Winter Term 2018/2019

In the Winter Term 2018/2019 NamLitCult is offering the following courses:

Prof. Dr. Astrid M. FELLNER

VL "Regions, Hemispheres, and Global Connections"
Tuesday, 12-14
B 3 2, Lecture Hall 003

This lecture course offers a topographical survey of North American literature by focusing on the importance of various sites and places that have gained prominence in the formation of specifically national literatures, on the one hand, and the rise of hemispheric concepts of literatures of the Americas, on the other. While the focus will be on transnational North American literatures that expose global connections, we will also look into local, regional writings, for instance, the tradition of local color texts in the late 19th century. Relying on a comparative North American approach to explore transnational areas of studies which have had an impact on the literatures of both Canada and the USA, we will look at issues of multiculturalism, the way both nations deal with their colonial past, the violent displacement of Indigenous populations, and questions of citizenship.

Course Readings: There will be a course reader, which you can order through NamLitCult and pick up at our offices.

HS "Multiethnic Canadian Women’s Literature"
Veranstaltung teilgeblockt:
Wednesday, 10-12 on the following dates:
17 Oct. 2018, 10-12
14 Nov. 2018, 10-12
21 Nov. 2018, 10-12
28 Nov. 2018, 10-12
05 Dec. 2018, 10-12
12 Dec. 2018, 10-12
Plus two extended sessions:
14 Dec. 2018, 13-19
25 Jan. 2018, 13-19

The study of Canadian literature has undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades as new global forces in the 1990s undermined its nation-based critical assumptions. Beginning with an introduction to current debates about multiculturalism, diversity and Canadian literary studies, this class will attempt to rethink those connections by focusing on the tension between the local and the global in selected contemporary Canadian texts. In doing so, we will pay special attention to diasporic literatures, focusing on issues of belonging and evocations of community and nation as they are filtered through the lenses of region, gender, race, class, and sexuality. Specifically, we will look at multiethnic writers, attempting to understand the relationship between literature, nationalism, and cultural identity. We will look at Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (2005) and Madeleine Thien’s Dogs at the Perimeters (2011), and selected stories from Shani Mootoo’s Out on Main Street: And Other Stories (2002) and Carleigh Baker’s collection of stories Bad Endings (2017).

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat Gender Studies (Aufbaumodul 2: Aktuelle Fragestellungen der Genderforschung)


together with Mag. Klaus Heissenberger
"Race/Class/Gender in Borderlands Films and Music"
UE CS II: North America
MA Border Studies: Specialization Module C1: Interculturality and Diversity
09 Nov. 2018, 13-19
10 Jan. 2018, 13-19
11 Jan. 2018, 13-19
12 Jan. 2018, 9-14

Using multiple theoretical and historical lenses, this course examines past and present issues pertaining to border music and film. Focusing on representations of border conflicts, smuggling and (illegal) border crossings, this course will, for instance, look into the rich tradition of the corrido and Mexican American music (e.g. by El Vez). We will explore such issues as representational exclusion from and inclusion from mainstream U.S. popular culture, various forms of appropriation of dominant hegemonic culture, transnational identifications and cultural flows, ethnoracial stereotyping and resistance to such, and intersections of Chicano/a identities with aspects of class, race, sexuality, and gender. This will entail investigations of diverse cultural arenas and media, among them music, film, television, and everyday lived experience. Students will be assessed on their participation in classroom discussions, group work and a portfolio.

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

BA/MA/STEX Colloquium
Tuesday, 16-18
A 5 3, room 2.03

This colloquium consists of two parts:
1) "Blockkolloquium" in October 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 October 9, 2018. 10 a.m. - 12. Building A 5 3, room 203.
Please sign up for the Blockkolloquium via email by October 1, 2018 (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 October 16, 2018. The exact dates will be published on our website and on the notice board of the department.
Please sign up via LSF.

Research Colloquium
Tuesday, 18-20
A 5 3, room 2.03

This research colloquium offers writers of Ph.D. dissertations a forum for presentations of their work-in-progress. It will start on October 16, 2018.


