“This very moment is the perfect teacher” – Selfhood and Self-Help in American Literature and Culture

Aus Iaawiki

Summer Semester 2021

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Course Information
Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154670 “This very moment is the perfect teacher” – Selfhood and Self-Help in American Literature and Culture 2 HS Mi 16:00 – 17:30 digital Sattler
Course Description

Self-help is a multi-million dollar industry in the USA, but it has long become an international phenomenon with self-improvement guides telling all of us how to build a business and get rich, how to find lasting love, or even how to stop caring so much. Focused on improving or, indeed, “fixing” a seemingly defective self, self-help guides even address mental health concerns such as addiction and anxiety. While these types of texts are well in tune with neoliberal capitalism and its constant urge to work on the self, their tradition is much older and leads back to Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.
This class addresses the self-help guide as a genre, taking into account questions of content and form, as well as asking what notions of the self are perpetuated in these kinds of texts. It will also focus on a variety of self-help movements and “gurus” and their role in late capitalism.


Reading List

A reader with material will be made available at the start of the semester.

Modules
Modulzuordnungen
Lehramtsstudiengänge
LABG G: HRG/HRSGe GyGe/BK SP
2009 703, 704 602, 1001, 1002 602, 701, 702, 1002 703
2016 602, 703, 704 602, 1002, 1004 602, 701, 702, 1002, 1004 703
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:
B.A.ALK: B.A.AS: M.A.ALK: M.A.AS:
PO vor WS 16/17:
  • Kern: 6abc, 7bc, 8a
  • Komp: 3abc, 4a
  • Kern: 6bc
  • Komp: 4a
1abc, 3bc, ib 2ab
PO ab WS 16/17:
  • Kern: 6ac, 7bc, 8a
  • Komp: 3abd, 4a
  • Kern: 6bc
  • Komp: 4a
1acd, 3bc, 4d 2ab