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

Veranstaltungen im Wintersemester 2022/23
Lehrangebot im Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Aufbaumodul Kulturwissenschaft II
The End of Nature: Bill McKibben and the Tradition of Critical Environmental Writing in America
Do, 8:15 — 9:45 | Adam-Kuckhoff-Str. 35, SR 2
In his book The End of Nature, Bill McKibben describes the numerous dangers that planet earth was facing in 1989 and argues that humans had become so powerful that they could now materially alter everything, including such vast and complex systems as climate and the genes of living organisms. Although the book received a lot of public attention and was translated into almost 20 languages, McKibben's call for a more restrained behavior fell on deaf ears. Now, more than thirty years after its initial release, and with almost daily news about droughts, wildfires, floods, and other environmental disasters, McKibben's analysis of the state of the world is harder to deny and reject than it was in 1989.

With a close reading of The End of Nature, this class will examine the contexts that govern the cultural and political debates about what is now called "climate change." McKibben's book will serve as a point of departure for students to identify, analyze, and discuss key elements of these debates and to familiarize themselves with some of the fundamental ideas and positions that are a crucial part of the tradition of critical environmental writing in America.

Prospective participants are strongly encouraged to purchase a copy of the book,* to read it before the beginning of term, and to familiarize themselves in advance with the general aspects of the topic. Supplementary reading material will be made available in the course of the semester. The success of this class will depend on intensive student engagement and participation. The weekly sessions will be based on regular reading and writing assignments which require a serious commitment of time and effort on the part of all seminar members. Please ensure that your other responsibilities leave you with sufficient resources to devote the necessary attention and time to this course. To receive full credit for this class (5 CP), students will have to produce a "Hausarbeit." More information about the specific requirements will be announced in the first class session.

* Bill McKibben. The End of Nature. With a New Introduction by the Author. New York: Random House, 2006. ISBN: 0812976088

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.

Vertiefungsmodul Amerikanistik Kulturwissenschaft I
Propaganda in the USA: From Walter Lippmann to Public Relations
Di, 16:15 — 17:45 | Hörsaal A [Mel]

With the intensification of political polarization in the USA and especially with the recent war in Ukraine, the term "propaganda" has regained prominence in current cultural and political debates. Since the term is used to designate information that is of questionable accuracy and intended to manipulate its intended audience, its frequent appearance can be seen as a cause for concern because access to accurate and reliable information is regarded as a crucial foundation of democratic societies. It is deemed important to pay attention to the emergence and spread of propaganda and to find appropriate ways to control it, so that a community can be protected from being mislead and manipulated for the benefit of specific political or economic interests.

This class will examine a variety of historical situations in which the United States positioned itself with regard to propaganda as a form of "organized persuasive communication." In this context, students will be given opportunities to identify, analyze, and discuss instances of propaganda and the ways in which American culture responded to its existence.

The success of this class will depend on intensive student engagement and participation. The weekly sessions will be based on regular reading and writing assignments which require a serious commitment of time and effort on the part of all seminar members. Please ensure that your other responsibilities leave you with sufficient resources to devote the necessary attention and time to this course.

Prospective participants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves in advance with the general aspects of the topic. Reading material will be made available in the course of the semester. To receive full credit for this class (5 CP), students will have to produce a "Hausarbeit." More information about the specific requirements will be announced in the first class session.

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


Vertiefungsmodul Amerikanistik Literaturwissenschaft I
Problems of literary and cultural translations of American texts in German-language contexts
Do, 12:15 —13:45 | Seminarraum 22 A ( 30) (Raum 1.02) [LuWu 2]
In their engagement with books, readers are likely to encounter poems, stories, and plays that were originally written in a language other than their own. Especially in contemporary culture the chances are great that a customer in a book store will look at a large collection of publications that have been translated from foreign languages. In this context, English plays an important role: More than 60% of all translated texts originate from English-language background, with American literature occupying a major position. Since an appreciation of specific literary texts, especially in a university context, is traditionally bound to their "original" features, questions arise about the exact status of a text that has been transferred from its original language to a new cultural and linguistic context.

In its endeavor to explore important aspects connected with the translation of texts from American literature, this class will introduce students to some basic issues of translation theory; it will further an understanding of the history of American literature in German translation; and it will provide opportunities for comparative studies of selected translations.

The weekly sessions will be based on regular reading and writing assignments which require a serious commitment of time and effort on the part of all seminar members. Please ensure that your other responsibilities leave you with sufficient resources to devote the necessary attention and time to this course. Prospective participants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves in advance with the general aspects of the topic. Reading material will be made available in the course of the semester. To receive full credit for this class (5 CP), students will have to produce a "Hausarbeit." More information about the specific requirements will be announced in the first class session.

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


Forschungskolloquium Angloamerikanische Kulturwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft
Forschungskolloquium Amerikanistik: Literatur und Kultur
Di, 18:15 — 19:45 | Seminarraum 19 (16) (Raum1.40) [LuWu 2]

This course will provide advanced students with a forum to present and discuss their current B.A., M.A., or Staatsexamen projects dealing with topics from American literature and American culture. The format provides opportunities for constructive feedback and helpful suggestions regarding research techniques and the challenges arising from working on a larger project. Details about the specifics for this class will be addressed in the first session.

If you intend to write your final thesis (B.A., M.A. or Staatsexamensarbeit) in the course of the upcoming winter term, but have not decided on an advisor and a specific topic, please contact me by email before the semester starts in October.

Please use Stud.IP to register for this class.


 
  Version vom 16.09.2022