American Studies, English Studies
Group of courses: Humanities
Students should be taught both the theoretical principles and the methodological concepts of gender studies and their relevance for American and English literary and linguistic studies. Students should be enabled to recognise and reflect critically on the significance of the category of gender (also in relation to categories such as race, ethnicity, sexuality and class) in cultural forms of representation (especially literature and film). They should also be made aware of the gender hierarchies inherent to language, the linguistic construction of gender (linguistic turn) and gender-specific language behaviour through historical linguistics and pragmatic linguistics.
The subject-specific focus is on the investigation of Anglophone literature, culture and language, making use of various positions and methods drawn from gender studies.
A specific gender module is desirable to ensure that not only basic principles are presented, but also that further intensive and focused study building on these is possible. However, where individual universities decide against a special gender module, it would be possible to integrate the modules suggested here into other modules, such as literary studies, cultural studies or linguistic modules.
We would suggest the course content presented above as modules, viz.
Gender studies content should be taught from the second or third semester onwards, when students are already familiar with the basic principles of the subject. This is important because it often involves a revision of "traditional" English/American studies, for example with relation to forming the canon. Gender studies should be taught both at Bachelor's and in greater depth Master's stages.