This Übung is based on my lecture Modern British Drama. Texts will be studied in much greater detail and with more emphasis on the techniques of interpretation.
British plays have come a long way from the broad variety of Shakespeare's theatre to drawing-room comedies of manners, kitchen sink dramas and in-yer-face theatre of the 20th and 21st century. This lecture provides a survey of - predominantly - 20th century drama, taking into consideration its roots as well as its contemporary 21st century representatives. I will deal with exemplary texts which emphasize literary developments, provide students with a historical and theoretical background and facilitate readings of chosen plays. This lecture will – among other things – assess the influence of 19th century on 20th century plays, as well as the impact of two world wars and the profound political, cultural, and social changes which shaped the last century. On the other hand, this lecture will be closely associated with the practice of drama - we will visit the Staatstheater and if possible, watch a performance together. Theatre pedagogy will be a part of the lecture; I am also thinking about an exkursion to another Staatstheater. (But at the time of writing this, I am still in the planning stages).
Crime and criminality are relative terms. They always reflect back on the society that defines them in the first place; that decides upon a construction after which some forms of behavior merit official attention and others do not. It might also impose its values, its stereotypes and its prejudices on any given definition of ‘crime’ and ‘criminality’. This seminar aims at discussing exemplary novels, short stories and films which focus on crime and which offer their very own definition and construction of criminality. Crime is an intersectional phenomenon, therefore some of the critical parameters of discussion will include nation, region, gender, institution, clichés, fictionalization, agency, biography, socialization, trauma, and ethics.
The seminar will also try to invite thinking outside the box. You’ll have to be motivated to leave the uni (metaphorically and actually) for ‘field trips’ in Kassel. As I am still in the planning stage, I cannot provide reliable information here, but a trip to the district court, discussions with people who professionally deal with crime and criminals; and other (non-criminal) activities might be included.