2012 VL/Ü Key Concepts of Cultural Studies

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Please note: The BM7 module consists of

  • a seminar ("Introduction to the Critical and Scholarly Discussion of Literature"),
  • a tutorial ("Research Methods", offered in the previous winter term) and
  • a combined lecture and seminar course ('Key Concepts of Cultural Studies').

All students beginning in the winter term 2011/12 need to have enrolled for one of the tutorials called "Reasearch Methods", and a seminar in BM 7. Registration is via Stud.IP.

If you have already completed parts, but not the entire Basismodul in literary and/or cultural studies in previous semesters, please contact Michaela Koch.

On this page you will find detailed information on the lecture and courses "Key Concepts in Cultural Studies".

Lecture: Historical Backgrounds and Critical Concepts

  • 3.02.030 - Anton Kirchhofer, Martin Butler - Thu, 18:00-20:00, A14 1-102 (Hörsaal 2) (on Thu April 26 – 18-20 Uhr we will be in A07 Hörsaal G)

Course: Key Concepts in Cultural Studies

  • 3.02.031 - Martin Butler - Thu, 18:00 - 20:00, Room: A01 0-005
  • 3.02.032 - Anton Kirchhofer - Thu, 18:00-20:00, Room: V02 0-002
  • 3.02.033 - Christian Lassen - Thu, 18:00-20:00, Room: V02 0-003
  • 3.02.034 - Christian Lassen - Wed, 12:00-14:00, V02 0-003
  • 3.02.036 - Michaela Koch - Thu, 18:00-20:00, Room: V02 0-004
  • 3.02.037 - Michaela Koch - Fri, 10:00-12:00, A01 0-010 b
  • 3.02.038 - Daniel Glade - Thu, 18:00-20:00, Room: V02 0-004
  • 3.02.039 - Daniel Sip - Thu, 18:00 - 20:00, Room: A 14 1-103

optional Tutorials:

  • 3.02.042 - Tutor: Almke Ratjen - Tue, 18:00 - 20:00, Room: V02 0-003
  • 3.02.045 - Tutor: Katharina Bieloch - Mon, 12:00 - 14:00
  • 3.02.046 - Tutor: Britta Kölle - Mon, 18.00-20.00, Room: V02 0-004

The lecture and course is part of the Basismodul 7 and focuses on key concepts in cultural studies and techniques of textual analysis in the context of discussing culture. The "VL/Ü Key Concepts of Cultural Studies" consists of 6 lectures on Historical Backgrounds and Critical Concepts which are structured into three conceptual blocks:

  • Block I: The Formation of Historical Periods in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Block II: Primary Facts and Moments in the Study of Cultural and Literary History
  • Block III: Concepts of Cultural Studies

The lectures are followed by 7 courses/Übungen on Key Concepts of Cultural Studies. The Übung analyzes material and is relying on concepts and approaches provided in the lectures. The analysis of the material from a cultural studies perspective is based on three guiding questions:

  • 1. What are the specific and medial characteristics of the Material? (See Handouts: Conceptual Tools)
  • 2. How is the material situated and what institutions are responsible for its existence and discussion?
  • 3. What function and effect for identity formation can the material have?

Please make sure that you are registered for the lecture and ONE of the courses in Stud.IP and open a wiki account which will enable you to participate in online discussions.

The texts for our courses will come from a common pool, though each course may have a different choice.

The "analytical tools" will be presented by the lecturers (on a handout) in each meeting. The additional reading from which these 'tools' are taken is not obligatory, and it can be done either before or after each session.

Course work: You will be asked to complete a Written Test (Date: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 10-12 h, A14, HS 1 + 2), and produce a Research Paper Outline (2 pages, due on Aug 15). For the Research Paper Outline you will need to find your own topic to work on and document the preliminary work (this includes finding an appropriate title, writing a paragraph on the state of the art of your problem and one that describes your problem and your goal, and presenting a tentative table of contents as well as a short bibliography). The RPO is to be formatted according to the style sheet.

Two useful links for all assignments:

Session One, April 19: Introduction: Culture – Discourse – Identity – Media


Preliminaries for seminar communication.

Analytical Tools

Materials for Cultural Analysis

Session Two, April 26: VL Literary and Cultural Theory: A Survey of Approaches

Session Three, May 3: VL Periods in Literary and Cultural History: A Survey

Session Four, May 10: VL Facts, Dates, Events in British History

Session Five, May 24: VL Facts, Dates, Events in American History

Session Six, May 31: VL Cultural History of Identities: Gender

Session Seven, June 06-08: Ü Working with Key Concepts in Cultural Studies

Session Eight, June 13-15: Analysing Television and Film


Analytical Tools

Session Nine, June 20-22: Analysing Visual Material


Analytical Tools

Session Ten, June 27-29: Analysing National Anthems and their Rewritings: Neil Young's: Living with War


Analytical Tools

Additional material:

Futher Information: Materials for Cultural Analysis

Session Eleven, July 04-06: Analysing Web Culture

The Mad Men Website

Mad Men Fan Fiction

Analytical Tools

Session Twelve, July 11-13: Course Evaluation / Recap in Preparation of Written Test

In preparation for the recap meeting, please review the handouts Conceptual Tools for the Analysis of Graphic Novel and Conceptual Tools for the Analysis of Popular Music and Key Concepts in Cultural Studies: Culture / Media / Identity / Discourse.


Test Assignment Graphic Novel: In the Shadow of No Towers (page 1).

Test Assignment Popular Music: Rise Against: Hero of War

    Written Test: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 10-12 h s.t.(!), A14, HS 1 + 2

Session Thirteen, July 18-20: Feedback and Course Evalutation / Presentation and Discussion of RPOs

Skills and Activities

Brief Report on 'Work in Progress': Your Term Paper Projects

     [BM7 - Introduction to Litertary and Cultural Studies - Research Paper Outline (due on Aug 15)]

Guidelines for finding your RPO topic:

1. Your RPO topic needs to be related to at least one of the four key concepts: identity, media, discourse, culture
2. As the material basis for your analysis you will need to pick material from the Übungen: Man Men, In the Shadow of No Towers,Living with War
3. There is one exception: You can pick a popular song which was not part of our Übung if you analyse it in relation to the Key Concept: Identity

You have access to the scholarly discourse on the material from the Übung through the MLA database.