Wintersemester 2020/21

Was versteht man unter Klassik? Welche Themen waren im Realismus aktuell? Inwiefern bedeutete 1945 eine Zäsur für die Literatur? Wer publizierte in der Romantik welche Art Texte? Was sind typische Motive des Barock? Die Ringvorlesung bietet anhand exemplarischer Texte und Themen einen Überblick über die deutsche Literaturgeschichte. Sie umreißt einzelne Epochen, reflektiert und problematisiert aber auch die Rede von ‚der‘ Literaturgeschichte und das Konstrukt ‚Epoche‘. Die Ringvorlesung wendet sich in ihrem Kern an Studierende im Aufbaustudium, steht aber allen Interessierten offen. Die Veranstaltung bietet zudem auch die Möglichkeit, einige Dozent*innen des Instituts kennenzulernen.

Die Veranstaltung wird im WiSe 202/21 digital durchgeführt. Die Vorlesungen finden via Zoom statt.

Literature has a vital role to play in framing our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. From Homer’s Illiad to present day zombie fiction - stories about pandemics have – over the history of Western culture – offered much in the way of catharsis, ways of processing strong emotion, and political commentary on how human beings respond to public health crises. In this Zoom-seminar we will look at representations of various pandemics in English literature from a diachronic perspective: We will read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and Colm Tóbín’s Blackwater Lightship (1999) and discuss topics such as illness and the human body, anxiety, otherness and xenophobia as well as (self-)isolation and the value of human contact over the course of the seminar.

The Zoom-seminar invites you to have a closer look at the writings of female authors of the Romantic period. While, until very recently, literary history has focused almost exclusively on the so-called Big Six –the male poets William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and Lord Byron – the years between 1789 and 1837 in fact proved to be a watershed moment for British women’s writing. Moreover, the works of Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and others often serve as a (critical) commentary upon dominant male modes of Romanticism, thus offering not only perspectives upon the period as such, but they also discuss contemporary social and cultural issues. In this seminar, we will read prose fiction, poetry, and drama by female authors including Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Joanna Baillie, Charlotte Smith, and Felicia Hemans.