Informationen Anglistik Nr. 38, Sommersemester 98 ES-Homepage

English Literature: Seminars

Please note:

The teaching staff of the English Seminar strongly advise against taking two linguistics or two literary seminars in the same semester. Experience has shown that many students are unable to commit themselves fully to either one. Occasionally it has happened that some students have enrolled for two courses and later applicants have had to be turned down. Our efforts to keep the number of students to an acceptable level in any given seminar are thwarted by those who enrol for two.

Should a student nevertheless wish to take part in two linguistics or literary seminars in the same semester, the members of staff involved must be informed, and they reserve the right to make exceptions. However, on no account must two Seminararbeiten be written in the same field of English studies in the same semester.

Milton's Paradise Lost and its Contexts

Neil Forsyth Fr


"Shakespeare became all things into which he infused himself, while all forms, all things became Milton." - So wrote Coleridge, and in spite of serious challenge from the Modernists, Milton remains the greatest poet in English other than Shakespeare. This course will explore some of the reasons. Cantankerous, brilliant, difficult, impossibly learned, Milton yet wrote verse that is sometimes so beautiful it has bedevilled the subsequent tradition of English poetry. The lectures will provide students with a guide to Paradise Lost, and to some of the contexts in which it was written, or has been read.
Students attending should prepare brief oral presentations on the suggested passages, or on other topics of the student's choosing relevant to the day's reading. A programme for the seminar will be handed out at the first meeting, or may be requested in advance from the department office.

Recommended texts:

John Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. Alastair Fowler. Longman: London.
or John Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. Christopher Ricks. Penguin.
or John Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. Roy Flannagan. Macmillan/Riverside.

Good selections including other main works by Milton, verse and prose are:

John Milton, Complete English Poems, ed. Gordon Campbell. Everyman.
John Milton, Major Works, eds Steven Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg. Oxford.

There will be no preparatory meeting. A sign-up sheet will be available at the department office.

Bards, Prophets, and Poets in an Age of Revolution (Seminar with Lecture)

Peter Hughes We


The latter half of the eighteenth century was at once a time of refinement and polish in English poetry and its great age of primitivism and visionary poets. The seminar and lecture will consider first the relations between these tendencies and then discuss topics such as the ballad revival, the faking or counterfeiting of primitive origins and styles, and the notion of poetry as prophecy. We will continue and conclude with readings of poets such as Chatterton, Smart, "Ossian," Gray, Collins, and Blake. Those wishing to take part are advised to attend the lecture as well. They may enroll through my assistant Bernard Schweizer.

Texts will be available through the Sekretariat: topics will be posted in late January.

The Scars of Wounded Knee: Indian-White Relationships in American Art and Literature

Martin Heusser We


This seminar on the echoes of Indian-White relationships in literature, the visual arts and film is the sequel to last semester's preparatory Kolloquium on the same topic. Focusing on texts by Cooper, Twain, Harte, McNickle, Momaday, Silko and Welch, the course will address, among others, such issues as biculturality, White and Native American images of masculinity, the Frontier, the significance of landscape, stereotypes and the function of myth.

There is room for a limited number of new participants. To register, please contact Martin Heusser; no public preparatory meeting will be held.

Technologies of Modernism

Elisabeth Bronfen Th


The aim of the seminar is to trace key thematic and aesthetic trajectories in narrative and cinematic texts of British and American modernism, asking what does this particular cultural period respond to, what issues become the relevant questions of the time, where does it lead to. We will be looking at texts describing modern Zeitgeist (Joyce, Eliot, Lang), texts dealing with the aftermath of the first World War (Woolf, West, Tavernier), texts addressing the 'war of the sexes' (Hemingway, Madox Ford, Fitzgerald, Hitchcock) and finally texts performing gender subversions (Stein, Woolf, Hurston, Vidor).

Preparatory meeting: Wednesday, January 28, 16:15, at Pestalozzistr. 50, room 4. Oral report themes will be distributed.

