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BA Courses

Literature and Culture I (04-001-1001)

Module Coordinator: Prof. Carsten Junker

This module acquaints students with the basic issues and techniques of American literary studies. It provides a survey of United States literary history as well as an introduction to the methods and theories employed in literary and cultural analysis.

[==The module consists of one lecture, one seminar, and one tutorial==

Lecture: American Literature: Beginnings to Present

Information

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Institute for American Studies is located at the University's Humanities Building (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum, GWZ), Beethovenstraße 15, on the 5th floor, in house 3.

Courses Winter 2017/18

Below please find our course catalog. We will update these pages throughout the break and the semester. Unless stated otherwise, classes start in the week of October 9, 2017.
Students are responsible for keeping track of updates on actual course dates (some are alternating).

 
 

Information

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Institute for American Studies is located at the University's Humanities Building (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum, GWZ), Beethovenstraße 15, on the 5th floor, in house 3.

Name Room Email Phone

 Prof. PhD. Crister S. Garrett

 3 5.05

 crister.garrett@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 335

 Prof. Dr. Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez

 3 5.08

 pisarz@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 343

 Prof. Dr. Carsten Junker

 3 5.07

 carsten.junker@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 331

 Dr. Katja Schmieder

 3 5.02

 schmieder@rz.uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 334

 Dr. Sebastian Herrmann

 3 5.03

 smherrmann@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 337

 Tobias Schlobach, MA

 3 5.01

 tobias.schlobach@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 336

 Stefan Schubert, MA

 3 5.02

 stefan.schubert@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 334

 Heather Prüßing, MA

 3 5.01

 heather.pruessing@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 336

 Eleonora Ravizza, MA

 3 5.04

 eleonora.ravizza@uni-leipzig.de

 97 37 332

REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES

Most classes require prior registration. To learn more about registration procedures for students in different ASL programs (Magister, BA, MA; service for Lehramt), please have a look at the Registration Information Sheet available in the respective news item. As access to some classes is quite competitive, please take the procedures and deadlines for registration seriously.

AMERICAN STUDIES MODULES

Modules in the BA and MA programs are designed to achieve specific learning goals, they entail a specific amount and specific types of coursework and examinations, and they may have prerequisites. To learn more about these, we strongly encourage you to have a look at our program's Module Catalog (BAMA) and at the appendix to our Conditions of Study (BAMA).

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

International Students are very welcome in the courses offered by the Institute for American Studies. To learn more about places available in individual courses, please contact the instructor, and describe your situation briefly (i.e., exchange student, international guest student, participating in an international degree program). We will do our very best to include you in our courses.

COURSES

Course catalogs of past semesters can be found in the Downloads and Resources Area.

For course offerings in Linguistics, please consult the British Studies course catalog, available at the website of the Institute for British Studies (anglistik.philol.uni-leipzig.de).

Unless stated otherwise, classes start in the week of October 9, 2017. Students are responsible for keeping track of updates on actual course dates (some are alternating).

Addresses:
GWZ (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum), Beethovenstr. 15
NSG (Neues Seminargebäude), Universitätsstr. 5
HSG (Hörsaalgebäude), Universitätsstr. 7

201715Aug

Positions Available at the Graduate School 'Practices of Literature' in Münster

The College of Philology at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University in Münster is looking for interested and qualified doctoral candidates in the area of Literary Studies starting April 1st 2018.

The following three areas are to be emphasized in the individual doctoral dissertations:

1. Literature and Society: The relationship between Literary Studies, Social Theories, Cultural Theo-ries and Studies, and Literature

Narrative Instability in Contemporary US Popular Culture

Dissertation project by
Stefan Schubert

This (ongoing) project investigates contemporary US popular culture for what it terms ‘narrative instability.’ The project identifies a narrative trend since the 1990s among popular media to engage in instability in their narration: Such texts obfuscate and hinder narrative comprehension through fragmented, distorted, or unreliable narrations that complicate—and thus draw attention to—the process of (re)constructing a text’s storyworld. Significantly, unlike novels of ‘high’ postmodernism, which serve as the forebears of this trend, these contemporary unstable texts have attained widespread commercial popularity among different media. The project thus examines this phenomenon as a transmedia trend by looking particularly at contemporary films (e.g., Fight Club, Inception), TV series (e.g., Westworld), and video games (e.g., Alan Wake, BioShock Infinite), while also pointing to contemporary novels that work similarly and have, in turn, been influenced by these ‘newer’ media (e.g., House of Leaves, People of Paper).

