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AAS3 Concepts of Race, Class, and Gender

In diesem Modul werden literarische und kulturelle Entwicklungen im engen Bezug auf sozialstrukturelle Kategorien von Ungleichheit und kultureller Differenz ('race'/ethnicity, class, gender) untersucht. Dabei geht es sowohl darum, die historische Genese und politische Wirksamkeit dieser Kategorien (gerade auch im Blick auf literarische Texte) nachzuvollziehen, als auch darum, sich mit der Rolle kultureller und politischer Widerstands- bzw. Minderheitenbewegungen in den USA, Großbritannien und den anderen anglophonen Ländern auseinanderzusetzen. Mithin eröffnet das Modul den Blick auf Verfahren der Repräsentation von Minderheiten, marginalisierten und benachteiligten Gruppen in der anglophonen Welt und erlaubt eine Auseinandersetzung mit gegenläufigen Strategien des soziokulturellen Protests, der Neuschreibung von Geschichte und der kulturellen Selbstinszenie­rung.

Bisherige Veranstaltungen in dem Modul haben sich z.B. mit folgenden Themen beschäftigt:

  • Literary Masculinities
  • Progressivism and the New Woman. American Literature and Culture, 1880-1910
  • ‘Spaces In-Between?’ American Middlebrow Literatures and Cultures
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Maori Fiction: Texts and Contexts

Das Modul Concepts of Race, Class, and Gender setzt sich zusammen aus 2 Seminaren: AAS3.1 und AAS3.2 (je 2 SWS)

LP: 12

Prüfungsleistung: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)

Experience Report AAS3 “Concepts of Race, Class, and Gender”

This module offers a wide range of seminars which always deal with literary and cultural representations of race, class, and/or gender. Students will encounter a variety of texts from both the oppressive and the oppressed perspective in order to realize that the three terms are deeply enmeshed with questions of power and its maintenance and subversion, respectively. Marginalized literary voices of the anglophone world are shown to bear the potential for actuating socio-cultural processes of reformulation and reorganization.

Starting from the significance of the novel as a ‘modern’ genre of both social and artistic value, the seminar “The African-American Novel at Mid-Century” (Summer 2012) investigated how two African-American novelists wrote themselves into the US-American writing tradition and thereby broadened the novel’s scope. Excerpts from Alain Locke’s The New Negro, Richard Wright’s “How Bigger Was Born” and Ralph Ellison’s “20th-Century Fiction and the Black Mask of Humanity” provided the backdrop for a close reading of Wright’s Native Son and Ellison’s Invisible Man. Seminar discussions focused on the novels’ constructions of masculinity and race, the protagonists’ inner conflict between community and individuality, and the dynamics of vision and recognition in US culture. Tracing recurrent themes and stylistic patterns, the seminar did not only bring the two novels into dialogue. Moreover, Percival Everett’s novel Erasure offered a literary (re)negotiation of the 20th-century writing tradition and transported national questions of freedom, equality, and justice into the next century.

CP: 12

PL: academic paper (5,000 – 7,000 words)

SL: presentations, essays or similar tasks as determined by the lecturer

Former seminars included: Contemporary Writing from West Africa (Summer 2013), Factory Lives: 19th-Century Working-Class Texts (Winter 2012/13), The African-American Novel at Mid-Century (Summer 2012), Transatlantic Reflections: Germans in America, Americans in Germany (Summer 2012), Contemporary Asian American Literature (Summer 2012) 

Responsible for the module is Prof. Dr. Rainer Emig