Summer Term 2001

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
VL: Introduction to Literature

Whatever is 'literature', what does its study involve, and how best does one tackle it? These are the basic questions to be pursued in the course of this lecture-cum-tutorial module. While the lectures provide the information necessary for understanding such essentials as 'genre', 'period', and 'conventions', to name only a few, the tutorial supplies you with ample opportunity to implement these ideas in a very practical sense when engaging in literary analysis of texts selected from the field of the New English Literatures.


Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Short Stories by Indian Women

This seminar sets out to examine the characteristics of the short story -- as written by Indian women. Some of the points we shall be focusing on are:

  • the role gender plays in these stories and its relationship to social class membership
  • the discernible differences between short stories written in English and the regional Indian languages
  • whether women are presented differently in stories written for an Indian as against an international readership
  • the stylistic features shared by these stories

Holmström, Lakshmi, ed. The Inner Courtyard: Stories by Indian Women. London: Virago, 1990.
Butalia, Urvashi and Ritu Menon, eds. In Other Words: New Writing by Indian Women. London: Women's Press, 1993.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Reconciling Truth: Prison Narratives from South Africa

Antjie Krog's Country of My Skull is an engaged journalistic account of the sessions of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission which had been set up in 1995 to try and deal with human rights violations from 1960 to 1993. Taking Krog's book as our metatext, we shall be exploring the paradigms and dimensions of apartheid in South Africa while also reading the personal testimony of three women activists from different racial backgrounds as found in the prison narratives listed below.

Grog, Antjie. Country of My Skull. London: Vintage, 1999.
First, Ruth. 117 Days. Rev. ed. London: Bloomsbury, 1988.
Goonam, Dr. G., and Fatima Meer. Coolie Doctor: An Autobiography by Dr Goonam. Durban: Madiba, 1991.
Mashinini, Emma. Strikes Have Followed Me All My Life. London: Women's Press, 1989.

Dr. Dirk Sinnewe:
PS: Approaching Australian Literature: The Oeuvre of Patrick White

Patrick White is one of the major English-language writers of the 2nd half of the 20th century, and still the grand old master of Australian literature. His strong narrative voice and his wrenching tales make him an always fascinating read. White's books evolved from the traditional to, ultimately, the very experimental. His representation of Australia, although controversially discussed, serves his fiction well in novels such as, for example, The Eye of the Storm, or Riders in the Chariot. White is a pleasure to read, his style -- careful, solid, but also daring -- is captivating, as we can never be certain of what will come next. Willing to adapt, and experiment, White's work continued to evolve, peaking not once but several times. In preparation for this course please read The Eye of the Storm and The Cockatoes.

Mark Stein:
PS: Early Caribbean Novels

Beginning with Tom Redcam's Becka's Buckra Baby (1903), Caribbean novels in English have been written throughout the 20th century. This seminar is an introduction to Caribbean novels from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. We wil focus on the work of CLR James, George Lamming, VS Naipaul, and Jean Rhys.
Participants are expected to give a short presentation in class. In order to receive a "Schein" for this seminar, you may either write an essay, or give an oral presentation ("Referat") followed by a written version.
Students are advised to read the four set texts during the semester break; they will be discussed in the following order:

CLR James, Minty Alley (1936)
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
George Lamming, In the Castle of my Skin (1953)
VS Naipaul, Miguel Street (1959).