Mo., 12–14 Uhr, Koserstr. 20, Raum A.121
Erster Termin: 13.04.2015
The seminar will be taught in English (or will be partially bilingual, depending on the composition of the class). Hausarbeiten may be written in English or German.
The West promises bounty and freedom, the North is chilling, but clear and rational, the East is foreign and different, the South may be seductive and dangerous at the same time: These are certainly clichés, and probably stem from a "Western" perspective: We can't seem to escape notions of culture that are expressed as cardinal coordinates, or as dichotomies between opposing poles on the compass. This seminar takes a look at those directional clichés as historically situated cultural codes, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. We will look at emergence, semantics, functions, and socio-political contexts of those codes, including the fundamental opposition between East and West, Orient and Occident. Topics may include country studies (e.g., North-South codings in Italy vs. Britain or Germany), topical studies (e.g., directional codes in tourism; in world politics), and specific issues such as the emergence of the "Global South" that are relevant to the larger theme. The seminar is somewhat experimental, and obviously, the professor's knowledge on such a vast issue is very limited - the seminar will therefore succeed or fail with the engagement of students and their curiosity to explore topics.