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Winter Term 2023/24

Find here the abstracts for the workshops of the Winter Term 2023/24.

IPP Workshop Series

for BA, MA & PhD students



The IPP Workshop Series offers IPP members the opportunity to lead a workshop on current concepts and methods in the Study of culture. The aim of the series is to create an interactive discussion group for doctoral candidates and students. The topics can range from general introductions to various "schools" of literary and cultural theory to concepts, methods and topics of literary and cultural theory. The sessions are open for BA, MA and PhD students.


All the sessions will be in the GCSC-GGK Building (Otto-Behaghel-Str. 12) from 14.00 to 16.00




Cultural Studies | Anna Klishevich | 16.11.2023 | 14-16 | SR 109


Cinema in Fiction: How to Read Films in Novels

 The workshop is an introduction to the relationship between cinema and literature with a focus on textual representations of films in novels. In its first half, the workshop will briefly cover the history of novels’ engagement with cinema, drawing upon several prominent examples, and will open to speculation about possible interpretations of films in fiction. Additionally, the workshop will introduce various methods of analysing such a phenomenon through the approaches developed by literary studies and studies in intermediality.

The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to discussing a chapter from Jonathan Coe’s novel Number 11 (2015) – The Crystal Garden – a short story about a person who sees a film as a child and consequently becomes obsessed with it as an adult. The chapter offers various examples of the film’s representation, and the discussion will focus on the questions of forms of the film’s representation, the roles the film plays on the level of style and narrative construction, and the meaning that the film creates in the context of the chapter.
The target audience comprises Bachelor, Master, and PhD students of film, literature, culture studies, or any other disciplines who are interested in but have no specific background knowledge of the practice of literary representation of film medium.

Please, access the novel via the Internet Archive: you will need to register and log in in order to borrow the book for an hour (you can always renew the loan after the first hour expires). Please, read Chapter 3 called "The Crystal Garden" (pp. 127 - 177), and think of a) how (in which forms) the film is represented in the chapter and b) what role the film plays in the storyline of the chapter.


Literary Studies | Aleksandra Sadowska | 11.01.2024 | 14-16 | MFR


Two Beauties or Two Beasts? – Introduction to Adult Retellings of Traditional Fairy Tales

Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast (1740) as well as other traditional fairy tales are deeply rooted in our minds and culture. It's no wonder considering the fact that those stories accompany people almost from the day they are born. However, in the ever-changing world of today, those traditional stories may become problematic or even obsolete. By rewriting and defamiliarizing those tales, authors such as Angela Carter or Emma Donoghue, give them a second life and challenge the lessons we acquired as children.

In the course of this workshop, we will discuss two rewritings of Beauty and the Beast, namely Angela Carter’s The Tiger’s Bride (from the collection The Bloody Chamber, 1979) and Emma Donoghue’s The Tale of the Rose (from the collection Kissing the Witch, 1993) to discover what deeper meanings and lessons can be learned from them. This workshop is of interest to all students who would like to expand their understanding of retellings of fairy tales or look for inspiration regarding their research papers.

Participants are asked to read Angela Carter’s The Tiger’s Bride and Emma Donoghue’s The Tale of the Rose before the workshop. Anyone who does not have access to those stories is welcome to contact me ( to obtain them.



Literary Studies | Zahra Vojgani | 18.01.2024 | 14-16 | Konferenzraum 001 (MFR)


Writing as healing: An account of creative writing as a kind of therapy

Narrating an unpleasant experience from the past or an ongoing fear "frees up" cognitive resources. To define expressive writing as writing that allows us to make sense of our thoughts and feelings, I contend that we restore some degree of agency when we write to transmit and create meaning. Telling a story lets the author switch from being a powerless victim to a narrator who can observe and retell his life events. The therapeutic potential of writing from a literary perspective necessitates a thorough analysis of the topics in a story. There have been some literary studies to support a conclusion on the advantages of writing about unpleasant emotions, for example when looking at memory studies, such as "Healing and Post-traumatic Growth" by LaLonde in "Trauma and Literature", edited by Roger Kurtz, and resilience studies, as well as studies on memoirs, although further research is required.

The purpose of this workshop is to analyse writings that describe previous personal traumatic experiences and demonstrate the resiliency the narrator displays by telling her narrative afterward. I'll focus on the stories of immigrants who underwent trauma upon leaving their country and emphasize immigration as an unpleasant process in terms of cultural background. Perhaps the cultural background causes specific cultural shocks when relocating to another location, or perhaps certain people are more or less accepting of certain cultural backgrounds than others, making immigration worse or better. Participants will be given examples from the novel "Désoriental" 2016 by Negar Djavadi, with the workshop's main topic being "Why is writing about unpleasant situations able to cure its narrator?" The students are first given ten minutes to reply to the writing prompts I provide.  After that, I'd recommend concentrating on literary analysis of the extracts, and anyone who wants to add their own style is welcome to do so on a voluntary basis. In the end, I ask them how they felt about the incident and the written words they used to describe it so that we may collectively explore the process of recalling their unpleasant memories. 

