Summer Term 2011

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner


Hauptseminar Literatur (Graduate Seminar)

Is It Cause It's Cool: Affective Encounters With American Culture

Tuesday, 12-2 pm

C 5.3 - Room 1.20

This course focuses on the conjunction between the appeal and the rejection of "American culture" since the end of the Cold War. What factors are there on the affective level that make certain products/texts popular or unpopular? And more importantly, what happens when American culture becomes entangled in affective encounters with worldwide consumers?

An analysis of how people feel about "America" raises interesting questions concerning the construction of identities of audiences and consumers through these affective encounters. Processes of Americanization can connect affect (associated with popular culture in general and new media in particular) to national and transnational identity formations in Europe and around the world. Such analysis of the politics of culture also shifts critical attention away from notions of American culture linked to a specific place (i.e. the United States) to the processes of flows and processes of transfer across places, in which "America" is an imaginary cultural descriptor. In what ways are consumers invested in this cultural transfer and the diverse appropriations of "America," and which effects do these affective investments have?

We will look especially at manifestations of such processes in Germany and Austria. Part of the teaching collaboration "Transatlantic Dialogues: American / Cultural Studies as a Transnational Project," this course includes cooperation with the University of Vienna where a parallel course will be taught by Klaus Heissenberger and which is linked to our class via blended learning.

Readings: A course reader will be made available.



Hauptseminar Literatur (Graduate Seminar)

Staging Gender: Performance, Theatricality and Visual Culture

Thursday, 10 am - 12 

C 5.3 - Room 1.20

This course approaches performance not only as an object of study, but also as a method of research and a mode of analysis. Exploring the relationship between cultural production and gender identity, we will read a broad range of texts from contemporary American plays and performances to cultural, gender, performance, and visual culture theory. Interrogating the shift between theater and performance, between textuality and embodiment, and between theory and practice, we will focus on key issues such as the construction of gender identities and gender norms, the politics of representation in theatrical performances and the ways in which identity and difference have shaped and continue to shape U.S.-American culture. As part of this seminar, you will be asked to participate in a two-day Gender Workshop (June 30 and July 1), which will be offered at Saarland U. This workshop will feature a lecture by renowned gender theorist Judith Halberstam (UCLA) and a screening of the documentary film "Travel Queeries" by Elliat Graney-Saucke as well as a live performance by the artist herself.



Tony Kushner: Angels in America (please buy on your own)

David Henry Hwang: M. Butterfly (in Reader, which will be made available to you)

Cherríe Moraga: Heroes and Other Saints (in Reader, which will be made available to you)

Monica Palacios: Memories of a Queer Señorita (in Reader, which will be made available to you)

Jennie Livingston's documentary film Paris is Burning and video clips of performances by Marga Gomez, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco



Examenskolloquium (Exam Colloquium)

Tuesday 4-6 pm

C5.3 - Room 1.20

Das Examenskolloquium besteht aus 2 Teilen:

1)      einem Block im April für KanditatInnen, die im Mai zur mündl. Staatsprüfung antreten wollen und

2)      einem regelmäßig während des Semester stattfindenden Kolloquiums, in dem ExamenskandidatInnen, die eine schriftliche und/oder mündl. Magisterprüfung absolvieren wollen oder ihren Fachaufsatz schreiben wollen, sich auf diese Prüfungen vorbereiten können. Die Termine für dieses Kolloquium werden auf der Webseite und am schwarzen Brett in der FR bekanntgegeben.


In jedem Fall bitte ich um eine Anmeldung per Email bis 11. April ()


Ad 1) Block für StexkanditatInnen

Dienstag, 19. und 26. April ab 16h


Die Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten für die Staatsexamensprüfungen im Mai 2011 werden gebeten, sich bis zum 11. April anzumelden, um Themen für das Blockseminar (19. und 26. April 2011) absprechen zu können. Studierende haben die Möglichkeit ihr Thema im Rahmen dieses Examenskolloquiums zu präsentieren und Probleme zu diskutieren.

KanditatInnen für die mündliche Staatsexamensprüfung werden auch gebeten ihre Leselisten bis spätestens 28. April bei Frau Lau abzugeben. Die formalen Anforderungen der Leseliste können bei Frau Lau und auf der NamLitCult Homepage eingesehen werden.

Das Examenskolloquium am 24.05.2011 entf?llt!



Research Colloqium

Tuesday 5-6 pm

C5.3 - Room 1.19


Das Research Kolloquium richtet sich an alle Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten, die gerade bei Prof. Fellner für eine schriftliche Arbeit (BA-Arbeit, MA-Arbeit, Magisterarbeit und Stex-Arbeit) angemeldet sind. Während dieses Kolloquiums können schriftliche Arbeiten präsentiert werden, Probleme (inhaltlicher Natur, strukturelle und Style Sheet Probleme) erläutert werden und Informationen ausgetauscht werden. Um eine Terminübersicht erstellen zu können, bitten wir Sie, sich für dieses Kolloquium bei Frau Lau bis zum 11. April anzumelden.


