Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik


Veranstaltungen im Sommersemester 2003

HS Cultural Studies
Violence in the United States
Do 11-13 h

Instances of violence are among the features that strike observers of the United States, both inside and outside the country, as a characteristic element of life in America. This perceived ubiquity of all forms of violence once prompted an American to state that "violence is as American as apple pie." Since events in recent months, with their news coverage of sniper attacks and a rhetoric of war, have reemphasized the image of America as a fatal environment this course attempts to cast a critical eye on the phenomenon. It will address a variety of issues including historical acts of violence and the depiction of violence in the media. — To obtain a "Schein" for this class, students will be required to work on a series of oral and written assignments encouraging them to make use of their full range of academic skills.


PS Kulturstudien
Basic Documents of American Culture
Do 15-17 h


This class is designed to familiarize students with central issues of American history and culture. It will present various types of documents, including presidentials speeches, legislative acts, letters, essays, and selections from American literature. – Students interested in signing up for this class should be prepared to work on a number of different assignments covering the range of basic academic skills (e.g. short oral presentation, mini-essay, selected bibliography, webliography). Another prerequisite for participation is a willingness to become actively involved in in-class discussions. – The texts to be studied will be made available by the beginning of term.


HS Literaturstudien
The Small Town in American Fiction
Di 9-11 h

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago – these are the cities that quickly come to mind when people think about America. While these urban centers tickle the imagination of Americans and tourists alike, their impact on the country as a whole may have been less intensive than that of the small town. "The country town is one of America's great institutions," wrote American social philosopher Thorstein Veblen and, according to his view, it has had "a greater part than any other in shaping public sentiment and giving character to American culture." – This class will examine some of the material that American writers have produced about small-town life, about its culture, its economics, and its social makeup. In the course of the semester an intensive study of literary texts and their respective contexts will reveal an ambivalent picture of an institution that has been at times a positive influence and other times an inhibiting one on a large segment of the American people. – Participants will have to complete a series of assignments, both oral and written, to receive credit for this class. Texts will be made available by the beginning of term.


Einführung Literaturstudien
Introduction to American Poetry
11-13 h
  Are you one of those people who find poetry fascinating, and yet are intimidated by the fact that it can be difficult? Then this class may have something to offer to you. It is designed to help you read a poem slowly, carefully, and attentively and thus to improve your thinking, writing, and reading skills. You will thereby learn about basic approaches to the analysis of literary texts and develop a better understanding for the relationship between literature and the cultural and historical contexts from which it springs. Finally, in its selection of poems to be studied, the course will give you a chance to discover the range of topics and themes that American poets have dealt over the past 200+ years. — The requirements for a "Schein" include the successful completion of a variety of oral and written assignments (e.g. short oral presentation, mini-essay, selected bibliography). Texts will be made available by the beginning of term.
  Version vom 30.08.2018