Undergraduate Course: Vulnerability and the City: German Literary Cartographies of Danger and Refuge (ELCG10036)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course uses a framework of spatial humanities to envisage the city as a space of differentiated risk, vulnerability and danger. The course builds on pre-honours training in literary analysis and critical theory to familiarise students with digital humanities approaches to visualising literary space, and contemporary discourse around space, social justice and urban community-building. The three core texts for the course either focus on Germany, or were originally written in German. No prior knowledge of German is required, as all texts will be available in English.
This course examines representations of the city in German literary texts as a route into theories of space and positionality. Unlike many other courses on literature and the city, this course moves away from traditional ideas of urban space as one of liberty, modernity and flâneurie to look at the differentiated experience of the city brought about by intersections of gender, race, wealth and legal status. Built around themes including political oppression, racialisation, poverty, precarity, visibility and violence, the course looks at texts that represent the city from varying perspectives and which present urban environments in terms of danger and refuge, as well as self-discovery.
In the first two weeks, the course will introduce key concepts and invite students to reflect on experiences of space, including their own. The three main literary texts will then be used as the basis to look at the differentiated vulnerability of people in the historical and contemporary city, thinking in particular about zones of danger that often go unnoticed by dominant populations, such as public transport, parks, residential streets and institutional settings. Historical and sociological literature, newspaper articles and excerpts from key literary and political texts will complement the analysis of works focusing on the experiences of racialized subjects, sex workers, and undocumented refugees. A hands-on workshop on visualisation of literary texts will take place in Week 5 of the course, exploring options for representing real and imagined space using digital and artistic methods. This workshop will provide an introduction to methodologies necessary for producing the visualisation that will accompany your final critical essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
60% Final Critical Essay (1500 words + visualisation)
20% Personal Reflection (500 words)
20% Group Project (poster)
||Feedback will be given on all learning outcomes prior to the submission of the final individual assessments, at two moments.
1. Upon the completion of the group project (digital humanities methods, group working, presenting information).
2. Upon the submission of an essay draft.
Reflection on feedback will form part of the personal reflective piece. Implementation of feedback will form part of the assessment of the final critical essay.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe and summarise a range of theories and approaches to spatial humanities.
- Apply spatial humanities methodologies and independent research skills to produce a creative and insightful analysis of space in literary texts.
- Employ skills in digital humanities to assist in the visualisation of space.
- Present information and analysis to peers accurately and clearly.
Hans J. Massaquoi, Destined to Witness. Growing up Black in Nazi Germany (New York: Harper Collins, 2001)
Christiane F., Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F., Translated by Christina Cartwright (San Francisco: Zest, 2019)
Yoko Tawada, The Naked Eye, Translated by Susan Bernofsky (New York: New Directions, 2009)
N.B. For those able to read the German language, the original texts are as follows:
Christiane F., Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (Hamburg: Carlsen, 2009)
Yoko Tawada, Das nackte Auge (Tübingen: konkurs, 2004)
*Hans Massaquoi¿s book was originally published in English, although a German translation has been published should you wish to read it.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course aims to orientate students in contemporary discourses around marginalisation and vulnerability, drawing strongly from traditions of anti-racist and decolonial thought. In focusing on topics such as positionality and mutual responsibility, the course aims to develop their ability to identify and describe structural violence. The course is designed to assist students in their life-long journey to become engaged members of society, and build their confidence in bringing their academic knowledge and critical skills to bear on their personal and ethical lives.
|Keywords||Space,spatial humanities,literature,cities in literature,inequality,public safety,town planni
|Course organiser||Dr Jennifer Watson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8980
|Course secretary||Mr Craig Adams
Tel: (0131 6)50 3646