Events and Activities
The M.A. programme "English Literatures and Cultures" is complemented by an attractive variety of scholarly events and activities, including guest lectures, conferences and trips.
In the past, guest lectures included topics as diverse as "Diasporic Indian Cinema" (Nilufer Bharucha, University of Mumbai), "Female Ghosts and the Practice of Criticism" (Catherine Belsey, Swansea University),"Samuel Johnson Rebalanced: The Happy Man, Family and Religion" (Howard Weinbrot, University of Wisconsin-Madison) or "New Thoughts on an Old Occupation Zone: The Aesthetics of Propaganda, Race, and Fraternization on the Rhine, 1918-1923" (Vera Grant, Harvard University). For a complete list of past lectures and events (2010-2012), see: Link.
The conferences "A Hundred Years of The Secret Garden" (Link), "Drink in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Consumers, Cross-Currents, Conviviality" (Link), "Who's afraid of...? Facets of Fear in Anglophone Literature and Media" (Link) allowed students insights into various fields of study.
The "Bonn Group for Eighteenth-Century Studies" (BGECS) (Link) is a chance for students interested in the eighteenth century to exchange ideas with fellow scholars and to engage in research beyond the syllabus of the programme. In addition to an annual conference (Link), BGECS organises a reading group (Link) and further events and lectures every semester (Link).
Each year, the department offers a trip to Shakespeare's hometown Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. During a week spent between Bed&Breakfast, Shakespeare Education Centre, shopping in town, theatre, and pub, students find out about the famous dramatist's plays through discussions, workshops, lectures and talks to actors, and watch a number of excellent performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company. These days prove an excellent outing and offer a splendid opportunity to gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the Shakespearean theatre with experts in the field. Together with a preparatory course, this trip is also one of the options to choose from as a first-year M.A. research module.
Other options for field trips within the research module vary from year to year. In 2011, students explored "Georgian Britain" in a trip to Bristol and Bath. During city tours and lectures as well as visits of museums and Georgian houses, the participants learned about Jane Austen's Bath and the history of slavery in Bristol. In 2012, a trip to Manchester and Liverpool will provide insights into Nineteenth-Century Industrial Britain and its representations in the novels of Dickens and Gaskell.
There are plenty of options to explore the lively cultural scene in the Bonn/Cologne area. The department offers several regular activities such as the weekly screenings of the Film Society (Link), regular visits to theatre
performances (e.g. Neil LaBute’s “In A Deep, Dark Forest”, Mike Bartlett’s “Earthquakes in London”, Tracy Letts’s “August: Osage County”, or the Bonn University Shakespeare Company’s performances) as well as visits to exhibitions (e.g. about James Cook or The Victoria and Albert Museum at the Bundeskunsthalle) and public readings (e.g. Carl Nixon, Witi Ihimaera, Eleanor Catton, and Llosyd Jones in the New Zealand Workshop: Link).