NOTE: This course is obligatory for first-semester students in the BA Amerikanistik.
It is organized as a "Blockseminar", i.e. it takes place on two full days. You have two options: Group One will meet on October 25 and 26 (Friday and Saturday), Group Two on November 15 and 22 (two Fridays). Group One takes place in room 1.308 (DOR 24) on October 25 and 1.601 (DOR 24) on October 26. The room for the sessions of Group Two is the same on both days: room 1066E (main building).
You do not have to register for the course.
Diversity is a central feature of US American literature and culture – but how can we engage with this in an appropriate way, given that such diversity is organized through social hierarchies such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, cis- and heterosexism, and that we are ourselves part of such hierarchies as well? And what does all of this have to do with the manner in which knowledge is produced in the university, in American Studies in particular? Which role does language play in reproducing and contesting social hierarchies? How do our diverse experiences shape the way we approach and understand the material we engage with? How can we contribute to making this a learning environment that is productive for people of different genders, sexual orientation, abilities, class, ethnic and racial positions? These are some of the questions we will discuss in this course.
To prepare for the seminar, please read either bell hooks's "Talking Race and Racism," the excerpt from Robin DiAngelo's What Does It Mean to Be White?, or the one from Julian Carter's The Heart of Whiteness. Please highlight one sentence that you think is particularly important and be prepared to read it out loud in class. The texts are available on the electronic platform Moodle (password: "start") or in the office of Sigrid Venuß, room 3011a, main building.