Fachbereich 7

Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft

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Utopias and Dystopias in Modern American Literature and Culture
DozentIn:Jatin Wagle
Veranstaltungstyp:Seminar (Offizielle Lehrveranstaltungen)
Semester:WiSe 2021/22
Zeiten:Do. 12:00 - 14:00 (wöchentlich)
Erster Termin:Donnerstag, 21.10.2021 12:00 - 14:00, Ort: 41/112
Beschreibung:“They are… shadows of light thrown by darkness.” This is how H. G. Wells (1939) describes literary utopias and the contradictory nature of the fictional universes they conjure. Put simply, born of discontent, utopian (and dystopian) imaginaries stand opposed to their contemporaneity. Viewed through this prism, American utopias and dystopias are corrective mirrors of contemporary societies, as they remind us of past promises and issue warnings of impending futures. In this course in American studies, we will take up a selection of speculative fiction from early and late twentieth century and examine their multiple facets and functions.
In order to take and enjoy this class, you should be willing to read, analyze, and discuss historical, analytical and filmic texts, as well as texts of narrative fiction. Please note that this course can be taken as either a Literary Studies or a Cultural Studies course. Furthermore, this seminar is recommended for fourth and fifth semester students of English and American Studies, as it builds on students’ sound awareness and understanding of critical approaches to the study of literature.
We will be discussing the following primary texts intensively in our course:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, _Herland_ (1915)
Toni Morrison, _Paradise_ (1997)
Please procure print or eBook versions and start reading them. Several free or low-cost editions of these texts could be available. Please see to it that your editions are complete and usable in classroom discussions. Recommended editions: Morrison, _Paradise_ [Vintage, 1999, ISBN: 9780099768210], Perkins Gilman, _The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings_ [Penguin, 2010, ISBN: 9780143105855].
We will review our progress, revisit and amend the course schedule, our strategies of classroom interaction as well as the seminar contents on a periodic basis. Readings will be made available in a “Readings” folder via links or as pdfs under the “Files” tab.
This course shares requirements and guidelines with all other American Studies courses taught at IfAA. The “American Studies Tool Kit” in the Stud.IP “Files” section outlines these requirements and guidelines. Please see the “Guidelines for Seminar Papers” for information on the formal requirements for the final paper. The “Abbreviations Key” and “Grading Rubric” are used in the grading and feedback process and will enable you to better judge your own paper even before handing it in. Please check the course webpages on Stud.IP regularly for updates announcements, and changes.
Prerequisites for participation: B1 module
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