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English Literature(s)
Current Courses

Current Courses

Courses - Winter Term 2020/21

Prof. Dr. Cecile Sandten

 
Lecture
History of Literatures in English: Reading the Canon
Wed., 09:15 - 10:45
BBB/OPAL

Content: 

Britain possesses a rich literary heritage. This lecture course will provide insights into the richness, diversity, and continuity of that tradition. The lecture will cover the canon of English literature from the Renaissance to the Romantic period. The various schools and the historical periods that represent English literature include: Renaissance and Reformation Literature 1510-1620; Revolution and Restoration Literature 1620-1690; Eighteenth-Century Literature 1690-1780; and the Literature of the Romantic Period 1780-1830. Shakespeare, a towering figure of the English literary pantheon, will take the centre-stage. In addition, the writings of other major literary figures such as Donne, Milton, Behn, Defoe, Blake or Wordsworth will remain central to the lecture course. 

Objectives: 

Students will learn the biographical details, and the socio-cultural contexts in which the literatures were produced. In addition, students will be able to articulate the genealogical roots of literature and literary figures between various historical periods, and their succession and continuity to present times. Excursions to a selection of museums will provide additional information on particular topics that the lecture course addresses. 

Prerequisites: 

None 

Requirements for credits: 

As part of the credit points, regular participation required. In addition, students are expected to read the assigned texts for the lecture course. For the successful completion of this course, students have to write one essay at the end of the teaching period or answer short questionnaires related to certain sessions of the lecture course (if on OPAL) (PL: BA_AA_3 and PVL: BA_AA_1). SELAEn5 students have to write three lecture minutes from three lectures of their choice (processing time: three weeks). 

Set texts: 

William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1605). Preferably Arden Edition 

William Shakespeare: The Tempest (1611). Preferably Arden Edition

Aphra Behn: Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave (1688) 

Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1719) 

Recommended reading: 

Poplawski, Paul (ed.) (2007): English Literature in Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 

In addition, a reader with seminal material will be provided at the beginning of the semester. 

Registration: Please register via email (heike.zenner@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, student ID, study programme, course title and semester by 1 October 2020.

 
Seminar
Fictions of the South African City 
Tue., 11:30 - 13:00
2/W035

Content: 

More than three decades after the end of Apartheid, Cape Town and Johannesburg still continue to be divided cities: by poverty and violence, as well as by race. There are the (mostly white) privileged gated neighbourhoods on the one hand, and the devastatingly poor, underprivileged (mostly black) areas on the other. Topics that have been discussed in scholarship on post-Apartheid Africa include that of the Rainbow nation, transculturality, xenophobia, and the discourse of HIV/AIDS. Moreover, today, ‘security’ is one of the buzzwords in the streets of these cities. In this seminar, we will explore the importance of these two South African metropolises as political and cultural centres and as social microcosms reflecting the state of South Africa’s transcultural society due to its colonial past and its postcolonial present. We will investigate the political, social, cultural and architectural history of Cape Town and Johannesburg through the cities’ written and visual representations (films, literary and critical texts, photographs, and paintings). If possible, an excursion to the smac, a city tour and other activities will round off our debates. 

Objectives: 

In an interdisciplinary and comparative mode, borrowing concepts from gender studies, arts, music, film, sociology, or urban studies, we will tackle some of the main issues of postcolonialism (diaspora, migration, dislocation, hybridity) and become familiar with aspects related to South Africa’s recent history. 

Prerequisites: 

Successful completion of module 2.3 (does not apply to Erasmus)

Requirements for credits: 

Apart from regular attendance, active participation will be expected. To successfully complete the course, students will have to give an oral presentation (15 minutes = PVL) or complete an alternative assignment and write a term paper of 12-15 pages; alternative assignment formats will be discussed during the course of the seminar. 

Set texts: 

Schonstein Pinnock, Patricia (2000): Skyline. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers. 

