Winter Term 2003/2004

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:VL: A Transcultural Anglophone Studies Survey: Polycultural Writing in Britain
Wed 11-13

Daniel Kutscher

This introductory lecture series will focus on the political and cultural background to polycultural writing in the former centre of the British Empire: Britain. A selection of fictional texts will simultaneously be focussed on as a particularly significant examples of the interaction of cultures with one another.

The mandatory tutorial is designed to foster your analytic skills with regard to the texts under discussion.
Master copies of the texts as well as further course details have been placed in the IB for your convenience.


Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Transcultural Re-Staging of Struggles for Power: Macbeth and its Adaptations
Thu 11-13

How has the story of Macbeth, the power-hungry general of the Scottish king, fared on its travels out and away from Britain? Which structures in the anglophone world of the former colonies have presented themselves to playwrights as offering worthwhile parallels to the canonical Shakespearean original? The making of the Zulu nation by Emperor Shaka is a particularly striking example of the illegitimate wresting of power; as is the very modus operandi apartheid South African state. Analogously, the post-independence fortunes of a fictive former colony create a space for thought-provoking intertextual dialogues with Macbeth. In addressing the question of the continuing relevance of Shakespeare's play we will be looking at the original text, some of its performances, and a number of adaptations of Macbeth, such as:

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. 1606. The Norton Shakespeare . Ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York: Norton, 1997.
Msomi, Welcome. U Mabatha. 1996. Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the Seventeenth Century to the Present . Ed. Daniel Fischlin and Mark Fortier. London: Routledge, 2000.
Taylor, Jane. Ubu and the Truth Commission. Cape Town: U of Cape Town P, 1998.
Virahsawmy, Dev. Zeneral Makbef. Rose Hill: Bukié Banané, 1981.

Texts difficult to obtain as well as additional material, including course details, can be found in a folder in the IB.

Accreditation: Regular attendance of the seminar and a thorough acquaintance with the texts – Macbeth to have been read by the first session; individual research on a relevant topic of your choice for an oral presentation to be followed by a term paper in which you can expand on the points raised by your presentation (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Popular Culture in South Asia: Bollywood
Thu 13:30-15:00

Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, producing an annual average of 800 films. These films are not only highly popular in India, but also in the Indian diasporas. Recently Bollywood films have become more visible in European cinemas, and in keeping with this new trend, Saarbrücken's Kino 8 ½ will be showing a series of these films as part of a cooperation between TAS and a public viewing venue (see Indian Cinema at Kino 8 1/2 ).

The seminar will be focussing on key moments in the Bollywood film genre. The following films will be studied in detail for their illustrative characteristics:

1) Devdas (Bimal Roy, 1955)
2) Shri 420 (Raj Kapoor, 1955)
3) Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957)
4) Sholay ( Ramesh Sippy, 1975)
5) Dilwane Dulhania Le Jayenge (Aditya Chopra, 1996)

Accreditation: Regular attendance of the seminar and the Bollywood film series is mandatory. Individual research on a topic related to Bollywood, popular culture and/or film theory will form the backbone of an oral presentation to be followed by a term paper in which you can expand on the points raised by your presentation (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
KOLL: Current Theoretical Interventions
Wed 17-19 s.t.

This colloquium provides a forum for students as well as staff interested in engaging with current issues in the field of 'Transcultural Anglophone Studies', be it in the form of 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 ( ).

Vera Alexander, M.A.:
PS: Paradise Writing? Pan-Pacific Anglophone Literature
Mon 11-13

In this course we will be studying a selection of anglophone texts (fiction and poetry) by writers from the South Pacific region (mainly Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa), Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia. Oceania and Polynesia once constituted fascinating treasure troves for European artists and writers like Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson or Jules Verne. More recently, the region made the headlines in connection with nuclear testing, also by Europeans. We will be looking at questions of identity in anglophone writings especially from the 1970s and 1980s, and find out about the conditions for literary activity on the various islands. We will also explore in how far the shared experiences of colonialism and marginality can construct a bridge between South Pacific writing and the literatures of Maori and Pakeha writers from New Zealand as well as Australian authors.

Mastercopies of the texts will be made available in a folder in the IB.

Course evaluation will be based on active participation in class, a 10' oral presentation, and a 2,500 word term paper written in English. Full details concerning the exact choice of texts and evaluation will be given at our first meeting.

Soenke Zehle:
PS: TAS Goes Down Under: Indigenous Interventions
Fri 11-13

Like the US, Canada, or New Zealand, Australia has a vocal and well-organized indigenous/aboriginal population and continues to struggle with the complex legacy of empire. Questions of aboriginal land and resource rights are part of a general controversy over competing narratives of Australian history and the contemporary self-image of Australia as a multi-cultural nation. We will explore various cultural, historical, philosophical, and political dimensions of this controversy, with an emphasis on aboriginal approaches and contributions.

Prerequisites: This is not a literature seminar, but an introduction to transcultural studies. Since the idea of 'transculturality' refers to the crossing not only of cultural boundaries, but also of disciplinary/methodological boundaries, course texts are drawn from a variety of perspectives, including environmentalism, history, law, media studies, and philosophy, 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: A course reader (ca. EUR 15-20) with all texts will be provided by the second week of class.

Check later this summer for a complete syllabus. This course is being offered by the Transcultural Anglophone Studies Program (TAS) at Saarland University (Germany).