Institute of English Languages and Literatures


You will find our courses in the Alma system. Remember: in order to register for certain courses via Alma during the registration period, you need to be logged in. From Summer term 2020 onwards all course registrations take place in Alma (not Campus!).

Courses Winter term 2020/2021:

Lehrveranstaltungen Sommersemester 2023

Prof. Dr. Christoph Reinfandt

VL                   Modernism

Do 10-12, HS 25 Kupferbau, Beginn 20.4.

Programmes: BEd, MEd, BA, MA ELC, MA AmSt, MA IL, MA LitKultTh,

MA Global South

This course of lectures will provide a comprehensive introduction to modernism as a decisive step and turning point in the evolution of modern culture at large. Accordingly, readings of key texts from English and American modernist literature will be embedded in a number of non-literary topics such as, for example, developments in music and painting, the emergence of mass culture, the development of the sciences, the interaction of technological progress and media history, and the linguistic turn in philosophy. At the same time, the lecture course will address the recent ‘global turn’ in Modernist Studies.


Short essay at the end of term.

Oral exams in module combinations with seminars in MA programmes of the English Department.

Note: This lecture course can be profitably combined with the seminars “Jazz and Modernism” and/or “Irishness and Art for Art’s Sake: William Butler Yeats”.

Preparatory Reading:

Sean Latham & Gayle Rogers, Modernism: Evolution of an Idea. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Peter Kalliney, Modernism in a Global Context. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

(with Astrid Franke)

S         Jazz and Modernism

            Mi 10-12, R 306, Beginn 19.4.

            BEd, MEd, BA; MA AmSt, MA ELC, MA IL, MA LitKultth, MA Global South

Despite being nearly contemporary phenomena and the persistent myth of the ‘jazz age’, possible parallels and affinities between modernism and jazz have so far been only sporadically addressed in academia. In this seminar, we will sample and discuss what little academic discussion there is and at the same time pursue a double approach:

            Astrid Franke will address the issue in terms of cultural history, bringing together a body of texts and artworks from the 1920s to the 1940s in order to tease out where writers, artists, musicians and critics saw overlaps and divergences. Her framework is provided by the Black Origins of Transatlantic Modernism and the conceptulisation of American Modernism as fundamentally shaped by African American culture.

            Christoph Reinfandt, on the other hand, will address the issue systematically (see also the his parallel lecture course) and trace the emergence of jazz from New Orleans to Chicago and on to New York and the rest of the world in selected recordings, from Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five to Charlie Parker and beyond. Here, the focus will be on the crucial importance of the recording studio and, later, the possibility of live recordings, for the emergence of a canon of works which can be discussed in the light of criteria which have been coined in the period of modernism.

            The idea is to pursue these two approaches in alternating sessions and to bring the two strands together in a closing event (format to be determined, possibly at the DAI).

Note: This seminar can be profitably combined with the lecture course on “Modernism”.

S          Irishness and Art for Art’s Sake: William Butler Yeats

            Mi 08-10, R 306, Beginn 19.4.

In this seminar, we will chart the literary life and afterlives of William Butler Yeats. Throughout his life, Yeats compensated for his multidimensional position of in-betweenness – as a member of the colonizing class of the British Protestant Ascendancy in an increasingly Catholic nationalist struggle, as one of the last Romantics (as he argued himself) in the face of emergent modernism, as a politically committed writer with strong aestheticist leanings – by insisting on the possibility of creating a mystical ('Into the Twilight'), an aesthetic ('To Ireland in the Coming Times') and a political ('Easter 1916') myth of Irishness before he finally renounced the possibility of a 'mytho-poetics' (Christian Huck) in the face of an overdose of reality ('The Circus Animals' Desertion'). Futile as these projects may appear in hindsight, the power of Yeats’s command of poetic language has enabled some of his poems to develop an astonishing staying power in various cultural registers, including, strikingly, popular music, which seems strangely at odds with his elitist leanings. Yeats’s drama and prose, on the other hand, have not fared so well (with the possible exception of his powerful and ambiguous play Cathleen ni Houlihan, 1902, written with Lady Gregory), but we will sample the most interesting instances from these genres also. It is the aim of this seminar to discern the systematic coordinates of Yeats’s practice as a writer against the backdrop of unfolding modernity and emerging modernism.

Note: This seminar can be profitably combined with the lecture course on “Modernism”.


James Pethica, ed., Yeats’s Poetry, Drama, and Prose: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism. New York: Norton, 2000 (Norton Critical Editions).

The Waterboys, An Appointment with Mr.Yeats. Proper Records, 2011. Expanded Edition 2022.

