizations of these notions in both the humanities and the social sciences. Using Benedict Anderson’s influential idea of Imagined Communities as one of its departure points, the course takes seriously the idea of the social constructedness of the nation and tries to situate nations in their historical and geopolitical contexts. It questions how the nation came to be considered as culturally given and why it is regarded as the most potent unit of political organization and expressing sovereignty. In keeping in tune with this interrogation of how the idea of the nation and nationalism came to be, the seminar also engages with countervailing trends (such as transnationalism, globalization, and cosmopolitanism) which undercut the resilience of nationalism. The course also explores how related notions of gender, race, class, citizenship, imperialism, decolonization, and migration feature in the (de)construction and reproduction of nations. The main course aims include:

  • Placing contemporary theoretical debates into a wider historical context and considering earlier theorizations and discussions on the ‘origins’ of nations
  • Providing an overview of key theoretical approaches to nationalism and considering some of the main criticisms levelled against them in a comparative perspective
  • Considering how alternative forms of knowledge including ideas of decolonization challenge dominant Euro-American conceptualizations of nationhood and nationalism
  • Examining the ways in which cultural products such as novels, art, music, media, film, language, etc participate in both entrenching and undermining the idea of the nation, as well as transcending it. Students are particularly encouraged to engage with diverse forms of cultural artifacts such as fashion, gaming, sport, celebrity, media, TV to understand ideas of nation, nationalism and transnationalism.

Course readings will be made available in a course folder on Learnweb. A separate introductory reading list for independent study will also be made available. This is a reading-intensive course and students are encouraged to complete all their readings in readiness for class discussions. To pass this course, students will be expected to complete and pass a final exam.


Can Çakır

Practice: Übung Theory and Literature (Gruppe III) - Imagining Alternative Futures: Utopias and Dystopias
090764 | Practice | Thu 10 - 12


Rita Maricocchi

Black German Studies: German and US-American perspectives
090761 | Seminar | 04.11.22, 25.11.2022, 16.12.2022, 20.01.2023, 09 - 18

Michelle M. Wright advocates a conception of Blackness as multidimensional as opposed to one solely tied to the violence and injustice of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in an attempt to give voice to Black discourses of belonging outside of the Americas. Through a transnational approach we seek to highlight this complex exchange as it presents itself in Black German Studies in both theory and literature. In this seminar we explore ways in which linear narratives of Blackness are intertwined with, but also decoupled from, canonical theories from the United States, which then challenge and revise a singular, static conception of Blackness in the world. We will investigate the undeniable intertextualities between Black Studies and literature in the US and that of Germany; however, we place the focus of this seminar on Black German Studies as a mode of cultural expression in its own right. In considering artistic endeavors from various cultural backgrounds and countries of origin, this course will highlight the complexities and benefits of knowledge exchange in identity building inside hegemonic discourses. The transatlantic voices of the Diaspora as they shape the Black German context play an important role in understanding the complexities of the Black/African Diaspora in our current moment. This course therefore seeks to familiarize students with contemporary debates within and about identity and belonging in Black German Studies as well as the vast networks of knowledge and community building within the emerging discipline.

Please note: This course is being offered as a joint block seminar between the German and English departments. Readings will include German and English language texts and the course will be taught in a combination of German and English. Because this class will be taught in the block format, each session will require reading-intensive preparation.


Peri Sipahi

Imagining and Narrating Migration and Flight
090760 | Seminar | Tue 12-14