Summer Term 2010

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner


Vorlesung (lecture course)


The Places of Literary History:

Regionalism Revisited in U.S. American Literature

Wednesday 12-2pm

Bld. B2.1, HS 0.02

This lecture course offers a topographial survey of U.S.-American literature by focusing on the importance of various sites and places that have gained prominence in the formation of a specifically American literature (especially New England and the South). While the focus will be on early American literature, we will also look into the tradition of local color in the late 19th century. We will start the course by tracing American literature to its Puritan beginnings, focusing on the spiritual autobiography and the Indian captivity narrative. We will also focus on the Southern colonies and analyze the writings by Captain John Smith and William Byrd. In the 19th century we will look at emergence of regional literature, the main New England texts of the American Renaissance and the local color literature of both New England and the South.

Course Readings:

There will be a course reader, which you can pick up at the CopyCenter at UdS.


Hauptseminar (Graduate Seminar)

New England Women Writers

Thursday 10-12

Room U 13

This seminar will focus on novels and short stories by American women writers in New England from the post-Revolutionary period up until the middle of the 19th century. It aims to introduce a number of literary genres and styles- the sensational, sentimental, and the historical romance. It will address significant historical events in American women's history: the American Revolution, industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century, and the formation of female tradition. A primary focus will be themes studied and understood through the lens of gender.

Course Readings:


Tenney Gilman, Tabitha. Female Quixotism. 1801. Ed. Jean Nienkamp and Andrea Collins. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.

Sedgwick, Catherine Maria. Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts. 1827. Penguin Classics, 1998.

Luisa May Alcott, Luisa May. Little Women. 1869. Signet Classics of Penguin.

A class reader with short stories and texts by Judith Sargent Murray, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe will be made available.

Requirements for credit: Oral presentations, active participation in class, and a term paper.


Hauptseminar (Graduate Seminar)

Rafting Web 2.0 with Huck Finn. Transatlantic Dialogues on the Mississippi Valley as a Transregional Space

Tuesday 16-18h

Room U 13

This preliminary course to the international field trip along the Mississippi (July 23 - Aug. 14) is taught simultaneously at UdS and the University of Vienna and focuses on intercultural learning and students' virtual encounters via Web 2.0 technology. The object of our collaborative investigation will be the Mississippi Valley, a transregional space which will be conceived of historically and culturally as a contact zone of different (his)stories, cultures and cultural practices. We will, for instance, look at literary representations by William Faulkner and Mark Twain and their popularity in Europe. We will also deal with popular cultural developments of the Blues and the function of the Blues in the global formation of pop music. And we will look at historical developments (the Civil Rights Movement) and the diverse histories of specific places (Memphis, New Orleans), which have played a significant role in the "American" and global imagination.

Course Readings:

Twain, Mark. Life on the Mississippi. 1883. Signet Classic. 2009.

An additional course reader will be available to you.


Class participation; participation in the filed trip and student exchange with Vienna University and Bradley University students, collaborative work, and written assignments.


KO Examenskolloquium (Research colloquium)

Wednesday 16-18h

Room U13

This research colloquium offers writers of theses and dissertations a forum for presentation of their work-in-progress. Oral-exam candidates may also present their topics. All exam candidates are therefore encouraged to attend regularly.