Universität Wien FIND

123045 PS Literary Studies / Proseminar Literature (2021S)

North American Intergenerational Family Narratives

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

This class will take place online on Tuesdays (starting on March 9) from 16:15 to 17:45pm.

Tuesday 09.03. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 16.03. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 11.05. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 01.06. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 22.06. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital
Tuesday 29.06. 16:15 - 17:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Intergenerational family narratives imagine ways in which the lives of successive generations are connected, how privilege and forms of oppression can transform and be passed on, and how characters try to distance themselves from the legacies of (or imposed on) their families. Rather than depicting the family as a primarily intimate sphere, detached from public life, the texts studied in this course show family structures as deeply affected by political, social, and cultural events. By analyzing the uneven, often exclusionary effects of identity markers like race, national origin, and gender, we will critique nativist, heteronormative conceptions of the family and try to envision it more expansively.

In addition to the thematic focus, the course will cover the stages of the academic writing process, including developing a topic suited for literary analysis, conducting research, referencing, drafting, and revising. Most of the written tasks will be stepping stones towards the final assignment, the proseminar paper.

Assessment and permitted materials

Regular attendance (no more than 2 absences), participation, presentation, short writing assignments, proseminar paper

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Active participation and short assignments: 10%
Presentation: 20%
Paper proposal and annotated bibliography: 20%
Proseminar paper: 50%

Each individual assignment must be completed to earn a passing grade.

Grading scale:
1: 100-90%
2: 89-80%
3: 79-70%
4: 69-60%
5: 59-0%

Examination topics

All material covered in class and in the readings. There will be no written exam.

Reading list

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Shorter texts and theoretical/secondary readings will be available on Moodle.

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 15.03.2023 00:17