Winter Term 2000/2001

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:

VL: The New English Literatures: A Survey

What is "New English" and where does this strange hybrid grow? Why is this literature called "Literatures" instead of staying reassuringly in the singular? What is so "new" about it? Is it peraps "newsy"? Is it "fun"? These are only some of the FAQ we shall be dealing with -- you will surely have more to add to the list!
While the lectures will cover the characteristic features of te various anglophone regions, such as rudimentary background information coupled with an overview of the literatures peculiar to it, the mandatory turotial is designed to introduce you to the analysis of NEL texts. Taken together, these sessions should prove indispensable to the laying down of the foundations you need when studying the New English Literatures and Cultures.


Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: The British Raj and its Representation

The British Raj ['rule'] on the Indian sub-continent began, modestly enough, as a trading monopoly wrested from the French. It saw itself existentially threatened by a major revolt in 1857, in the aftermath of which it became consolidated to the extent of becoming the "jewel in the crown" of Queen Victoria who, in designating herself "Kaiser-i-Hind" [Empress of all India] in 1877, heralded the onset of British Imperialism. One of our major aims in tracing the history of the Raj from its inception until 1947, the year of Indian independence, is to study the trends in British self-representation -- as discernible in selected contemporary texts -- in order to arrive at a nuanced understanding of the mentality of the former rulers of India.

Kipling, Rudyard. 1901. Kim. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1989.
Forster, E.M. 1924. A Passage to India. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1989.
Shorter pieces and excerpts, also from a popular culture base, can be found in the reader.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
PS: Introduction to the New English Literatures: The Novel
Do 11-12

Tutorial (Heinen): check notice board for details

This seminar is intended for students who have had little or no exposure to the New English Literatures and are perhaps curious to find out what the term signifies. If, additionally, you count among those who have always enjoyed dealing with novels, then this might just be the opportunity for simultaneously extending your understanding of the novel genre.
We will, accordingly, be setting out from an example of Indo-English fiction written in pre-independence days (Untouchable) to move on, chronologically and geographically to the other regions comprising the New English Cultures, in order to conclude with a controversial contemporary South African novel (Disgrace). We will, however, be viewing these six novels as representative of not only a particular region and/or historical period, that is to say, as exemplary NEL texts, but also as material for our analysis of the development of the novel genre in 'nativized' English.

Texts to be studied in detail, in other words, to be read prior to classroom discussion:
1) Anand, Mulk Raj. 1935. Untouchable. Penguin Classics, 1986.
2) Naipaul, V. S. 1961. A House for Mr Biswas. Penguin Classics, 1992.
3) Achebe, Chinua. 1966. A Man of the People. Heinemann African Writers Series, 1988.
4) Mukherjee, Bharati. 1989. Jasmine. Virago, 1991.
5) Malouf, David. 1993. Remembering Babylon. Vintage, 1994.
6) Coetzee, John M. 1999. Disgrace. Random, 2000.

Accreditation: All of these short, if rewardingly complex, novels are eminently suitable as texts for classroom discussion as well as for the short oral presentations on which term papers of 10-15 pages in MLA format are then based. The accompanying tutorial offers guidance on all matters relating to the seminar, from the weekly topic to the practicalities of preparing your presentation and paper; hence attendance here is mandatory – as it of course is for the seminar as well.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
KOLL: Placing Anglophone Studies
Fri 14 – 16
Geb. 35, Raum 120

This colloquium is intended as a sounding board for staff and students interested in locating 'The New English Literary and Cultural Studies' within the larger frame of the discipline of English Literary Studies. Advanced students wishing to engage with current trends in theoretical considerations of the subject are requested to consult me with a view to discussing their proposed presentations prior to the first session scheduled for Nov. 24.