Teaching SS 03
"Mapping Regions: Landscapes and Mindscapes"
Wed 10-12, Unterrichtsraum (ab 19.3.)
In an increasingly globalized world many late 20th century authors have
(re)discovered the importance of the experience of a familiar space to which they
regularly return in their poems and fiction and which helps them to gain and project a
sense of identity. This inclination continues a long tradition particularly prominent in
Romantic literature but apparently a constant in the recognition of poetic / literary
The course will deal with diverse poems and short fiction in which 19th and 20th
century British, U.S.American and Canadian writers (explicitly or implicitly) explore
their roots or formative experiences in a rural or urban environment. It will also
consider the borderlines they were inclined to draw round the spaces / places crucial
for " inspiration".
Among the poetic texts to be analyzed will be poems by some English Romantic poets
and the Confederation Poets in Canada (C. G. D. Roberts, Bliss Carman and A.
Lampman), by Robert Frost in New England and by Fugitive Poets (like J. C. Ransom
and Allen Tate) in the American South. Fictional texts to be analysed will include
representative texts by Canadian writers, e. g. M. Laurence (from Manitoba), J.
Hodgins (from British Columbia), M. Richler (from Montreal), A. Munro and M.
Atwood (from Ontario) and U.S. American authors like E. Welty (from Miss.), C.
McCullers (from Georgia) and T. Wolfe (from North Carolina).
The course will consider a North American play with a strong regional dimension.
The Introductory Seminar is also intended to broaden the reading experience and the
familiarity of students with various analytical tools for a fruitful approach to a variety
of texts, which will be provided in the form of a reader.
Cultural and Regional Studies
Nation and Region:
Bilingualism, Multiculturalism and Question(s) of Identity
Visiting Prof. Ramon Hathorn and Prof. Dr. Waldemar Zacharasiewicz
Fri, 12-14, Unterrichtsraum.
Professor Hathorn will take over in late April and teach until early June. He will teach:
Tue 8.30-10, Fri 12-14:15, Unterrichtsraum
The course, in the tradition of the French " civilisation" model, will touch on the
highlights of significant periods of Canada' s relatively brief history: the French
colonial period of " la Nouvelle-France" ; its conquest by England in 1760; the slow
and tempestuous movement to Confederation (1867); the two world wars; Quebec' s
separatist movement of the 1960s and the contemporary period, characterized by
massive immigration and the Americanisation of Canadian culture and commerce.
Other topics will include the importance of immigration in Canada' s evolution, raising
the question from French colonial times to the present of national identity and
belonging in a new land and, often, in a new language; also, the evolving nature of
nationalism in both English and French Canada. Particular attention will be paid to
language problems and linguistic legislation at both the provinces and federal levels.
A brief introduction to the two " national" and radically different literary traditions will
be made, focusing on the contribution of writers to the varying notions of cultural
" belonging" , deriving in part from Federal policies of Bilingualism and
Multiculturalism. The discussion of various (legal, political etc.) documents and of
literary texts by representatives of the two founding nations will be supplemented by the examination of texts reflecting in particular the contribution of immigrants from
We shall examine facets of the extraordinary flowering in the last two decades of
multicultural writing in both English and French. A brief introduction to oral and
written aboriginal literatures (Native, Métis and Inuit) will be followed by reference to
representative writers from various cultural traditions and backgrounds (e.g. East
Indian, Caribbean, Latin America and Italian).
Authors writing in English will include Thomson Highway (Cree), M.G.Vassanji
(Kenya/Tanzania), Dionne Brand (Trinidad), Joy Kogawa (Japanese), Wayson Chong
(Chinese) and Nino Ricci. Authors writing in French: Jovette Marchessault
(Aboriginal), Dany Laferrière (Haiti), Ying Chen (China), Sergio Kokis (Brazil) and
Marco Micone (Italy).
Lectures will be given in English. French texts will be discussed in translation, though
reference to the original French may occasionally be used.
Realism and Modernism in 20th-Century Canadian Fiction
SE Tue 16-18, Room 5 (ab 4.3.)