The 19th-Century US Data Imaginary

Postdoctoral Project by
Sebastian M. Herrmann

Diagram and Statistical Record of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (J. C. Power, 1858)This ongoing postdoctoral project is interested in the ‘data imaginary’ of the nineteenth century. It asks how ‘data’ came to be an important cultural (social, political, textual) category; how something as abstract as the notion of presumably ‘pure,’ discontinuous, discrete, often numerical, and quantifiable information came to be imagined as a ‘thing’ that can be created, bought, sold, regulated, or used for all manner of interactions and socio-political negotiations; how data came to be imagined as something with social and political valencies; and, most importantly, how this new ‘thing’ gained cultural presence not simply as a tool but as a way of thinking about the world.

Literary and cultural studies have stressed the role of narrative for the emergence of national identity, for the negotiation of cultural and social difference, and for navigating the transformations of modernity. Thinking about the culturalization of data and the rise of the data imaginary complements this perspective by asking for the role that emphatically nonnarrative symbolic forms—and the textual practices they entail—have played in this.

For more information, please see the project webpage at www.data-imaginary.de.

20179Aug

ASL's Crister Garrett Interviewed by tagesschau on Escalating Crisis in North Korea

American Studies Leipzig Professor Crister S. Garrett was interviewed by Tagesschau about the escalating crisis in North Korea, and the American and international reactions to unfolding developments. The interview can be viewed here: http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video-315655.html

Ambivalent Americanizations: Popular and Consumer Culture in Central and Eastern Europe

Project by
Dr. Sebastian Hermann
Dr. Katja Kanzler
Prof. Dr. Anne Koenen
Dr. Zoë Antonia Kusmierz
Dr. Leonard Schmieding
 

The (completed) project explores the complex dynamics involved in the 'Americanization' of popular and consumer cultures across Europe with a focus on the years 1945-89. A central concern is to advance scholarship on 'Americanization' by asking for the experience of Central and Eastern Europe. Here 'Americanization' figured within a political, cultural, and economic context that defined itself in sharp contrast to 'America.' This perspective provides for a concept of 'Americanization' as a set of complex processes of cultural mixing and practices of cultural appropriation, underscoring the various ambivalences of boundaries, parameters and modes of engagement.

 

 

Animal Studies

Completed Projects by
Prof. Dr. Anne Koenen

Farm Animals and Supermarket Pastoral

In the transition from subsistence farming to industrial farming at the beginning of the 20th century, American farmers had to be educated into thinking of their animals as "machines." Roughly a century later, in contemporary US culture, "farm animals?" feature less as real creatures than kitschy representations for children, part of a general trend (like "monkids") to sentimentalize (certain) animals. Real "farm animals," however, are still largely condemned to an abysmal (mass) existence in the industrial animal farm. This project, situated in the field of animal studies and popular culture, investigates the historical dimension and current manifestations of the grotesque split between popular representation and mass production.

Impossible Narrators: The Silencing and Representation of Animals

The issues of silencing and being able to speak with one’s own voice have been at the center of minority discourses and gender discussions about the construction and representation of "otherness." Because animals constitute the ultimate other, silencing and speaking acquire different meanings: even in the case of those few species that have successfully been taught to use some sign language, we (human animals) know that there are strict and insurmountable limits to communication. How then do writers solve that dilemma in their attempts to represent animals?

Mail Order Catalogs, Consumption, and the Construction of American Identity

Project by
Prof. Dr. Anne Koenen

This (completed) project focuses on consumerism based on mass production and standardization that emerged in the US in the first decades of the 20th century. One of the effects of consumerism has been identified as homogenization in the social sphere. That process of homogenization contributed to nation-building and was perceived as both democratizing (levelling, for example, class markers in dress) and desirable. Mail order (especially the most successful company, Sears Roebuck) was the most important media of homogenization for the rural population: it provided the rural population with an access to consumerism (and thus prevented an already starting exodus from the country, as Postmaster General Wanamaker stated when reforming the postal service with the explicit aim to facilitate the mail-order companies’ business); it helped to "civilize" the still underdeveloped regions on the frontier, helping them join the rest of the US. In addition, it served as a primer and as a venue of buying for immigrants (who were consciously targeted as customers) who not only used to catalogs to learn to read and write, but also to achieve cultural literacy; and, as research has demonstrated, helped at least some African-Americans to be customers without having to suffer repression - mail order was color blind at a time when the US was mostly segregated. As a result, mail order served to "standardize" various groups into "Americans," enabling them join modernization. Consumption thus contributed in a major way to create a national identity in the US.

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