Keywords: Expressive Writing, Heal up, Trauma, Negative Experience




Research | Piera Mazzaglia | 25.01.2024 | 14-16 | SR 109


The Mysterious World of Archives: an Introduction and Tips on How to Conduct Effective Archival Research

The importance and value of archives is well known. Archives are the spaces and places that allow history not to be forgotten; they are evidence of past entities and histories. Hence the importance and necessity of preserving archives and giving more attention to archival studies: preserving archives means preserving the stories they cherish.

There are archives all over the world, open to the public on a daily basis. Many archives are undergoing a process of digitisation that will allow researchers and readers to access the materials they want from the comfort of their own homes. The only problem/difficulty arises when it comes to starting archival research. Where does one start? How does one find the materials they need? How does an archive work? Are there general archival worldwide databases? What are the requirements for accessing these materials? How does one work with the materials?

Indeed, while there seems to be a great deal of literature about archives and the role they play in our society, there is very little in terms of practical information. For this reason, this workshop aims to provide useful and practical information that will enable the audience to navigate ´the mysterious waters´ of an archive.

This workshop is based on a first-hand experience in archives in Germany and UK. I will explore in detail all the steps of the archival research from the very first search of the archive on Google to the analysis of the materials in the reading room of the archive.

Keywords: Archives, Archival Research, Material Studies, History, Cultural History



Cultural Studies | Marco Presago | 01.02.2024 | 14-16 | SR 109


An Introduction to Pierre Bourdieu: Field, Habitus, Cultural Capital

Pierre Bourdieu was, and still is today, a highly relevant figure in the field of sociology whose theories have been widely adopted across a diverse range of fields and disciplines (Korom, 2020). Translated into more than forty languages, his works have become standard points of reference in the fields of anthropology, linguistics, art history, cultural studies, politics, sociology, and beyond (Speller, 2011).

Given the multidisciplinary application of Bourdieu's thought and its versatility in the study of culture, the workshop aims to provide the participants with an overview of Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of field, habitus and cultural capital, opening the floor to a discussion on their relevance to said participants' individual research projects. The workshop will, therefore, not only illustrate Bourdieu’s theories by engaging with extracts from his own texts, but will also provide examples of how such theories were incorporated and applied in the study of culture.

The workshop will be divided into two parts: the first part will provide an overview of the three concepts (and their possible applications), while the second part will focus, instead, on how other PhD candidates can integrate these concepts into their own research projects.

This introduction will equip the participants with a deeper knowledge of Pierre  Bourdieu’s main concepts, while also offering useful theoretical and methodological insights on their applicability.



Cultural Studies | Farouk El Maarouf | 08.02.2024 | 14-16 | Konferenzraum 001 (MFR)


Redefining Knowledge: An Introduction to Postcolonial and Decolonial Thinking

There has been great academic interest in the last decades in the poetics and politics of identification in post-colonial societies. As a result, academics around the world locked horns over what it means to be a post-colonial subject; what could be, by dint of an intellectual exercise and practical implementation, a solution to existing and potential divisions and struggles. In this workshop, I want to set in motion a conversation of, around, and about decolonial thinking as a methodological tool where thinking is ‘no longer demonstrative but edifying’ (Vattimo 2002, p.452). The devastating colonial impacts on various regions of the world gave rise to postcolonial thinking that emerged primarily in literary and cultural studies and occupied itself with the analysis and deconstruction of the colonial representation of colonialized societies. After numerous decolonization efforts, postcolonialism faced accusations of indirectly promoting Eurocentrism due to its alignment with postmodernism (Mendoza 2020, p. 44). This led to the emergence of a more interdisciplinary approach known as decoloniality. Decoloniality critically puts into question different aspects of coloniality, including social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions. It casts a magnifying glass on knowledge production and challenges the universalizing tendencies of Western knowledge, among other things. This workshop, thus, is 1) an introduction to decolonial thinking and its latest intellectual state of affairs, and an attempt to situate students amid its different streams of thought. 2) A short comparison between postcolonialism and decoloniality, and 3) a clarification of some of the key conceptual differences between decoloniality, decolonization, postcolonial, and post-colonial, among other things.

Keywords: decoloniality, postcolonialism, knowledge production, universality, colonialism.