Universität Wien FIND

123423 SE Literary & Cultural Studies Seminar / BA Paper / MA British/Irish/New English (2020W)

'Momoires': Remembering the Mother between Life-Writing and Fiction

11.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 18 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Dienstag 06.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 13.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 20.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 27.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 03.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 10.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 17.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 24.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 01.12. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 15.12. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 12.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 19.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Dienstag 26.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

In this webinar we will discuss a number of 'mom-oires' (not momoirs), that is texts (both fictional and autobiographical) that have as their primary concern the representation and memorialization of the mother figure.

The aim is to guide students in a critical engagement with the phenomenon of motherhood (intended as institution, experience as well as discursive formation). In our Western, mostly secular but still Christian world, the figure of the mother has been the object of multiple investments (discursive, symbolical, mythological, religious, economic, political), idealizations (mater dolorosa, Madonna, the 'angel in the house' ), abstractions, stereotypes (the cruel stepmother, Medusa etc...) and displacements (of the sacred). Most of these religious, ideological investments have very little to do with the real life experiences of women both across time and space but also across class and race. In a time of racial, feminist and religious backlashes, we find particularly urgent to re-examine representations of mothers in a number of older and more recent texts drawn from Anglo-American but also postcolonial contexts. Particular emphasis will be put on questions of representation, aesthetics and subjectivity. We will also read and discuss some key-theoretical texts on motherhood (Winnicott, Recalcati, Rose, Chodorow, Rich).

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

- paper proposal (20%) 1 page
- active contribution in class (20%)
- critical theoretical review (20%) 5 pages
- final seminar paper (40%) 20-25 pages included bibliography

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Regular attendance. Only two absences will be tolerated. This webinar will take place regularly every week. In case of a third absence you'll have to send a medical certificate.

Each of the four items above needs to be fulfilled. Overall pass rate is 60%.
Grading scale:
100%-90% Sehr Gut
91%-80% Gut
81%-70% Befriedigend
71%-60% Genügend
59%-0% Nicht Genügend


The primary literature listed below plus the theoretical material discussed in class and made available on the moodle platform. Students are expected to do independent research.


Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar;
Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse;
Simone de Beauvoir's A Very Easy Death & Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter;
Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are not the only Fruit & Why Be Happy if you Could Be Normal?
Mavis Gallant's short stories; Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography of My Mother: A Novel.

* Please note that all the theoretical texts and some of the primary texts will be made available on the moodle platform. Other texts will be available at Facultas on campus.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Studium: UF 344, BA 612, MA 844; MA 844(2)
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.4-322, BA09.2, 10.2, MA4, MA6, MA7; MA 4.1, 4.2
Lehrinhalt: 12-0388

Letzte Änderung: Fr 12.05.2023 00:16