Summer Term 2021

Course Registration

Course Registration for the summer term 2021 will start on 15 March 2021.

Check LSF for details on individual times/classes.



Courses Summer 2021

In the summer term 2021 NamLitCult is offering the following classes:

For additional information and detailed descriptions, look up the summer term course pages. All departmental courses are also listed in the course directory (LSF) maintained by the university.

Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner

Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
VL "Populism - Politics and Popular Culture"

Wed, 18-20
Online, plus maybe Filmhaus

Geöffnet für Zertifikat Angewandte Pop-Studien: Pflichtmodul 2: Pop in der Praxis

Populism has experienced a real boom in social discourse in Europe in recent years, and particularly now in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. This lecture will be held in conjunction with the public lecture series Populism - Semantic Dimensions, International Perspectives, and Political Realities. In this public lecture we will focus especially on the complexity of the concept and the phenomenon of “populism,” privileging a “glocal” perspective which operates in a field of tension between the global dimension of populism, on the one hand, and regional/local questions and processes, on the other. In line with an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, this lecture aims to include perspectives from political science, linguistics, social science, as well as cultural and media studies in order to approximate diverse definitions of populism from different points of view. We will also focus on the interconnectedness of politics and popular culture, analyzing, on the one hand, representations of populism in popular culture (particularly in film and TV series), and focusing on the role of popular culture in the propagation of populism (particularly the social media).

Course Readings:
There will be a course reader, details to be announced.


Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
UE/VL "Foundations of Cultural Studies"
Wed, 10-12h

Geöffnet für Zertifikat Gender Studies: Basismodul
Geöffnet für Zertifikat Angewandte Pop-Studien: Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Pop-Kultur
Crossgelistet für HoK NF American Studies und NF Gender Studies

This course is intended to make students familiar with the various theoretical approaches and practices common to the study of culture. It should introduce students to the intellectual roots and contemporary applications of Cultural Studies, focusing on the theoretical bases for the analyses of meaning and power in the production and reception of texts. While this class will offer various approaches to the study of cultures in the English-speaking world, it should also provide students with an opportunity to do Cultural Studies. In our analyses we will therefore draw on a wide range of cultural material (literature, television, films, and commercials) and explore the ways in which questions of representation are interrelated with issues of identity, in particular racial/ethnic, sexual, class, and regional differences.

A course reader will be made available, details tba.

Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
“North American Borderlands: Histories and Cultural Practices”
Advanced Module C 2: Border Cultures im Master “Border Studies”
HS Advanced Topics im Kernfachmaster “American Studies / British Studies / English Linguistics”
Crossgelistet für Master "Lateinamerika"
Friday, April 16:            14-16 h Orientation Meeting: online
Friday, April 23:            14.00-18.30 h: online
Friday, April 30:            12.00-18.30 h: online
Friday, May 14:             12.00-18.30h: if possible on-site (hybrid), default online
Saturday, May 15:         10.00-16.00h: if possible on-site (hybrid), default online

This seminar will explore a series of literary representations that focus on border territories, border crossings, and intercultural spaces of in-betweenness. Taking our cue from Chicana border theory, we will look at different border experiences, comparing texts from the U.S.-Mexican border and the U.S.-Canadian border within a transhemispheric paradigm. Focusing on the multiple interdependencies between the United States, Canada, and their neighbors in the Americas, we will talk about a great variety of texts which deal with borders, ranging from literary texts that deal with or are set in borderlands spaces (e.g. Chicanx literature, Native American/First Nations literature) to films (e.g. Frozen River), and other cultural productions and border performances (e.g. the artwork of Guillermo Peña).

Rodolfo Gonzales. I am Joaquín/Yo Soy Joaquín (1972)
Sandra Cisneros’s short story “Woman Hollering Creek” (1991)
Guillermo Verdecchia’s Fronteras Americanas/American Borders (1997)
Thomas King’s short story “Borders” (1993)
Courtney Hunt, dir. Frozen River (2008)

Course requirements: oral presentation, term paper.
Course texts and other materials will be made available via our on-line platform.


Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
BA/MA/STEX Colloquium
Tue, 16-18

This workshop-like colloquium allows candidates (BA-students, MA-students and Stex-students) to talk about the topics of their theses and the topics for their oral exams.
This colloquium consists of two parts:
1) “Blockkolloquium” in April for those students who will participate in the oral state exam (LAG, LAR, LAB). All topics can be presented and discussed. Please bring handouts for your brief presentations. This “Blockkolloquium” will take place on Tuesday, April 13 at 4pm.
Please sign up for the Blockkolloquium via email by March 30, 2021 (amerikanistik[at]

2) Workshop for those students who will write/or are working on their BA, MA or Staatsexamensarbeit. A major goal of this course is to guide students through the process of writing a research paper. All candidates in NamLitCult who are working on a written thesis are therefore encouraged to attend regularly.
This colloquium starts on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Further meetings will be announced in the first session.
Please sign up via LSF.Please sign up via LSF.

Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
Research Colloquium
Tue, 18-20

This research colloquium offers writers of Ph.D. dissertations a forum for presentations of their work-in-progress. It will start on April 20, 2021.

Prof. Dr. Paul Morris

Guest Professor from Université de Saint-Boniface

HS "Canadian Literature of the North"
This seminar will be conducted online on the following dates/times:
Monday, June 7: 17.00-19.00 (Introduction)
Friday, June 11: 17.00-20.00
Monday, June 14: 17.00-20.00
Friday, June 18: 17.00-20.00
Monday, June 21: 17.00-20.00
Friday, June 25: 17.00-20.00
Monday, June 28: 17.00-20.00
Friday, July 2: 17.00-20.00 (Conclusion)

Canada, a continent-spanning country occupying the northern half of North America, has an intriguing relationship with the north – as a space and as an idea. The north is central to the perception of Canada – both by Canadians and by non-Canadians – and yet the precise contours of an idea that is at once geographical and cultural remains fraught.
In the following course, we will undertake a review of central texts about the Canadian north. We will consider the fascinating ways in which the north exercises a powerful, and at times contradictory, pull on the Canadian imagination as a place of concrete historical and geo-physical reality, but also of mythic power.
Tentative List of Required Reading:
Samuel Hearne, A Journey from Prince of Wales’s Fort, in Hudson Bay, to the Northern Ocean (excerpts provided by course instructor), 1795
Robert Service “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” 1907
Rudy Wiebe, A Discovery of Strangers, 1994
Tomson Highway, The Kiss of the Fur Queen, 1998
Keith Ross Leckie, Coppermine, 2010
Possible work of secondary literature:
Margaret Atwood, Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature, 1995

N.B. Course Requirements:                 Course readings
                                                             Presentation on a relevant topic of the student’s choice
                                                             Final essay of approximately 15 - 20 pp.


Dr. Svetlana Seibel

PS "Genre and Diversity"
Mon, 14-16

“In modern literary theory, few concepts have proved more problematic and unstable than that of genre,” writes David Duff in his introduction to Modern Genre Theory (2000). Indeed, the concept of genre is both undeniably significant in the study of narrative and highly contested, not only in terms of its perceived prescriptiveness, but also in its connections to Eurocentric, androcentric, and heteronormative discourses and epistemological traditions. Yet genres also have the potential to be extremely dynamic entities, and their very ties to homogenizing versions of literary history render them powerful instruments of subversion and re-vision. In this class, we will concern ourselves with literary works written by authors of diverse backgrounds that engage genre as a constitutive element of their transcultural and/or anti-(hetero)patriarchal vision. In doing so, we will read examples of Gothic fiction, classicist fiction, fantasy, and memoir by writers such as Jewelle Gomez, Ursula K. Le Guin, Daniel Heath Justice, and Ernestine Hayes. We will consider how these authors adapt each respective generic framework to their needs and what meanings emerge when the categories of genre and diversity intersect in works of literature.    
Please purchase and read the following books:
Ernestine Hayes, The Tao of Raven: An Alaska Native Memoir. University of Washington Press, 2019. ISBN 978-0295745725
Le Guin, Ursula. Lavinia. W&N, 2010. ISBN 978-0753827840
Further readings will be made available via MS Teams.

Dr. Magdalena Pfalzgraf

PS "Between Leisure and Subversion:  Urban Walkers in South African, Zimbabwean, and American Writing"
North American Literary and Cultural Studies and British Literary and Cultural Studies
Wed, 10-12

Walter Benjamin’s iconic flâneur, strolling leisurely through the streets and beautifully ornamented arcades of 19th century Paris, has often been dismissed as a spoilt idler with little interest in political subversion. A look at the long history of literary engagements with this particular form of urban walking, and at the diverse background of writers who engage with it, however, show that flânerie has long overcome the constraints of 19th-century high capitalist Paris and reveals this activity's potentially subversive politics. After all, flânerie raises the question of who belongs to a city, and who has a right to walk in and enjoy it. Early South African depictions of urban walking, for instance, have employed flânerie to express black protagonists’ right to the city.
In this Proseminar, we will acquaint ourselves with seminal theoretical concepts related to urban walking, in particular Walter Benjamin’s work on the flâneur, Michel de Certeau’s “Walking in the City”, and more recent approaches by Sarah Nuttal and Achille Mbembe. We will read our way through a range of literary texts engaging with (leisurely) urban walking, including examples of the satirical column “R. Roamer Esq.” by the South African writer R.R.R. Dhlomo, published in the 1930s , Gwendolyn Brookes’s poem “In the Mecca” , excerpts from the novel The Uncertainty of Hope by the Zimbabwean writer Valerie Tagwira (who, like Brookes, presents a feminist perspective on urban walking), Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun (excerpts), Tendai Huchu's  The Maestro, The Magistrate & the Mathematician, and Teju Cole’s Open City.
Students are advised to buy the following editions:
•    Teju Cole. Open City. London: Faber & Faber, 2012.
•    Tendai Huchu. The Maestro, The Magistrate & the Mathematician. Bulawayo: Amabooks, 2014.
Further reading material (including Brookes’s poem and excerpts from Tagwira’s and Hawthorne’s novels) will be provided.