Topics for Candidates I: MEd

Mi 16-18, R 306, Beginn: 26.4.

This colloquium is for MEd students. It will help them prepare their oral exam in Module ENG_ME_3 by recapitulating basic categories of textual analysis as well as basic coordinates of literary and cultural history and theory. Participants will have to prepare a reading list comprising 20 entries for the 40-minute oral exam (4 ECTS) at the end of term.


Please register for the colloquium on Alma.

Topics for Candidates II: MA

Do 16-18, R 306 (1-stg./14 tägig); Beginn: 27.4.

The colloquium is for MA students wishing to present and discuss their projects for their final thesis as part of Module Research I (6 ECTS) or on its own (ELC-MA 07). Please note that the colloquium will take place basically every two weeks (with irregularities due to other commitments on my part).


Please register on Alma.

Office Hours Summer Term: Do, 8.30-10.00

Dr. Yimon Lo (T@T fellow)

S          British Romanticism: Music, Lyric, and Literature

            Mo 16-18, R 106 

            BEd, BA (Advanced Modules Literary and Cultural Studies)

This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on the interaction between British literature and musical ideas or concepts in the Romantic period. It aims to establish poetic listening as experiences of musical performance and appreciation. It will introduce students to reading the status of music as an imaginative and philosophical shaping presence in Romantic literature. The seminar will draw on applicable concepts from music psychology, aesthetics, practice, and perception as a critical lens for interpreting the function and mechanism of the aural properties, organisation, and structure in Romantic lyric poetry. Possible topics include the poetics of harmony, metre, musical metaphors, acts of listening, and readers’ perception and reception of poetic sounds. No prior musical knowledge is required. 

The intended learning outcomes of this course are:

§         A broadly based knowledge of the poetry of the Romantic period and relevant texts on music and musicality

§         A basic understanding of some of the key concepts of Romantic lyric and lyricism

§         An ability to discuss literature in the light of musical aesthetics and perception

§         Skills in critical reading and evaluation of primary texts and relevant secondary material 

§         Skills in oral and written presentation

§         Social, ethical and cultural understanding

§         Critical, creative and theoretical thinking

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include discussion, presentation, and formative tasks. Each seminar will involve a close engagement with one to two texts. The texts will be made available before each seminar.

Srishti Chaudhary (Lehrauftrag)

S          Introduction to Creative Writing (Fiction)

            Mi 14-16, H 404 (Geographie)

            Bed, BA           Advanced Module Literary and Cultural Studies

            MA ELC          ELC-MA 08 (Project: Applied English Literatures and Cultures

            MA AS             ???

This course aims to introduce students to the basics of creative writing in fiction. The course is split up in two parts- seminars, which include a study of plot, character, perspective and other elements of writing, and workshops, which will involve writing their own fiction. The writing workshop will also involve giving and taking feedback from other students. The course will also involve a series of talks with other guest authors. The students are expected to work a longer creative writing project in the course of the semester. 

Dr. Raphael Zähringer

S          Border Fictions II

            Fr 12-14, 306 (Neuphilologicum)

            For Information about where you can use your ECTS from this seminar please refere to  the link and select "Module / Studiengänge"

Borders are an inherent part of our world. In the words of Frenk and Steveker, “borders need to be defined, debated, operationalized, and changed according to political, socio-cultural, and sometimes geographical changes” (2022, 125). British borders – both in the sense of ‘related to the British Isles’ as well as ‘created by the British elsewhere’ – are no exception, of course. These borders keep fascinating us because they tell us so much about how people conceive of themselves in a specific time and place. First, then, this course is based on exploring the vast amount of critical discourse on borders, which has multiplied over the last couple of decades. Commonly referred to as ‘border studies’, we will read key texts from this field of research that discuss different types of borders from various angles (politics, culture, economics, cognition…) in order to be able to actually talk about borders in an academic sense. Second, we will read selected border narratives, and find out how these texts negotiate British borders. As we move through different genres, we will generally move from rather ‘material’ and actually existing borders (such as that between Northern Ireland and Ireland) to more fictional(ized) ones (such as those depicted in the Rupert Thomson’s Divided Kingdom, a novel in which the United Kingdom is split up according to different psychological types), as well as to more abstract ones such as the temporal one in Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall or the cognitive ones in China Miéville’s The City & The City. We will not only investigate the borders themselves, though – of equal importance is the exploration of border-related performances, as characters walk along, across, or on borders, and thus stage themselves as subjects that determine and are determined by their surroundings.

(This is an updated version of a course already taught in WS 2022/2023, hence the "II" in the title.)


