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

Undergraduate Course: Germany and Islam (ELCG09009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis option looks into the perceptions and self-perceptions of Muslims in contemporary Germany. Germany has only recently come to view itself as a country of immigration. This is rather surprising , considering that Germany's largest migrant group, Turks, have been in the country for over fifty years. We will discuss questions of migration and integration as well as those of nationality and other cultural concerns by analysing a variety of texts (essays, novels, films, plays). We will pay particular attention to the role of Islam, something which has spurred numerous discussions in German political, public, and cultural life. The course begins with an overview of post-war migration to Germany and an exploration of key concepts such as multiculturalism. Although we will approach the texts from different angles ((im)migration, nationality, transnationality, gender, ethnicity, exoticism, religion, language, multiculturalism), we will see that there are a number of thematic overlaps.
Course description session 1: Introductory Session: Muslims in Germany
session 2: Navid Kermani, Wer ist wir? and Zafer Senocak, Das Land hinter den Buchstaben: Muslim Intellectuals' Views on Islam and/in Germany
session 3: Travel Writing: Orientalist Views on Islam?
session 4: Feridun Zaimoglu, Leyla I: Turkey and Migration
session 5: Feridun Zaimoglu, Leyla II: Future Gastarbeiterinnen
session 6: Angelina Maccarone, Fremde Haut I: Nationality and Gender
session 7: Emine Sevgi Özdamar, MutterZunge: Language and Identity
session 8: Feridun Zaimoglu, Schwarze Jungfrauen: Religion and Sexuality
session 9: Samadi Ahadi, Salami Aleikum: Happy Multiculturalism?
session 10: Closing Session: Where are we now?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs books
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. apply their acquired detailed knowledge of German-language literature in relation to Islam in the late 20th / early 21st century.
  2. analyse contemporary literary texts of a variety of genres under a particular focus.
  3. use literary theory as a tool to analyse primary texts and to recognise the similarities and differences between different genres and the way they engage with particular themes.
  4. convey complex information as well as their ideas on specific topics in written and oral form.
  5. learn and work autonomously and independently, both as part of a group and individually, under the CO's guidance.
Reading List
Primary texts

Navid Kermani, Wer ist wir? Deutschland und seine Muslime (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2009)

Angelina Maccarone, Fremde Haut (DVD 2005)

Emine Sevgi Özdamar, MutterZunge (Berlin: Rotbuch, 2013 [1990])

Zafer Senocak, Das Land hinter den Buchstaben: Deutschland und der Islam im Umbruch (Munich: Babel, 2006)

Ali Samadi Ahadi, Salami Aleikum (DVD 2010)

Ilija Trojanow, Nomade auf vier Kontinenten: Auf den Spuren von Sir Richard Francis Burton (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 2008 [2007])

Feridun Zaimoglu, Leyla: Roman (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2006)

Feridun Zaimoglu and Günter Senkel, Schwarze Jungfrauen, Theater Heute 5 (2006), 46-55

Secondary texts / background reading

General and/or on several authors; theory

Adelson, Leslie A., The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Toward a New Critical Grammar of Migration (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

Arnold, Heinz Ludwig, ed., Literatur und Migration, Sonderband Text und Kritik, IX/06 (Munich: edition text + kritik, 2006)

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffins, and Helen Tiffins, Post-colonial Studies: The Key Concepts, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2007 [2000]), or Key Concepts in Postcolonial Studies (London: Routledge, 1998)
---. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (London: Routledge, 1989)

Beck-Gernsheim, Elisabeth, Wir und die Anderen: Vom Blick der Deutschen auf Migranten und Minderheiten (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 2004)

Berman, Nina, German Literature and the Middle East: Discourses and Practices, 1000-1989 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011)

Bhabha, Homi K., The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994)

Bird, Stephanie, Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Özdamar, Cambridge Studies in German (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Brinker-Gabler, Gisela, and Sidonie Smith, eds, Writing New Identities: Gender, Nation, and Immigration in Contemporary Europe (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1997)

Cheesman, Tom, Novels of Turkish German Settlement: Cosmopolite Fictions (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2007)

Connell, R. W., Gender (Cambridge: Polity, 2002)

Cooke, Paul, Representing East Germany since Unification: From Colonization to Nostalgia (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2005)

Dabashi, Hamid, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism (London and New York: Zed Books, 2012)

Daygoglu-Yücel, Yasemin, Von der Gastarbeit zur Identitäsarbeit: Integrationsverhandlungen in türkisch-deutschen Texten von Senocak, Özdamar, Agaoglu und der Online-Community vaybee!, Universitätsdrucke Göttingen 2005 (Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2005)

Durzak, Manfred, and Nilüfer Kuruyazici, eds, Die andere deutsche Literatur: Instanbuler Vorträge (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2004)

Ha, Kein Nghi, Ethnizität und Migration, Einstiege, 9 (Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 1999)

Hall, Stuart, The Multicultural Question, Pavis Papers in Social and Cultural Research, 4 (Milton Keynes: The Open University, 2001)

