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The Fickle Fate of Classics

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What we perceive as -classics- or -canonical works- in literature may undergo considerable changes in the course of the centuries. In this course, we shall use the example of literature for children and young adults from the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century to explore possible reasons for such changes in a text's status. After briefly examining some criteria for -classics-, most of the time in this course shall be devoted to discussing ...

Materialität Kunstwerke was sind das für Dinge

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-What you see is what you see and is what you not see- Richard Tuttle Nimmt man Dinge als Bilder, oder gar Dinge als Kunstwerke wahr, so wird das WAS diese Bilder zeigen oftmals viel wichtiger als das WIE sie sich zeigen: Ihre Gegenständlichkeit im Sinne einer Zugehörigkeit zu unserer sinnlich wahrnehmbaren physischen Alltagsrealität tritt zu Gunsten einer abstrakten imaginären Gedanklichkeit zurück. Oder einfach ausgedrückt: Wer würde im Antl ...

Beat Poetry

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When Allen Ginsberg's long poem Howl was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Press in 1956, it marked a decisive change in American post-war poetry. Its sexual explicitness, vivid depiction of drug addiction, and exploration of religious experience as well as its vocal protest against the social conservatism of the Eisenhower era served as the focal point of what Jack Kerouac had labeled the -beat generation" in the late 1940s: a ...

Don't Mention the War British Wit and Humour Group

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When Americans use irony, they will often immediately qualify it as being so, with a jovial -just kidding-, even if the statement is outrageous and plainly ironic. For instance... A: -If you don't come out tonight, I'm going to have you shot... just kidding.- Of course, being America, this might be true, because they do all own guns and use them on a regular basis (just kidding). Americans can fully appreciate irony. They just don't feel entir ...

American Renaissance

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When F.O. Matthiessen introduced the term 'American Renaissance' in 1941, he used it to define a period in 19th century American literature and culture which was marked by enormous artistic creativity and a nascent American self-confidence in the arts and letters and beyond. Matthiessen's notion of this specifically American Renaissance was rather narrow, comprising merely the years between 1850 and 1855 and including great works of only five ...

The Language of Shakespeare

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When mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought she purg'd the air of pestilence! and what think you , sailors? are two random quotes from Act 1, Sc. 1 of Twelfth Night, which illustrate in the underlined passages how Shakespeare's language use diverges from the modern one. In this course we will be using two plays in order to investigate morphological and syntactic features typical of Early Modern English. We will also be looking at characteri ...

-When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.- (George A. Romero - dawn of the dead, usa 1978) -They're us.- (George A. Romero - day of the dead, usa 1985) Zombie-Filme sind ein populäres Subgenre des Horrorfilms. Der -Horrorfilm- ist, wie Marcus Stiglegger betont, ein -Genre aus dem Bereich des phantastischen Films, das durch die Stimulation von Urängsten im Zuschauer Angstgefühle erzeugen will.- Angst ist ein Erkenntnisme ...

Puritanism in America Lives and Legacies

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When thinking about New England Puritans two images often come to mind: 1) that of social and religious reformers who sailed to the New World and laid the foundations of the United States; 2) that of a group of hypocrites who denied everyone around them anything considered fun and who meddled in other people's affairs. In this class we look at and beyond these images by investigating the main religious and political ideas as well as economic a ...

When we tell stories we were involved in, we usually view the events, such as they are, from a subjective, from a very personal perspective. Hence the first person point of view has been a classic narrative mode in the history of fiction. In the modern(ist) reformation of story telling between, say, 1880 and 1930, the 1st person perspective has been less often used by innovative writers who were more interested in presenting consciousness, pre ...

While delivering the Inaugural Benediction for Barack Obama, in his closing Dr. Joseph Lowery echoed onto the masses the words -We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love. [...] Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work ...