S          Contemporary Irish Drama: Marina Carr

            Fr 8:30-10:00 s.t, 106 (Neuphilologicum)

            For Information about where you can use your ECTS from this seminar please refere to  the link and select "Module / Studiengänge"

Marina Carr (*1964) is a cutting-edge Irish playwright. Her oeuvre consists of almost thirty plays and draws heavily upon classical mythology. Nonetheless, these plays are modern in a sense that they are part and parcel of the larger ramifications of Irish drama in the post-Troubles and post-Celtic Tiger era. Experimental and haunting, Carr's tragedies depict Irish (rural) life based on ancient mythological elements and rewritings. Predominantly, Carr challenges monolithic assumptions of motherhood and female agency  by showcasing characters struggling with notions of both gender and class.

Dr. Ellen Dengel-Janic

S         Ethics, Emotions and Literature

            Do 12-14, 108 (Neuphilologicum)

            For Information about where you can use your ECTS from this seminar please refere to  the link and select "Module / Studiengänge"

In this seminar, we will explore the connection between different types of narration, ethics and emotion. We will firstly ask, what narrative strategies and forms were chosen for what purpose and secondly, from which perspective does the narrative render stories that are centred on the protagonist’s emotions. Thus the question pertaining to narrative strategies goes hand in hand with the representation of emotions in literature.

We will consider novels that depict a particular case of a moral dilemma which is related to a particular form of emotional realities. Often these affects are hidden, suppressed and subconscious but they nevertheless trigger a morally and ethically charged narrative. In Ian McEwan’s Atonement, for example, the entire narrative is constructed on the ground of feelings of guilt and regret A closer look at firstly, “the ethics of the told” (Phelan) will consider the protagonists’ attitude to moral questions and their behaviour as a consequence thereof. Secondly, “the ethics of telling” (Phelan) will help us to investigate ethical discrepancies between content and narrative discourse in a number of exemplary novels. The moral stance on the level of the “ethics of the told” needs to be therefore read alongside the meaning created by “the ethics of telling.”

S         Eighteenth Century Theatre

            Do 10-12, 306 (Neuphilologicum)

            For Information about where you can use your ECTS from this seminar please refere to  the link and select "Module / Studiengänge"

In this seminar, we will examine the tradition of British theatre as a cultural event that includes both the play as text and as performance. In studies of eighteenth-century theatre, the theatre as a place of cultural performance has increasingly gained more attention. Over the course of this seminar, we will discuss all elements that constitute a theatrical event, from the type and architecture of the theatre or place of performance, to the performers, actors and acting styles, as well as the costumes and scenery.

Moreover, we will look at a range of eighteenth-century playwrights and also investigate the marketing of plays to a target audience. We will consider, in our analysis of the history of theatrical performance in the eighteenth-century British theatre, what the basic elements of a theoretical approach to drama is as well as the practical aspects of performance and acting. Spanning the drama from early eighteenth-century plays until its new formation and transition into the Romantic era, we will familiarize ourselves with the different trends in dramatic performance and what it will reveal about the cultural and social milieu of the plays, their performance and audience.

S         Introduction to Literary Studies

            Mo 14-16, 406 (Neuphilologicum)

            Di 8:30-10:00 s.t., 406 (Neuphilologicum)

            For Information about where you can use your ECTS from this seminar please refere to  the link and select "Module / Studiengänge"

Please note, each course/parallel group differs slightly from the others (e.g. teaching format or reading list).

To learn more details about an individual group navigate to "Parallelgruppen/Termine" ("Parallelgroups/Appointments") and click "Details einblenden" ("Open details").

The Basic Module Literary Studies comprises the lecture course "Introduction to Literary Studies", a seminar of the same title, and a tutorial. In the summer semester, students watch the recording of the lecture course. You do not sign up for the lecture course on Alma, but will receive the link to the lecture course from the instructor of your introductory seminar. Each seminar/parallel group "Introduction to Literary Studies" is accompanied by a tutorial. Day, time and tutor will show up as a second series of session dates for each course  once they are set.

Please note each course's single/cancelled dates under "Parallelgroups/Appointments"/ "Parallelgruppen/Termine".

S = Seminar, L = Lecture, KO = Kolloquium, EPG = Ethisch-Philosophisches Grundlagenstudium

For everyone who is going to attend Intoduction to Literary Strudies: The links do not directly redirect you to the seminar's page (at least not to the group you are most likely looking for). Please select "parallel groups" and then scroll to the seminar you would like to attend (the numbers of the groups on this page match the ones on the alma page). There you can also find announcements and who you have to contact if you have questions (under "details").