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English Literature(s)
Current Courses

Current Courses

Courses - Winter Term 2017/18

Prof. Dr. Cecile Sandten

 
Lecture
Reading the Canon and Beyond
Wed., 9:15 - 10:45 am
2/B101

Content:

This lecture course provides an overview of literary history in Great Britain. It covers literary movements such as Romanticism, Victorianism, Edwardianism, Modernism, Postmodernism, and Postcolonialism. The lecture course will focus on selected texts that represent each historical period and the literary movement associated with it. In addition, the course will introduce students to the governing principles of English literature that shaped its literary heritage and history.

Objectives:

Prior to introducing the key figures of the literary movements, each period will be situated in its historical and cultural contexts. As such, the lectures will move beyond mere factual introductions in order to both contextualise and characterise the socio-political predicaments of the respective literary figures and genres.

Prerequisites:

None

Requirements for credits/Type of module exam:

Apart from active participation, regular attendance is strongly recommended. For the successful completion of this course there will be two short written assignments, the first one due after the Christmas break, the second one two weeks after the end of the lecture: PL Modul 2.3 and PVL Modul 2.4.

Required Textbook:

Poplawski, Paul (ed.) (2007): English Literature in Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
A reader with seminal material will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

Registration:

There will be a list at the door of my office (Rh 39, room 214). Please register there.

 
Seminar
Poetry (in Concert)
Tue., 11:30 - 13:00
2/W034

Content:

As the most playfully sophisticated form of language, poetry demands a trained ear, a sharp eye, a good amount of reading, humour, and, most of all, a willingness to voyage into a created world or another sensibility to fully appreciate it. This seminar will first focus on the discovery and informed appreciation of a variety of poems and will explore ways of approaching poems through theories on poetics, close analyses and discussions of selected examples. Topics that will be discussed, include rhythm and sound effects (music), different poetic forms and diction, symbolism and imagery, and the relationship between form and content. Examples from across the centuries of English literature will include a variety of poetic forms and topics.

Objectives:

In a second step, this seminar will focus on the practice of writing poetry/and or accompanying poems by music. Thus, the seminar is suitable for students who would like to get some experience in writing and/or composing and who are interested in developing their knowledge and practice of poetry. In addition to the above-mentioned, students in this seminar will also do a range of poetry writing activities to develop their own voice. Poetic language and prosody will be studied in both formal and free verse and students are encouraged to develop their own writing in a range of forms suited to their interests.

Prerequisites:

Students must have successfully completed the lecture course "Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English" (does not apply to visiting students, e.g. ERASMUS).

Requirements for credits / Type of module exam:

Students must read all poems that are on the agenda (look up words at home, learn about the context) and participate in classroom discussions. An oral presentation and a short written assignment (poem) during the semester will count as PVL, a substantial seminar paper (12-15 pages) or creative writing (at least three poems) as PL. The assessment is based on students' creative work and reflection, and their critical and analytical writing (the term paper and/or creative work will be due according to study regulations). Regular attendance and active in-class participation is compulsory.

In the frame of our cooperation with the English Department, Faculty of Education University of J.E. Purkyne, Ústí nad Labem (The Czech Republic), a concert by THE BARDS as well as an excursion to Ústí nad Labem is scheduled for December/February. It is obligatory for students to participate in the event and excursion (funding has been secured). In addition, you will get the opportunity to publish your poems (after a positive assessment) in the Funky Little Journal, a creative writing journal that is part of the cross border cooperation with Usti, edited by Anthony Laue and Cecile Sandten.

Required reading:

A reader with seminal material will be provided. Most interested students are recommended to buy the Norton Anthology of Poetry.

Registration:

There will be a list at the door of my office (Rh 39, room 214). Please register there.

 
Seminar
Asylum Accounts
Fri., 9:15 - 10:45
2/W044

Content:

Accounts of asylum are, in many ways, acts of storytelling. The accounts of hardship and trauma in the refugees' narratives as well as their countries of origin (and their designation as 'safe' countries or otherwise) are the main bases on which their application for asylum is granted or revoked. Accounts by adult asylum seekers have to be differentiated from those by (un)accompanied minors who might remain silent about their origins and circumstances when questioned by authoritative figures or social workers.

Objectives:

In this seminar, students will read and discuss a selection of asylum narratives as well as short stories and poems by and films about refugees. We will address issues such as transnational migration, mobility, and the pre-flight and flight experiences of asylum seekers. In doing so, we 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 and visual narratives. In addition to the close readings of texts and films, students will gain insights into various theories on citizenship, legal issues, and social and political approaches to asylum and refugeeism. Furthermore, they will learn the conceptual distinctions between literary genres such as the autobiography, memoir, and life-writing.

Prerequisite:  

A completed BA in English.

Requirements for credit:

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 (15-18 pages) are required for the module exam.

Set Texts/Required Reading:

Herd, David / Anna Pincus (eds.) (2016): Refugee Tales. Manchester: Comma Press.
Passarlay, Gulwali [with Nadene Ghouri] (2015): The Lightless Sky: My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee. London: Atlantic Books.

Popoola, Olumide / Annie Holmes (eds.) (2016): Breach. London: Pereine Press.

Films:
Thomas, Steve dir. (2008): Hope.
Winterbottom, Michael dir. (2007): In This World.

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

Registration: There will be a list on the door of my office (Rh 39, room 214). Please register there.

 
Colloquium
Examenskolloquium / Research Colloquium
Tue., 9:15 - 10:45
2/Rh23/233

Content:

The Forschungskolloquium/Examenskolloquium 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), 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:

There will be a list at the door of my office (Rh 39, room 214). Please register there.

