Summer Term 2005

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
VL: A TAS Survey: Being British in Colonial India
Wed 11–13
Room: Geb. 35, Raum U10

Tutorial: Daniel Kutscher
Wed 13-14
Room: Geb. 11, Raum U2

This introductory lecture series focuses on the political and cultural background to colonial writing in India, the sub-continent to which the British first came as traders in 1601. A Crown colony from 1857 till 1947, India exercised an enormous fascination, mixed with revulsion and horror, on its European rulers. We will be looking at textual examples of British reactions to the experience of ruling a country characterised foremost by its alterity in the form of its diverse oral and scriptal cultures, as well as its multilingualism.
The mandatory tutorial is designed to augment comprehension of the topics and texts presented in the lecture. Master copies of the texts as well as further course details can be found in the Dept. Library.


Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
PS: Who is telling what kind of a story to whom?: A Very Short Introduction to Narratives and Narration
Thu 10–12
Room: Geb. 35, 120

Tutorial: Christiane Charon
Wed 12-13
Room: Geb. 11, Raum U1

This introductory seminar addresses the gap often felt by students, especially in the early stages of their literary and cultural studies, between theory and practical analysis. We shall focus on theories of narration, as presented by Propp, Todorov, Eco, Barthes, and Stanzel (among others with whose ideas you will become familiar as the semester progresses), and apply these approaches to a variety of literary texts and films.

Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. London: Penguin, 1996 - to be read for the second session.
Shorter texts will be available as master copies in the Dept. Library.

Participation: Regular attendance of the seminar and tutorial is mandatory. A thorough acquaintance with the prescribed texts will be assumed. Throughout the sessions shorter papers/oral presentations will emerge from group projects. Term papers on a relevant topic of your choice (15-20 pages in MLA format) are due at the end of the semester.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Without Benefit of Clergy: Kipling's Indian Oeuvre
Thu 14–16
Room: Geb. 35, 12

The first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize (in 1907), Rudyard Kipling tends to be remembered more for the role attributed to him as a "propagandist for Empire". How much truth is there in this view of Kipling as a "jingoist"? In examining his fiction and poetry about India, we shall be engaging with this controversial writer's highly-influential work and interrogating the parameters it sets up of "India" as an imagined country.

Texts by Rudyard Kipling:

Kim. 1901. London: Penguin, 1989.
Selected Stories. London: Penguin, 1987.
The Jungle Books. 1894. London: Penguin, 1994.
Texts difficult to obtain as well as additional material, including course details, will be provided as master copies.

Participation: Regular attendance of the seminar is mandatory. A thorough acquaintance with the texts will be assumed, and Kim must have been read by the second session. Individual research on a relevant topic of your choice for an oral presentation will be followed by a term paper (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
Kolloquium: TAS Theories and their Application
Wed 16-17:30
Room: Geb. 35, Raum U10

All students planning to take their examinations in TAS are strongly advised to attend this colloquium as it provides a forum for the discussion of issues relevant to the examinations and to work in progress (e.g. M. A. theses), in addition to ongoing analysis of contemporary critical issues in this field of study. Participants are requested to get in touch with me at the start of term, preferably via e-mail (

Dr. Katrin Berndt:
PS: The Postcolonial African Novel in English: A TAS Introduction
Tue 9-11
Room: Geb. 1, Seminarraum III

This introductory seminar provides an overview of some central questions and themes in postcolonial African novels. We will witness the destruction of indigenous Igbo social patterns by British colonialism in Achebe's Things Fall Apart, discuss the transformation of gender structures in Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood, experience subaltern perspectives on anti-colonial resistance in A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and finally explore the challenge of staple cultural dichotomies in Dangarembga's bildungsroman Nervous Conditions.

The course is suitable for students with little knowledge of postcolonial theory. A course reader with additional material will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.
Buchi Emecheta. The Joys of Motherhood. London: Heinemann, 1994.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o. A Grain of Wheat. London: Heinemann, 1993.
Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions. Seattle: Seal Press, 2005.

Accreditation: Regular attendance, active participation in class, oral presentation (10 min) and term paper (10-12 pages in MLA format)

Dr. Soenke Zehle:
PS: Network Cultures
Fri 11-13
Geb. 8, Raum 2.21

Collaborative creative efforts like open source software or the online encyclopedia wikipedia have contributed to the emergence of so-called „commons-based peer production" (Yochai Benkler) as a core paradigm at the heart of network(ed) culture. Occasionally celebrated as a collective 'reappropriation of the info-commons' because of their emphasis on open access to culture, information, and knowledge, net-cultural initiatives engage the techno-cultural infrastructure of the information and communication society as such. Far beyond the sharing of multimedia files associated with peer-to-peer software applications and online archives, their agenda includes the role of intellectual property (IPR) regimes in the creation and reproduction of knowledge and the future of internet governance (currently dominated by US control of the root server system), but also self-critical efforts that call the very ideas of 'open flows' and 'open access' mobilized in network-cultural visions into question. The idea of network cultures has emerged as an alternative approach to dominant visions of an information or communication society. Beyond a mere history of new (online) media, the course combines several info-political and media-historical perspectives to sketch a broader genealogy of 'network culture'. Grade options: Teilnahmeschein, benoteter Schein in LW. A reader will be made available, for more information see
The course is offered in the context of the ongoing (2003-5) World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and introduces its actors and agendas. Course participants are encouraged to attend an international workshop on WSIS-related issues organized in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam), the Waag Society for Old and New Media (Amsterdam), and the Sarai Centre for New Media (New Delhi). The workshop will take place in Amsterdam (16-7 June), but a limited number of travel stipends may be available. (

Dr. Soenke Zehle:
PS: Rwanda Revisited
Fri 14-16
Geb. 35, Raum 120

„South Africa is Africa's dream, Rwanda is its nightmare." When the Nigerian novelist Wole Soyinka commented on the tragic coincidence of the end of apartheid and genocidal violence, he already used 'Rwanda' as a generalized figure of violence that would become a staple reference in the renaissance of Afro-Pessimism that followed the 1994 genocide. The series of events that constitute the genocide will be our point of departure for an introduction to transcultural media studies. Revisiting the era of German and Belgian colonial rule as well as media coverage of the genocide as 'tribal rampage' and 'ancient ethnic hatred', we will explore how this genocide became a point of reference for subsequent reflections on the link between media coverage and an interventionist politics of human rights ('we must prevent another Rwanda') and changes – if any – in contemporary representations of crisis. While this course is a sequel to Looking at Africa (SS04), there are no prerequisites other than an interest in matters of culture, media, and history. Grade options: Teilnahmeschein, benoteter Schein in LW. For more info on readings and requirements see (