610017 SE American Literature, Culture and Media: Postmodernism

summer semester 2021 | Last update: 25.02.2021 Place course on memo list
SE American Literature, Culture and Media: Postmodernism
SE 2
each semester

This class aims to give students an introductory approach to the complex concept of postmodernism as an aesthetic and cultural phenomenon.

"Postmodernism" is a wide-ranging term for many different philosophical, artistic, and cultural developments since the 1960s that were as influential as they were controversial, and which are more complex and varied than the collective label suggests. As the final "epoch" whose end has been proclaimed virtually since its beginning, postmodernism nowadays is a contentious term that is used in slanderous ways as well as in empty gestures, and at the same time it is also a popcultural paradigm. This seminar offers a general introduction to make sense of this often confusing multiplicity, as we discuss the cultural and philosophical history of the concept and its many aesthetic manifestations. We will mainly read and discuss central theoretical texts and two exemplary literary works (Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five), but we will also routinely refer to other aesthetic and medial forms.

weekly mandatory readings, discussion, short essay

class participation, one short essay, seminar paper

All texts except the two novels will be provided as a PDF on OLAT. Please get the novels in any edition once you are registered for the class.

BA 2015: positive completion of compulsory modules 10, 11 and 12

not applicable