The seminar is intended to discuss several novels and collections of stories which
illustrate significant stages in the development of a remarkably rich narrative tradition
in Canadian literature. We shall begin by studying the building of the foundations of
the realistic Canadian novel in the works of two pioneers of a national fiction based in
the urban sphere, Morley Callaghan and Hugh MacLennan. The analysis of their recurrent themes and technical achievements [esp. in M. Callaghan’ s More Joy in
Heaven (1937) and H. MacLennan’ s Two Solitudes (1945) or The Watch That Ends the
Night (1959)] will be complemented by a study of narrative art in urban and small
town fiction by Canadian women writers who employ realism for ulterior effects (cf.
the gothic or parodic effects in Margaret Atwood’ s Lady Oracle), and for the
presentation of miraculous insights and the experience of creative acts (cf. stories by
Anglophone Literature of Travel and the Construction of Identities
VO Thu 15-17, Unterrichtsraum (ab 13.3.), anrechenbar als K525, K531
The great popularity of travel literature in the last few decades and changes in the
prevalent understanding of "literature" have shifted scholarly attention to the diverse
body of texts related to the phenomenon of a journey to distant places. While the
dramatically increased mobility of the public and mass tourism have fostered the
inclination to read factual or fictionalized reports, new trends in ethnology and
anthropology as well as the development of Imagology as an important field in
Literary and Cultural Studies have made travel writing a very significant aspect of
current work in our discipline. This lecture course for advanced students is intended to
examine significant developments in cultural habits and ways of constructing one’ s
own collective identity and that of "the other" in a wide range of anglophone texts
from Humanism until the early 20 th century. We shall consider classic British
examples of European and exotic travel from the 16 th to the 19 th centuries (e. g.
excerpts from Thomas Nashe’ s The Unfortunate Traveler; Jonathan Swift’ s Gulliver’ s
Travels, and Laurence Sterne’ s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy) and
discuss the mindset and intentions of the authors of these and other narratives, which
show the constitutive elements of travel writing and reveal the mechanisms at work in
the real or fictitious experience of foreign countries ("ethnocentrism" or the appeal of
the "exotic other" ). The other major focus in the lecture course will be the
development of American travel writing from early journals of "domestic" journeys (e.
g., Sarah Kemble Knight, The Private Journal of a Journey from Boston to New York,
or William Byrd [from The History of the Dividing Line], and William Bartram,
Travels Through North and South Carolina) to documents of "adventures" (e. g., R. H.
Dana’ s Two Years Before the Mast and Herman Melville’ s Typee). The lecture course
will also include discussions of selected travel sketches by the two most prominent
American practitioners of the varied genre of travel writing, Mark Twain (The
Innocents Abroad and A Tramp Abroad), and Henry James (from Transatlantic
Sketches and The American Scene).
Nation and Region in Canadian Culture and the Transatlantic Heritage
Mon 16-18, Room 5 (ab 10.3.)
This course, which is intended as a preparation for an interdisciplinary field trip to
eastern Canada (which is an integral part of this course) in Sept. 2003, in which
several symposia and workshops will be jointly organized with colleagues and
graduate students at various Canadian universities from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal
to major schools in the Maritime provinces, will discuss the emergence of a sense of
national and of regional identity in Canada since Confederation, but especially in the
20th century. The discussion of various (legal, political etc.) documents and of literary
texts by representatives of the two founding nations (esp. from eastern Canada) will be
supplemented by the examination of texts reflecting in particular the contribution of
immigrants from continental Europe, whose arrival and settlement in various parts of
Canada affected the process of nation-building and the construction of a collective
The course will, among others, include a consideration of ethnic fiction by Mordecai
Richler, R. Wiebe or J. Kulyk Keefer, mirroring the heritage of Jewish, Mennonite or
Polish/Ukrainian settlers, and by Austrian and German emigrés and refugees (like
Henry Kreisel or Carl Weiselberger). Books which have recently fictionalized the
contribution of central European settlers to Canadian culture (cf. H. MacLennan’ s
Voices in Time, Jane Urquhart’ s The Stone Carvers) will also be studied.