The course provides fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for the study of American literature. It introduces critical concepts such as ‘literature,’ ‘culture,’ and ‘text’; influential theoretical approaches and critical methods; problems of literary history, canonization, and periodization. The course covers a variety of literary texts, including representative examples of all major literary forms, and guides students in applying technical terms and concepts to the analysis of these texts. It also addresses strategies of research and writing. In the Lehramt programs, the course qualifies students for seminars in both British and American literature. Further course materials, mandatory readings and course requirements will be announced in the first session.
This hybrid and online proseminar will investigate the evolutions, interpretations, and origins of U.S. American political institutions through the close examination of America’s founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and later constitutional amendments, and selected supreme court decisions. Additionally, we will closely look at the intricate inner-workings, separation of powers, and checks and balances of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of American government, as well as the separation of powers between the federal government and the states.
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