Summer Term 2004

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
VL: A TAS Survey of Polycultural North America: The Example of the United States
Wed 10–12
Room: Geb. 35, U10

Tutorial: Daniel Kutscher
Wed 13-14
Room: tba

This introductory lecture series will focus on the creation of polycultural cultural spheres by anglophone migrantsfrom the former British colonies to the United States of America. A selection of key texts – fictional and non-fictional – will furthermore be examined as particularly significant examples of the interaction of cultures with one another in the course of the summer semester.
Master copies of the texts as well as further course details have been placed in the IB for your convenience.
The mandatory tutorial is designed to foster your analytic skills with regard to the texts under discussion.


Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Restaging Hegemony? Contemporary Anglophone Indian Plays
Thu 10–12
Room: Geb. 35, 120

Tutorial: Anne Köhlhofer
Thu 12–13
Room: tba

As traditional Indian drama became increasingly transcultural in the wake of the country's colonisation by the British, notable attempts have been made to critically engage with mainstream Hindu ethics.
We shall be looking closely at the following plays in seeking answers to the questions of hegemonic belief and patriarchy which they raise.

Vasudev, Prithipal S. "Lord Ravan of Shri Lanka. A Play in Five Acts." Enact 121–2 (Jan.-Feb. 1977): 1–37.
Dattani, Mahesh. "Dance Like a Man: A Stage Play in Two Acts." Mahesh Dattani, Collected Plays . Delhi: Penguin India, 2000. 383–447.
Karnad, Girish. "Naga-Mandala." Girish Karnad: Three Plays . Delhi: Oxford India, 1994: 21–65.

Accreditation: Regular attendance of both seminar and mandatory tutorial and a thorough acquaintance with the material for discussion; individual research on a relevant topic of your choice for an oral presentation to be followed by a term paper (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Full support in accomplishing this will be provided for – do check the tutorial details.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Virtual Communities in Transcultural Cyberspace
Thu 14–16
Room: Geb. 35, 120

Tutorial: N.N. (please check notice board for details)

The predominance of the Internet as a platform for computer-mediated-communication (CMC) has given rise to countless sites hosted by organisations as various as the formally maintained information pages of the governments of countries or their local overseas representatives, from forums facilitating life cycle rites such as marriages, to those offering commodities deemed to be of interest to sojourners or settlers in a former British colony's diaspora. The members of the virtual communities thus addressed interact via the listservs, chat rooms and bulletin boards provided by these hosts. In dealing with this phenomenon, we shall be familiarising ourselves with core issues in CMC in order to study their application to the context of transitional cyberspace in the computer lab.

Accreditation: Regular attendance of both seminar and mandatory tutorial and a thorough acquaintance with the material for discussion; individual/group research on a cyberspace-related topic for an oral presentation to be followed by a term paper (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Full support in accomplishing this will be provided for – do check the tutorial details.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn
Kolloquium für Examenskandidaten
Wed 17–19
Room: Geb. 35, 120

This colloquium provides a forum for advanced students interested in engaging with current issues in the field of ‘Transcultural Anglophone Studies’, be it in the form of a discussion of work-in-progress, examination-related topics, or as a theory discussion group.

Participants are requested to get in touch with me at the start of term, preferably via e-mail (m.ghosh(at)

Vera Alexander, M.A.:
PS: South African Drama: Exploring the Art in Apartheid
Mon 11-13
Room: Geb. 35, U10

In this seminar we are going to explore the complex and colourful world of anglophone South African theatre during apartheid. Despite the stranglehold of government censorship, theatre companies, playwrights and actors created vibrant spaces where barriers of race and colour were undermined, crossed, and shifted. Drama thus played a decisive role in voicing protests to political oppression and in imagining a new, multiracial nation. The three plays chosen reflect the development from "resistance art" finding "its arena in the theatre" to the "formation on stage" of "a 'new' South Africa" (Stephen Gray).

Athol Fugard, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (1972)
Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon, Woza, Albert! (1981)
Susan Pam-Grant, Curl Up and Dye (1989)
Mastercopies of the texts will be made available in a folder in the IB.

Course evaluation will be based on active participation in class, written minutes, a final test and a 2,500 word term paper written in English.

Soenke Zehle:
PS: Looking at Africa: An Introduction to Transcultural Media Studies
Fri 11-13
Room: Geb. 35, 120

"We must look at it.
We're required to look at it.
We're required to do what we can about it.
If we don't do it, who will?"

James Nachtwey, "War Photographer"

Many of the images of the postcolonial world that reach us are images of crisis, and Africa is no exception. But what do we 'see' when we look at Africa today, and what do we look for, beyond a mere confirmation of our own clichès and (colonial) projections? This is, then, not just a course about 'Africa' but about what it means to look, to see, to watch, as well as different responses to what we see, from indifference to intervention.

Despite its scope, the aim of the course is rather modest, making you aware of the way crises have generated their own protocols of reportage. After a short introduction, we will turn to a few exemplary 'crises' (Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda) to explore in some detail the nexus between 'crisis media' and a politics of human rights. Toward the end of term, we will 'bring it home' with a survey of Germany's own short-lived colonial experiments in Africa and try to identify ways in which colonial strategies of representation continue to be active in our collective imagination of what 'Africa' is today.

Prerequisites: Course texts are drawn from a variety of perspectives and require a willingness to 'work with' different approaches. Many of the issues raised in this course will make more sense to you if you already have a general interest in issues of culture, history, media, and political philosophy.

Readings: All course materials will be made available online. Please note that access to the syllabus and course materials at is password-protected. Please contact me for additional course information (soenke.zehle(at)