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Faculty of Languages & Literatures

Professorship of English Studies and Anglophone Literatures – Prof. Dr. Susan Arndt

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Welcome to our website!

The Professorship of English Studies and Anglophone Literatures is part of the Department of English and American Studies

We work as Transcultural English Studies. What does this mean?

Literature is on the move (Ottmar Ette). This does not only mean that authors –equipped with the latest technological developments, online communication and the world wide web – are at home in the libraries of the world. It also means that literary creations are interlinked by entangled histories, thus intertwining nations, languages and aesthetics, thereby rethinking and reinventing them. Literary Studies has to adjust to these poetics and think in a transcultural way beyond the boundaries of nations and languages. Transcultural English Studies are dedicated to literatures in English language from all over the world and at the same time open up to comparative and interlinking perspectives on and readings of literatures in other languages. In order to offer complex insights into literature as a global net, in both teaching and research we collaborate closely with our colleagues of the Faculty of Languages and Literatures of the University Bayreuth.

We work as Transcultural English Studies. What does this mean?

Already established and well accustomed methods of Literary Studies are amalgamated with approaches from Cultural Studies, Social-, and Natural Sciences.

Why?

Literature deals with what was, what is, and what might be coming our way. Freedom of Thought and the restlessness of the imaginary mind release literature from its responsibility to “mirror” or to be “about reality”. Nevertheless, it is the combination of social-, cultural-, and political interaction that makes the fabric out of which fiction is generated, contextualizing history and historicizing texts. No character, no plot arises from a vacuum. Each of them is on an orbit guided by conventional coordinates: the characters are carried through the plots by conflicts designed by race, sexuality, gender, class, age and abilitiy … The symbolic orders and discourses of the narrating time mould those of the narrated one. Therefore, literature is part and parcel of society, constantly moulding and changing it. Hence, the study of literature has to rely on readings that manage to cope with these complexities of literary (un)consciousness, framing discourses and their structures, narratives and their aesthetics as well as knowledge and its fictional fantasies.

This is where we start off in both teaching and research, while pursuing foci in postcolonial theory, studies of racism, diaspora studies as well as gender and queer-theories. In doing so, we cooperate transdisciplinary with other faculties, such as e.g. in the Cluster of Excellence „Africa Multiple. Reconfiguring African Studies”Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, the Bayreuth Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), the BIGSAS Festival of African and African-Diasporic Literatures, the network Future Migration. Network for Cultural Identity, the network Gender, Queer, Intersectionality and Diversity Studies (GeQuInDi) and the Bayreuth Institute for American Studies (BIFAS).

Webmaster: Univ.Prof.Dr. Susan Arndt

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