Theorien des literarischen Textes seit 1960 (Seminar zur Vorlesung)

Peter Hughes und PD Thomas Fries Th


Der Kurs wird sich mit literaturtheoretischen Texten auseinandersetzen, die sich in the letzten 35 Jahren explizit oder implizit mit der Frage beschäftigt haben, was das Besondere des literarischen Textes ausmacht und ihn denn von anderen Texten unterscheidet, ob und wie also seine Literarität (literariness) bestimmt werden kann. Die Auswahl der Autoren, die wir vorschlagen, soll ein breites Spektrum an möglichen Zugängen (Linguistik, Strukturalismus, Rhetorik, Rezeption, Intertextualität) eröffnen:

  1. Roman Jakobson, "Linguistics and Poetics"
    Michael Riffaterre, "Fictional Truth"
  2. Peter Szondi, "Ueber die Verständlichkeit des modernen Gedichts" (über Celan, "Engführung")
    Gerard Genette, "Langage poétique et poétique du langage" (aus "Figures II")
  3. Paul de Man, "Tropes" (Einführung zur französischen Ausgabe von Rilkes Gedichten)
    Jacques Derrida, "Devant la loi" (über Kafka, "Vor dem Gesetz"); "This strange Institution called Literature" (Gespräche mit Derek Attridge)
  4. Wolfgang Iser, "Der Akt des Lesens: Theorie aesthetischer Wirkung"
  5. Nicolas Abraham und Maria Torok, "Cryptonomie: Le verbier de L'Homme aux Loups"
    Frank Kermode, "The Genesis of Secrecy".

Durchführung: Um einerseits eine angemessene Einführung in die verschiedenen Themenbereiche sicherzustellen und um andererseits genügend Zeit für eine intensive Diskussion zu haben, planen wir eine erste Stunde der Veranstaltung als Vorlesung zum Seminar (durch die beiden Dozenten oder durch Seminarvorträge) und die beiden folgenden als Seminar (mit Schwerpunkt Diskussion).

Seminar und Vorlesung finden auf deutsch statt (behandelte Texte in der Originalsprache). Sie können von Studentinnen und Studenten in Vergleichender Literaturwissenschaft, Anglistik oder Germanistik besucht werden, die zur Mitarbeit (Lektüre, Teilnahme an Vorlesung und Seminar, evtl. kleines Referat oder Seminararbeit) bereit sind. Seminararbeiten können in allen drei Fächern geschrieben, aber selbstverständlich nur in einem Fach angerechnet werden.

Vorbesprechung: Mittwoch, 28. Januar, 13:00 im Unteren Seminarraum (111) des Komparatistischen Seminars (Plattenstr. 43). An der Vor besprechung wird eine Bibliographie und ein Reader mit den schwerer zugänglichen Texten abgegeben. Wer an der Vorbesprechung nicht teilnehmen kann, ist gebeten, sich bei einem der beiden Dozenten (Thomas Fries, 252 14 36 oder 052-212 81 50; Peter Hughes, 634 36 80/81 oder e-mail, oder bei Dr. Monika Kasper (634 35 32) zu melden.

James Joyce

Fritz Senn We


The seminar is basically meant for (but not limited to) students who have taken an introductory course on Ulysses. Some basic familiarity with Joyce's prose texts, up to and including Ulysses, is required.

Students will offer papers for intensive discussion; topics can be chosen from a list or by agreement.

The seminar will be held in the Zürich James Joyce Foundation. Space is limited to 25.

Preparatory Meeting: Thursday, 5 February 1998, 12:30 in the James Joyce Foundation. In any case contact Fritz Senn, Zürich James Joyce Foundation, Augustinergasse 9 (01 211 83 01).

Cruelty, Suffering and Consolation in Shakespeare and Elizabethan Drama

Brian Vickers Tu


This seminar is a kind of follow-up to a lecture course I gave a couple of years ago on Shakespeare alone, which is now widened to take in other Elizabethan dramatists. It will address the experience of suffering, primarily in Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies, and will ask how suffering is represented; what reactions seem to be expected of the audience or reader; how we are meant to feel about those who cause suffering; to what degree characters within the play try to console each other; and whether the play offers any over-all scheme which helps us to make sense of what has happened.

The texts to be studied will include: Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus and King Lear; Marlowe, Tamburlaine, parts 1 and 2; Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy; [Middleton], The Revenger's Tragedy; Webster, The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil; or the new Oxford Drama Library / World Classics editions: Marlowe ed. D. Bevington and E. Rasmussen, Four Revenge Tragedies ed. Maus, and Webster ed. Weis.

One feature of any seminar which I teach is that I expect all participants to read all the texts, so that they can all take part in discussion, rather than have a succession of papers where one expert reports to a lot of people who haven't even read the text discussed. Various kinds of work will be accepted as credits: essays written during or after the semester; assistance in preparing bibliographies; assistance in using computer-generated concordances.
Next: Preparatory Courses for the Sprachakzess