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HS "Culture and Nature in American Poetry"


Dozent(in): Prof. Dr. Hubert Zapf
Termin: Dienstag 10-12 Uhr
Gebäude/Raum: 1003


Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung:

The role of nature in American poetry has long attracted the attention of critics. During the heyday of postmodernism from the 1970s to the 1990s, however, ‘nature’ was considered as a purely cultural construct and for a time virtually disappeared from critical discourse. It was only with the rise of ecocriticism and literary ecology in the mid-1990s that nature reemerged as an important topic of literary and cultural studies. While it is no longer possible to talk in any essentialist way about nature after the ‘linguistic turn’ of postmodernism, it is nevertheless necessary and productive to investigate the manifold forms of interaction and interrelationship between culture and nature which manifest themselves with special intensity in the discourse of literature. In the context of the new paradigm of a ‘cultural ecology’ of literature, it is the aim of this seminar to explore the various forms and functions of the culture-nature-relationship in selected major texts of American poetry from the 19th century to the present. It seems that the metaphors and symbolic scenarios expressing that relationship serve a double function: the criticism of rigidified systems of cultural norms and conventions on the one hand, and the exploration and activation of the sources of literary and cultural creativity on the other. Authors discussed in the seminar will include Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Moore, Stevens, Williams, Ashberry, Ginsberg, Snyder, Rich, Ortiz, Hogan, and others. A folder with master copies will be made available at the office of Amerikanistik by about mid-September.


Vorkenntnis für die Lehrveranstaltung:

Teilnahmevoraussetzung: intermediate exam

Anforderungen für den Scheinerwerb: Regular attendance; classroom presentation; short paper comparing any three of the writers discussed in class (5 pp.; due before Christmas); term paper (Hausarbeit, 15-20pp.)


weitere Informationen zu der Lehrveranstaltung:

empfohlenes Studiensemester der Lehrveranstaltung: Hauptstudium
Fachrichtung Lehrveranstaltung: Amerikanistik (Magister), Englisch (Lehramt)
Nummer der Lehrveranstaltung: n/b
Beginn der Lehrveranstaltung: 18. Oktober 2005
Dauer der Lehrveranstaltung: 2 SWS
Typ der Lehrveranstaltung: HS - Hauptseminar
Semester: WS 2005/06