Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the topics listed in this paragraph can be chosen as GESS Science in Perspective.
Further below you will find the "type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

6 ECTS need to be acquired during the BA and 2 ECTS during the MA

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type A: Enhancement of Reflection Competence
Suitable for all students
Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Literature
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
851-0300-85LThe Knowledge of Literature. An IntroductionW3 credits2VA. Kilcher
AbstractThis lecture provides a general introduction to literary theory and presents the important theories dealing with knowledge and its role in and as literature.
ObjectiveStudents are introduced to the various approaches and methods of literature studies and gain an overview of literary theory.
ContentThis lecture has two aims: Firstly, it serves as a general introduction into the fiel of literary theory (thereby looking into "knowledge about literature"). Secondly, there will be a special emphasis on recent theoretical approaches that take seriously literature and knowledge as one of its components (thus investigating the "knowledge of literature"). Even though traditional criticism disagrees, a number of recent approaches, based on literature and culture studies, hold that literature is not to be conceived of as standing in opposition to the world and the classificatory system of the academic disciplines, particularly the sciences (e.g. Foucauldian discourse analysis and New Historicism). Instead, these approaches understand literature in terms of its epistemological forms and functions. Thus, the main thesis is that literature actively participates in the constitution and formation of knowledge. Literature itself generates models of knowledge, sometimes with critical or even utopian intentions. Moreover, it draws attention to the fundamental role of order and representation (systematization, narrative rendering, linguistic and pictorial representation) in both humanities and sciences.
851-0301-04LPhotography and Literature. Exchanging Practices and PoeticsW3 credits2GF. Broggi-Wüthrich
AbstractThe course discusses writers from Henry James to Margaret Atwood whose interest for photography led them to elaborate new intriguing modes of representation. The aim is to identify how literature, photography and art meet to promote a photographic aesthetics while approaching the theories of Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes and Bourdieu as well as postmodern or posthuman criticism.
ObjectiveStudents know a wide variety of literary text (and their authors) that are related in content or form to the practice of photography. Students know how to relate texts to key critical theories as well as to the historical and social context.
Prerequisites / NoticeAll interested students are most welcome. The course is not intended as a language course but a good knowledge of English is a necessary requirement in order to participate to class discussions and to do the reading.
851-0301-05LBeginnings Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 25
W3 credits2SC. Jany
Abstract"All beginnings are difficult," goes the saying, "but without them there wouldn't be an end." However, what makes beginnings so difficult? What kind of action is that? Which knowledge does it presuppose? And what would a beginning say about the end? We will pursue these questions by reading sacred, philosophical, literary, and scientific texts that, each in its own way, make a beginning.
Objective- thorough reading and critical analysis of the texts
- reflection upon the conditions and practice of beginnings in terms of their epistemology and rhetorical strategy (i.e. as an intellectual and literary operation)
- consider the cultural and historical function of fictions that tell of origins, such as cosmological myths, foundationalist philosophy, or poetic incantations
LiteratureMyths of Creation and First Origins (Genesis und Gospel of St. John, Theogony, Upanishads), philosophy (Fichte, Hegel), literature and poetry (Wieland, Hölderlin, Novalis, Wordsworth, Melville, Richard Wagner, Beckett). For an introduction, see Wolfgang Iser, Emergenz: Nachgelassene und verstreut publizierte Essays (Konstanz 2013).
Prerequisites / Noticereadings partly in English
851-0306-05LLiterature and Technology - Simulations, Prototypes, Machines
Particularly suitable for students of D-ITET, D-MAVT, D-MATL
W3 credits2SE. Edelmann-Ohler
AbstractLiterature about technology transposes models, products and procedures of scientific progress into the logic of poetry. This literature converts not only technology into fiction, but it also creates new cultural and social contextualisations, which reveal alternative readings of configurations of knowledge.
ObjectiveStudents are familiar with different relations between literature and technology. They can verbalise and analyse central contentions.
ContentIm Seminar lesen wir unter anderem Texte von E.T.A. Hofmann, Franz Kafka, Georg Kaiser und Max Frisch.
851-0309-15LThomas Mann's Last Novel: "Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull" Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 20
W3 credits2Snot available
Abstract"Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull" was published in 1954, one year before Thomas Mann's death. This humorous autobiography of a confidence man was and is often considered a somewhat lightweight work, intellectually inferior to Mann's more earnest and more celebrated output. By contrast, this seminar will seek to elucidate the novel's manifold discursive and knowledge-based contexts.
Objective- Students read and discuss the "Bekenntnisse"
- Students familiarize themselves with the critical technique of 'close reading'
- The seminar establishes current and well-founded research perspectives on Mann's novel, preferably from the context of the history of knowledge and the history of idea. Approaches from the fields of gender studies, discourse analysis and other areas will also be considered
851-0300-79LTheories of JokeW3 credits2SA. Kilcher
AbstractFrom Plato, Aristotle and Cicero, philosophers have tried to find the core principle of wit (or the joke, as both meanings are contained in the German term "Witz"). Even during the 20th century, the philosophy of life and psychoanalysis struggle with it. The seminar provides an overview of this history.
ObjectiveThis seminar deals with the meaning and history of "Witz" (wit, joke) as a form of knowledge. It places "Witz" as a switch or transitional figure within the development of modern theories of knowledge in particular.
ContentContrary to intuitive expectations, the German term "Witz" is not only an instance of the comical, but also a form of knowledge that plays on similarity and difference by juxtaposing the disparate. In this vein, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, "Witz" becomes a central attribute of poetic and rhetorical types of expression (wit). Only during the 19th century "Witz" comes to denote a characteristic genre of the comical (joke). From now on "Witz" is theoretically associated with the comical and laughter. Around 1900 there are approaches based on the philosophy of life, sociology and psychology, elaborated by Bergson, Bakhtin and Freud, among others.
851-0365-01LIntroduction to English Literature: Science and Fiction Part IW2 credits2SA. Brand-Kilcher
Abstract"Plot is to the novelist what experiment is to the scientist." (Lionel Trilling) We will read Emile Zola's essay "The Experimental Novel" and other texts to look on the one hand at the scientific aspect to fiction and fiction writing and on the other hand at the narrative and fictional aspects to science.
ObjectiveCompare and find out about differences and similarities between natural sciences and fiction/ fiction writing. Maybe become aware that "to conclude that what happens in the laboratory is what happens in the universe requires a leap of the imagination." (Trilling)
ContentWe will look at a number of essays and texts on that subject. We will also read Zadie Smith's highly entertaining novel "White Teeth" which has a very elaborate not to say artificial plot. One line of the story is about the geneticist Marcus Chalfen and the "Future Mouse" he designed.
LiteratureRecommended Reading: Zadie Smith: White Teeth; Emile Zola: The Experimental Novel
851-0129-00LWriting for Others - Science and Public Restricted registration - show details W2 credits2VU. J. Wenzel
AbstractLearning to write texts, that can present topics from the sciences to an interested public (in newspapers, non-specialist journals but also in papers for non-specialists in an academic context); to gain insights into the cultural, historical and philosophical contexts of science and the public.
ObjectiveLearning to write texts, that can present topics from the sciences to an interested public (in newspapers, non-specialist journals but also in papers for non-specialists in an academic context); to gain insights into the cultural, historical and philosophical contexts of science and the public.
ContentPractical exercises in writing articles for the feature pages of newspapers will be combined with the theoretical work on topics relevant for the historical, sociological and philosophical aspects of writing for others.
Prerequisites / NoticeVoraussetzungen: Die Bereitschaft, sich auf ein Projekt mit experimentellem Charakter einzulassen. GUTE BEHERRSCHUNG DER DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE.

