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News - English and American Literature

New Degree Course "Intercultural Communication and Business" (ICB)

The Bachelor Degree program Intercultural Business and Communication (ICB) begins during the Winter Semester 2020/2021. Here, you can combine a focus on Anglophone business communication with courses in a second business language while also studying business administration and commercial law. Our very popular Business English courses will help to improve your language proficiency in business contexts. Courses on controversial advertisements and media add to your understanding business from a cultural point of view. An internship or work on an independent business-related project is built into the study program.

Your focus in the program will be on English and Anglophone business communication. Additionally, you can choose a minor in one of the following business languages: French, Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Czech, or Ukrainian. The Economics part of the degree consists of classes in business administration, macroeconomics, statistics, and business law. The course of studies runs for six semesters and consists of 180 credit points. It begins during the Winter Semester in October of each year. The program qualifies you for work in international businesses and/or international cultural institutions.


The Master Degree program Intercultural Business and Communication (ICB) begins during the Winter Semester 2020/2021. Here, you can intensify your focus on Anglophone business communication and take courses in a second business language while also studying business administration and commercial law. The MA Degree program offers an introductory module in Intercultural Communication. Business English courses will help to improve your language proficiency while also acquiring a better understanding of Anglophone business cultures. Courses on media and culture further your understanding of Anglophone cultures and forms of communication.

You can choose to have a focus in either Anglophone Literary, Cultural and Media Studies or in English Linguistics. You can combine this focus with a minor in another business language including French, Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or Czech. Alternatively, you can do an internship or a praxis-oriented project instead rather than focusing on a second language. The Economics part of the degree consists of classes in business administration, economics, statistics, and business law. The course of studies runs for four semesters and consists of 120 Credit Points. The program begins during the Winter Semester in October of each year. The program further qualifies you for work in international businesses and/or cross-cultural cultural institutions.

If you are interested in the new degree course, feel free to register for updates through the Info-Service.


Recent Publications on Brexit

In 2019, Joanna Rostek has co-edited two special issues of the Journal for the Study of British Culture (JSBC).

The first issue, "Brexit and the Divided United Kingdom" , focuses on issues related to Brexit and British Cultural Studies, including chapters on the relationship between the Brexit referendum and British austerity politics, pro-Brexit voices in British comedy, the London Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012, racism in the United Kingdom and cultural linguistic perspectives on Brexit.

The second issue, "Literatures of Brexit", focuses on (new) literary approaches and narrative texts trying to make sense of Brexit, including chapters on Ali Smith's 'Seasonal Quartet', Ian McEwan's Nutshell, as well as patriotism, nationalism and immigration in (British) literature.

Student Conference "Virginia Woolf, Bloomsbury and Adaptations", June 26th-28th

All welcome to the Student Conference "Virginia Woolf, Bloomsbury and Adaptations" in cooperation with Bonn University, June 26th-28th, in Room B 410 (see programme).

Conference: Rechtsgefühle. Die Relevanz des Affektiven für die Rechtsentwicklung in pluralen Rechtskulturen


Feelings about Justice/Law

The Relevance of Affect to the Development of Law in Pluralistic Legal Cultures

June 13 – 14, 2019

Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Senatssaal,

Ludwigstr. 23, 35390 Giessen


Thursday, June 13, 2019

                                    I) Opening

10:30 AM        Welcome and Refreshments

11:00 AM        Prof. Greta Olson/Prof. Franz Reimer (Giessen): Introductory Remarks

11:15 AM        Prof. Gabriele Britz (Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court, Karlsruhe/Giessen):


12:15 PM        Lunch


II) Feelings about Justice/Law from a Historical Perspective

1:15 PM          Prof. Thorsten Keiser, LL.M. (Civil Law, Giessen): „Rechtsgefühle – Schlaglichter und


1:30 PM          Prof. Sylvia Kesper-Biermann (Educational Researcher, Hamburg): „Rechtsgefühl und   

                       Menschenrechte: Das Folterverbot im langen 19. Jahrhundert“

2:00 PM          Dr. Alexander Krey (Legal History, Frankfurt am Main): „‚Laienrichter‘ und ihr Rechtsgefühl   

                       im Spätmittelalter: Annäherung über die Gerichtsbuchüberlieferung“

2:30 PM          Discussion

                       Discussant: PD Dr. Margrit Seckelmann, M.A. (Administrative Law and Legal History,   



                       Coffee Break


III) Feelings about Justice/Law from a Comparative Perspective

3:30 PM          Prof. Greta Olson (Cultural Studies, Giessen): “Rechtsgefühle and the Affective Turn in Legal


3:45 PM          Dr. Alice Ollino, LL.M. (Public International Law, Università degli Studi di Milano-

                       Bicocca)/Prof. Paolo Zicchittu (Constitutional Law, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca):

                       “The Sense of Justice in European Courts: Reflections on Religious Pluralism Case Law”

4:15 PM          Discussion and Coffee Break


5:00 PM          Prof. Frans-Willem Korsten (Cultural Studies, Leiden/Rotterdam): “Sovereignty: Denying 

                       Idiocy while Appealing to Reason – The Cases in Jelinek’s Ulrike Maria Stuart

5:30 PM          Discussion

6:00 PM          End of the Academic Part of the First Conference Day

8:00 PM          Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

                       Film and Discussion in the Margarete-Bieber-Saal, Ludwigstrasse 34, Giessen




Friday, June 14, 2019


IV) Feelings about Justice/Law in the Judiciary and Jurisprudence

09:45 AM        Prof. Franz Reimer (Public Law, Giessen): „Rechtsgefühle ernstgenommen“

10:00 AM        Keynote: Prof. Jeanne Gaakeer, LL.M. (Senior Justice/Legal Theory, Rotterdam/Den Haag):

                       “Consulting One’s Legal Consciousness: Unsimple Fact or Dangerous Fiction?”

