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17352 Vertiefungsseminar Literary Studies – Periods, Genres, Concepts: “Anger in Contemporary Literature”

News vom 01.06.2023

We live in an “Age of Anger”. This diagnosis, made by Indian essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra in 2017, is corroborated by the heated quality of public discourse on topics as diverse as Brexit, the climate crisis, the #MeToo and the Black Lives Matter movements. But it also shows in contemporary literature where anger “seems to be among the decisive driving forces”, as Andreas Mahler stresses. This course will look at a number of recent literary texts that are not just ‘about’ anger but also seek to rhetorically evoke this strong emotion, criticize its powerful effects or celebrate its energy. Our readings will include poetry, fiction and drama, by Jonathan Coe, debbie tucker green, Jackie Kay, Hanif Kureishi and others, and we will study the representation of anger, the emotive language of the texts, and their aesthetic, cultural and political agenda. The course will also give an introduction to Affect Theory and gauge its potential for literary analysis.


Organisation of the course

The course is primarily addressed to students who had signed up for Professor Andreas Mahler’s course on “Anger”, which unfortunately had to be cancelled.

To register for the course, please send an email to studienbuero@geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de. Please state “Anmeldung Vertiefungsseminar 17352” in the subject line of your message and don’t forget to give your full name and your matriculation number in the body of the message. The deadline for registration is the 30th of June.


The course will be offered as a compact seminar (Blockseminar) after the end of the semester, on 27 and 28 July, and 3 and 4 August (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on all four days). Students are expected to have read the assigned texts, attend the seminar, participate in course activities, and give one short in-class presentation. For full credits and a grade, you will have to write a term paper (to be submitted by the beginning of the winter semester).

Further information on the course and the readings will be provided by email and on Blackboard.


Most texts are short and will be made available via Blackboard. Please purchase a copy of the novel that we will read: Jonathan Coe, Middle England (Penguin, 2019, ISBN 978-0-241-98368-3). The novel can be ordered in every bookshop in town (and should be available within 24 hrs); it costs 12.50 EUR. You should have read the novel for the second week of the course.

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