Start my eKVV Studieninformation Lernräume Prüfungsverwaltung Anmelden

230215 'Childhood is a foreign country': American Childhood, American Literature, and the World (S) (WiSe 2017/2018)

Inhalt, Kommentar

Drawing upon various lines of discussion in transnational American Studies, the theoretical contributions of the ‘spatial turn’ to literary studies, and adopting a cultural geographical perspective to literary analysis, the seminar examines US literature in its attempt to

1. expand its frames of reference as a young nation/empire through placing American characters in non-American settings as sites of reflection on who they are while travelling/living abroad;
2. create worlds in which being American is associated with a sense of agency, youth, distance, or exceptionalism;
3. examine the boundaries of the nation through understanding the life of immigrants in the US and their narrating the ‘American dream’;
4. make sense of, avoid, open up to, or reject the world at large;
5. etc.

Throughout the course of the seminar, we will read and discuss a wide range of theoretical texts on American literature as part of/synonymous to/distinct from world literature. The course’s objective will be to apply these theoretical insights through group and class discussions and presentations on the following novel(la)s:

- Daisy Miller (Henry James 1879)
- Tom Sawyer Abroad (Mark Twain 1894)
- The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver 1998)
- Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok 2010)

While the focus of the seminar is on identifying and mapping the contours of American literature over the course of a century and a half, the works chosen for analysis have another element in common, i.e., they all feature child or adolescent characters/narrators, hence the title “Childhood is a foreign country”.
The title of the seminar is taken from Patricia Crain’s book Story of A (2000) where the comparatively short history of the US as a nation is narrated through a myriad of cultural forces that define being a child and an American in proximity with questions of national identity, coming of age, domination, exceptionalism, and colonialism. While the focus of the course is on American literature as a tool in the hands of Americans to make sense of and record their national coming of age and mark their position in the world at large, the works selected for analysis during the semester all feature child/young characters who contest the national solidity of American literary borders by treading the double-edged path of being young and growing up as citizens of a young nation.
In bringing these two lines of inquiry together, the seminar raises questions about the borders of US literature and its affinities to the ‘national’, the ‘transnational’ and the ‘global’ since the final quarter of the 19th century to the present with an eye on children as other, childhood as a passing stage on the path to adulthood, national coming of age, and parenting/governing as instances of domination and colonization.


Termine (Kalendersicht )

Rhythmus Tag Uhrzeit Ort Zeitraum  

Zeige vergangene Termine >>


  • Keine gefunden


Modul Veranstaltung Leistungen  
23-ANG-AngPM3_a Profilmodul 3: American Studies 3.3 Literature and Media Studienleistung
23-ANG-AngVM2 Vertiefungsmodul 2: The Americas/ Interamerican Studies VM 2.1 The Americas: Linguistics Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
23-ANG-M-AngHM3 Hauptmodul 3: NorthAmerican Literatures and the Processes of Culture HM 3.1 NorthAmerican Literatures in Context Studienleistung
23-IAS-M-IAS4 North American Literature and the Processes of Culture Cultural and Literary Contact in the U.S.A. I Studienleistung
Cultural and Literary Contact in the U.S.A. II Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
23-IAS-M-IAS6 Advanced Studies of Literatures and Cultures of the Americas / Estudios avanzados de literaturas y culturas de las Américas NorthAmerican Literatures in Context Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
23-LIT-M-LitAM4 Aufbau-Modul II: Fachphilologische Vertiefung Amerikanistik Lehrveranstaltung 1 Studienleistung
Lehrveranstaltung 2 Studienleistung
Lehrveranstaltung 3 benotete Prüfungsleistung

Die verbindlichen Modulbeschreibungen enthalten weitere Informationen, auch zu den "Leistungen" und ihren Anforderungen. Sind mehrere "Leistungsformen" möglich, entscheiden die jeweiligen Lehrenden darüber.

Konkretisierung der Anforderungen
Keine Konkretisierungen vorhanden
Automatischer E-Mailverteiler der Veranstaltung
Änderungen/Aktualität der Veranstaltungsdaten