Fachbereich 7

Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft

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American Populist Storytelling: Poetics and Politics

DozentIn: Jatin Wagle

Veranstaltungstyp: Seminar

Ort: 41/E07

Zeiten: Di. 12:00 - 14:00 (wöchentlich)

Beschreibung: Populist narratives are apparently told on behalf of an unspecified “people,” which in turn are presented as far more authentic in contrast to either the elite or the so-called outsiders, oftentimes both rolled into one. Such narrative compositions appropriate varied imaginaries – figures and myths – over time and across the globe. For instance, in the latter half of the last century in the United States, an authentic “heartland” (Taggart) was portrayed as the Nixonian “silent majority” or in its more evangelical incarnation as the “moral majority,” while earlier in this century, it was presented as “real America” by the Tea Party movement. Such political tropes appear to derive their potency from larger social narratives, or “deep stories” as Arlie Hochschild (2018) calls them, of estrangement, anxiety, loss and betrayal. In this course in American Studies, we will examine recurrent forms and tropes of populist storytelling, as we take up modern texts of narrative fiction from the United States that depict and address populism and its visible as well as hidden narratives.
This seminar will take up a challenging selection of theoretical, analytical, fictional and nonfictional texts that demand careful preparation and thoughtful discussion. Please note that this seminar is recommended for advanced master’s students since it builds upon their awareness and understanding of the advanced concepts and theories in literary and cultural studies.
A list of primary texts and/or required readings will be provided before the course begins.

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