930005 English Literature and Culture

winter semester 2013/2014 | Last update: 07.05.2018 Place course on memo list
English Literature and Culture
VO 2

The lecture aims to reflect concepts and ideas on gender, culture and other categories and forms of difference and hierarchy and the fact, that they are culturally determined. It will also shed light on the intersection of different social and symbolic categories such as gender, ethnicity, “race”, class or nationality. We will also examine different theories on ethnicity, racism and Othering and their interconnectedness with gender. Here especially the positions from postcolonial and feminist theorists will be delineated and analysed.

Starting point is the fact of differences and hierarchies between women, which where ignored by western feminists for a long time. First we will approach the critiques of Women of Colour on hegemonic positions of white western middle-class feminist theory and praxis. The course will delineate the history of these debates and analysis of Feminists of Colour especially in the USA and Great Britain since the 1970s, including its beginnings in the 19th century, which resulted in the paradigm of intersectionality. This paradigm is debated intensely since several years, also in German speaking countries. In this respect the question of intersectionality as “travelling theory” has to be discussed.

The lecture will also present important positions within racism-theory as well as ethnicity. Here it will also reflect on historical aspects, such as the connection of racism and sexism in colonial history. It will also deal with the so called “colonial gaze” which manifested itself in the display of people from Africa and other colonised regions and resulted in the objectivation of people of dark skin. This will be illustrated using especially the example of Sara Bartman, the so called “Hottentot Venus”.

There will also be portrayed important characteristics of European Othering, focussing on the interconnectedness on gender and ethnicity. It will reflect on the importance of gender norms on colonial and imperial discourses as well as the different positions of men and women within the colonial project. We will also scrutinize if differences in representations of the Other can be delineated in male and female writings. One crucial finding should be, that many of these conceptions and discourses are of important relevance also in present times.

Lectures, discussions, group works, film analysis

Written exam at the end of the term, core readings including written extracts

Castro Varela, María do Mar/Dhawan, Nikita: Edward Said – Der orientalisierte Orient. In: Dies.: Postkoloniale Theorie. Eine kritische Einführung, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2005, S. 29–37. Graduiertenkolleg Identität und Differenz (Hg.): Ethnizität und Geschlecht. (Post-)Koloniale Verhandlungen in Geschichte Kunst und Medien, Köln et al.: Böhlau, 2005. Yegenoglu, Meyda: Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Tto be complemented!


not applicable

Readings partly in English. The two courses of the module are thematically linked.

Group 0
Date Time Location
Fri 2013-10-18
14.30 - 19.30 SR I (Theologie) SR I (Theologie) Barrier-free
Fri 2013-11-29
09.00 - 16.00 SR 13 (Sowi) SR 13 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Fri 2013-12-13
13.00 - 19.30 UR 3 (Sowi) UR 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Thu 2014-01-23
13.00 - 19.30 SR 1 (Sowi) SR 1 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2014-03-05
15.00 - 16.45 SR 1 (Sowi) SR 1 (Sowi) Barrier-free Klausur
Mon 2014-04-07
16.00 - 17.30 SR 18 (Sowi) SR 18 (Sowi) Barrier-free 3. Klausurtermin