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123043 PS Literary Studies / Proseminar Literature (2020W)

Making sense of literary texts: Select poems and narrative fiction from early modern to postmodern

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N


Sessions are going to take place via videoconferencing. Attendance is required.

No class on 28 January 2021.

Thursday 08.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 15.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 22.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 29.10. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 05.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 12.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 19.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 26.11. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 03.12. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 10.12. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 17.12. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 07.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 14.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Thursday 21.01. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course will focus on using theory for making sense of literary texts. We will look at a selection of poems and narrative texts from British literary history – ranging from early modern sonnets to postmodern short stories (see reading list). We will explore questions of the historical contingency of literary devices as we fast-forward through the centuries, exploring the close relationship between form, meaning and context.

This course will familiarise students with key techniques of academic research and text production. During this course, students will plan a research project resulting in a short final paper.

This course will rely on the theoretical concepts conveyed in the literary and cultural studies introductory lectures. Participants are encouraged to revisit their notes from these lectures before the semester begins, since these will be the subject of our midterm exam. (NB: Vera and Ansgar Nünning’s An Introduction to the Study of English and American Literature is recommended reading for exam preparation.)

All primary texts will be available at Facultas on Campus (course reader with all shorter texts + one novel). Important secondary literature and further material will be provided on Moodle.

Assessment and permitted materials

regular attendance / preparation of assigned reading materials / active participation / midterm exam / presentation + handout / submitting abstract and table of contents for term paper / submitting term paper / students must own and use the editions of primary texts stated below (course reader + one novel).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Point distribution as follows:
15 % – Active participation
15 % – Midterm exam
20 % – Presentation + handout
10% – Abstract + table of contents (term paper)
40 % – Term paper (3500 words)

Points must be collected in all categories. Students must attain at least 60% to pass this course.

Marking as follows:
90-100 % – 1 (very good)
80-89 % – 2 (good)
70-79 % – 3 (satisfactory)
60-69 % – 4 (pass)
00-59 % – 5 (fail)

The handout and the term paper must adhere to the department’s style sheet for papers in literary and cultural studies. The term paper, accompanied by an anti-plagiarism statement, must be handed in via Moodle as a Word document.

No more than two lessons may be missed without medical statement. Missing more than three lessons will result in failing the class.

Examination topics

Midterm exam: the list of relevant theoretical terms and concepts will be provided on Moodle.

Reading list

Reproduced in the course reader:

William Shakespeare, ‘Sonnet 130’ (1609)
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave (1688)
Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Ozymandias’ (1818)
Robert Browning, ‘My Last Duchess’ (1842)
Virginia Woolf, ‘Kew Gardens’ (1919)
Doris Lessing, ‘To Room Nineteen’ (1963)
Angela Carter, ‘The Werewolf,’ ‘The Company of Wolves’ and ‘Wolf-Alice’ from The Bloody Chamber (1979)

To be bought separately:

Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden (1978). Ed. Astrid Wagner. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2000. ISBN 978-3-15-009069-5

Association in the course directory

Studium: UF 344, BA 612; BEd 046 / 407
Code/Modul: UF 3.3.3-304; BA10.1; BEd 08a.1, BEd 08b.2
Lehrinhalt: 12-3041

Last modified: We 07.10.2020 14:28