Helicke, James, 'Turks in Germany: Muslim Identity "Between" States', in Muslim Minorities in the West: Visible and Invisible, ed. by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane I. Smith (Walnut Creek, CL: AltaMira, 2002), pp. 175-191

Hofmann, Michael, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft: Eine Einführung (Paderborn: Fink, 2006)

Horrock, David, and Eva Kolinsky, eds, Turkish Culture in German Society Today, Culture and Society in Germany, 1 (Providence, RI: Berghahn, 1996)

Howard, Mary, ed., Interkulturelle Konfiguration: Zur deutschsprachigen Erzählliteratur von Autoren nichtdeutscher Herkunft (Munich: Iudicium, 1997)

Huggan, Graham, The Postcolonial Exotic: Marketing the Margins (London: Routledge, 2001)

Jordan, Jim, 'Migrant Writing in Germany and the Politics of the Multicultural Society: Three Case Studies', in Migrants in German-Speaking Countries: Aspects of Social and Cultural Experience, ed. Jim Jordan and Peter Barker, Modern German Studies, 2 (London: CILT Publications, 2000), pp. 97-113
---. ed., German Life and Letters, 59.4 (October 2006)

Matthes, Frauke, Writing and Muslim Identity: Representations of Islam in German and English Transcultural Literature, 1990-2006, igrs books (London: Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, 2011)

McLeod, John, Beginning Postcolonialism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)

Minnaard, Liesbeth, New Germans, New Dutch: Literary Interventions (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2008)

Rushdie, Salman, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism, 1981-1991 (London: Granta, 1991)

Said, Edward W., Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (London: Penguin, 1995 [1978])

Seyhan, Azade, Writing Outside the Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001)

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, 'Can the Subaltern Speak?', in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1988), pp. 271-313

Weber, Beverly, Violence and Gender in the 'New' Europe: Islam in German Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Yegenoglu, Meyda, Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Yildiz, Yasemin, Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012)

---. 'Turkish Girls, Allah¿s Daughters, and the Contemporary German Subject: Itinerary of a Figure', German Life and Letters, 62.4 (2009), 465-81.

Young, Robert, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (London: Routledge, 1995)

On Islam

Armstrong, Karen, Islam: A Short History (London: Phoenix, 2005 [2000])

Bundesministerium des Inneren, Deutsche Islamkonferenz «»

Cook, Michael, The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Esposito, John L., The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Ruthven, Malise, Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)

On Fatih Akin

Akin, Fatih, and Volker Behrens and Michael Töteberg (eds), Im Clinch: Die Geschichte meiner Filme (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2011)

Berghahn, Daniela, 'No Place Like Home? Impossible Homecomings in the Films of Fatih Akin', New Cinemas, 4.3 (2006), 141-57

Göktürk, Deniz, 'Beyond Paternalism: Turkish German Traffic in Cinema', in The German Cinema Book, ed. by Tim Bergfelder, Erica Carter, and Deniz Göktürk (London: BFI, 2002), pp. 248-56

Gramling, Graham, 'On the Other Side of Monolingualism: Fatih Akin's Linguistic Turn(s)', German Quarterly, 83.3 (Summer 2010), 353-72

Hake, Sabine, German National Cinema, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2008 [2002])

Isenberg, Noah, 'Fatih Akin's Cinema of Intersections', Film Quarterly, 64.4 (Summer 2011), 53-61

On Navid Kermani

'"Ich bin Teil der deutschen Literatur, so deutsch wie Kafka": Ist Fremd-Sein ein Problem, ein Thema oder ein Markt-Vorteil? Vier nicht ganz deutsche Autoren -- Terézia Mora, Imran Ayata, Wladimir Kaminer und Navid Kermani -- im Literaturen-Gespräch', in Literaturen, 4/2005, pp. 26-31

Jordan, Jim, 'Identity, Irony and Denial: Navid Kermani's Kurzmitteilung', in Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture: Festschrift in Honour of Rhys W. Williams, ed. Bridget Haines. Stephen Parker, and Colin Riordan (London: Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 165-77

Matthes, Frauke, 'Islam in the West: Perceptions and Self-Perceptions of Muslims in Navid Kermani's Kurzmitteilung', German Life and Letters, 64.2 (April 2011), 305-16

On Emine Sevgi Özdamar

Bird, Stephanie, Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Özdamar (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Brandt, Bettina, 'Collecting Childhood Memories of the Future: Arabic as Mediator Between Turkish and German in Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Mutterzunge', Germanic Review, 79.4 (Fall 2004), 294-315

Haines, Brigid, and Margaret Littler, 'Emine Sevgi Özdamar, "Mutter Zunge" and "Großvater Zunge" (1990)', Contemporary Women's Writing in German: Changing the Subject, Oxford Studies in Modern European Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 118-39

Littler, Margaret, 'Diasporic Identity in Emine Sevgi Özdamar's MutterZunge', in Recasting German Identity: Culture, Politics, and Literature in the Berlin Republic, ed. Stuart Taberner and Frank Finlay (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002), pp. 219-34

