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March 08, 2016

This Semester's Courses: Textual Analysis

Seminar, 2 SWS, Sprache Englisch
Zeit und Ort: Di 12.15-13.45, KH 2.012
Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien (neu): Zwischenmodul L-GYM Literature. (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Basismodul Literature)

This course expands upon the theoretical foundation for textual analysis laid during the first semesters of literary studies. Students will develop their practical skills in the interpretation of texts from different periods and genres, thus furthering their familiarity with key concepts of literary theory as well as historical and cultural contexts.
Mandatory Reading:
William Beckford, Vathek (Oxford World's Classics). Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Reclam Fremdsprachentexte, Originalsprache mit Anmerkungen). James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack (Penguin).
Download Course Syllabus
How to study for your literature exam

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How to study for your literature exam


Revise regularly. Psychologists have discovered that "bulimiac learning", that is, absorbing as much of the subject matter as possible in a relatively short time frame, can be detrimental to the learning process.[1] It is better to study regularly over the course of the semester than start revising the week – or even the night – before the exam. Reserve time to revise the previous and prepare the following course meeting each week. A rule of thumb is to spend as much time on this as you spend in the seminar itself. For a course of 90 minutes a week, you should calculate 90 minutes a week of study time at home, not counting the time you need to read longer texts such as plays or novels.

Write your own manuscript. Yes, you do get PowerPoint slides. They provide the basis to structure your learning, as a table of contents shows you how a book is organized. Taking notes during seminars forces you to rearrange what you have heard. This will be more easily memorized than what you read on the slides. Besides, you cannot find interpretations which are developed together in class on the slides. Students who rely exclusively on the material provided by the course convenor frequently have trouble applying theory to texts they have never seen before.

Think outside the box. If you attend a seminar in which you have to give a presentation, be creative in the ways you arrange your material. An original presentation will be remembered – a monotonous recital of two or three articles in a journal will be forgotten before you leave the room.


[1] Tobias Schormann, " Turbo-Lernen kann gefährlich sein". Welt, 29.07.2010. <>.

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Literature Seminars:
Summer Semester 2016

Office Hour:

  • Tue, 11.00-11.45, C3A3


Course syllabi and materials from past semesters go here.


Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Department of English and American Studies

Course materials for registered FAU students.

CASSY Erlangen
Signup system Erlangen.

CASSY Nürnberg
Signup system Nürnberg.

Studien- und Prüfungsordnungen
Exam regulations

Semestertermine, Rückmeldung, vorlesungsfreie Zeiten, Feiertage
Semester schedule, registration, holidays, lecture-free days