Winter Term 2022/23


Courses Winter 2022/23

In the winter term 2022/23 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

with Tobias Schank

UE CS II North America: Race, Class, Gender in Borderlands Films and Music

MA Border Studies: Specialization Module C1: Interculturality and Diversity

Crossgelistet für Masterstudiengang Lateinamerika 

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

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


Freitag, 28.10.22: 13.30-18.30

Samstag, 29.10.22: 10.00-12.30

Freitag, 18.11.22: 13.30-18.30

Samstag, 19.11.22: 10.00-12.30

Freitag, 13.01.23: 13.30-18.30

Samstag, 14.01.23: 10.00-12.30

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. 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.  


VL: Identity, Diaspora, and Displacement in North American Literatures

Tue, 12-14

This course provides a survey of North American literatures, presenting texts written by and about immigrants, migrants refugees, and asylum seekers. It will afford students the opportunity to reflect on current discussions in politics and media on refugees, migrants and diasporic communities. Focusing on the representations of migrant trajectories and refugee experiences in literary texts by transcultural Anglophone writers (Jewish, Latinx, Asian, Irish, Ukrainian) who reside in the U.S. and in Canada, we will look at the different representational and narrative strategies which are employed in order to situate the constructions of diasporic and transnational identities within global processes of colonization, globalization, capitalism, and nationalism.

Course Readings:There will be a course reader, which will be made available on Teams.


BA/MA/STEX Colloquium

Tue, 16-18, online

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 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 18, 2022.

Please sign up for the Blockkolloquium (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 25, 2022. The exact dates of when these workshops will meet will be published on our website.

Please sign up via LSF.


Research Colloquium

Tue, 18-20, online

This research colloquium offers writers of Ph.D. dissertations a forum for presentations of their work-in-progress. It will start on October 25, 2022.

Dr. Svetlana Seibel

HS: Weavers of Tales: Women Writers and the Homeric Tradition

Mon, 14-16

Genderzertifikat: Aktuelle Fragestellungen der Genderforschung

In a Guardian article dedicated to the publication of Natalie Haynes’ novel A Thousand Ships (April 29, 2019), Charlotte Higgins poses the question “why women are lining up to reboot the classics?” The article addresses the recent upsurge of literary texts by women authors who reinterpret the literary tradition of Greek and Roman antiquity, particularly the works of Homer and Virgil. In the last decade and a half only, authors such as Natalie Haynes, Pat Barker, Madeline Miller, Nikita Gill, Margaret Atwood, and Ursula Le Guin, to name a few, have undertaken such reinterpretations. All of these authors not only offer creative rewritings of stories that are considered foundational for the development of Western literature, but also adopt a critical feminist stance in order to expose the ideological biases of these stories and their receptions in a revisionist way. This revision is achieved by various means, most notably by foregrounding the perspectives of women characters whose silences permeate classical texts; in Higgins’ words, “[t]hey want to hear old stories told afresh, and they want to hear about women; and they want to do it because it might help us think about our own moment” (n.p.). This critical move connects to the tradition of feminist literary criticism which seeks to re-center women’s voices where they are relegated to the margins of literary expression—a move especially powerfully articulated by Hélène Cixous’ appropriately classicist symbolic image of a laughing Medusa. In this class, we will trace the development of feminist classicist writing by North American women authors of the 20th and 21st centuries who explore the Homeric tradition, reading literary texts by H.D., Margaret Atwood, and Madeline Miller through the lens of feminist theory and literary criticism, as well as classical reception studies.

Students will be expected to have read the respective texts in advance of the class and to come prepared to discuss their own ideas in relation to them. Please make sure that you have finished reading Helen in Egypt by the third session of this course.

You will need to purchase the following texts for this class:

  1. H.D., Helen in Egypt. New Directions, 1974. ISBN 978-0811205443
  2. Atwood, Margaret. The Penelopiad. Canongate Books, 2018. ISBN 978-1786892485 (please   make sure to get the novel, not the play)
  3. Miller, Madeline. Circe. Back Bay Books, 2019. ISBN 978-0316423885

Bärbel Schlimbach, M.A.

PS: Uncanny and Haunting? American Gothic Fiction from the 18th Century to the Present

Wed., 14-16

This seminar will investigate American Gothic fiction, one of the most popular genres in American literature from the time of Independence to the present. After an introduction to the genre of Gothic fiction, its subgenres, traditions and developments, we will discuss differences between American Gothic fiction and its European predecessors/counterparts. Our corpus of primary texts, predominantly short stories, will introduce different American Gothic traditions like “frontier Gothic” or “Southern Gothic.” Previous to our discussion of primary texts, students will be provided with a selection of theoretical readings, helping to define terms and concepts important for Gothic fiction. In the seminar discussion, we will identify typical features and elements of Gothic literature and discuss their relevance: How is the uncanny, unknown or irrational constructed? How do spooky Southern plantations, mysterious mansions or thunderstorms feature in the texts? What is the function of sinister strangers, ghosts, vampires or monsters? Is a belief in rationality and progress oppositional to Gothic’s skepticism and irrationality or is this “the other side” of the same coin? In what ways can Gothic fiction be read as giving voice to suppressed groups or as possibility to represent silenced/marginalized themes like racism, sexism or slavery? Our primary texts will include short stories from Charles Brockden Brown’s “Somnambulism” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s "Young Goodman Brown" over Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Fall of the House of Usher" to more recent short stories by Carson McCullers and Flannery O’Connor as well as excerpts from Jewell Gomez’s The Gilda Stories.

