English and American literature and culture at JLU
New Questions about Old Texts
Giessen has a long-standing tradition of research in literary and cultural history, combining the study of classical works and authors such as William Shakespeare and Jane Austen with innovative perspectives on these and lesser known writers within their cultural contexts. While we focus primarily on British, Irish, and American literature, Giessen's degree programmes also allow you to study postcolonial literature from around the globe. Specialized courses in authors, periods, and genres shall enable you to develop a firm grasp of literature in English. Courses in advanced literary, cultural and media analysis will help you to formulate new questions about old (and new) texts.
Thinking Critically about Culture
Cultural studies will teach you methods for thinking critically about Anglophone cultures, their traditions, and how they are represented and reproduced. Cultural studies takes culture as its object of study. At the University of Giessen cultural studies encompasses both the Anglophone tradition of taking a politically engaged approach to culture and the German tradition of studying culture from an explicitly interdisciplinary perspective. In our programmes you will learn specific methods of cultural analysis. These include: decoding (or semiotic analysis), cognitive metaphor analysis, narrative theory, media studies, linguistic theories about identity construction, methods for attaining visual and media literacy, and historical analysis. A grasp of these methods will help you to develop your own final thesis project.