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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GERM3350 Migration and Borders in German-language Culture

20 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Jane Wilkinson

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students must have advanced listening and reading skills in German (at least A-Level or equivalent) so that they are able to watch films without English subtitles and read novels and plays in German.

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In an age of globalisation, characterised by 'flows' of people, products, images and ideas across boundaries and between places, scholarly attention has increasingly turned to the 'in between spaces' of cultural encounter and interaction, in which senses of identity and difference are articulated. These spaces range from the geographical borderlands between bounded nation-states (which survive even in a 'post-national' world) to the perceptual spaces between people of different cultural or ethnic backgrounds living within the same state. Germany shares geographical borders with nine other European states and is also home to a number of migrants and people 'with migration background', most significantly a large Turkish population. This module therefore focuses on representations of national borders and borderlands, and migration and settlement in German-language literature, film and theatre. Beginning with interdisciplinary theories of migration and borders, drawn from geography, anthropology, politics and cultural studies, this module reflects on the significance of migration and borders in shaping our understanding of 'Germany' and 'the Germans' in relation to multiple 'others'.If you are interested in taking this module as a discovery module, you will need to have advanced reading and listening skills in German – at least A-Level standard or equivalent.


The broad aims of this module are to:
- examine the ways in which migration has shaped the culture of German-speaking countries;
- explore the representation of national borders and border regions in German-language culture;
- introduce students to a range of migration and border theories;
- apply migration and border theories to the analysis of literature, film and theatre;
- reflect on the role played by migration and borders in the construction and expression of identities in the German-speaking world;
- reflect on the power relationships embodied in the drawing of boundaries and the related inclusion / exclusion of certain groups;

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a critical understanding of migration and border theories from a range of disciplines;
- discuss and critique concepts such as migration, diaspora, border / boundary, nation, state, ethnicity, culture, identity, other.
- critically apply a range of migration and border theories to their analysis of German-language literature, film and theatre;
- engage in comparative analysis of case studies from different genres.

Skills outcomes
By the end of this module students should be able to:
1. Read, critique and compare a range of theoretical texts in German and in English.
2. Analyse examples of contemporary film, literature and theatre both orally and in writing.
3. Express themselves clearly, coherently and in a logical fashion orally and in writing.
4. Demonstrate the ability to carry out independent research.
5. Design their own research questions.


This module examines representations of migration and borders in German-language literature, film and theatre. Students will learn about different kinds of migration to Germany in the 20th and 21st centuries, including, for example, labour migration in the post-War decades and the more recent arrival of refugees from the Middle East. They will also learn about Germany’s cross-border relations with neighbouring states, concentrating on one or two specific border regions. The focus will be on the ways in which migration and borders are depicted and problematized in cultural production, including novels, films and plays.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours160.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

(1) Preparing for seminars (reading; watching films; web-based research; preparing for group presentations 20x4 hours = 80 hours
(2) Preparing for literature review: 20
(4) Preparing for and writing a 4,000-word essay: 60

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students will be given regular feedback on their developing ideas in seminar discussions.
- Students will give at least 1 non-assessed seminar presentation in pairs for which they will receive feedback.
- Students will have the opportunity to submit a practice literature review during semester 1 for which they will receive individual written feedback and whole-class feedback and advice on preparing for the assessed literature review at the end of semester 1.
- Students will meet with the module tutor to discuss their ideas for their final assessed essay / project and will receive feedback on their ideas and essay / project plans.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words70.00
Literature Review1500 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 24/04/2018


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