With migration and climate change as defining human rights issues of the 21st century, this seminar hones in on humanitarian consequences of global climate change and the contemporary refugee crisis in a transnational arena. Focusing on the Americas and the Mediterranean, we will combine perspectives from literary and cultural studies and law in order to discuss climate migration,cross-bordermobility,displacement,andenvironmentalapartheid.Wewillpair selected examples from cli-fi (climate fiction) novels and films such as Paolo Bacigalupi’sThe Water Knife, Claire Vay Watkin’sGold Fame Citrus, Amitav Gosh’sGun Island, and Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wildwith inquiries into the legal ramifications of human rights, reviewing, in particular, the Teitiota case, in order to arrive at narratives and negotiations of unfolding crises, adaptations, survival strategies, and possibilities for global solidarity.
The course explores representative 20th- and 21st-century American fiction, poems, and plays. Taught in seminar format and based on reading, discussion, and active participation, it studies literary texts in their respective historical and cultural contexts as well as from the perspective of current scholarly debates in the field. Exploring movements and concepts such as realism, modernism, postmodernism, and cultural pluralism and reformatory impulses, the course deepens students’ knowledge and research skills with regard to American literary history, cultural and literary concepts. Students are expected to read and actively prepare the assigned texts.
The lecture course surveys the academic discipline of American Studies
and provides an overview of materials, resources, issues, areas of
study, and theories in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.
Individual sessions will give introductory accounts of North American
geography, demographic developments and US immigration history, major
issues and coordinates of North American and US history, the political
system of the US, American ideologies and identity constructions, the
religious landscape of the US, multilingualism and language politics in
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