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To enable a smooth and safe start into the semester for all members of the University of Vienna, you can get vaccinated without prior appointment on the Campus of the University of Vienna from Saturday, 18 September, until Monday, 20 September. More information: https://www.univie.ac.at/en/about-us/further-information/coronavirus/.

Warning! The directory is not yet complete and will be amended until the beginning of the term.

340195 UE Text and written and oral communication English (2020W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 34 - Translationswissenschaft
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

(UPDATE: 6 Nov 2020):
Due to new measures to contain the corona virus, all units planned as hybrid will take place online only.

Format: Hybrid teaching/learning: probably via Blackboard Collaborate (with BigBlueButton, Jitsi, or Zoom as possible alternative platforms).

Friday 16.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 23.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 30.10. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 06.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 13.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 20.11. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 04.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 11.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 18.12. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 08.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 15.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 22.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG
Friday 29.01. 09:30 - 11:00 Seminarraum 7 ZfT Philippovichgasse 11, 2.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

With a COVID SAFE plan in place, we will have one-hour workshops in our brick-and-mortar classroom during fall foliage season and winter. In case of emergency the course will be moved online (virtual live-streamed classes; video/remote learning).

Transcultural communication is based on three principles:
(i) any idea can be expressed in DIFFERENT ways (in our context: verbally);
(ii) there is always a BEFORE (i.e., the source—sometimes only imagined) and an AFTER (our target);
(iii) when we make, when we co-create meaning, we always work with and for somebody else—thus, we have to provide, i.e. safeguard, enough room for others to participate in this process.

In transcultural communication, our staple is texts—seen as multimodal, multisensory, multicodal events.

In this course, we will assess (read/analyse), compose (design/edit) and perform (embody/enact) texts; we will identify (and mimic) patterns—and break with patterns. We will work with pen and paper, voice and body. GENRE, REGISTER, TEXT TYPE, DOMAIN, SUBLANGUAGE, AND STYLE will come as our toy blocks and building bricks, and we will try to drop them in our ‘shape sorter cubes’. PRINTED and PERFORMED texts are quite different phenomena—mosaic and kaleidoscope …

As we often work in highly asymmetric communicative settings, we will not only determine the purpose of a given assignment but also reflect upon the concept of PURPOSE in general: Whose purpose, really? To whose benefit?

The course provides collaborative opportunities to jointly work on texts with your peers. We will discuss choices, compare solutions, and rehearse ideas and arguments before you create (design/perform) your own texts individually or as a team. Our class will also provide stimuli to think and move beyond templates (i.e., dominant, widely circulated formats), thus working on texts that are fit to print and not only printed to fit.

In our class, you will experience a cooperative and supportive environment.

Learning objectives:
(i) to help students to develop their creative composition (including design, visuals, etc.) and performance repertoire;
(ii) to hone design and performance skills with a focus on the communication situation and text organization.

In class, we will move from WRITTEN/DESIGNED to SPOKEN/PERFORMED text, and vice versa: in-class readings, regular writing assignments w/ presentation in class, peer reviews, live performances. Individual, pair and group work.

So, let’s hit the ground running …

Assessment and permitted materials

Mid-term test
Final test

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Excellent knowledge of English.
Students are required to demonstrate that they can apply and possibly adapt the methods and strategies presented in class to new texts and genres.
Students must complete all assignments; to pass, you must not miss more than two classes (attendance will be taken).

Grading will be based on the following:

- 1 mid-term test (30%)
- 1 final test (30%)
- 1 group assignment (20%)
- Timely submission of ALL required assignments/active participation in class (20%)

60% of the above are required for a passing grade at the end of the semester.

Grading scale: 90-100%: 1 // 80-89%: 2 // 70-79%: 3 // 60-69%: 4 // < 60%: 5 (fail).

Examination topics

Both exams will be based on the assignments and our work in class.

Students will achieve the course objectives by:
(i) analysing and assessing a variety of texts;
(ii) writing, adapting/rewriting, or performing texts for various situations, target groups and media;
(iii) reflecting on and discussing the multiple, sequential steps in the composition or performance process;
(iv) incorporating theoretical input given in class in their assignments and applying strategies and methods accordingly.

Reading list

AP—The Associated Press. 2020. The Associated Press Stylebook. 55th Edition. New York: Basic Books.
Bal, Mieke. 2006. A Mieke Bal Reader. Chicago: CUP.
Blommaert, Jan. 2004. Discourse. Cambridge: CUP.
Brownholtz, Bethany M. 2013. [Queneau's] Exercises in Style: 21st Century Remix. College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences—Theses and Dissertations 138. https://via.library.depaul.edu/etd/138/ [22/01/2020].
Cooke, Michèle. 2011. Lightning Flash! Language, longing and the facts of life. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main.
Cooke, Michèle. 2012. Tell It Like It Is? Science, society and the ivory tower. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main.
Fairclough, Norman. 2003. Analysing Discourse. Textual Analysis for social Research. Oxon: Routledge.
Goldberg, Natalie. 2005. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston (MA): Shambhala.
Kress, Gunter & Van Leeuwen, Theo. 2006. Reading Images. The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.
Lebrun, Jean-Luc. 2010. Scientific writing: A reader and writer's guide. Singapore: World Scientific.
Lebrun, Jean-Luc. 2010. When the Scientist Presents. An Audio & Video Guide to Science Talks. Singapore: World Scientific.
Miller, Brenda & Paola, Suzanne. 2012. Tell It Slant! Writing and shaping creative nonfiction. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Olson, Randy. 2009. Don’t be such a scientist. Talking substance in an age of style. Washington: Island Press.
Pease, Allen & Pease, Barbara. 2004. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to Read Others' Attitudes by Their Gestures. London: Orion.
Susan Sontag. 1961. Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Thomas, Jaquie Mary. 2008. Presentations in English. Freiburg: Haufe.
University of Chicago Press. 2017. The Chicago Manual of Style. The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors and Publishers. 17th Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
White, Hayden. 2010. The Fiction of Narrative. Baltimore: JHUP.
Wroe, Ann. 2018. The Economist Style Guide. London: Profile Books.
Zinsser, William. 2016. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. Revised and Expanded. New York: Harper Perennial.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 16.12.2020 10:09