 
Blockseminar
Doktoranden und Postdoc-Ausbildung
jeweils 9:00 - 16:30
2/Rh23/
233 oder 022

Meetings will be arranged in due course.

Content:

This course aims to provide support for post-graduate students who are developing their dissertation ideas and first draft outlines. The focus of this seminar will be on research in English Literature (including close readings of secondary theoretical texts and primary texts, but also the students’ own written work). Post-graduate candidates who engage in interdisciplinary approaches and topics beyond English Literature are most welcome to participate to enhance the group’s interdisciplinary awareness.

Objectives:

This seminar will also offer special supervision through individual counseling. Moreover, the seminar will support doctoral and post-doctoral candidates on a professional level, especially with regard to topics such as scholarly writing for publication, pedagogic issues of teaching at university level, as well as information on how to apply for positions in the job market. In addition, support to present their work at (international) conferences will be given, as well as information on careers and funding support for scholarship applications and opportunities for gaining key supplementary qualifications (in cooperation with the Forschungsakademie TUC).

Prerequisites:

Participants must have completed a Magister, Master or Doctoral thesis graded at least 2,0.

 

Mandy Beck

 
Lecture
Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English
Wed., 11:30-13:00
2/NK003

Content/Objectives:

Conducting literary studies at university level, this lecture course will provide an accessible introduction to 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 in class and short assignments 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, you will all 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/Type of module exam:

Apart from regular attendance, active participation will be expected: as this lecture class also is a community, you are all asked to support that community also as part of your credit points. 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 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 will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

Registration:

There will be a list at the door of my office (Rh 39, room 213). Please register there.

 
Seminar
Writing Gay in the UK
Fri., 11:30-13:00
2/W034

Content:

This course will explore the intersections of literature, sexuality, political activism and identity politics within the context of the 20th century. Considering the emergence of modern categories of sexual identities after World War II, the seismic impact of the gay liberation movement in the 1970s, the impending AIDS crisis in the 1980s and how all these factors influenced writers of the UK and the US, the course will survey several key texts and works that are central to an understanding of how homosexuality or gay identities can be conceptualised and written. With the help of primary readings by authors like Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Larry Kramer as well as a mixture of theoretical/critical material by Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, David Halperin, Jeffrey Weeks or Laura Doan, we will engage in a discussion about questions such as: When and why have we started to think about organising knowledge practices around the constructions of gender and sexuality? How have feminist and queer theorists shaped the ways we understand the self and the other, society, culture, politics, and history? What is to be gained when we challenge categories and binaries that pertain to heteronormative conceptions of sexuality?

Objectives:

Students will learn about important writers and activists with regard to female and male homosexuality. 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, identity and culture.

Prerequisites:

Master-students need to have successfully completed their BA in English.

Requirements for Credit:

Regular attendance as well as reading the texts is required and part of the Credit Points allocation. The format of this seminar will consist of oral presentations and discussions. Each student will present an oral report (approx. 20 minutes), chair a session or prepare questions for a discussion (PVL: MA_1, MA_3) and write a substantial seminar paper (15-18 pages; MA_1, PL) or take an oral exam (15 minutes; MA_3).

Set Texts/Required Reading:

Hollinghurst, Alan ([1988] 2015): The Swimming-Pool Library. London: Vintage.
Kramer, Larry ([1985] 2014): The Normal Heart. London: Nick Hern Books.
Waters, Sarah ([1999] 2007): Affinity. London: Virago Press.
Hubbard, Jim. dir. (2012): United in Anger: A History of ACT UP.
Warchus, Matthew (2014): Pride.

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


Constanze Möckel
 

Seminar
Creating Short Films / Short Film Competition
Wed., 15:30-17:00
2/N106

Content:

What is a short film? One definition is that a short film can be any motion picture that is not long enough to be a feature film. This seminar will first focus on the discovery and informed appreciation of a variety of short films and will explore ways of approaching short films through film theories, close analyses and discussions of selected examples. Topics that will be discussed include themes/motifs, camera/focus, character constellation, language, sound or lighting techniques. In a second step, in this seminar students will be introduced to the practical aspect of film making, including screenwriting, directing, camera, editing and sound to lead the student from story idea to finished short film.

Objectives:

The first weeks of the seminar are classroom-based – introducing short films as well as the fundamentals of screenwriting, editing, directing, cinematography and sound while also preparing students for their end-of-seminar short film. Each student writes and directs his or her own short film while also working on other students' productions in various crew capacities. During the second part of the seminar, students shoot their films. During the final week of the seminar, students edit their films (film studio Straße der Nationen), and all films are screened at a public cinema (Weltecho) and reviewed by the faculty members.

Prerequisites:

Students must have successfully completed the lecture course "Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English" (does not apply to visiting students, e.g. ERASMUS).

Requirements for credits / Type of module exam:

Students must read theoretical texts on film/film studies and learn about specific film vocabulary (oral presentation) and write a screen play (PVL). The PL will be the done and dusted short film. Regular attendance and active in-class participation as well as crew work is compulsory. In the frame of our cooperation with Usti, the best films will enter the short film competition at the English Department, Faculty of Education University of J.E. Purkyne, Ústí nad Labem (The Czech Republic) in May 2018 which will be organised by Anthony Laue.

Registration:

There will be a list at the door of my office (Rh 39, room 214). Please register there.

 

Marina Ivanova

Tutorial
Accompanies Lecture Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English
Wed., 17:15-18:45
2/W065