Universität Wien
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123210 VO Literatures in English (2021W)


5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik


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


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Fr 15:30-17:00 online
recorded online lecture with weekly tutorial and office hour

  • Friday 08.10. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 15.10. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 22.10. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 29.10. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 05.11. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 12.11. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 19.11. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 26.11. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 03.12. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 10.12. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 17.12. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 07.01. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 14.01. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital
  • Friday 21.01. 15:30 - 17:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Lecture title:

This lecture course proceeds from the double entendre in its title: on the one hand, it will take you on a trip through 5+ centuries of North American literatures, with stops in each century and across the continent, from the Caribbean to Canada; on the other, it examines North American literatures through its many tropes of mobility, from colonial "discovery" across the Atlantic and ever further west to Afrodiasporic archipelagoes; from (gendered) explorations into the darker sides of North American selves (Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville) and of immobilization of women, nonwhite peoples (e.g. border literatures by LatinX and indigenous writers), and the working class (Steinbeck; Tillie Olsen). Looking at various forms of North American prose and poetry through the lens of im/mobilities will hopefully make us pay attention to roads less travelled and the diversity of North American writing.

The lecture will mostly be held in a dialogic format: after an introductory input phase, I will talk with a specialist in most sessions, exploring the texts through a number of questions rather than prefigured explanations only. After each (recorded) lecture, students will be able to comment and ask questions in specified Moodle fora which I will take up in the next lecture.

Synchronous weekly contact is possible in an online office hour (BBB sessions set up via Moodle) every Friday (1-2 pm) and the weekly tutorial with our tutor Adam Baltner, BA.

Assessment and permitted materials

100%=Written exam (90 min.), in person if the pandemic allows
no auxiliaries allowed
4 sittings (1st=last session)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The exam consists of 2 parts (with 50 points each) which both need to be positive.
Part 1: multiple choice
Part 2: well-structured coherent essay (about 800 words)

60% min. pass requirement

Examination topics

The topics covered in class and all mandatory reading material

Reading list

Please obtain the following novels:
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath OR Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Laila Halaby, Once in a Promised Land OR Gish Jen, Mona in the Promised Land
The poems and short stories as well as prose excerpts will be available on the course Moodle page.

Association in the course directory

Studium: MA 812 (2); MA 844; MA 844(2), UF MA 046
Code/Modul: MA M3; MA1; MA1; UF MA 1B, 4A
Lehrinhalt: 12-0404

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:16