In addition, a reader with set texts and seminal material on post colonialism and the metropolis will be provided at the beginning of the semester. 

Registration: 

Please register via email to Heike Zenner (heike.zenner@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, student ID, study programme, course title and semester by 1 October 2020.

 
Seminar
Stefan Heym in/and Exile 
Tue., 09:15 - 10:45
BBB/OPAL

Content: 

This course attempts to introduce students to some of the novels by Stefan Heym, a Jewish-German writer who was born on 10th April 1913 in Chemnitz and died on 16th December 2001 in Ein Bokek, Israel. Heym’s uncompromising stance made him unpopular with a succession of political regimes. The National Socialists, the CIA, and the East German secret police all held files on him. He was Hitler's youngest literary exile; McCarthyism was to drive him from the USA whose citizen he had become in 1943; and even in what appeared his natural home – the first socialist state on German soil – he was to become the country's leading dissident. Students will read a selection of novels and short stories which Heym originally wrote in English as an American citizen. Apart from a thorough engagement with Heym’s novels and short stories, students will engage in current research on Stefan Heym as well as in creative writing responses to his literary (sometimes provocative) texts. 

Objectives: 

As the main interest is placed on both the reading as well as the interpreting of a selection of Stefan Heym's novels and short stories, the focus of theoretical premises and paradigms will be on concepts such as exile, the dissident, and the writer as a politically engaged spokesperson of his time. In addition, students will learn how to create an academic poster for a poster presentation (PL) which will be part of international projects on Stefan Heym and exhibited and presented – if allowed – in the Neues Hörsaalgebäude at the end of the teaching period. If possible, an excursion to the smac, a literary tour through Chemnitz and other activities will round off the seminar.

Prerequisites: 

None 

Requirements for credits: 

Regular attendance as well as reading and preparing the set texts for discussions is required and part of the Credit Points allocation. The format of this seminar will consist of oral presentations and discussions. Each student will give an oral report (approx. 20 minutes), chair a session or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL) and take an oral exam (15 minutes; poster presentation: PL). Students will be encouraged to also explore their own creative writing skills as part of the class assignment with a possible publication in our creative writing journal Turning Pages. Accordingly, a 1,5 day creative writing workshop will be offered at the end of the teaching period. 

Set texts: 

Defoe in Defense of the Queen (short stories), Hostages (novel), The Crusaders (novel), Lenz oder die Freiheit (film). In addition, a reader will be provided at the beginning of the semester. 

Registration: 

Please register via email (heike.zenner@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, student ID, study programme, course title and semester by 1 October 2020.

 
Colloquium
Examenskolloquium/Research Colloquium
Wed., 11:30 - 13:00
BBB/OPAL

Content: 

The Examenskolloquium/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 (abstract, outline, or single chapters). Each student will present an oral report (approx. 15 minutes), chair a session or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL). 

Set Texts/Required Reading: 

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

Registration: 

Please register via email (heike.zenner@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, student ID, study programme, course title and semester by 1 October 2020.

 

Dr. Eike Kronshage

Seminar
Dickens and London
Tue., 13:45-15:15
BBB/OPAL

Content: 

Victorian London was by far the biggest city in the world, witnessing on the one hand a period of growth, wealth, and immense prosperity, and on the other increasing poverty, growing social conflicts, and harsh class-division. At the time of Dickens’s death in 1870 (exactly 150 years ago), the population had reached almost 4 million, and the geographical limits of the city had widely expanded. This unregulated expansion was utterly chaotic and brutal, affecting millions of people over the entire century. Charles Dickens represented this change of 19th-century London in his novels, of which we will be reading his last two finished novels, Great Expectations (1860-61) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-65). Guiding questions for our reading will be (among others): To what extent did London influence Dickens’s fiction and how much has, in turn, the image of London (both historical and contemporary) been formed by Dickens and his writing? How can cities and novels about cities be read? Is it possible to read Dickens’s novels as ‘maps’ or ‘travel guides’ to Victorian London? How is the fate of the individual related to the life of the masses in the metropolis? 