Dr. Arlette Warken

PS "'The Elusive Eden:' Literary California"
Thu, 16-18

California has long been perceived in very conflicting ways. It has inspired hopes of prosperity and aspirations of political, religious, and artistic freedom, culminating in notions of a "Californian Dream" and of California as Eden. However, California has also come to represent disappointed hopes and social hardships, and the admiration of the beauty of its landscape coexists with perceptions of the landscape as a "landscape of catastrophe." In this course, we will explore these conflicting images as represented in Californian literature from a historical perspective. Our readings will include shorter texts and poems by writers such as Bret Harte, Robinson Jeffers, and Maya Angelou; our longer readings will include Sam Shepard's play True West. Most readings will be provided in Moodle.
Course requirements: readings, active participation, abstract of paper project, research paper (10-12 pages)

Dr. Hank Rademacher

"Introduction to Cultural Studies: North America"
Thu, 12-14

This lecture deals with many aspects of contemporary life in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada. Among the many items on our agenda are family life, religion, education, the relationships between (non-)citizens and the state, class, gender, ethnicity, (im)migration, and culinary delights. In several cases, music and film will be used to help illustrate important points. Some of the major themes in cultural studies will be touched upon so that students might begin to consider what analysis, explanation, and research can include when “peoples,” “cultures,” and “states” are considered, and this knowledge will provide a foundation for the myriad courses one might subsequently take in our department. Students will be urged to take a much more critical look at some German/European stereotypes ― some fairly accurate, some of them woefully inaccurate ― of the U.S., Canada, and their populations. In so doing, it is hoped that students will come to see their own homes/cultures in a different light.

Bärbel Schlimbach, M.A.

"Introduction to Media Studies: American Road Movies"
Wed, 14-16

Geöffnet für Zertifikat Gender Studies: Aufbaumodul 2: Aktuelle Fragestellungen der Genderforschung
Geöffnet für Zertifikat Angewandte Pop Studien: Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur

This course introduces students to the study of media with particular emphasis on film studies and gender representations within media. After an overview on various aspects of media history, media theory, and media analysis, we will focus on the film genre of road movies and analyze changing gender representations within these films. Road movies can be seen as one “typically American” film genre: travelling highways in search of independence, freedom, wealth and happiness constitutes an American ideal. At the same time, however, road movies also incorporate criticism on American society and the American dream. The course will provide students with a tool kit to critically analyze different media productions and investigate how media productions are shaped by current discourses in society while they at the same time add to these discourses. Students will be introduced to foundations of film studies, for example film narrative, cinematique techniques, approaches to contextual interpretation, genre analysis as well as a selection of Gender theories to enhance critical discussion of our examples. We will discuss a selection of films like Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Thelma & Louise (1991) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006) to explore how media productions are shaped by historical and social contexts on the one hand, while they contribute to and influence discourses in society at the same time.

Readings/materials: A selection of relevant essays and excerpts from books will be made available via moodle. We will discuss access to visual material in the first session.
Course requirements: Completion of reading assignments, a short (oral) presentation, and a short written assignment at the end of the course. Students are required to watch (excerpts) from movies in advance of the sessions in which we discuss them. Regular attendance and active participation in seminar discussions is expected.

Dr. Lisa Johnson

UE CS II U.S. "Musical Migrations to North America: Transnational Soundscapes and Cultural Hybridity"
Thu, 14-16
Plus one session on-site (hybrid): Saturday, July 10, 2021: 14-18. Building C 5 3, Room 121.2 (in case on-site is possible in July).

Geöffnet für Zertifikat Angewandte Pop-Studien: Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur

This course provides insight into the transnational mobility and circulation of Latin and Caribbean musical forms (Reggae, Dancehall, Salsa, Samba, Mariachi, Reggaeton, Soca, Calypso i.a.) in the United States. By looking at the cross-border tensions and dynamics of Latin and Caribbean popular music between tradition and modernity, national identity and transnational meanings, the course seeks to examine historical periods, important key figures and the socio-cultural and at times political role of diasporic soundscapes in the United States. Students will gain an understanding of the emergence of fast changing and increasingly eclectic musical fusions, new forms of cultural creativity and cooperation as well as racial, cultural and ethnic hybridity across the Americas.
Readings/materials: A selection of relevant essays and book excerpts will be made available via MS Teams. The course will include listening comprehensions and music video screenings.
Course requirements: Completion of reading assignments, a short (oral) presentation, and an essay at the end of the term. Regular attendance and active participation in seminar discussions is expected.