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English Literature(s)
Current Courses

Current Courses

Courses - Summer Term 2020

Prof. Dr. Cecile Sandten

 
Seminar
SCHLINGEL: International Film Festival 
Fri., 09:30 - 11:00
2/W059

Content

Storytelling is an ancient form of entertainment and education – from the epics by the Greek poet Homer, the medieval sagas of gods and heroes to orally transmitted folk tales in a broad range of countries. For more than 100 years cinema has been the continuation of this tradition – on celluloid. Therefore, an educational programme for children and young adults does not only include the studying of texts, but also films. Since 1996, the International Film Festival "Schlingel" has provided a great forum for this task. It offers young viewers the opportunity to watch films that would otherwise be unknown in German cinemas. The films, whose heroes are primarily children and young adults, tell exciting stories and convey profound messages that are both universal, and conversely, culturally specific. More than 150 short and feature films from a broad range of countries will be screened during this year’s festival week (10 – 17 October 2020). In addition, international guests (e.g. film directors, young actors) as well as international juries will be present throughout the festival.

Objectives

Since the Chair of English Literatures entered into a cooperation with the "Schlingel" film festival students of this seminar are encouraged to participate actively in support of the festival also at times outside the regular teaching period. Students will first be provided with theoretical texts as well as hands-on material with regard to film analysis techniques that will help deepen their understanding of films and support them in the creation of educational material for children. Secondly, participants will learn specific presentation, voice-over, interview and/or other techniques that are required for the active participation in the film festival.

Prerequisites

In order to participate in this seminar, SELAEn4 students need to have completed the lecture course "Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English" successfully; BA_AA_6 students need to have completed the modules 2.3 and 2.4 English Literatures, successfully.

Requirements for credits

Active participation in every session of the class is expected. Apart from presentations as part of partner or group work (Referat, PVL) students will have to translate film subtitles from English into German and create teaching materials for selected films (Hausarbeit, PL). The module 5.2 for the BA_AA_6-students will be completed with an oral exam of 30 minutes (one topic from this seminar and one topic from the research colloquium).

Set texts

A reader with seminal material will be available at the Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55) at the beginning of the semester.

 
Seminar
Irish Poetry: William Butler Yeats
Tue., 09:15 - 10:45
2/W021

Content:

In much of his writings, William Butler Yeats emphasises the implicit agenda of both romantic and modernist poetry. Thus, his poetry is rooted in a newly conceived sense of tradition. Its aim is beauty and pleasure; it draws its language and thematic concerns from ordinary working men and women as well as the Irish tradition, art and work-life; and its intention is no less than to transform human consciousness.

Objectives

Students in this seminar will study the poetry of W.B. Yeats in the context of Romanticism,

Modernism and the Irish Renaissance, the latter of which was closely allied with a strong political nationalism and a revival of interest in Ireland’s Gaelic literary heritage. Studying Yeats’s work, the focus will be on the poetry collection The Poems. On the basis of a close engagement with the poems of W.B. Yeats and lively discussions of his life and work, students will furthermore be encouraged to write their own texts and become acquainted with techniques of creative writing.

Prerequisites

In order to participate, students of English and American Studies need to have completed the modules 2.3 and 2.4 English Literatures successfully.

Requirements for credits

Active and regular participation is required. The format of this seminar consists of a close reading of primary as well as secondary texts, discussions and oral presentations. In addition, this seminar will also include creative writing exercises, and contributions in and out of class. Each student will present an oral report (approx. 15 minutes), chair a session or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL). The module 5.2 will be completed with an oral exam of 30 minutes (one topic from this seminar and one topic from the research colloquium).

Required book (without book no participation!)

Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems. Ed. Richard J. Finneran. London: Wordsworth Editions, 2000. (5,50€)

A reader with seminal material will be available at the Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55) at the beginning of the semester.

