Summer Term 2022

Course Registration

Course Registration for the summer term 2022 will start on 14 March 2022 at 3.30 p.m.

Check LSF for details on individual times/classes.



Courses Summer 2022

In the summer term 2022 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 "Women Life Writings"
Tue, 12-14
A 1 7, Großer Hörsaal (0.05.1)

This lecture will focus on the legacy of women’s life writings in North America, paying attention to the many forms of narratives of the self, such as memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, letters, religious records, travel logs, etc. which women relied on in order to express themselves and give voice to their manifold experiences. Arguing that women’s life writings offer a valuable window into the various cultural and historical communities in which these writers lived, this course will also show in which ways life writings help frame and negotiate assumptions about public and private spaces, domesticity, individualism, and community-building. Focusing on Indigenous writers, abolitionists, and suffragists, and leading up to contemporary women writers of distinct racial and ethnic backgrounds, we will examine how woman’s life writings engage, subvert, and resist ideas about gender, and its many intersections with race, sexuality, class, and disability.

Course Readings:
There will be a course reader on Moodle.


UE/VL "Foundations of Cultural Studies"
Wed, 10-12h
B 2 1, Lecture Hall 002.1

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.

“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, 29 April: 14-18.30
Saturday, 30 April: 10-15
Friday, 13 May: 12-17
Saturday, 14 May: 10-15
plus Saturday, May 20: all day (strongly recommended)

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).

This class will include a funded day-trip to Luxembourg on May 20, 2022 in order to visit the exhibition "Zoe Leonard. Al río / To the River" (Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean) and attend the symposium "Riverine Borders: On Rivers and Other Border Materialities."

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.

BA/MA/STEX Colloquium
Tue, 16-18
A 2 2, room 120.1

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, LS 1+2, LS1). All topics can be presented and discussed. Please bring handouts for your brief presentations. This “Blockkolloquium” will take place on Friday, April 8, 2022, starting at 4 p.m.
Please sign up for the Blockkolloquium via email by March 30, 2022 (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 12, 2022. Further meetings will be announced in the first session.
Please sign up via LSF.

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 12, 2022.

Prof. Dr. Paul Morris

Guest Professor from Université de Saint-Boniface

HS "The Theatre of Indigenous Peoples in Canada"
This seminar will be conducted on the following dates/times:

Friday, June 10: 17:00 – 19:00
Monday, June 13: 17:00 – 20:00
Friday, June 17: 17:00 – 20:00
Monday, June 20: 17:00 – 20:00
Friday, June 24: 17:00 – 20:00
Monday, June 27: 17:00 – 20:00
Friday, July 1: 17:00 – 20:00
Monday, July 4: 17:00 – 20:00
All sessions are planned on campus: C 5 3, room 1.20.

Over the course of the past half-century, theatre has emerged as one of the most prominent artistic forms for representing the experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The following course will treat various playwrights and works from this tradition, beginning with The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, a play by the non-Indigenous author George Ryga in 1967. Our concern in discussing several important plays of this tradition will be in observing the development of formal innovations, but also in analysing both the evolution and the continuity of thematic issues of relevance to Indigenous life. Our readings will also be informed by awareness of the changing nature of the place of Indigenous peoples within Canada. Included amongst the topics of interest will be (re-)considerations of the historical experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the dramatic treatment of the social and psychological effects of Indigenous and Euro-Canadian contact, the multiple questions regarding the nature of Indigenous identity within Canada and the various forms of response – including artistic – available to Indigenous people to represent their collective experience.
Students are required to read the assigned texts in advance of the relevant classes and to come to discussions prepared to express their own ideas and insights. The approach taken in this course also assumes the importance ofthis theatrical tradition in both reflecting and enacting changing understandings of indigeneity in Canada.
Depending on the dictates of public health, the course will either be held in-class or conducted via Zoom meetings.
List of Required Reading (tentative list):
George Ryga, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (1967)
Tomson Highway, The Rez Sisters (1986)
Ian Ross, farewel (1998)
Daniel David Moses, Brébeuf’s Ghost (2000)
Marie Clements, The Unnatural and Accidental Women (2000)
Drew Haydon Taylor, Dead White Writer on the Floor (2010)
Kevin Loring, Where the Blood Mixes (2009)
N.B. Course Requirements:    Course readings / discussions
                                                Presentation on a relevant topic of the student’s choice
                                                Final essay of approximately 15 - 20 pp.

Dr. Svetlana Seibel

PS "Salem and Beyond: Historical Witch Trials in North American Literature"
Mon, 14-16
A 2 2, 120.1

Literature and other narrative media have a long history of incorporating witches and witchcraft into their imaginary worlds. Often, these themes are included as primarily fantastic interventions that support world building that presupposes the existence of magic. Other texts, however, focus on the historical dimension of witchcraft and the persecution of witches in European countries as well as in North America. It is this latter narrative dynamic that will concern us in this class. In the course of the semester, we will discuss texts by Nathaniel Hawthorn, Arthur Miller, Ann Petry and Rivka Galchen and consider how these texts utilize themes connected to historical witch trials – most famously for North America during the Salem witch panic of 1692, but we will also look to Europe – in order to address urgent issues and discourses of their own historical moment. In the process, we will become acquainted with critical discussion around the genre of historical narrative.
Students will be expected to have read the respective texts in advance of the class and to come prepared to discuss their own ideas and opinions in relation to them. Please make sure that you have finished reading The House of the Seven Gables by the third session of the course.

