Friendship and Difference in Contemporary North American Narrative Literature



Zeit/Ort n.V.

  • Mo 14:15-15:45, Raum C 701 (außer 2022-05-30,vac) ICS
  • Einzeltermin am 30.05.2022 12:15-13:45, Raum C 701 (außer vac) ICS

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

Das Hauptseminar kann wie folgt verwendet werden:

  • MA North American Studies - Culture and Literature: Modul 4,5,7,8
  • MA The Americas/Las Américas: Modul 3b
  • MA Literaturstudien - intermedial und interkulturell
  • MA Ethik der Textkulturen
  • Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien: Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul L-GYM Literature)
  • BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A mit begleitender Independent Study Group
  • MA English Studies: "Freie Ergänzungsstudien/Wild Card" mit begleitendem Kurs

To receive credit, students present a paper at the end of the semester at a student conference and extend it into a full written paper to be handed in by mid-September 2022.


Birds of a feather flock together? Concepts of friendship may suggest that sameness is the basis for understanding each other. However, many contemporary cultural productions suggest that differences are key for friendships. Some of them (like Neil Burger’s 2017 comedy drama |Upside|) represent friendship as overcoming any obstacle: cultural differences, age, class, and gender differences. Others (like Toni Morrison’s 1984 short story “Recitatif”) emphasize the relevance and the discomfort of acknowledging difference. With a focus on the last few decades since the 1970s, this seminar invites students to explore narrative and theoretical negotiations of difference and equality in friendships as forms of social exploration and diagnosis. Analysis of various narrative representations of friendship constellations will foster an understanding of the sociocultural conditions shaping both the strategies of forming and maintaining friendships as well as their representation. The seminar trains students in the practice of text-based, theoretically framed interpretation. The class is supplemented by an interdisciplinary lecture series on four Monday nights at 6pm (May. To strengthen their research competence, students will prepare a paper they will present at a student conference at the end of the semester. A list of suggested text choices for the research project can be found on StudOn.

Zusätzliche Informationen

Erwartete Teilnehmerzahl: 20