Summer Term 2017

VL: A TAS Survey: South Africa

Mi 14-16 c.t., Geb. C53, Raum 4.08

This introductory lecture series will focus on the political and cultural background to polycultural texts in South Africa. A European colony from 1652 onwards, the region is unique in having been under the rule of the Dutch and the British settlers, despite the fact that the majority population was comprised of African Bantu-language speakers and fast-disappearing indigenous tribal peoples. What kind of cultural production emerges in this kind of a melange – from the beginnings of a settler colony to the imposition of Apartheid to the current 'rainbow nation'? We'll be engaging with these questions when reading/watching a selection of the most important texts from this region in the course of the summer.


HS: Under Colonial Rule: Comparative Perspectives

Mi 16-18 c.t., C53, Raum 1.20

What are the distinct and yet related histories of European colonial rule in Southern Africa? How did the people whose territory now came under foreign rule deal with the new dispensation? What kind of self-justification for setting themselves up as colonial powers did the Dutch VOC, for example, provide when establishing Cape Colony? Were the same arguments then forwarded 2 centuries later by the Germans when creating Namibia? We will be enhancing our comparative look at these colonies by studying not only the relevant memoirs and private letters left us by the witnesses, but we will be incorporating into our research the findings displayed in the first exhibition on German colonial history, currently being held at the Deutsches Museum, Berlin. Hence, a study excursion to this museum is scheduled for early May. As we need to get bookings done as soon as possible, will those who're interested in the seminar please immediately get in touch with me: m.ghosh(at)


HS: South African Writing in Transcultural Perspective

Do. 14-16 c.t. , Geb. C53, Raum 1.20

Taking as our primary sources the following texts:

Zakes Mda, Ways of Dying, Cape Town: Oxford UP, 1995.

John M. Coetzee, Disgrace [1999], Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2000.

Marlene van Niekerk, The Way of the Women [Agaat, 2004], London: Abacus, 2008.

we'll explore contemporary South African fiction in some detail. While engaging in close reading of the novels, we'll be on the lookout for the parallels as well as the contrasts in these texts. What, can we venture to say, is specifically 'South African' about them?


Koll. Studying TAS

Do. 16-18:30 s. t., Geb. C53, Raum 1.20

For B.A., M.A. and Lehramt Candidates

All TAS students in the semi-final stages of their studies are encouraged to attend.

Those intending to take any part of their final examinations in TAS are strongly advised to participate in this colloquium a semester prior to the final run through. Those students starting out / meanwhile engaging with their written academic work, i.e. those doing an M.A. or a B.A. thesis, are also expected to attend and therewith to present their work to peer-review. The colloquium's focus is on developing study skills while providing on-going guidance during exam preparation. Further, it provides a supportive forum for presenting theses-in-progress and mock exams, all within the frame of engaging with the application of TAS theory parameters to selected texts.