Readings: Most 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.

Dr. Arlette Warken

PS: In Other Wor(l)ds: Margaret Atwood’s Short Fiction and Poetry

Thursday, 16-18

Discussing Canadian writer Margaret Atwood’s collection of tales Stone Mattress (2014), Coral Ann Howells argues that it “is a veritable sampler of genre fiction revisited, with one crime story, two vampire stories, three interconnected fantasy stories, two Gothic horror stories, and a final dystopia.” Apart from the genres listed in this quote, Atwood frequently writes speculative fiction and uses folk elements such as fables and fairy tales. In this course, we will explore how some of Atwood’s short fiction and poetry moves away from realism and blends and undermines the everyday and the uncanny, the real and the imagined, covering a variety of themes such as critique of society, gender, the environment, science, and art, to name but a few.

A selection of texts will be provided via Moodle.

Isis Luxenburger

Introduction to Media Studies – Stereotypes and Identities in Modern Family (2009-2020)

Mo 10-12

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat Angewandte Popstudien (Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur)

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat Gender Studies

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 episodes of one of the most popular and most successful American TV series, Modern Family (2009-2020). In this mockumentary sitcom, a camera team accompanies the three households of a family in suburban Los Angeles. In the individual episodes of the series, storylines of different family members or households with the same, similar or interrelated problems are woven together. The resolution of the plot knot(s) at the end of each episode reveals a moral to the viewer, which, however, often remains hidden from the characters themselves. The circular dramaturgy of the series is just as typical of the sitcom format as its stereotyped characters. However, the characters repeatedly break out of the roles assigned to them and oscillate between opposite poles (e.g. macho/softie, female/male, emotional/rational or childlike/adult) depending on the situations they find themselves in. Episodes end with the characters’ relapse into their stereotypes, which restores the status quo and prevents them from learning something new and evolving. By playing with the audience’s viewing habits and expectations, the series’ creators reflect on the consumption and production of media in general and TV series in particular. Therefore, the study of Modern Family allows for both the application of film analysis and its analysis from a meta-level. Although the course focuses on a TV series, the students will be provided with a toolkit to critically analyze media productions in general and from various angles.

Readings and material: A selection of texts will be provided; the series is partly available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ and can be provided on DVD.

Requirements: The introductory part of the course will be accompanied by readings and small writing assignments, students will give a presentation in class and write a short essay.

Peyman Rezwan

UE CS II North America: Born In The USA: The Representation Of Minorities In Music And On TV

Details to be announced

Anrechenbar für Zertifikat Popstudien (Pflichtmodul 1: Interdisziplinäre Einführung in die Popkultur)

“When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.”

George Carlin

This course will discuss the principle of representation, and apply to several areas dealing with the USA. It will feature a survey of selected items from American history, such as slavery or prohibition, examine them and investigate how they have been translated to the TV screen, e.g. by looking at shows like Roots, Boardwalk Empire or Underground. Furthermore, we will look at current American politics, especially at the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. With Donald Trump as president, representations of the US have changed, both in national and international media, and we will try to explore those changes and analyze them. In addition, events that happened in the recent past, like 9/11, and were dealt with by Hollywood, and the American music industry are going to be targets of our discussion.Finally, significant aspects of American life and culture will be discussed, and their representation on TV and in music will be analyzed, the focus being on ethnicities and how they are represented in these two forms of mass media. All in all, general introductions to TV and music studies, as well as a look at key issues in American history and culture, will be offered.

Danielle Kopf-Giammanco

Introduction to Cultural Studies North America

Thursday, 12-14

B 3 1, Lecture hall I

This course is intended to provide a foundational understanding of cultural myth(s), production, and analysis in Cultural Studies. This lecture will primarily focus on the United States but will feature some Canadian history and culture. The first section of the course will be dedicated to a general survey of contemporary political and social aspects in the United States, as well as some in Canada. The second section will provide an overview of theoretical approaches to North American Cultural Studies with a focus on the historical development of policy, media, race, gender, and class. The course’s historical focus will primarily be centered around understanding how events in the twentieth- and twenty-first century have contributed to present-day American national identity formation. We will explore how popular narratives aim to encompass multiculturalism, while also working to universalize the American experience and what it means to be “American.” 

We will discuss issues regarding race, class, gender, sexuality, discrimination, violence, and slavery. It is my intention to create a safe space for all participants to learn and engage with this discourse, as well as understand/respect different perspectives.

Readings/materials: Select essays, chapters, and excerpts will be made available on Moodle. Most readings will be from: Neil Campbell & Alasdair Kean, American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture. Fourth edition. (Routledge, 2016).

Music, film, social media, and other video footage will also be provided to students via MS Teams and/or Moodle.

Course requirements: readings, regular attendance, final exam (depending on circumstances this could take place online or in person).