Universität Erfurt

American Literature

Summer Term 2013 (Archive)

Prof. Dr. Ilka Saal: Lecture: American Literary History: 1865-1914 (Mon 6-8 pm)

This course offers a survey of U.S. American literature from the American Renaissance up to the turn of the century. Far from being a comprehensive survey, it focuses on a few, significant texts and authors that have shaped American literature. We will focus, in particular, on the various ways in which literary works have participated in the general cultural, social, and political discussions of their time, particularly in discussions over race, ethnicity, gender, and class – all of which have been central to shaping and reshaping notions of American nationhood. One of the central questions guiding our inquiry is whether these texts have produced a distinctive tradition of writing that we might call “American,” and what the characteristics of this tradition might be.

Eligible in the following modules:

 

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007
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 Prof. Dr. Ilka Saal: From Soul to Post-Soul: Configurations in Blackness in the 20th/21st Century (Tue 2-4 pm)

This course explores conceptualizations and performances of blackness in 20th/21st cent. African-American culture. Studying a variety of literary texts, along with examples of performance art and film, we will analyze the ways in which race has been configured and reconfigured on stage, page, and screen by way of probing and subverting dominant identity constructions and re/defining ethnic identity. In our discussion, we will also draw on relevant critical texts, which have significantly shaped our understanding of what constitutes the categories of race and ethnicity and of how these categories have evolved over time up to the present moment. This seminar, then, seeks to demonstrate the myriad ways in which race continues to matter in American culture as well as to introduce you to an exciting body of fervent and complex works dedicated to a fundamental reshaping of American identity as such.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Prof. Dr. Ilka Saal: Readings in American Realism (Mon 4-6 pm)

This course offers the opportunity to engage in a close reading of a few, select fictional texts from the late 19th and early 20th century and to examine the overall conceptualization and function of realism in American literature and culture. Besides analyzing questions of narrative structure and poetic form, we will also pay attention to the larger cultural/political issues addressed in these texts.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literatur-wissenschaft 2007Bachelor (BA) Literatur-wissenschaft 2007Master (M) Literatur-wissenschaft 2011Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007
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Prof. Dr. Ilka Saal: Teatrum Belli (Tue 10-12 am)

This seminar explores the intersection of war and theater. At first glance, they seem to have little in common: theater is fiction, war is real. Upon closer scrutiny, however, they share surprising affinities: both are cultural artifacts; both require producers, directors, actors, and spectators; and, in our day, both increasingly blur the boundaries between stage and audience, fact and fiction. The persistent mediatization of modern warfare has turned war itself into the perfect spectacle; just as theater, too, has increasingly mediated its performances for the audience by incorporating technology and media. So can we, as Western spectators, still distinguish between the two? Does the theater still matter in times of spectacular warfare or has it been erased by the theatricality of war? We will explore these and related questions by examining a few select theatrical productions, attempting to render for us the contemporary experience of war.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literatur-wissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literatur-wissenschaft 2001Master (M) Literatur-wissenschaft 2011Magister (MA) Literatur-wissenschaft 2006Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL Regelschule 2007)

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: American Landscape (Wed 2-4 pm)

In this seminar students will be introduced to visual representations of the American landscape in order to explore the dynamic relationships between the arts, nature and politics. Students will be taught to situate representative landscape images in their historical contexts and to critically interrogate the issues raised by the images. The goal of this course is to access various conceptual frameworks for addressing questions about nationalism, globalism, consumerism, and environmental activism and to interrogate the continuing conceptualization of the American landscape.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: American Literature of Capitalism (Thu 10-12 am)

In this interdisciplinary seminar we will read select US-American literature from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century through the lens of economic concerns. While being introduced to some key texts of American literary history, students will become familiar with some milestones in American economic history. We will discuss the various forms in which American writers spark, pursue and sometimes answer controversial questions about social and economic welfare, equal opportunities, labor laws, globalization, etc.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: Nineteenth Century American Women Writers (Thu 2-4 pm)

America's founding principles of equality and equal opportunity have long been the subject of debates and conflict. The broad purpose of this course is to better understand how the struggle for gender and race equality has defined the literary works of American women writers in the nineteenth century, which in return turned out to shape the political realities of the nation. Despite their impact, their huge popularity at the time, and their artistic values, literary texts by women writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe remained ignored by twentieth century literary critics until a recovery began in the late 1960s and 70s. We will pay attention to questions of form as well as to the larger cultural/political issues addressed in select writings of important nineteenth century women authors.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: American Travel Literature (Wed 10-12 am)

This seminar explores the rich tradition of American travel literature, surveying both the historical development and shifting definitions of the genre. Students will learn to identify terms and concepts central to the genre such as `the exotic´, `the picturesque´, `the grand tour´, `the international theme´, `the middle passage´, etc. Students will also be introduced to the sustained critical analysis of travel literature with a special focus on colonialization, formation of national identity, globalization, and ecocriticism.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: Lecture: The City in American Literature (Fri 8-10 am)

This lecture introduces students to American urban fiction and some seminal theory from the field of urban studies. We will study literary representations of cities in American literature diachronically from the 17th century to the 21st century. Students will get acquainted with the ways of urban imagineering, in which American cities were simultaneously fictionally imagined and materially engineered against the backdrop of both European capitals and the American wilderness. To conceptualize our reading, we will draw on the critical discourse on the American wilderness, the global city, and transnational urbanism.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenchaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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Dr. Verena Laschinger: Reading Course: The City in American Literature (Fri 10-12 am)

This course provides an opportunity to engage in a close reading of select texts addressed in the lecture on the city in American literature. Covering a time span from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century our survey includes fictional texts by major American writers such as Theodore Dreiser, Edgar Allan Poe and Lorraine Hansberry. Attending the lecture will prepare you to better understand the primary texts and the key concepts of how American writers have conceptualized the urban environment over the course of the centuries.

Bachelor (B) Anglistik 2012Bachelor (BA) Anglistik 2007Bachelor (B) Literaturwissenschaft 2012Bachelor (BA) Literaturwissenschaft 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Grundschule 2007Magister-Lehramt (MaL) Regelschule 2007

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