Objectives: 

As we must face another “digital semester”, we will be using digital tools such as the CliC corpus (https://clic.bham.ac.uk) and the digital annotation tool Perusall (https://perusall.com). Students are encouraged to explore both tools before the beginning of the seminar. 

Students will learn how to study narrative texts, deepening their knowledge of narratology, semantics, rhetoric, spatial analysis, corpus analysis, and digital literary annotation. 

Prerequisites: 

The willingness to read and study two longer Victorian novels thoroughly (480 + 850 pages) plus some additional reading material as well as the willingness to use both your microphone and your webcam in Zoom sessions (please make sure that both are working). 

Requirements for credits: 

PVL: Oral presentation (30 minutes) or equivalent assignment; also, regular participation in Zoom sessions (please make sure that your microphone and your camera are working). 

PL: Term paper, 10-12 pages. 

Set texts: 

N.B.: Please use ISBN numbers to order the correct editions. No other editions allowed. 

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (ISBN 978-0-19-921976-6) 

Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (ISBN 978-0-19-953625-2) 

N.B.: Please obtain the Oxford World’s Classics editions only! 

A reader with additional material will be provided at the beginning of the seminar (excerpts from Sketches by BozThe Uncommercial Traveller and others). 

The first novel to be studied is Great Expectations. Given the length of the novels, I highly recommend that all students read Great Expectations before the beginning of the seminar. 

Registration: 

Please register via email (eike.kronshage@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, study programme and semester by 30 September 2020.

 
Seminar
The Industrial Novel
Mon. 09:15 - 10:45
BBB/OPAL

Content: 

The Industrial Revolution radically changed the lives of the working class – and not for the better. The condition of the working class in England (thus the title of Friedrich Engels’s early sociological study of 1845) was nightmarish. The workers had to endure 12-16-hour shifts, low wages, life-threatening sanitation and hygiene, an almost complete lack of political rights, social insecurity, and child labor. This was reflected in a literary genre that emerged in the 1840s, the so-called Industrial Novel, which brought to attention these conditions to a bourgeoise readership. We will be reading three of these Industrial Novels from the eventful period between 1845 and 1855: The novel Sybil, or The Two Nations (1845) by writer and later British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Charlotte Brontë’s lesser-known Shirley (1849), and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1855). Our reading will be supported by socio-political writing from the time, as for instance the above-mentioned Condition of the Working Class in England by Friedrich Engels (1845) and Karl Marx’s Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts (1844).

The mixture of well-known texts like Gaskell’s and lesser-known ones by Brontë and Disraeli will account for the “Reading the Canon and Beyond” part of the seminar, while the variety of texts (fictional, sociological, political) will form the “Intertextuality” part. 

Objectives: As we must face another “digital semester”, we will be using digital tools such as the CliC corpus of nineteenth-century fiction (https://clic.bham.ac.uk/) and the digital annotation tool Perusall (https://perusall.com/). Students must make themselves familiar with these tools before the first session! 

In this course, we will be taking the analysis of narrative texts to the next level. Students will become proficient in narratological, rhetorical, and semantical analysis (going way beyond the BA level) and will become experts in literary corpus analysis and digital literary annotation. 

Prerequisites: 

The willingness thoroughly to read and study three longer Victorian novels and some additional reading material. 

Students must refresh their knowledge of structural narratology before the beginning of the seminar, as there is no time in a Masters seminar to go through Genette again (ideally, reread Genette’s Narrative Discourse Revisited [library code: HG 630 gen]). If you feel unsure about your knowledge in this field, please do not hesitate to contact me long before the beginning of the seminar. I will gladly provide the necessary material. 

The willingness to use both your microphone and your webcam in Zoom sessions (make sure that both are working). 

Requirements for credit: 

PVL: Oral presentation (25 minutes); also, regular participation in Zoom sessions (please make sure that your microphone and your camera are working). 

