About English Literary Studies

English literary studies is concerned not only with the anglophone literatures of Great Britain and Ireland but also with the so-called New English Literatures of former colonies, e.g., of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. In the course of your studies you will encounter literature from its beginnings in the Middle Ages up to today. As literary studies is a part of cultural studies, you will be dealing with other forms of cultural representations, too, such as films, caricatures, and rituals of social life. One goal of your studies is to gain an overview of cultural and literary history/histories and to expand your knowledge with selected authors, texts and various forms of representation.

The department of English literature emphasizes knowledge of methods and theories in its teaching and research. You will learn to analyse literary texts with different theoretical approaches, such as discourse analysis, phenomenology, psychoanalysis or gender studies, and to reflect on the choice of method critically.

Studying English will improve your language skills, as you have the possibility to absolve courses at the language centre, and most of the courses on literature will be taught in English, too. Furthermore, you will acquire analytical skills by learning to find, structure and use information appropriately for your presentations, essays and term papers. Thus, the key qualifications obtained in English literary studies will prepare you for vocational fields that demand more and more specialist knowledge, analytical accuracy in the reception and production of a wide range of different texts, as well as intercultural competence.


The following books are essential for studying English at Augsburg university and are therefore recommended:

  • Englische Literaturgeschichte (ed. Hans Ulrich Seeber, 4th ed., Stuttgart: Metzler, 2004)

  • A book on literary and cultural theory (e.g. either Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, 3rd ed., Manchester: Manchester UP, 2008, or Patricia Waugh, ed., Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006)

  • A dictionary of literary terms and phrases (e.g. Rudolf Beck et al., Basislexikon anglistische Literaturwissenschaft, München: UTB, 2007 / Chris Baldick, The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, 3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004 / J.A. Cuddon and C.E. Preston, The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, 4th ed., Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999)


Also recommended:

  • Ansgar Nünning, ed., Metzler Lexikon Literatur- und Kulturtheorie, 4th ed. (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2008)


Click here to download further reading recommendations [in German].