Fachbereich 7

Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft


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Puritan Poetry


DozentIn: Fenja Heisig

Veranstaltungstyp: Seminar

Ort: 41/E07: Di. 14:00 - 16:00 (14x), 22/104: Dienstag. 05.07.22 12:00 - 14:00, 22/103: Dienstag. 05.07.22 16:00 - 18:00

Zeiten: Di. 14:00 - 16:00 (wöchentlich), Ort: 41/E07, Termine am Dienstag. 05.07.22 12:00 - 14:00, Dienstag. 05.07.22 16:00 - 18:00, Ort: 22/104, 22/103

Beschreibung: In this seminar, we will explore the strange and interesting world of Puritan poetry. Time spent writing poetry could not be dedicated to one's relationship with God, some Puritans thought, and was thus time wasted. Nevertheless, many Puritans wrote poetry to pass the time, to quell fears, to reach out to God–poetry could serve as entertainment, as prayer, and as a conversation. Within poetry doubts and worries could be negotiated. The poetic form offered a protected literary sphere in which it became possible to express social criticisms.

The poems will take us back to the seventeenth century and to one of the earliest colonial periods on the North American continent. Together, we will examine the very foundations of US-American culture and delve into the Puritan worldview. We will trace the development of Evangelicalism in the US as well as the origins of US-American exceptionalism. We will carve out the injustices committed against the Indigenous population and analyze whether some Puritan poems contain proto-feminist notions.

Please note that in this seminar we will analyze and discuss poems in vast detail, focusing on form and–more importantly–content. We will discuss the cultural background as well as the early formations of a proto-US-American identity. Prior knowledge of Puritan poetry is not necessary but this seminar requires active participation from everyone, as well as an interest in cultural studies and the willingness to delve into deep discussions of poetry, gender, religion, and colonialism.


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