 
Seminar
Reading Refugee Tales
Wed., 09:15 - 10:45
2/W021

Content

Refugee Tales, edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus, convey a critique of the inhuman side of asylum seeking, refugeeism and indefinite detention, including the aesthetic terms. The critical tone of the tales’ voices, told either by well-known writers after their interviews and conversations with refugees, detainees and asylees, or by the refugees and detainees themselves, is even more remarkable in the context in which they have been written: the tales go against the grain of the dominant discourse of flight, refugeeism and asylum seeking, as they employ a form of telling, walking and writing back to a centre that has ruthlessly enforced its boundaries. Thus, the tales enact a means of political intervention against the inhuman and unjust practice of indefinite detention in Great Britain.

Objectives

Since the Refugee Tales project was inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in this seminar, students will first read a few tales from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to get engaged in the stories ideas: story-telling, pilgrimage, kaleidoscopic view on society. In a second step they will embark on the three collections of Refugee Tales and read selected tales. Accordingly, students will address issues such as transnational migration, mobility, and the pre-flight and flight experiences of asylum seekers, detainees and refugees. In doing so, they will explore in which ways the experiences of adults and (un)accompanied minors – including a range of traumatic situations in their country of origin, the death or persecution of family members, war, forced recruitment and personal persecution – are depicted in these textual narratives. In addition to the close readings of texts, students will gain insights into various theories on citizenship, legal issues, and social and political approaches to asylum, refugeeism, as well as indefinite detention. Furthermore, they will

learn the conceptual distinctions between literary genres such as the short story, life-writing and epic poem.

Requirements for credits

Active participation in every session of the class is expected. A presentation or partner or group presentation of 20 minutes (PVL), as well as a final term paper (15-20 pages) are required for the module exam.

Set texts

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales. Transl. into modern English by Nevill Coghill. London: Penguin 2003.

Herd, David and Anna Pincus. Eds. Refugee Tales. Manchester: Comma Press, 2016.

Herd, David and Anna Pincus. Eds. Refugee Tales II. Manchester: Comma Press, 2017.

Herd, David and Anna Pincus. Eds. Refugee Tales III. Manchester: Comma Press, 2019.

A reader with seminal material will be available at Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55) at the beginning of the semester.

 
Colloquium
Examenskolloquium/Research Colloquium
Wed., 11:30 - 13:00
2/RH39/233

Content

The Research Colloquium is open to students who are preparing for their final oral and written exams. It is intended to give students a platform to present their projects and to raise questions and/or difficulties they may be facing at an early stage of their research. Further, students are encouraged to engage in critical discussions, and gain feedback from their peers concerning their research projects. We will also discuss a wide range of general topics and individual topics required for final exams.

Requirements for credits

The format of this seminar consists of a close reading of texts, discussions and thesis

presentations. Each student will present an oral report (approx. 15 minutes) (PVL). The module 5.2 will be completed with an oral exam of 30 minutes (one topic from this research colloquium and one topic from the seminar).

Set texts

A reader with seminal material will be available at Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55) at the beginning of the semester.

 

Dr. Eike Kronshage

Seminar
Theories and Methods
Tue., 17:15-18:45
2/W038

Content

This course provides an accessible introduction to the theories and methods in literary studies and its four pillars: author, text, reader, and context. We will engage in critical investigations of five influential theoretical approaches in our field: Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Gender and Queer Theory, New Criticism and Formalism, and Postcolonial Studies. For each of these five areas, there will be a discussion of a seminal theoretical text in the first week, followed by a hands-on session in the second week, in which we will use the theoretical/methodological framework to analyse a given literary text (a poem or a short story). In addition, the seminar will provide students with useful tools and methods to analyse literary text (literary semantics, semiotics, rhetoric, corpus analysis, narratology and many others). N.B.: High reading load!

Objectives

Like all scientists, scholars of literature need methods in order to engage with their objects of study (i.e. literary texts). The methods and theories presented in this seminar will enable students to study literature from different perspectives and with greater precision than before. In other words, we will put the “Wissenschaft” into “Literaturwissenschaft”.

