Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten
Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Fakultät für Humanwissenschaft | Institut III
(ehemals Institut für fremdsprachliche Philologien)

 
 

Veranstaltungen im Sommersemester 2017
Lehrangebot im Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Aufbaumodul Kulturwissenschaft 1 / I (Angloamerikanische Geschichte)
America's Foundational Values and Beliefs: A Critical Evaluation
Di, 12:00 - 14:00, Emil-Abderhalden-Straße 25-28, SR 5

In the summer of 2015 the slogan "Make America great again" entered American political discourse and has remained a staple of current American rhetoric. Since the phrase has become shorthand for a political program that is intended to bring about fundamental changes in American politics and culture, it provides a welcome opportunity to inquire into the roots of the notion of America's "greatness." In 2010, before the advent of candidate Donald J. Trump, a Gallup poll found that at least 73% of Americans in all party groups were convinced that the United States has a "unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart from other nations as the greatest in the world."

This class sets out to explore why the United States of America has seen itself as an exceptional nation, different from – and better than – other countries. Drawing on various types of primary documents, including presidential speeches, legislative acts, letters, essays, as well as research literature, this course will familiarize students with a central aspect of American history and culture.

Students interested in signing up for this class must be prepared to participate actively in class and to commit themselves to weekly reading and writing assignments. Reading material will be made available in the course of the semester.

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


Vertiefungsmodul: Literaturwissenschaft: Literarische Gattungen und Gattungstheorien | Amerikanistik Literatur I
The Power of a Book: Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a Political Novel
Do, 10:00 - 12:00, Adam-Kuckhoff-Str. 35, SR 3.04

Upton Sinclair was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century. Among the more than 100 works he published between 1901 and 1940 were novels such as King Coal, Oil!, and Boston. But Sinclair also wrote political prose. His book The Jungle, listed by the Library of Congress as one of the "Books That Shaped America," combined his literary and social ambitions. Regarded as a "classic of twentieth-century fiction and social protest," The Jungle has fascinated readers around the world to such an extent that it has never been out of print. In addition to its popularity, it influenced politics when it prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to introduce new legislation for the protection of American consumers. Although the book was first published in 1906, its main themes – immigrants, poverty, food safety – are as relevant today as they were then. While this course will provide students with opportunities to analyze, discuss, and understand The Jungle in the context of American fiction at the beginning of the twentieth century, it will also encourage them to explore the various cultural issues which have given the novel its enduring relevance.

Since the success of this class will depend on a thorough knowledge of The Jungle as well as on student engagement and participation, prospective participants are expected to have purchased and read a copy of the book by the beginning of term. They are also strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves in advance with the general aspects of this subject. They must be prepared to participate actively in class and to commit themselves to weekly reading and writing assignments. To receive full credit for this class (5 CP), students will have to produce a "Hausarbeit." More information about the specific requirements will be announced in the first class session.

Recommended edition: Upton Sinclair. The Jungle. Foreword by Eric Schlosser. Introduction by Ronald Gottesman. (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition.) New York: Penguin Books, 2006. ISBN-10: 014303958X. ISBN-13: 978-0143039587

> Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


Vertiefungsmodul: Kulturwissenschaft - Geschichte der USA--Kultur und Gesellschaft
Documenting Social Ills in Words and Images: Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives
Do, 14:00 - 16:00, G40B-333

When How the Other Half Lives was published in 1890, the book became an instant best-seller although its subject matter was far from pleasant or entertaining. Confronting readers with detailed descriptions and visualizations of life in the slums, Jacob Riis appealed to Americans to pay attention to the fate of the country's poor. Focussing on the immigrant quarters of New York City, Riis exposed the problems of inadequate housing, poverty, and crime to public view – topics that have lost none of their relevance today, more than 125 years after the book first came out. This class will take an intensive look at Riis's book, analyze its characteristic features and discuss the ways in which How the Other Half Lives, with its powerful writing and its detailed and thorough research, has challenged dominant ideas of America's self-image.

Prospective participants are expected to have purchased and read a copy of the book by the beginning of term. They are also strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves in advance with the general aspects of the subject. They must be prepared to participate actively in class and to commit themselves to weekly reading and writing assignments. To receive full credit for this class (5 CP), students will have to produce a "Hausarbeit." More information about the specific requirements will be announced in the first class session.

Recommended edition: Jacob A. Riis. How the Other Half Lives. Ed. Hasia R. Diner. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0393930269

> Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


Forschungskolloquium Angloamerikanische Kulturwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft
Forschungskolloquium Amerikanistik: Literatur und Kultur
Di, 16:00 - 18:00, Adam-Kuckhoff-Straße 35, SR 3.04

This class will provide students of all study programs with a forum to present and discuss their current research projects for written their final thesis.

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


 
  Version vom 03.07.2017