10:30 AM        Discussion and Coffee Break

11:30 AM        Dr. Wilhelm Wolf (President of the District Court, Frankfurt am Main): „Rechtsgefühle in der 

                       Justiz zwischen Rechtssoziologie und Methodenlehre“

12:00 PM        Discussion

12:30 PM        Prof. Thorsten Keiser, LL.M. (Civil Law, Giessen): Closing Remarks

12:45 PM        Lunch and Conclusion



We would like to thank our sponsor





Thesis Support Meetings SoSe 2019

Thesis Support Meetings SoSe 2019

Click on the image for full size.

First Meeting of the Thesis Support - SoSe 2019

First Meeting of the Thesis Support - SoSe 2019

First Meeting Thesis Support SoSe 2019

Hard Times Magazine: Open Access

Hard Times Magazine, an academic journal launched in 1978 in Germany, publishes two annual issues with varying topics all connected to Great Britain and the Commonwealth. It offers short articles, discussions, and interviews to provide critical input/commentary on current cultural phenomena or political debates. 

Recently, Hard Times has moved online and can now be accessed for free via Its latest issue, entitled "The Return of Politics", can already be found on the homepage. New issues to look out for are "Gender Today" and "The State of the Left". 


Analysing Literature, Culture, and Economics - New Contributions by Joanna Rostek

In 2018, Joanna Rostek has published several articles in the field of economic criticism, situated at the interface of literary analysis, cultural studies and economics. Note that the co-authored article on "The Value of Economic Criticism Reconsidered: Approaching Literature and Culture through the Lens of Economics" is available as a free download (see link below) and might be of particular interest for MFKW students who pursue research projects on literature, culture, and the economy/economics.


  • "English Women's Economic Thought in the 1790s: Domestic Economy, Married Women's Economic Dependence, and Access to Professions". Routledge Handbook of the History of Women’s Economic Thought. Ed. Kirsten K. Madden and Robert W. Dimand. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018. 33-52. [Info
  • with Ellen Grünkemeier and Nora Pleßke. "The Value of Economic Criticism Reconsidered: Approaching Literature and Culture through the Lens of Economics". Introduction. Proceedings Anglistentag 2017. Ed. Anne-Julia Zwierlein, Jochen Petzold, Katharina Boehm, and Martin Decker. Trier: WVT, 2018. 117-125. [Free download via
  • "Fictions of Capitalism: Accounting for Global Capitalism's Social Costs in Catherine O'Flynn's What Was Lost (2007), Sebastian Faulks's A Week in December (2009), and John Lanchester's Capital (2012)". The English Novel in the 21st Century: Cultural Concerns – Literary Developments – Model Interpretations. Ed. Vera Nünning & Ansgar Nünning. Trier: WVT, 2018. 139-153. [Info]
  • "Implementing Feminist Economics for the Study of Literature: The Economic Dimensions of Charlotte Brontë's Shirley Revisited". Brontë Studies43.1 (2018): 78–88. Access via:

! Change of venue ! for June 12th, 7.30 pm: Thom Conroy reads from The Naturalist

Wegen des anhaltenden Regens kann die Lesung leider nicht wie geplant im botanischen Garten stattfinden. Thom Conroy liest um 19.30 Uhr im Grossen Zoologischen Hörsaal, Stephanstr. 24 (rückseitig JLU Hauptgebäude).

Der Gießener Naturforscher Ernst Dieffenbach wurde als einer der ersten europäischen Forscher von der Londoner New Zealand Company angeheuert, um das bis dahin weitgehend unbekannte Land zu erkunden. Māori, neuseeländische Ureinwohner, kannten ihn als Entdecker, der zuerst kulturelle Verantwortung aufbrachte und der sich ihre Sprache Te Reo Māori fließend aneignete. Dieffenbachs zukunftsgerichtete Ansichten über Rassengleichheit und Māori-Rechte wurden jedoch zu einer Herausforderung für die Company, die in erster Linie versuchte, Siedler anzuziehen. Wegen der über seinen Auftrag hinausgehenden Kontakte zu Māori wird er im historischen Gedächtnis des Inselstaats bis in die heutige Zeit hoch geschätzt.