PL M_AA_1 (Reading the Canon and Beyond): Term paper, 15-20 pages. 

PL M_AA_3 (Intertextuality in Intercultural Perspective): Oral exam (15 minutes) 

Set texts: 

N.B.: Please use ISBN numbers to order the correct editions. No other editions allowed. 

Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil: or The Two Nations (1845) (ISBN 978-0198759898) 

Charlotte Brontë, Shirley (1849) (ISBN 978-0141439860) 

Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1855) (ISBN 978-0-19-953700-6) 

A reader with additional material will be provided at the beginning of the seminar. 

Registration: 

Please register via email (eike.kronshage@phil.tu-chemnitz.de) with your name, study programme and semester by 30 September 2020.

 

Dr. Mandy Beck

 
Lecture
Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English
Wed., 11:30-13:00
BBB/OPAL

Content/Objectives: 

This lecture course will provide an accessible introduction to conducting literary studies at the university level and will include the fundamentals of literary analyses, such as terms, concepts and methods. A number of texts of different genres (i.e. poetry, drama and narrative fiction including examples from the so-called New English Literatures), covering a period from the 17th to 21st century, have been selected. Discussions during/after the lecture and short assignments (via OPAL) will emphasize close reading skills and the development of effective strategies for critical and analytical thinking. Moreover, this lecture will be paying attention to working and research techniques. To that end, students will be exposed to the essential library and reference tools for serious literary research. 

The lecture will be accompanied by a weekly tutorial (details will be announced at the beginning of the course). 

Prerequisites: 

None 

Requirements for credits

For the successful completion of the course there will be a 90-minute written exam at the end of the semester. Please note: Instead of the written exam, LAGS students are required to attend at least 10 online sessions and write a portfolio in order to complete the course. 

Required textbooks: 

Ansgar und Vera Nünning (latest edition): Introduction to the Study of English and American Literature. Klett Verlag. 

In addition, a reader with primary texts for reading and exercises 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 October 2020. You will then receive further information about the course.

 
Seminar
New Zealand Literature
Thu., 17:15-18:45
2/N013

Content: 

This course offers a survey of major writers and key issues in New Zealand literature. It will explore how versions of the past have been remembered and deal with the significance of those pasts for New Zealanders today. It will also raise questions about identity and belonging, originality and autonomy as well as plurality and variation in a post-colonial context in order to discuss the formation of a national literature as a reaction to and against well-established, canonized English literature of Great Britain. 

The consideration of a mixture of theoretical/critical material (from post-colonial theory, ecocriticism, reader-response theory, etc.) alongside novels, poems and short stories published in the twentieth century (Katherine Mansfield, Janet Frame, Witi Ihimaera, Alan Duff, and others) will illuminate the scope of themes, styles and voices of New Zealand literature. Other aspects will address the influence of Maori culture and oral tradition as well as the relationship between human beings and nature on different forms of writing. 

Objectives: 

This course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the recent history of the development of national literature in New Zealand through the analysis of different literary and theoretical texts. In addition, students are made aware of issues represented in post-colonial literature such as how the writer’s background and the historical, geographical, socio-cultural conditions of his/her country of origin shape his/her literary self-conception.

Prerequisite: 

A completed BA in English with advanced knowledge of literary analysis. 

Requirements for credit: 

Apart from weekly tasks and discussions on OPAL, there will be scheduled online sessions via BigBlueButton. Regular and active participation is required and necessary to make this online course productive for everyone. 

Instead of an oral presentation, each student will have to complete a midterm task (PVL) and write a substantial seminar paper (15-20 pages) (PL). 

Set Texts/Required Reading: 

Please obtain the following books and use the ISBN number to make sure it is the correct edition: 

Ihimaera, Witi (1987). The Whale Rider. ISBN: 9780435135089. 

Duff, Alan (1990). Once Were Warriors. ISBN: 9780099578413 

In addition, a reader with primary 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 October 2020. You will then receive further information about the course.