Informationen Anglistik Nr. 39, Wintersemester 98/99 ES-Homepage 

English Literature: Lectures

The Novel and Narrative: Bunyan, Defoe, Fielding and Richardson

Allen Reddick



This lecture will focus on the four major figures of the early English novel. I will be particularly concerned with examining the relation between perceived experience and personal narrative, and the transformation of personal narrative into texts for public consumption. The powerful allegorical works of John Bunyan, emerging as they did from his intense personal religious and political convictions, represent a hybrid between the ordering of personal religious inner "experience," allegorical narrative, and a distinctive kind of realism. Defoe’s adaptation of this private experience/public narrative form is particularly powerful, especially in relation to his construction of subjectivity in the novel. Fielding’s departure from the interior subjective mode marks the establishment of a different type of novelistic attempt; while Samuel Richardson’s haunting epistolary collections take the novel into more fractured forms of narrative and investigations of the self. Particular issues to be addressed in these lectures on the development of the novel include the relation of narrative to experience; the construction of a self; and the relation of personal narrative to perspective, dialogue, experiments with time, with gender, and with illicit behavior, transgression, and description. Works to be discussed include (Bunyan) Pilgrim’s Progress, (Defoe) Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, Roxana, (Fielding) Joseph Andrews, Shamela, Tom Jones, and (Richardson) Pamela and Clarissa.

Reading Kristeva

Elisabeth Bronfen



Using the writings of Julia Kristeva as our starting point we will trace the development of theoretical concepts, debates and interventions involving issues from cultural anthropology, linguistic structuralism through post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, gender studies and multi-culturalism to critical fictions. We will also explore how Kristeva’s critical discourse has come to play itself out in literary texts as well as visual and cinematic representations -- ranging from Giotto to Madonna via Sigorney Weaver als Capt. Ripley. The course will consist of a one hour lecture and a two-hour discussion seminar (Wed 17-19). It is meant both as an overview of critical theory as well as an indepth study of individual texts. In other words we will practice reading challenging theoretical texts as well as applying the concepts and rhetoric strategies there displayed to a reading of aesthetic texts. Participation in lecture and seminar is obligatory for students of the fourth part proseminar, but the lecture is open to other students as well.

The Languages of Literature

Peter Hughes
(Lecture with Proseminar I)



Aim and approach: The purpose of this course, which will consist of a two-hour proseminar and a one-hour lecture, is to develop through intensive and individual methods of instruction the ability of students to read and respond to works selected from the historical and stylistic range of the English literary canon. Each of the chosen works will be the subject of a lecture and of proseminar discussion: both lecture and proseminar group will be compulsory (testatpflichtig) for all students of English. To ensure concentrated and personal work, small proseminar groups of roughly equal size will be created.

Course requirements: Proseminar essay, active participation in discussion, recital from memory and oral commentary on a poem or prose piece chosen by the student from the set texts.

Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 2 vols. Sixth Edition. To be purchased by all students.

Introduction to Cultural Studies

Caroline Wiedmer



"Cultural Studies" describes a variety of intellectual practices intervening in the production, reception, and understanding of culture. These practices often challenge traditional academic procedures and etiquette, and no consensus about the "correct" approach to cultural materials is likely to emerge. What we understand as the field of cultural studies is rather a site of contest with different writers arguing for distinctive views of culture, of intellectual work, and of the consequences (academic, aesthetic, and political) of doing that work in various ways.

This course is an introduction to the history of cultural studies and to some of the central conflicts energizing the field. We will read works about the field of cultural studies by some of its most prominent practitioners, as well as works which exemplify how cultural studies are carried out. Even though this is a lecture course, only one of the two hours will be taken up with lectures each week; the other hour will be taken up by group work and student presentations. Avid participation from all members of the course will be expected.


  • Two presentations: one of 10 minutes on a secondary text, written in lecture format, to be given to respondent no later than Monday by noon.
  • One written response to presentation (not to exceed 2 double-spaced pages).

Theorie und Theater

Peter Hughes, Marco Baschera



This lecture will consider various approaches to both text and performance. Recognizing the distinction between drama as the written form of actors’ speech and theatre as the Gesamtkunstwerk of performance, we will show that theory and theatre share more than a verbal origin. Our discussion of theatre will range from Aristotle to Artaud: our choice of dramatic texts will be chiefly taken from French, English, and German literature.

Students who attend this lecture and take part in the Colloquium "Aufführung/Performance" may write seminar papers on a topic relevant to both courses.

Text: A reader will be available at the department office at the beginning of the semester.

Preparatory Meeting: 24 June, 12:30 at Pestalozzistr. 50, room 4.

The Fiction of Jane Austen

Morton Paley



All of Austen’s novels will be discussed and her shorter fiction as well. The emphasis will be on a) structure, thematic, development, and style, and b) the relationship of Austen’s work to the culture of her own time. As a number of passages will be considered closely, it will be helpful if you have the texts on the book list and bring the appropriate one to class each time.

Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. ed. John Davie. Oxford World’s Classics.
--- Persuasion. ed. D.W. Harding. Penguin.
--- Emma. ed. Ronald Blythe. Penguin.
--- Mansfield Park. ed. Tony Tanner. Penguin.
--- Sense and Sensibility. ed. James Kinsley. Oxford World’s Classics.
--- Pride and Prejudice. ed. James Kinsley. Oxford World’s Classics.
--- Catharine and Other Writings. eds. Doddy & Murray. Oxford World’s Classics.

An Introduction to Romantic Poetry

Morton Paley



Some representative works by the six major poets – Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats – will be discussed. We will concentrate closely on the texts themselves, bringing in historical and biographical considerations when they are relevant.

Text: Romantic Poetry and Prose. eds. Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom. Oxford University Press.
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