BM1 Introduction to the Critical and Scholarly Discussion of Literature:Curriculum

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To prepare students for participation in the critical and scholarly debate on literature by

  1. developing an understanding of the issues and questions dealt with in literary studies.
  2. acquiring and consolidating the basic knowledge and skills necessary for such an understanding.
  3. beginning to apply their knowledge and skills in order to address scholarly and critical issues.


At the level of requisite knowledge, students will obtain an initial familiarity with

  • different conceptions and definitions of ‘literature’
  • the traditions of the debate about literature (its origins in the debates of "literature", "poesy", "romances and novels" and the "belles lettres")
  • the spectrum of genres and periods in literary history
  • literary schools and movements
  • critical schools and movements
  • changing historical conditions of performance, as well as of book production and circulation


The range of skills required for understanding issues and participating in the scholarly and critical discussion of literature includes study skills...

  • finding information (library and reference skills),
  • processing information (selecting and making excerpts of primary and secondary material; using secondary material for discussion)
  • presenting information (orally and in writing) well as critical skills and reading strategies

  • recognising and describing the specific character of narrative, dramatic and poetic communication.
  • describing techniques of generating meaning through characterisation, figurative speech and performance.
  • situating texts in interactions in which they were produced, read, discussed
  • identifying contexts in which a text could play a role today
  • in scholarly discussions
  • in projects of work one could do in a seminar paper

Requirements, Portfolio

The module consists of two parts. The first, offered in winter, is designed to teach practical skills (click (here for information on the schedule). The second is conducted in form of a lecture. Regular participation is a prerequisite. The portfolio of requirements consists of six distinct assignments to be completed in the course of the entire academic year. All six assignments are obligatory. They will be rated as follows:

Part 1

  • 3 Exercises in Textual Analysis (on poetry, fiction and drama) - 40% of the final mark
  • Research paper project (title, bibliography, outline, summary of argument) - 20% of the final mark

Part 2

  • Written Test (summer) - 40% of the final mark

Note: The module used to begin with the lecture and have the practical courses in summer -

  • students who began with the 2008 summer course and who have to add the lecture part
  • students who failed the winter 2007-08 lecture part, and
  • students of "alter Studiengänge" who still have to do the lecture part

are allowed to take Aufbaumodule and to do the lecture part next summer. If you have to finish your studies with the next semester you can take an oral exam on the lecture part. Contact Anton Kirchhofer for further information.