Bitte informieren Sie sich während des Semesters auf der NamLitCult Webseite, am schwarzen Brett bzw. bei Frau Lau, bezüglich der Termine des Research Kolloquiums.

Das Research Kolloquium am 24.05.2011 entfällt, Ersatztermin ist der 31.05.2011.





Prof. Bert Hornback


Vorlesung (lecture course)

American Poetry:

"Anne Bradstreet to Jane Kenyon American Literature Lecture: American Poetry 1650-2000"

Tuesday 12-2 pm

C5.1, Musiksaal 1.01


This lecture course will survey American poetry from the earliest colonial times to the end of the 20th century. We will begin with the poems of Mistress Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), a Puritan who emigrated to America in 1630, and Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), an African slave brought to America in 1761. Anne Bradstreet was the first American woman to have a book of poems published; Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American to have a book of poems published.

We will survey, then, the work of a few of the late 18th century Puritans and the 19th century American English poets. We will read somewhat extensively in the poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, the first American American poets, and then turn to the 20th century, starting with T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, and E. E. Cummings, and ending with Jane Kenyon.

Text: A course book of poems to be studied will be provided, for purchase.

Jennifer Moos, M.A.


Proseminar Literatur

TransAmerica? North American Gender-Bending Narratives

Mo 4-6 pm

C5 3 - Room 4.08

This seminar serves as an introduction to gender and queer theories from the early 1990s to the present. Among others, we will read excerpts from Judith Butler's key theoretical texts Gender Trouble (1990) and Undoing Gender (2005), Judith "Jack" Halberstam's Female Masculinity (1998) and In a Queer Time and Place (2005), as well as from José Esteban Muñoz's Cruising Utopia (2009). With a special focus on transgenderism and intersexuality, we will critically analyze recent short stories, excerpts from Jeffrey Eugenides' Pulitzer Prize winning novel Middlesex (2002), documentary films, genderqueer performances, photography, and comic books.     

As part of this seminar, you will be asked to participate in a two-day Gender/Queer Workshop (June 30 and July 1), which will be offered at Saarland U. This workshop will feature a lecture by renowned gender and queer theorist Judith "Jack" Halberstam (University of California, Los Angeles), a screening of the documentary film "Travel Queeries" by Elliat Graney-Saucke as well as a live performance by the artist herself.

Readings: A course reader will be made available for purchase.



Dr. Arlette Warken


Proseminar Literatur

Environmental Literature

Thursday 10-12

C 5.2 - Room U2

In this course, we will trace North American environmental writing through history. Beginning with early aspects of nature writing, we will explore how a more thoughtful and ecologically sensitive relationship to an endangered nature has increasingly been advocated. This concern is also exemplified by so-called Ecocriticism, which, according to Greg Garrard, ?explores the ways in which we imagine and portray the relationship between humans and the environment in all areas of cultural production?. We will look at seminal texts and discuss aspects as diverse as frontier life, utopias, pollution, apocalypse, land reform, protest, recycling, sustainability, vegetarianism, animal rights, or a gendered take on environmentalism as represented in various texts. Course readings will be announced at the beginning of term.



Klaus Heissenberger, Mag.


Introduction to Media Studies



Fr., 15.04.2011: 14h - preparatory meeting - C 5.3 - room 1.20

Fr., 06.05.2011: 14-19h - C 5.3 - room 1.20

Sa., 07.05.2011: 9-14h - C 5.3 - room 1.20

Fr., 03.06.2011: 14-19h - C 5.3 - room U13

Sa., 04.06.2011: 9-14h - C 5.3 - room U13

Sa., 02.07.2011: 9-14h - C 5.3 - room 1.20

In the 21st century, we are surrounded by media: whether we read newspapers or blogs, listen to the radio or to our iPods, surf the internet, play video or computer games, chat with our friends, or watch movies. By introducing you to various aspects of media history, media theory, and media analysis with a special focus on film and gender studies, this course will provide you with methodological tools to critically analyze and assess the media which shape and are shaped by our everyday lives.



Payman Rezwan, Mag.



Cultural Studies II:

Land of Confusion: Representations of American Society in Contemporary Music


C 5.3 - room 4.08


Fr., 15.04.2011: 14-19h

Sa., 16.04.2011: 9-14h

Fr., 06.05.2011: 14-19h

Sa., 07.05.2011: 9-14h

Sa., 02.07.2011: 9-14h

This course deals with issues of identity, gender, race and ethnicity in contemporary U.S. American music. Focusing on the three most popular genres in the U.S. "R&B/Soul, Country and (Modern) Rock" students will engage in a cultural studies analysis of lyrics and music videos in an attempt to find out how American society is portrayed in popular, mainstream music.

Readings: A class reader will be provided.