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Narratives of Happiness in Modernity and Postmodernity - Detailseite

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Veranstaltungsart Lektürekurs Veranstaltungsnummer 5250134
Semester WiSe 2013/14 SWS 1
Rhythmus jedes Semester Moodle-Link  
Veranstaltungsstatus Freigegeben für Vorlesungsverzeichnis  Freigegeben  Sprache englisch
Belegungsfrist - Eine Belegung ist online erforderlich
Veranstaltungsformat Präsenz


Gruppe 1
Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Gebäude Raum-
Lehrperson Status Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer/-innen
Mo. 16:00 bis 18:00 14tgl. 3001 (PC-Pool)
Stockwerk: 2. OG

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Universitäts-Hauptgebäude - Unter den Linden 6 (UL 6)

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Gruppe 1:
Zur Zeit keine Belegung möglich

Zugeordnete Person
Zugeordnete Person Zuständigkeit
Röder, Katrin
Abschluss Studiengang LP Semester
Master of Arts  English Literatures Hauptfach ( POVersion: 2007 )   -  
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

This seminar probes into the construction of conceptions of happiness, joy and related positive affects (like interest / excitement) in the processes of literary narration. It discusses happiness and related positive affects in the context of Michel Foucault’s “aesthetics of existence” and of his notion of “self care” as well as in connection with recent approaches in positive psychology (by Silvan S. Tomkins / Eve K. Sedgwick).

We will analyse narratives of happiness which can be easily defined through their narrative structures (happy endings and happy turns of plot) but also narratives without happy endings or other normative narrative structures of happiness, narratives which go beyond clear oppositions between positive and negative affect as well as beyond pre-exiting, normative conceptions of “right living”. In addition, we will investigate narratives in which happiness and joy are an exciting, surprising but also very complex, deep, tensional, ambiguous and unobtainable experiences which are related to a comprehensive aesthetics and hermeneutics of existence.

In the first part of the seminar, we will discuss a selection of philosophical conceptions of happiness and of the aesthetics of existence from classical antiquity, modernity and post-modernity (above all those connected with utilitarianism and existentialism).

In a course of close reading which is attached to this seminar, we will probe into the ways in which these conceptions undergo a refiguration in the creative processes of narration and reading.


To obtain full credit points for this seminar, participants have to give a presentation on one of the following novels as well as its conceptions and narrative structures of happiness in class:


Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1719)

Samuel Johnson: Rasselas (1759)

Charlotte Smith: Emmeline, The Orphan of the Castle (1788)

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations (1860/61)

Henry James: The Golden Bowl (1904)

Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988)

Hanif Kureishi: The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)


All secondary literature will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.



Keine Einordnung ins Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Veranstaltung ist aus dem Semester WiSe 2013/14. Aktuelles Semester: SoSe 2024.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Unter den Linden 6 | D-10099 Berlin