Chicks vs Lads – The Literary-Cultural Phenomenon

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  • WS 13/14

Instructor and Course Number

Course Description

“It is a froth sort of thing. [...] As people spend so little time reading it is a pity they perhaps can't read something a bit deeper, a bit more profound, something with a bit of bite to it.” (Dame Beryl Bainbridge on Chicklit)

This course is designed to prove Dame Beryl wrong. In it, you will encounter various chicklit and ladlit novels and thus engage with a genre that has helped to shape a whole generation of readers by recognising themselves in the protagonists, and in some cases even influenced our language to this day. We will look at how mass-produced romance novels function and what it means to be in love (these days) – and we will consider what it means to live off ‘booze, babes and footie’. Applying various theories to a selection of novels – among others: gender, adaptation, consumption – you will get a deeper insight into how to analyse a novel (or phenomenon) both literarily and culturally.

Course Dates and Room

  • Wed 10:15 - 11:45, R. U 331

Required reading

Please buy and read the following novels:

  • Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996).
  • Advaita Kala: Almost Single (2007).
  • Mike Gayle: Mr Commitment (1999).


To pass this course you will have to present a novel and approach of your choice to the class (and hand in your findings on paper). Please be aware that this course is ‘reading-heavy’!


Lehramtsstudiengänge Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften
  • BA LA: 103
  • MA LA:
  • B.A.ALK: Kern 1c, 2abc Komp 1b
  • B.A.AS: Komp 2a
  • M.A.ALK:
  • M.A.AS:
  • LPO 2003:
    • GHR: 1e
    • GyGe: 1e
    • SP1. Fach: 1e
    • SP2. Fach:
    • BK: 1e
  • LPO 1994/2000: B3, E1
  • LABG 2009:
    • G: 601
    • HRG: 403
    • GyGe/BK: 403
    • SP: