English and American Literature and Culture
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The literary studies section of the English Department covers the whole range of literature produced in the English language. Besides the more classical research domains of British, Irish, and American literature, the 'New English Literatures', i.e. Anglophone literatures such as Australian, Indian, South African, Canadian, or Caribbean literature, constitute another important field of study.
The study of English and American literature encompasses an extraordinarily broad field. Whereas more traditional approaches to literature (e.g. biographical studies, literary history, reception and criticism of literature) still remain vital parts of the curriculum, special emphasis is put on the historical and cultural dimensions of literature. Thus, there is a strong affiliation to cultural studies (American Studies, British Cultural Studies, etc.). Among the theoretical approaches the literary studies section of the department is particularly concerned with are cultural history, gender and postcolonial studies as well as genre theory and narratology.
The department’s literary studies section offers introductory courses, seminars, colloquia and lectures for students at all degree levels (Bachelor, Master, Diplom, and Lehramt). The courses cover all literary periods from early modern period to the present, all major genres (poetry, drama, and narrative texts) as well as other media, especially film. More detailed information on the courses of studies, the study and examination regulations, obligatory reading lists and study guidance can be found on the department's website in the section . For a detailed overview of courses, please have a look at the current teaching programme.
Cultural studies takes culture as its object of study. At Justus Liebig University, cultural studies encompasses both the Anglophone tradition of taking a politically engaged approach to culture from, for instance, a basis in feminism or critical race theory, and the German tradition of studying culture from an explicitly interdisciplinary perspective. Because our programme does not differentiate between British and American Studies, students are encouraged to pursue comparative transnational cultural analysis.