Prerequisites

Successful completion of the lecture Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English

You are required to carefully study alternately a complex theoretical text and a short literary text (a poem, a collection of poems, a short story) from week to week, which results in a high reading load.

Requirements for credits

In the weeks before face-to-face lectures (April), students will receive weekly tasks via email. Afterwards, active participation in every session of the class is expected (there will be regular inclass reading tests).

PVL: Oral presentation (20 minutes) (see Studienordnung, p. 1349) or similar form of presentation. Students also must pass all in-class reading tests.

PL: Term paper (10-12 pages) (see Studienordnung, p. 1349).

Set texts

A reader with seminal material will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

Tutorial

The seminar will be accompanied by a weekly tutorial. Time and venue will be announced at the first meeting.

Registration

Please register via email (eike.kronshage@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, semester, student ID and status (e.g. ERASMUS) by 1 April 2020.

 
Seminar
Ekphrastic Encounters
Tue. 15:30 - 17:00
2/W035

Content

Literary descriptions. Who doesn’t love them?! Semiotically, it is the translation of visual into verbal signs. In rhetorics, the verbal description of a visual work of art (a painting, a sculpture…) was a common exercise for the orator. The Latin word descriptio is still used in many modern languages. The Greek word for it was ekphrasis, containing both the word “phrase” which indicates the verbal

dimension, and the word “ek” or “ex” which points toward a transgression of that verbal dimension. In other words, it is language that wants to make the reader see. Thus, the ekphrasis can be understood as a place of an intermedial encounter between two distinct art forms. Sometimes, the encounter is more collaborative, literature and the visual arts (e.g. Horace’s ut pictura poiesis), sometimes, it is more agonistic, literature versus the visual arts (e.g. in Lessing’s Laokoon). We want to trace these forms of encounter from ancient Greece to our present day, by reading theory, (postcolonial) literature and visual works of art side by side. Therefore, the seminar addresses students who simply love literary descriptions… and those who really detest them (but want to learn how and why to appreciate them).

N.B.: The emphasis of this seminar is on literary theory and poetry analysis.

Objectives

The seminar serves a double purpose. On the one hand, it will provide students with an overview of world literature. On the other hand, it will provide them with useful tools for the analysis of an element that, according to Gérard Genette, pertains to all literary texts (“la narration, elle, ne peut exister sans description,” Figures II: 57).

Prerequisites

The seminar requires students to be willing to read both literature and theory from outside the British canon. We will be investigating (in translation) Greek, Roman, French, German, and Russian poetry and theory along with texts originally written in English (British, US-American, South African, and Indian poetry). Some of them will be from the heart of the English canon (Shakespeare, Woolf, Auden). Others will place a greater emphasis on ekphrasis in postcolonial literature. 

This is the “Postcolonial Theories and Literatures” seminar of Schwerpunktmodul 5.3. Ideally, students should have already completed the first seminar of the module “Reading the Canon and Beyond.”

Requirements for credits

In the weeks before face-to-face lectures (April), students will receive weekly tasks via email. Afterwards, active participation in every session of the class is expected (there will be regular inclass reading tests).

PVL: Oral presentation (25 minutes) (see Studienordnung, S. 1443) or similar form of presentation. Students also must pass all in-class reading tests.

PL: Term paper (15-20 pages) (see Studienordnung, S. 1443-1444).

Set texts

A reader with seminal material will be provided.

Registration

Please register via email (eike.kronshage@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, semester, student ID and status (e.g. ERASMUS) by 1 April 2020.

