Winter Term 2005/2006

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

Tutorial: Christian Buschke
Wed 13-14
Room: Gebäude 35, Raum U10

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:
HS: Transcultural Nobel Prize Winners II: V.S. Naipaul
Thu 10–12
Room: Geb. 35, 120

The first Indo-Caribbean writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, V.S. Naipaul is by no means a universally beloved author. Often enough accused of having come to identify too closely with the former British colonisers, this uncontested master of English prose is, on the other hand, praised for the analytic depth of his review of the entire project of colonisation. The sheer perspicacity of Naipaul's writing demands close engagement, and this semester we will undertake a reading of a cross-section of his fiction and non-fiction in order to appreciate the nature of his contribution to transcultural anglophone literature.

Texts by V.S. Naipaul (to be read in advance):

A House for Mr Biswas. 1961. London: Penguin.
The Middle Passage. 1962. London: Penguin.
An Area of Darkness. 1964. London: Penguin.
A Bend in the River. 1979. London: Penguin.
Half a Life. 2001. London: Penguin.

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, as is a rigorous acquaintance with the selected texts. 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:
HS: Transcultural Media Studies: Early Social Critique in Indian Cinema
Thu 14–16
Room: Geb. 35, 120
Andrea Grünwald

When a relatively new and immediately popular medium, like Indian film in the first half of the twentieth century, chooses to address the problems of a society emerging from feudalism to colonially-instigated modernity, what issues does it focus on, how does it package its messages, how influence interpretation? These are some of the topics we will examine while viewing a representative collection of Indian films.

Additional material, including course details, can be found in the Dept. Library.

Participation: Regular attendance of the seminar is mandatory, as is thorough acquaintance with the films in the course of the seminar. 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: Studying TAS
Wed 15:30-17:00
Room: Gebäude 11, Raum U2

All students intending to take their final examinations in TAS are strongly advised to attend this colloquium. It provides a forum for the treatment of issues relevant to

a) preparation for the oral and written examinations
b) to academic work in progress (e.g. the writing of M. A. theses/Staatsarbeiten)
c) application of TAS theories to selected texts
d) ongoing analysis of contemporary critical issues in this field of study.

Participants are requested to get in touch with me as soon as possible, preferably via e-mail:

Dr. Katrin Berndt:
PS: The Postcolonial Jane Austen
Mo 10-12
Geb. 35, Raum U 13

Jane Austen's novels have long been studied with regard to their portrayals of the institution of marriage and romantic relationships. This seminar addresses her texts in the light of postcolonial theory. It takes up Edward Said's statement that nineteenth-century English novelists shaped the 'idea of England' in ways that depended on the relationship between 'home' and 'abroad'. Hence we will examine the connections between property, power, and domestic stability in Austen's classic novels Mansfield Park and Persuasion. Our discussion will be complemented by Jamaica Kincaid's essay A Small Place, which makes central what is only peripheral in Austen's novels – the evils and residual effects of European colonialism. Eventually, we will come up with an answer to the question where Austen can be found 'in the world', and where 'the world' can be found in Austen's texts.
Participants are recommended to read the primary texts listed below before the sessions start. A course reader with additional material will be provided in the Dept. Library.

Jane Austen. Mansfield Park. London: Penguin, 2003.
Jane Austen. Persuasion. London: Penguin, 2003.
Jamaica Kincaid. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000.

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

Dr. Soenke Zehle:
PS: Network Cultures 2.0
Fri 11-13
Geb. 11, Raum U2

Collaborative creative efforts like open source software or the online encyclopedia wikipedia have contributed to the emergence of so-called "ommons-based peer production"(Yochai Benkler) as a core paradigm atthe heart of network culture. In this sequel to Network Cultures (SS 2005), we will continue to explore the dynamic of 'network culture' through different media-theoretical readings as well as 'practical' research assignments to experiment with software and web-based applications. A course reader will be made available.

Grade options: (un)benoteter Schein in LW.
See for more information.

Dr. Soenke Zehle
PS: Sudanese Voices
Fri 14-16
Geb. 35, Raum 120

An introduction to TAS, organized around a series of literary texts by Sudanese writers, including Leila Aboulela, Jamal Mahjoub, and Tayeb Salih. Several historical detours will contextualize our reading, ranging from the 19th-century reconquest of Sudan to the current rise of imperial nostalgia in Britain and, of course, the seemingly intractable Sudanese civil war. A course reader will be made available, but please note that you also need to purchase the following novels (both should be available at the campus bookstore):

Mahjoub, Jamal. Traveling with Djinns. London: Vintage, 2004. ISBN 0-099-45529.
Salih, Tayeb. Seasons of Migration to the North. Oxford: Heinemann, 1991. ISBN 0-435-90974-6.
Grade options: (un)benoteter Schein in LW.
See for more information.