PS "Suffragettes and Flappers: The Emergence of the ‘New Woman’ in American Fiction"
Thursday, 12-14
B 3 1, Lecture hall III (012)

Parallel to the emergence of (first wave) feminism, the Women’s Movement, and the struggle for suffrage at the end of the 19th century, literary representations of women started to challenge traditional views on femininity. Concepts like "true womanhood" or separate spheres for men and women were questioned and gender roles were re-negotiated. In this seminar, we will trace the emergence of "New Women" in American fiction from the latter part of the 19th century to the so-called "Roaring Twenties" to investigate in how far representations of femininities and sexualities changed and how aspects like equality, liberty and independence are depicted. We will analyze interconnections between literature and society and consider the cultural functions of these texts and representations. Students will be provided with historical backgrounds on changes in the U.S. at the time as well as theoretical texts which help to contextualize literary representations. The focus of the seminar will be on representations by female authors but we will also discuss two excerpts from texts by male writers. Our readings will include excerpts from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby and Henry James’s novella Daisy Miller as well as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," and Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening.

Please buy Kate Chopin's The Awakening in the following edition:
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Penguin English Library, 2018. ISBN: 9780241341421.

Other primary texts and a selection of secondary material will be made available.

Requirements: Active participation, including reading and writing assignments, participation in class discussion, a short presentation and a seminar paper.

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat "Gender Studies" (Aufbaumodul 1: Gender in Historischer Perspektive)

Dr. Arlette WARKEN

PS "Canadian Urban Literature"
Thursday, 14-16
C 5 3, room 4.08

Canada has stereotypically been perceived as a vast place of wilderness, full of the challenges of a harsh Northern setting ("What do they decorate cakes with up north? Permafrosting …"). According to Douglas Ivison and Justin D. Edwards, "[t]he vast majority of Canadians live in cities, yet for the most part, discussions of Canadian literature have failed to actively engage with the country's urban experience. Canada's prevalent myths continue to be about nordicity and the wilderness, and, stereotypically at least, its literature is often perceived as being about small towns, rural areas, and 'roughing it in the bush'" (2005). In the last two decades, this has changed significantly and numerous critical works discuss the representation of the urban experience in Canadian literature. In this course, we will take a critical look at a variety of different literary representations of urban/metropolitan life in various Canadian cities. Among others, we will read Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (2005). Further readings will be announced at the beginning of classes.

Requirements: readings, active participation, abstract of paper project, research paper (10-12 pages).

Mag. Payman Rezwan

Übung CS II North America: "Country Nation: The Importance Of Country Music In The USA: An Introduction to Country Music"
Thu, 18 Oct. 18, 13:00-19:00, C 5 3, room 1.19
Fri, 19 Oct. 18, 13:00-19:00, C5 3, room 4.08
Sat, 20 Oct. 18, 13:00-19:00, C5 3, room 1.19
Tue, 04 Dec. 18, 09:00-15:00 Uhr, C5 3, room 1.19

In his song "It's America," country singer Rodney Atkins delivers the following description of the U.S.: "It's cities and farms, it's open arms, one nation under God." This is a typical description, made by country artists about their homeland: an emphasis on the rural character of the country, positive American values and a degree of religious humility. These characteristics have made country music enormously popular amongst a working-class audience, and boosted record sales and concert attendances immensely.
In this course, we will take a look at the cultural phenomenon of country music. From its roots in the Appalachian mountains, to becoming the trigger of Elvis Presley's successful career, all the way to dominating the American music scene in our day, we will chronicle the genre's history and investigate how it became the "music of a nation." Furthermore, we will discuss some of its most important artists and find out how they contributed to country music's current status.
The focus of this course will be on how America is represented in country music, especially contemporary country music, with artists such as Garth Brooks, Toby Keith or Taylor Swift, offering a wide array of different topics and dealing with almost every aspect of American life and culture. You will be presented with these aspects, i.e. the American South and rural America, the struggles of the working class, politics, or the U.S. as a God-fearing nation, and we will analyze how country music deals with and represents these aspects in its lyrics and music videos.
Furthermore, there will be a collaboration of some sorts (details are still being discussed) with students from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. The opportunity will be given to interact and work with them, as well as with Prof. James Akenson, who teaches courses in country music at Tennessee Tech.

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat "Angewandte Pop Studien" (Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur)

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