Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
Foundations of Cultural Studies
Dienstag, 12-14 Uhr
This course is intended to make students familiar with the various theoretical approaches and practices common to the study of culture. It should introduce students to the intellectual roots and contemporary applications of Cultural Studies, focusing on the theoretical bases for the analyses of meaning and power in the production and reception of texts. While this class will offer various approaches to the study of cultures in the English-speaking world, it should also provide students with an opportunity to do Cultural Studies. In our analyses we will therefore draw on a wide range of cultural material (literature, television, films, and commercials) and explore the ways in which questions of representation are interrelated with issues of identity, in particular racial/ethnic, sexual, class, and regional differences.
Texts: A course reader will be made available for purchase.
Women's Voices in AmeriCan Literatures
Donnerstag, 16-18 Uhr
B 3 2, Hörsaal 003
Aufbaumodul 1: Gender in historischer Perspektive
This lecture course examines the tradition of women's writing in North America, introducing the ways in which the study of sex/gender and sexuality as social categories have transformed our understandings of culture, history and society. Topics of analysis include the social construction of gender, the gendered division of labor, production and reproduction, intersections of gender, race, class and ethnicity, and the varieties of sexual experience. Looking at diverse bodies of women's writings, ranging from Anglo-American and Anglo-Canadian women writers to women of color writers, and covering a long tradition from colonial times to the present period, we will look at the ways in which women have used their voices in order to launch their criticism against gender subordination and define their experiences.
Course Readings: There will be a course reader, which you can order through NamLitCult and pick up at our offices.
Svetlana Seibel, M.A.
Introduction to Media Studies: Geek Feminism and American Television
Mittwoch, 14-16 Uhr
C 5 2, Seminarraum 1.10.1
Ersatzraum während Bauarbeiten: C 4 4, Raum 001
Aufbaumodul 2: Aktuelle Fragestellungen der Genderforschung
"There's a revolution going on. We're seeing some of the loudest and most violent of its battles inside a seemingly strange place: fan and creator communities of science fiction and fantasy media" (13). This is how Kameron Hurley begins the introduction to her collection of essays titled The Geek Feminist Revolution. In the introduction as well as throughout the rest of the book, Hurley draws attention to the fact that some of the most intense negotiations of female representations and feminist agendas currently happen within contexts associated with the idea of geekdom. In this course, we will zoom in on these negotiations and the various ways in which they are being carried out in North American television. While doing so, we will consider and critically engage with both of the main meanings attached to the concept of geekdom: the love of the popular and the love of the scientific (in Stephen H. Segal's words, "the love of myth stuff" and "the love of math stuff"). We will look both at the representations of women and geekdom in American cult television as well as at the American cult TV as a geek space where feminist issues are being discussed and negotiated. While this will be the overarching theme of the course, its main aim is to provide students with a set of tools for an informed analysis of television texts, as well as with an understanding of basic principles and dynamics which define television as a medium and a field of cultural production.
Following TV shows will serve as our primary material:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003, created by Joss Whedon)
Dollhouse (2009-2010, created by Joss Whedon)
Orphan Black (2013-present, created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett)
Jessica Jones (2015-present, created by Melissa Rosenberg)
In order to receive credit for this course, you will have to present a case study of relevant aspect(s) of one of the TV shows. Participation in class discussions and regular attendance will be expected. If you are not familiar with the TV series on the list, please make sure that you start watching well in advance of the course, as some of them are quite long.
Mag. Payman Rezwan
Cultural Studies II Übung
Bodyslamming Reality: Pro Wrestling and American Culture
Wegen der Bauarbeiten finden die Veranstaltungen Do und Fr auf dem Campus in Dudweiler statt!
Do, 27. April 2017, 12 - 19 Uhr (Campus Dudweiler, Hörsaal Zeile 5)
Fr, 28. April 2017, 12 - 19 Uhr (Campus Dudweiler, Hörsaal Zeile 6)
Sa, 29. April 2017, 9 - 14 Uhr (C 5 3, Raum U 13)
Sa, 1. Juli 2017, 9 - 14 Uhr (C 5 3, Raum U 13)
Aufbaumodul 2: Aktuelle Fragestellungen der Genderforschung
"Pro Wrestling has always been ingrained into American culture. It was one of the first things that was ever on television, so everybody watched it."
Phil Brooks, a.k.a. CM Punk
The roots of professional wrestling reach as far back as the early 20th ct. After being a very popular form of sports entertainment, as it defines itself these days, both on TV and especially in live venues in the South, the emergence of Hulk Hogan in the mid-80s turned it into a popular culture phenomenon. Soon, people from all other kinds of entertainment, from Cyndi Lauper and Alice Cooper to Mohammed Ali and current US president, Donald Trump, wanted to be a part of this "soap opera for men". In the 90s, the "Attitude Era", led by characters like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, gave voice to a frustrated American working class and achieved ratings records on TV. Nowadays, wrestling is a global sensation, has its own on-demand TV network, is watched by 15 million viewers on average a week in the United States and Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of World Wrestling Entertainment, is the longest-running episodic show in American TV history. Wrestling is more than just two oily men in shorts throwing their bodies around in the "squared circle", with a predetermined result, it has become a mirror of American society and culture.
In this course, we will discuss instances from American history and politics, from slavery, the Gulf War against Iraq to the aftermath of 9/11 and the founding of the ultra-conservative Tea Party, and how they have been picked up in wrestling storylines. Furthermore, we will look at aspects of American culture and society, i.e. the struggle of ethnic minorities or the working class, and also aspects of gender studies, and see how they were used in wrestling programmes. In addition, we will also investigate the influence of professional wrestling on American pop culture and society, since wrestling has i.e. enriched the English dictionary, brought forth governors and senators, and gave Hollywood one of its biggest superstars in recent history and furthermore look at the role of professional wrestling in the global process of "Americanization". Finally, we will look at the history of wrestling, how it developed in the U.S., from its territorial beginnings to the current "monopoly" of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Requirements: There will be an exam at the end of the course.
This course is (not exclusively) based on the following texts:
Beekman, Scott. Ringside: A History Of Professional Wrestling In America. ABC-Clio.2006.
Mazer, Sharon. Professional Wrestling. Sport And Spectacle. Performance Studies. 1998
Morton, Gerald W. Wrestling To 'Rasslin: Ancient Sport To American Spectacle. University of Wisconsin Press. 1985.
Sammond, Nicholas. Steel Chair To The Head: The Pleasure And Pain Of Professional Wrestling. Duke University Press. 2005.
Tyson Smith, R. Fighting For Recognition: Identity, Masculinity And The Act Of Violence In Professional Wrestling. Duke University Press. 2014.