American Naturalism Reconsidered

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  • WS 17/18

Course Information

Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154672 American Naturalism Reconsidered 2 HS Mo 16:00 - 19:00 14-täg. Beginn: 09.10.2017 R. 0.420 Klähn

Course Description

For almost a century American naturalism has been regarded as a mode of reinstalling determinist forms of European worldmaking, undermining the autonomous subject in all relevant areas: ethics, aesthetics and politics. Analyzing typical traits of this process by taking a closer look at some outstanding fictional products of this period, the discussions of this seminar will focus on central topics of American naturalism - urbanization, social classes and conflicts, individual fate, natural environment and civilization - where most of the subject's enlightened (and idiosyncratic) competences seem to give way to an enhanced mania for 'objectivity'. Accepting this idea of a new fundamental objectivism within American culture as a plausible starting point for discussing naturalism, the subsequent analyses will concentrate on the subterfuges of a highly sophisticated subjectivity, moving almost automatically inside these networks of determinism, while subtly subverting naturalist standards and preparing modernist ideals as well as neo-naturalist standards.

Reading List

The following novels will be discussed and at least two of them should be read before the beginning of term:

  • Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)
  • Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893)
  • Frank Norris, McTeague (1899)
  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1901)
  • Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)

Other written materials (essays, short stories and excerpts from other novels and critical texts) will be made available in the course of the semester.


Lehramtsstudiengänge: MA Lehramt:1402, 1403 LPO 2003:
  • GHR:5b
  • GyGe:6c, 6d
  • SP1. Fach: 5b
  • SP2. Fach: 4b
  • BK:6c, 6d
LABG 2009:
  • G: 703, 704
  • HRG: 602
  • GyGe/BK: 602, 701, 702
  • SP: 703
LABG 2016:
  • G: 602, 703, 704
  • HRSGe: 602
  • GyGe/BK: 602, 701, 702
  • SP: 703
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/

Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:

  • B.A.ALK: Kern: 6abc, 7c Komp: 3abc, 4a
    • PO ab WS 16/17: Kern: 6abc, 7c Komp: 3abc, 4a
  • B.A.AS: Kern: 6bc Komp: 4a
    • PO ab WS 16/17: Kern: 6bc Komp: 4a
  • M.A.ALK: 1abc, 3bc
    • PO ab WS 16/17: 1ab, 3bc
  • M.A.AS: 2ab
    • PO ab WS 16/17: 2ab