 

Dr. Mandy Beck

 
Seminar
Contemporary Nature Writing
Wed., 09:15-10:45
2/W066

Content

This course offers a survey of major writers and key issues in contemporary nature writing with a selection of different texts that range from poetry to prose, as well as from fictional to non-fictional accounts. Since there is a long tradition of nature writing in literature, the seminar will explore different notions and concepts of how nature and literature are intertwined (e.g. starting from the "sublime" in Romanticism and leading to the idea of "countermapping" in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries). Therefore, it will discuss a variety of authors who have essentially influenced the genre in the last couple of years, such as Roger Deakin, Robert McFarlane, Horatio Clare, Helen Mort, Nancy Campbell or Katherine Towers. Along with the reading of primary texts, the seminar will offer reflections on how environmental questions in literature can be approached from an ecocritical perspective and thus connect to current movements and activism (Ecofeminism, Eco-

Marxism, Deep Ecology). To enhance the textual engagement, a tour to an exhibition in the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, which also addresses environmental aspects, will be offered in addition.

Objectives

This course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the recent history of nature writing in the face of environmental issues through the analysis of different literary and theoretical texts. In addition, students are made aware of ideas represented in contemporary literature, such as how the writer's background, experience and the historical, geographical, socio-cultural conditions of his/her country of origin shape his/her literary understanding of nature.

Prerequisites

In order to participate, students of Anglistik/Amerikanistik need to have completed the lecture ntroduction to the Study of Literatures in English successfully (does not apply to visiting students).

Requirements for credits

In the weeks before in-class lectures (April), students will receive weekly tasks via email. Afterwards, the format of this seminar will require students to attend regularly, participate actively and prepare weekly readings. Each student will do an oral presentation (approx. 15 minutes) or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL) and write a substantial seminar paper (10-12 pages) (PL).

Set texts

Required reading material will be sent via email. Once face-to-face lectures resume, a reader with primary and secondary texts for readings in class will be available at Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55).

Registration

Please register via email (mandy.beck@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, study programme and semester by 1 April 2020.

 
Seminar
Sexual Stories
Thu., 11:30-13:00
2/W021

Content

Over the span of only one century, namely the twentieth century, conceptualisations of sexuality have been controversial and diverse. This fact indicates an inherent complexity of sexuality as well as a wide methodological range of how to approach it. Beginning with the case studies of the early sexologists and Freudian studies at the end of the nineteenth century, notions of sexual identities became more stabilised in the mid-twentieth century – where identity was labelled based on the choice of sexual objects. Yet with the general rise of an "anti-essentialist critique" (Hall 1996) of different conceptions, such as identity or subjectivity (e.g. Appiah 2005, Hall 1996, Jenkins 2008), and the increase of poststructuralist gender and queer studies in the 1990s, those sexual taxonomies and binaries (most importantly, heterosexuality vs. homosexuality or straight vs. queer) were questioned and deconstructed again. For this reason, the seminar seeks to explore the development of sexuality and its narrative expression in a variety of different texts by well-known writers, such as D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand), Christopher Isherwood, Emma Donoghue, Colm Tóibín (Ireland), or Sarah Hall. Apart from in-class discussions, a tour to the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz to a relevant exhibition in this context will be offered additionally.

Objectives

Students will learn about important writers and their depiction of different forms of sexuality

(heterosexuality, homosexuality, adultery, etc.) in the twentieth century. This is enhanced by readings from feminist theory, gender theory, and queer theory, which will provide students with a framework for understanding, conceptualising, analysing, and challenging notions such as sexuality, gender, and identity.

Prerequisites

In order to participate, students of Anglistik/Amerikanistik need to have completed the lecture Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English successfully (does not apply to visiting students).

Requirements for credits

In the weeks before in-class lectures (April), students will receive weekly tasks via email. Afterwards, the format of this seminar will require students to attend regularly, participate actively and prepare weekly readings. Each student will do an oral presentation (approx. 15 minutes) or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL) and write a substantial seminar paper (10-12 pages) (PL).

Set texts

Required reading material will be sent via email. Once face-to-face lectures resume, a reader with primary and secondary texts for readings in class will be available at Copyshop Dietze (Reichenhainer Str. 55).

Registration

Please register via email (mandy.beck@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, study programme and semester by 1 April 2020.