Winter Term 2007/2008

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
VL: A Transcultural Introduction to Australian Literature
Mi 10-12 [Room to be announced]

Tonia Sebastian
Mi 9-10 [Room to be announced]
This introductory lecture series focuses on the political and cultural background to literature in Australia, where the British first established a penal colony in 1788. The continent, officially declared terra nullis, had, however, been continuously inhabited for over 40,000 years prior to the advent of these foreign settlers by the Aboriginal peoples. What kind of literature emerged from these specific conditions, what were its foundations, and how did these works address an Australian readership? These are some of the questions with which this chronologically structured overview of creative writing from a seemingly remote Pacific island continent will be engaging in the course of the winter term.
The mandatory tutorial provides for extended engagement with the topics and texts presented in the lecture. All course details can be found in the Dept. Library.

Regular attendance of both lecture series and tutorial; active participation in the tutorial; end of term written test.

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Writing in the Self: Australian Autobiography
Do 10-12
Raum 120, Geb. C 5 3

Ninja Steinbach
Do 12-13, Raum 120, Geb. C 5 3

The First Fleet left England with its shipload of 736 convicts for Botany Bay in 1786. By 1904 the Commonwealth of Australia had been established. Meanwhile, an Aboriginal was, as a cartoon published in 1888 by a Sydney journal pointed out, "A Curiosity in Her Own Country".  Australia was kept seemingly 'all-white' until the 1950s, when immigration regulations were relaxed to allow in increasing numbers of skilled workers and professionals. 
We will be looking at autobiographical representations of the diverse experiences of being "Australian" in the recent past.

Texts (to be read in advance):
Hal Porter, The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony (1963)
Rosa Cappiello, Oh Lucky Country (1984)
David Malouf, 12  Edmonstone Street (Penguin, 1986)
Sally Morgan, My Place (Fremantle Arts Centre, 1987)

Regular attendance of both the seminar sessions and the tutorial; oral presentation; term paper (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
HS: Re-Viewing Australian Film
Do 14-16
Raum 120, Geb. C 5 3

Dominic Blanchette
Do 16-17, Raum 120, Geb. C 5 3

If we believe the claim that the world's first feature film was made in Australia, in 1906, would that be reason enough to want to look more closely at the genre of Australian film? If we consider further that this film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, visually supplied the young Commonwealth of Australia with one of its most persistent images, that of the bushranger, then we find ourselves on the trail of a fascinating story. Ranging from one of the most famous documentaries made about being 'on the road' in Australia to the more recent comic Ten Canoes set in a time prior to British colonization and rendered wholly in an Aboriginal language, this seminar offers a case-study based approach to a thriving genre.

Films being analysed:
1) The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)
2) The Back of Beyond (1954)
3) Oscar and Lucinda (1997)
4) Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
5) Ten Canoes (2006)

Regular attendance of both the seminar sessions and the tutorial; oral presentation; term paper (15-20 pages in MLA format).

Prof. Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn:
Kolloquium TAS
Mi 15:30-17:00 (erstes Treffen am 7.11.07)

[Room to be announced]

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) ongoing analysis of contemporary critical issues in this field of study
as well as
d) application of TAS theories to selected texts – in this semester we shall be looking at representations of the "Stolen Generation" phenomenon in Australia.

Participants are requested to get in touch with me as soon as possible via e-mail: m.ghosh(at)

Sprechstunde (neu):
Donnerstag ab 16:30 und nach Vereinbarung
Anmeldungen bei Frau Plach: c.plach(at), Tel. 2793

Julian Kücklich
Social Software and the Transcultural Mediasphere
Raum 1.01 (CIP-Pool), 9.11., 7.12., 11.1. und 8.2., jeweils 12-16

Recent innovations in communication technologies – often summarised under the label “Web 2.0” – have begun to change the relationship between broadcast media and media of personal communication. Newspapers, television channels, and radio stations are increasingly complemented by “citizen media” such as blogs, video and image sharing websites (Youtube, Flickr), and social networking platforms (Myspace, Facebook, Second Life). In the context of transcultural studies, this raises the question whether the concomitant  transformation of the mediasphere results in a more differentiated perception of the relationship between Western and non-Western cultures.

This course will attempt to map the transcultural blogosphere, and it will try to shed some light on the role social software plays in the establishment and maintenance of diasporic, nomadic, or migrant communities. Furthermore, we will try to understand which forces shape the production, dissemination, and reception of transcultural media flows. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue their own research projects, and to develop their own methodologies. The course itself will be taught through different channels, therefore students are expected to develop their new media literacy through experimentation with different media.

Requirements: unbenoteter Schein: attendance of all course meetings/events and final exam; benoteter Schein: term paper.
Further details of the course will be announced shortly. Please sign up by email to julian(at)

Dr. Soenke Zehle
Looking at Africa: Documentarist Strategies in Transcultural Film and Literature
Di 10:15-11:45, Raum 1.01 (CIP-Pool)

This course explores documentarist strategies in transcultural film and literature, with a particular emphasis on contemporary and historical conflict. Its main themes (including child soldiers, migration, colonial memory) are introduced and developed in relation to the program of the annual African Cinema film series. The course incorporates several workshops with well-known critics and directors, including Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Olivier Barlet (France), and Martin Baer (Germany). More on the first day of class or at

  • benotet: Attendance (Course Sessions, Films, Workshops), Final Exam, Term Paper
  • unbenotet: Attendance (Course Sessions, Films, Workshops), Final Exam

Readings: Please purchase the following titles. They should be available at the campus bookstore, or you can order them on your own.

  • Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation, Harper Perennial, 2006
  • The Granta Book of Reportage, 3rd Edition, Granta Books, 2007.

Additional readings will be made available.