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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - German

Undergraduate Course: Researching Disability in German Literature and Society (ELCG08010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis option course introduces students to the field of Disability Studies and a selection of German fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann. Students will study key models and concepts related to disability, impairment, normalcy, and ableism, and use these ideas as a critical framework for interpreting fairy tales. This course is suitable for students who are interested in developing analytical skills and who want to learn how to carry out Disability-Studies readings of German literary texts.
Course description Reading literature through the lens of Disability Studies offers a range of alternative perspectives that challenge biases and assumptions and can lead to a fundamental reconsideration of literary texts.

This course comprises themed units. Students will focus on a selection of key concepts that are used when studying disability and relate them to selected German fairy tales. Students will, for example, discuss their close readings of the fairy tales, examine literary constructions of disabled characters, narrative patterns related to disability, the notion of normal, ableist strategies, and social attitudes and environmental barriers encountered by fictional disabled characters.

The set secondary reading is available on Learn in the Resources List and the weekly activities are designed around active engagement with the primary and secondary texts. Students will work in small groups or independently and receive feedback on the assignments.

This course aims to actively foster reflection on diversity and inclusion and raise awareness of the historical and cultural origins of exclusion, inequalities and negative attitudes towards disability. It also supports the idea that there should be a place in the university curriculum for literature courses that offer diverse perspectives and encourage the critical consideration of narratives about underrepresented groups.

The assessment will be 100% coursework. There are two summative assignments: 1) an individual podcast (approx. 10 mins); 2) a short essay (1,250 words). Both will be self-designed Disability-Studies interpretations of one or two fairy tales and relate to a conceptual idea within the fields of Disability Studies studied on the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: German 2 Language (ELCG08008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Primary Texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should have German-language skills at CEFR level B1 or above. Entry to this course may be subject to a language test on arrival and is at the discretion of the course organiser. Visiting Students must also take German 2 Language (ELCG8008) as a co-requisite.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  18
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 76 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework

Of which:

40% Oral presentation (podcast) on Friday of Week 8, 4pm (10 mins)

60% Short essay (1,250 words) on Friday of Week 11, 4pm

Feedback Students will receive a grade and written feedback on their oral presentation and short essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge of areas of Disability Studies and a discerning understanding of the core theories, concepts, principles, and terminology
  2. apply knowledge, skills, and understanding of Disability Studies when interpreting literary representations of disability in German
  3. undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesise ideas, concepts, and information within the field of Disability Studies
  4. use a range of standard ICT applications to obtain data for your research
  5. exercise autonomy and initiative in some course-related activities; work effectively with others; manage group interactions; practise taking responsibility when carrying out tasks.
Reading List
Primary Texts: Essential Reading

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Kinder-und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm (Reclam), Volumes 1 and 2

E. T. A Hoffmann, 'Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober' (1819) (Reclam)

E. T. A. Hoffmann, 'Des Vetters Eckfenster' (1822) (Reclam)

Secondary Literature:

Shakespeare, Tom, 'The Social Model of Disability', in The Disability Studies Reader, ed. by Lennard J. Davis (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 266-73

Wohlmann, Anita, and Marion Rana, 'Narrating Disability in Literature and Visual Media: Introduction', Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 67.1 (2019), 3-17

Hall, Alice, 'An Introduction to Disability Studies', in Literature and Disability (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 19-29

Schmiesing, Ann 'Gender and Disability: The Grimms' Prostheticizing of "The Maiden without Hands" and "The Frog King or Iron Henry", in Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms' Fairy Tales (Detroit: Wayne State University, 2014), pp. 80-110

Mitchell, David T., and Sharon L. Snyder, 'The Introduction: Disability as a Narrative Supplement', in Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), pp. 1-14

Mitchell, David T., and Sharon L. Snyder, 'Narrative Prosthesis and the Materiality of Metaphor', in Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), pp. 47-64

Campbell, Fiona Kumari, 'The Project of Ableism', in Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness (Victoria, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan (2009), pp. 3-15

Davis, Lennard J., 'Constructing Normalcy', in Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body (London: Verso, 1995), pp. 23-49

Schmiesing, Ann, 'Cripples and Supercripples. The Erasure of Disability in "Hans My Hedgehog", "The Donkey" and "Rumpelstiltskin"', in Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms' Fairy Tales (Detroit: Wayne State University, 2014), pp 111-145

Joshua, Eleoma, 'Misreading the Body: E. T. A. Hoffmann's Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober, Edinburgh German Yearbook, 4 (2010), 39-56
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive skills:
critical analysis; evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues

convey complex information within the seminar and conference contexts; use a range of subject area library databases;

Autonomy, accountability and working with others:
exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities in the subject area; exercise managerial responsibility in relation to others; take the lead on planning in familiar or defined contexts; practise in ways that show awareness of own and others; roles, responsibilities and contributions when carrying out tasks
KeywordsDisability,Romanticism,fairy tales,German Literature,Early nineteenth century
Course organiserDr Eleoma Bodammer
Tel: (0131 6)50 3627
Course secretaryMs Ashley Stein
Tel: (0131 6)50 4465
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