Littler, Margaret, 'Intimacies Both Sacred and Profane: Islam in the Work of Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Senocak, and Feridun Zaimo¿lu', in Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture, ed. James Hodkinson and Jeff Morrison (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2009), pp. 221-35

Matthes, Frauke, 'Beyond Boundaries? Emine Sevgi Özdamar's MutterZunge and V.S. Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival as Creative Processes of Arrival', eSharp, 5 (summer 2005), available online at:

Roy, Kate, 'German-Islamic Literary Interperceptions in Works by Emily Ruete and Emine Sevgi Özdamar', in Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture, ed. James Hodkinson and Jeff Morrison (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2009), pp. 166-80

On Zafer Senocak

Yesilada, Karin E., 'Dialogues with Islam in the Writing of (Turkish-)German Intellectuals: A Historical Turn?', in Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture, ed. by James Hodkinson and Jeff Morrison (Rochester, NY: Camden House 2009), 181-203

Shafi, Monika, 'Constructions of Islam: Select Voices from Germany and the Netherlands', in Religion and Identity in Germany Today: Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film, ed. by Julian Preece et al., Leeds-Swansea Colloquia on Contemporary German Literature, 2 (Oxford and Berne: Peter Lang, 2010), 163-81

On Ilija Trojanow

Matthes, Frauke, 'Encountering Islam at Its Roots: Ilija Trojanow's Zu den Heiligen Quellen des Islam', in Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture, ed. by James Hodkinson and Jeff Morrison, Studies in German Literature, Linguistics and Culture (Columbia, SC: Camden House, 2009), pp. 237-46

Preece, Julian, ed., Ilija Trojanow, Contemporary German Writers and Filmmakers, 2 (Oxford and Berne: Peter Lang, 2013) (available as e-book)

On Feridun Zaimo¿lu

Cheesman, Tom, and Karin Yesilada, Feridun Zaimoglu, Contemporary German Writers and Filmmakers, 1 (Peter Lang: Oxford and Berne, 2012)

Schütt, Rüdiger, and Klára Erdei, eds, Feridun Zaimoglu in Schrift und Bild: Beiträge zum Werk des Autors und Künstlers (Kiel: Fliehkraft, 2011)

Zaimoglu, Feridun, Feridun Zaimoglu, Kanak Attak, Kanak Attack, Kanak Sprak : 24 Mißöne vom Rande der Gesellschaft, Schwarze Jungfauen, Liebesbrand, Romeo und Julia, German Amok, Günter Senkel, Literature to go, Schattenstimmen, Zwölf Gramm Glück, Ja. tu es. Jetzt, ed. by Bücher Gruppe (Books LLC, 2010)


Zaimoglu, Feridun, 'Leyla: Zweite Vorlesung' (20/11/2007), in Feridun Zaimoglu and Ilija Trojanow, Ferne Nähe. Tübinger Poetik-Dozentur 2007, ed. by Dorothee Kimmich and Philipp Ostrowicz (Künzelsau: Swiridoff, 2008), pp. 27-46

Schwarze Jungfrauen

Celik, Ipek A., 'Performing Veiled Women as Marketable Commodities: representations of Muslim Minority Women in Germany', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32.1 (2012), 116-29

El Hissy, Maha, 'Veiled Bodies, Vile Speech: Islam, the Carnivalesque and the Politics of Profanation', in Frank Peter, Sarah Dornhof and Elena Arigita, eds, Islam and the Politics of Culture in Europe: Memory -- Aesthetics -- Art (Bielefeld: transcript, 2013), pp. 127-42

Matthes, Frauke, '"Authentic" Muslim Voices? Feridun Zaimoglu's Schwarze Jungfrauen', in Religion and Identity in Germany Today: Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film, ed. by Julian Preece, Frank Finlay, and Sinéad Crowe, Leeds-Swansea Colloquia in Contemporary German Literature, 2 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 199-210

Sieg, Katrin, 'Black Virgins: Sexuality and the Democratic Body in Europe', New German Critique, 37.1 (2010), 147-85

Zaimoglu, Feridun, interview with Islamische Zeitung, '"Die Polemik vergiftet das soziale Klima": Gespräch mit dem Regisseur Neco Çelik und dem Schriftsteller Feridun Zaimoglu über ihr Stück "Schwarze Jungfrauen"', Islamische Zeitung, 6 April 2006,

---, interview with Vera Gaserow, 'Es gibt eine Ethno-Avantgarde', Frankfurter Rundschau, 2 May 2007

On Fremde Haut

Emily Jeremiah, 'Touching Distance: Gender, Germanness, and the Gaze in Angelina Maccarone's Fremde Haut (2005)', German Life and Letters, 64.4 (October 2011), 588-600
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills advanced analytical, comparative and communicative skills

advanced presentational skills and ability to work collaboratively as part of a group
Special Arrangements None
Course organiserDr Frauke Matthes
Tel: (0131 6)51 1483
Course secretaryMr Craig Adams
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