Die Teilnehmerzahl ist begrenzt. SCHRIFTLICHE ANMELDUNG erforderlich (bis 31. August): uwe.justus.wenzel@nzz.ch
851-0315-01LWriting: Precision of Language as a Field of Research for Literature Restricted registration - show details W1 credit1GF. Kretzen
AbstractWhen we write a literary text we enter into a set-up for experiments and explore the possibilities ensuing from the specific structure and consistency of such a text. Literary writing allows us to go over to another kind of knowledge. Thus, the question: what is it that I want to write about? is replaced by: what do I write?
ObjectiveIn this course we shall analyze and apply conditions and criteria for literary writing on the basis of our own texts.
The course is intended for persons who are interested in literary approaches to exactitude.
Any attempt to write literature is confronted with an unforeseeable linguistic dynamism whose feasibility is determined by laws and rules quite different from those of science and technology. For the science-oriented writer, experiencing the self-evidence produced by literary approaches in his or her own writing project opens up a field of language with new content and new methods.
ContentIn the natural sciences as well as in engineering we set up experiments, analyze equation systems, and formulate theories. In order to complement these practices, the course «Writing» shall pursue precision in literary writing, its choice of word and its self-evidence.

When we write a literary text we also enter into a set-up for experiments and explore the possibilities ensuing from the specific structure and overall consistency of such a text. This form of writing takes us from the question: what is it that I want to write about? to the question: what do I write?
How do such literary approaches differ from the ways in which the natural sciences use language?
In this course we shall analyze and apply conditions and criteria for literary writing on the basis of our own texts.
The course is intended for persons who are interested in literary approaches to exactitude.
Any attempt to write literature is confronted with an unforeseeable linguistic dynamism whose feasibility is determined by laws and rules quite different from those of science and technology. For the science-oriented writer, experiencing the self-evidence produced by literary approaches in his or her own writing project opens up a field of language with new content and new methods.
Prerequisites / NoticeThose wishing to participate are required to send in between two and three pages text of their own writing that will be discussed in class. The next step will be writing a text on a preset topic as a basis for discussing the various realizations of a given task.
851-0331-05LThe Art of ConversationW3 credits2VC. Thomas
AbstractThis course will offer the occasion to reflect upon the art of conversation: its codes, its pleasures of improvisation, its worldly aspects and its importance in everyday life.
ObjectiveThis will permit us to consider different figures of the writer and salon hostess, such as Mme de Lafayette, Mme du Deffand, Julie de Lespinasse, and Mme de Staël.
851-0331-06LThe Secretaries of the Baroque Age and the "Honest Dissimulation"W3 credits2VS. Nigro
AbstractTorquato Accetto, secretary and poet, published the treatise "Della simulazione onesta" in 1641. It was a thin manual to survive political turmoils and moral instability of the time; it was also a guide to "secret" writing in a time of censorship. The course follows the reception of the treatise up to the 20th century and focuses on how it got shaped to meet various historical and political ideas.
ObjectiveThe students know the author and his coeval context; the students can relate the writing modalities of the treatise to the socio-cultural context of various historical times; the students know how to identify and interpret the metaphorical potential of the texts, as well as its literary power.
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