Transcultural Anglophone Studies in the Winter Term 2020/21 (all courses will be taught online)

Prof. Dr. Ghosh-Schellhorn


VL: "'Black Lives Matter!': A Transcultural Survey"

Wed. 8:30 – 10:00

The year is 2020, and one of its more enduring slogans is: "BLM!". We will be asking ourselves why this is so, given that the world seems to have moved ahead. Human rights seem to be affirmed on a daily basis, while reparations for the ravages of colonization, and slavery in particular, are being addressed at last. And yet, the aftermath of the enforced 'globalization' of the world as practised by the European powers that be, from as early as the fifteenth century onwards, is especially visible to the peoples who bear the brunt of this undertaking.

Since, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie argues in her talk, "The Danger of a Single Story": "Show a people as one thing – as only one thing – over and over again, and that is what they become", we will be looking at a diverse range of materials relevant to our transcultural analysis of the topic of "BLM!".

Course material will be made available online via Moodle, and is to be read in preparation for the relevant session; regular participation in the full lecture series, which will be held in accordance with the guidelines established by the UdS; end of term written test.
Please check the TAS website under "Your Studies" for some useful advice, especially on note-taking during a lecture series.


HS: "Out-Performing Caribbean Classics: Derek Walcott's Pantomime

Mo. 8:30 – 10:00

The Caribbean is a region particularly rich in cultural performances that, often enough, have been created from the fragments of older and/or other cultural conventions. In his 1980 play, Pantomime, Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott confronts spectators with a transcultural interweaving of West Indian with British cultural traditions. Taking as his point of departure Daniel Defoe's classic, Robinson Crusoe, Walcott goes on to exploit the intertextual potential of performance conventions by showing us what happens when the characteristically British 'panto' and music hall traditions are challenged by the ones typical of the Trinidadian Carnival.


HS: "Popular Culture in India: Film as Transcultural Genre"

Wed. 14 – 16 c. t .

Shortly after the Lumière Brothers displayed their pioneering films in colonial India on 7 July 1896, there arose independent studios that created an entirely novel type of film exclusively for Indian spectators. We will be taking the iconic silent film, Raja Harishchandra (1913), as our point of departure for an overview of film as a transcultural Indian genre. What kind of stories became enshrined as time-tested? How were the stories narrated, with what kind of characters? To what extent were Indian films influenced both by classical traditions at home, and in the West? Post-Independence, what changes were made in the films of the 1950s? And today, how is the Indian diaspora in the West depicted by mainstream films made in Mumbai (Bombay)?  


HS: "Transcultural Digital Humanities: Virtual Government Houses"  

Fr. 8:30 – 10:00

In creating virtual models of the Government Houses erected by the British in the various capital cities under their colonial rule, TAS set out to 'render visible' the means by which dominant narratives get established as such. A first step was to make the centuries-old stones of monumental historical buildings more accessible by transforming them into virtual models to be digitally handled by researchers.

We will be examining both the unique architectonic features of this set of buildings as well as selected artefacts that have all been meanwhile 'annotated' by the TAS team using historical resources. This archival information draws attention to the 'invention of tradition' (Hobsbawm & Ranger) necessitated by the demands of maintaining foreign rule; it thus shows how effectively the grand narrative that was being spun for both British posterity, as well as colonized society, was withdrawn from scrutiny.    


Tina Helbig M.A.


PS: "Representing the South Pacific: From Captain Cook’s Travelogues to Contemporary Indigenous Fiction"

Fr. 10 – 12 c. t.

Ever since European explorers like Samuel Wallis and James Cook returned from their voyages to the South Pacific with reports about, from a European perspective, newly discovered islands and their human inhabitants, stereotypes about the foreign ‘other’ have been established in European writing about the South Pacific and its peoples, with the more idyllic of them, such as the idea of the South Pacific as a Garden of Eden, still being used by the contemporary tourist industry.

In this course, we will have a look at how the region and its peoples have been represented by Europeans, and how contemporary indigenous writers have reclaimed their right to represent themselves and their interests. We will discuss excerpts from James Cook’s Journals (1768-1779) and from Robert Louis Stevenson’s autobiographical account In the South Seas (1896), we will read contemporary short stories from Oceanian writer Epeli Hau’ofa and from Māori author Patricia Grace, and we will analyse the movies Whale Rider (2002) and Once Were Warriors (1994), which are both based on novels by Māori writers.


James Cook, The Journals of Captain Cook (excerpts).

Richard Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas (excerpts).

Epeli Hau’ofa, Tales of the Tikongs.

Patricia Grace, Waiariki.

Lee Tamahori (dir.), Once Were Warriors.

Niki Caro (dir.), Whale Rider.

General Information

If you want to regsiter for a course, please go on the LSF website. You can find our courses in the list of the Department of Anglistik, Amrikanistik und Anglophone Kulturen.


Course Archive

You can find our past courses here.