You will need to purchase the following texts for this class:  
1. Nathaniel Hawthorn, The House of the Seven Gables. Edited by Robert S. Levine. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020. (Second Norton Critical Edition). ISBN 978-0-393-67946-5
2. Arthur Miller, The Crucible. Penguin Books, 2015. ISBN 978-0-141-18255-1
3. Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021. ISBN 978-0374280468 (note that we might switch to the paperback edition if it is released in time for our class)
Further readings will be made available via MS Teams.

Dr. Magdalena Pfalzgraf

PS "Indian classical music in contemporary literature in English: Representations of the Raag in selected novels by Amit Chaudhuri and Neelum Saran Gour"
North American Literary and Cultural Studies
Wed, 10-12
A 2 2, seminar room 2.13

In this seminar course, we will focus on representations of a classical Indian music tradition in contemporary literature in English: the Raag. We will acquaint ourselves with this fascinating form, learn about its history, and listen to selected pieces before turning to three novels which engage the Raag:  Amit Chaudhuri’s novels An Afternoon Raag and The Immortals and in a novel by Neelum Saran Gour: A Requiem in Raga Janki (a fictional biography of famed musician Jankibai Illahabadi). We will address questions of intermediality, of the translation of musical forms into the literary frame, and, in addition, this course will also serve as an introduction to Indian Anglophone writing.

Dr. Arlette Warken

PS "North American Coming-of-Age Stories"
Thu, 16-18
A 2 2, room 120.1

Coming-of-age narratives depict the challenges of children and young adults during a formative phase of their lives. According to Sarah Graham, such narratives “offer privileged access to the psychological development of the central character whose sense of self is in flux, paralleling personal concerns with prevailing values.”  We will discuss the genre history of coming-of-age texts and of the Bildungsroman tradition, a highly relevant one in the North American context, and gain an understanding of how themes such as individuality, family, school, friendship, sexuality, and career choices are frequently of relevance. Coming-of-age texts have also become crucial in representing the experience of (post-)colonial or female marginalization and of undermining normative social structures. A reader with a variety of American and Canadian stories and excerpts will be provided in Moodle at the beginning of classes.
Course requirements: readings, active participation, abstract of paper project, research paper (10-12 pages).

Dr. Hank Rademacher / Danielle Kopf-Giammanco

"Introduction to Cultural Studies: North America"
Thu, 12-14
B 3 1, Lecture hall I (0.14)

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: Representations of Equal Rights Movements and Gender in American (Biographical) Movies"
Wed, 14-16
A 2 2, room 120.1

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 selected American biographical movies (biopics) and analyze changing gender representations within these films. Biopics present more or less fictionalized versions of the lives of real persons and the movies in our corpus depict individuals who fought for gender equality and equal rights in the United States. 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. To contextualize the movies, we will investigate the historical background of Civil Rights and Equal Rights Movements in the US. We will discuss a selection of films like Milk (2008), On the Basis of Sex (2018) and The Glorias (2020) 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 electronically. 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 North America "Performing Culture: The Jamaican Dancehall in American Popular Culture"
Friday, April 22: 12-18:30
Saturday, April 23: 9:30-15:30
Friday, June 10: 12-18:30
Saturday, June 11: 9:30-15:30
All sessions are planned on campus: A 2 2, room 120.1.

Geöffnet für Zertifikat Angewandte Pop-Studien: Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur und Pflichtmodul 2: Pop in der Praxis

This course will expand the offerings that engage with popular Jamaican dancehall music by examining elements of its rituals, identity politics, place-making and spectacles that characterize the “theatre-like moments” of dancehall events and performances. Since the 1980s, U.S.-music producers utilize Jamaican dance for a majority of music video or live performances from rap to hip-hop and pop á la Lady Gaga, Beyoncé or Rihanna. The course introduces students to selected facets of dancehall culture as a reading of its rituals and celebratory elements, alongside the spectacle of fashion, gender and masquerade. It explains how these can be understood within and beyond their local framings in Jamaica with an increasing commercial and cultural interest in dance performances and dancehall queen competitions in the USA since the 1990s. The course evaluates dancehall’s embodied activities as socio-cultural acts and as sites for a theoretical engagement with the social function and symbolic meaning of dancehall culture in Jamaica and the US. Theories from performance studies, cultural studies and anthropology will be deployed to analyze the ways in which the agency of dancehall actors “from the margins” influence American popular culture at large. The course offers a guest lecture about the historical development of dancehall as a benchmark genre in the US by a Jamaican music producer and entrepreneur. Optionally, this course serves as a Pop Project as required in the module 2 of the Pop Certificate. Selected students will be able to visit a music studio of a German-based Jamaican reggae and dancehall producer in the Saarland area and gain insights into music and video production processes.

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 (also with graphic content).

Course requirements: Completion of reading assignments, a short (oral) presentation, and an essay at the end of the term. For those who choose to hand in this course as module 2 of the Pop Certificate, a written final report is mandatory! Regular attendance and active participation in seminar discussions is expected.