Thom Conroy, Autor und Dozent für kreatives Schreiben an der Massey University Palmerston North in Neuseeland, forschte sechs Jahre über das Leben Ernst Dieffenbachs und veröffentlichte seine Ergebnisse 2014 in Form des historischen Romans The Naturalist, in dem er seine Version der Lebensgeschichte »eines der besten Söhne Gießens« erzählt. Seine Kurzgeschichten, die er auch unter dem Pseudonym Thomas Gough veröffentlichte, wurden international mehrfach ausgezeichnet.

Dienstag, 12.6. – 19:30 Uhr

Botanischer Garten
Eingang Sonnenstrasse
35390 Gießen

Eintritt frei

Moderation: Andrea Rummel (LZG | Institut für Anglistik)
Die Lesung wird in englischer Sprache stattfinden.

Call for Papers – Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of British Cultures – Brexit and the Divided Kingdom

Prof. Dr. Joanna Rostek, University of Giessen

Prof. Dr. Anne-Julia Zwierlein, University of Regensburg

Prof. Dr. Ina Habermann, University of Basel



Call for Papers

Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of British Cultures


Brexit and the Divided Kingdom


Although it is yet too early to draw conclusions about the ongoing public debate on Brexit, Britain’s tight vote to leave the European Union has certainly been read as a manifestation of deep divisions across the country. Political scientists Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin claim in “Britain after Brexit: A Nation Divided” (2017) that “for all the country’s political parties, articulating and responding to the divisions that were laid bare in the Brexit vote will be the primary electoral challenge of tomorrow.” The divisions brought into focus since the referendum are indeed manifold: 52% vs. 48%; England vs. Scotland vs. Wales vs. Northern Ireland; city vs. countryside; liberal vs. conservative; old vs. young; high vs. low level of education; affluent vs. poor; professional vs. manual; migrant vs. non-migrant, ‘elite’ vs. ‘the people’, etc. Importantly, these rifts are multi-dimensional, intersectional, and far from neatly binary, as they cut across the political spectrum, uprooting and reorganising traditional allegiances and socio-cultural affinities. The complex motivations behind the Brexit vote thus make visible the need to critically revisit established concepts of social and cultural analysis (such as cosmopolitanism, populism, nationalism, sovereignty, etc.) and to probe their heuristic value for explaining recent social, political, and cultural developments.

            This need is also borne out by the multi-faceted and contradictory reactions to the referendum across politics, the media, and culture. Somewhat paradoxically, what seems to unite many of these reactions is a deeply ingrained ‘us vs. them’ mentality. The Daily Mail decried judges who had ruled that parliament as the sovereign must endorse Brexit as “Enemies of the People”, while British author Julian Barnes criticised “an over-confident political elite” in his dissection of Tory party rhetoric for the London Review of Books. Theresa May sought to counter the social rifts in her speech on triggering Article 50 of the EU Treaty by pleading: “So let us do so together. Let us come together and work together. Let us together choose to believe in Britain with optimism and hope.”

Some literary negotiations of the referendum have attempted to represent and give voice to people across the divides. Carol Ann Duffy’s play My Country: A Work in Progress (2017), which is partly based on responses to interviews conducted by the UK Arts Councils in the British regions, includes the perspectives of Leave and Remain voters. A similar plurality marks the mini-plays Brexit Shorts: Dramas from a Divided Nation (2017), created by nine British playwrights and commissioned by The Guardian. Brexit novels such as Amanda Craig’s The Lie of the Land (2017) or Douglas Board’s Time of Lies (2017), by contrast, are satirical projections of an imagined post-Brexit Britain.



Bearing in mind that Brexit will remain an ongoing and dynamic phenomenon, the aim of the JSBC issue on “Brexit and the Divided Kingdom” is to analyse and critically assess the role of the discursive motif of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of the referendum. We are looking for contributions exploring British and European perspectives and we hope to see re-examinations of some entrenched debates about popular culture, media culture, and their relations to power. For instance: to what extent do literary/popular/media/academic reactions to Brexit respond to, and to what extent do they perpetuate divisions? Is the current public debate on Brexit conducive to bridging divides or is such a debate per se impossible in a digital world? Who is (in)audible and (in)visible within the Brexit debates? What channels are used and who are the (intended and actual) audiences? How do the postulated divisions call into question established tools of social and cultural analysis?

We invite contributions on the above and related topics, from cultural and literary studies, but also related disciplines such as political science, media studies, European history and human geography, with a view to national and transnational, present and past constellations, and to fictional and non-fictional materials. Individual contributions must address Brexit and relate it to the following or additional aspects:


  • the employment, construction, and circulation of the tropes of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of Brexit,
  • redefinitions of class, race, gender, age in political/literary/cultural debates about Brexit,
  • Brexit and regionalism,
  • Brexit and nationalism/national identity,
  • academic, media, and/or cultural sector discourses on Brexit,
  • Brexit in literature, drama, and the arts,
  • Brexit in party politics and rhetoric,
  • reactions to Brexit from outside the UK,
  • discourses of populism(s) and elitism(s) in the context of Brexit,
  • Brexit and migration,
  • Brexit and austerity,
  • Brexit and imperial nostalgia,



Please submit abstracts (300 words) and a short bio note by April 16, 2018, to all three guest editors:


Finished papers (5,000 words) will be due by August 31, 2018.