The Master's programme in Literature, Culture and Society allows you to specialise in one of seven major European languages and literatures. Below you will find detailed information about each of these specialisations.
The specialisation English Literature, Culture and Society, is rooted in literary analysis but also works at the forefront of interdisciplinary humanities scholarship. The program provides students with insight into the history and theory of literature in English and explores its relationship with other media. In the process, we engage key issues of intellectual concern in society, politics and culture. English Literature is understood in the broadest sense, as a diverse and complex mode of expression that includes works from American, British, Commonwealth, and postcolonial contexts. Specialising in English Literature as part of the Literature, Culture and Society MA is suitable for you if you want to study the literature and culture of the United Kingdom and beyond in the context of several other European languages and cultures. If you are aiming for an even more specialized degree in the literature of the English-speaking world, you would be better advised to choose the Master's in English Literature and Culture.
This Master’s programme offers the possibility to follow the course Crisis and Alternative Languages in Literature and Art: Greece, the Mediterranean and Beyond. Taking the concept of a crisis as a starting point, the course puts contemporary Greek culture and society in transnational (Mediterranean, European, global) perspectives. It navigates recent Greek crisis-scapes like the financial crisis and the ongoing refugee situation in the country alongside other crisis-scapes in the Mediterranean and beyond, and centres on innovative forms of cultural and aesthetic expression in literature, art, and cinema that have emerged in response to these declared crises. The course offers students a unique opportunity to delve into contemporary socio-political and cultural developments in Greece and the Mediterranean.
The English language specialisation offers the option to follow this Modern Greek course as well as the seminar 'How Literature Shapes Society'.
The specialisation French Literature focuses on French culture, literature, arts and film in a broad perspective. Intercultural relations for instance are foregrounded in the study of France's exchanges and connections with European and other cultures, and of postcolonial issues. Another example are intermedial relations, that are foregrounded in the comparative study of literature, film, the plastic arts, or the graphic novel. The influential position of France and French culture, especially literature, during several centuries, including the influence of the democratic and republican model of the nineteenth century, has now indeed evolved into a situation in which France and French literature is more intensely intertwined with other European and non-European cultures, and with a diverse array of media.
The specialisation “German Literature, Culture and Society” revolves around the interdependence between artistic expression and its aesthetic, cultural, historical, and social context. We read and analyse literature, film, theatre and Visual Arts as a place for critical reflection of culturally distinct patterns of perception where regional or national-related attitudes and identity models are being created and represented. Amongst others our modules include subjects such as ‘The artistic representation of Germany in literature, film, and theater’, ‘Bodies as Capital, 'Materiality of Writing', ‘Money and Arts'. The Master's programme is suitable for all students (also from other disciplines) looking for developing strong research skills and a profound knowledge of German culture, literature, and philosophy.
The specialisation Italian Literature, Culture and Society focuses first on intertextuality and intermediality: in the course on Dante, for example, we examine the Divine Comedy’s colourful afterlife in twentieth-century poems, essays, novels, movies and other art forms. La dinamica della letteratura italiana focuses on the interesting transformations literature undergoes when translated into different languages (and cultures), genres or media.
In the specialisation Scandinavian Literature, Culture and Society, students focus on the (traditionally) close relationship between literature and society in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish literature, as for example in the course on Identity and Migration in Modern Scandinavian Literature, in which the alleged deconstruction of the Scandinavian welfare model is examined. Scandinavian literature, both canonized texts and those representing voices from the margins of society, is also represented in the electives on Urban Fiction, the Extreme Contemporary Novel and the Postmodern Detective.
Slavonic Literature, Culture and Society’s courses illustrate how decisively Central/Eastern European thinkers and trends impacted on European literature and culture. Under guidance of a team of region experts, students examine the cultural and theoretical revolutions that took place in 20th-century Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Courses alternate annually and reflect the expertise of staff research, ranging from 19th-century prose classics, to socialist realism and postmodern art and writing.
In the specialisation Spanish Literature, Culture and Society, students focus on Hispanic identity and nation building, and explore the significance of several large oeuvres within their literary-historical context, including the work of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Miguel de Unamuno, Federico García Lorca, Gabriel García Márquez, and others. Other topics include historiography and the history of ideas, particularly canon construction and the relation between power and culture. Students research the Golden Age and contemporary Hispanic literature, including accounts of markets, from cultural-analytical, close-reading, colonial and postcolonial perspectives.