Module Identifier GE26020  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Jane Wilkinson  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite Eligibility for entry to Level 2 German  
Course delivery Lecture   10 lectures/ seminars  
  Seminars / Tutorials    
  Workload Breakdown   Formal tuition: 20 hours; preparation specifically for classes: 20 hours; assessment (preparation and writing) 20 hours; examination: 2 hours; private study: 138 hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 2 questions60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay (continuous assessment)30%
Semester Assessment 1 x group seminar presentation10%
Supplementary Exam 1 x 2-hour examination if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3-hour examination if no continuous assessment submitted.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. demonstrate a clear understanding of the current trends and issues in German-speaking theatre and the reasons and influences behind these trends.

2. examine and discuss critically a range of plays by contemporary German-speaking dramatists writing under the influences of cultural globalisation.

3. analyse and discuss a variety of theatre practices and performances influenced by globalisation.

4. demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories of cultural globalisation and an ability to use these theories to discuss contemporary theatrical phenomena.

5. establish and express their own opinions on the interplay between global and local influences in the theatre.

6. express themselves clearly, coherently and in a logical fashion orally and in writing.


The introduction of this module will broaden the range of options available to Level 2 students of German. The module complements the sociolinguistic and literary German module options by introducing students to the study of theatre. It is hoped that students will be able to apply their knowledge of cultural globalization to other modules in the Department of European Languages and in other departments. The module presupposes no knowledge of cultural globalization or theatre.

Brief description

Theatre has long been thought of as a 'locatable phenomenon' which has a strong material presence in time and place and plays an important role in the construction and expression of national, regional and local identities. As boundaries between places and cultures become blurred and as ideas and media are shared and spread across cultures, remarkable similarities are emerging between the cultural production of countries across the western world; cultural forms, including theatre, are becoming increasingly difficult to 'locate'. In this module we will therefore examine the relationship between cultural globalisation and contemporary German-speaking theatre through theoretical analysis of play-texts, performances, theatre repertoires and theatre practices. The module is based on the following fundamental questions: How are the processes of 'cultural gloalisation' influencing contemporary German-speaking theatre? Does a recognisably 'German' theatre culture still exist? What place does German-speaking theatre have on the 'global' stage?


1. Introduction to the concept of cultural globalisation.
2. The contemporary German-speaking theatre landscape
3. Drama against a global backdrop 1: Urs Widmer's 'Top Dogs'.
4. Drama against a global backdrop 2: Theresia Walser's 'So wild ist es in unseren Waldern schon lange nicht mehr'.
5. Drama against a global backdrop 3: Elfriede Jelinek's 'Bambiland'.
6. Global influences on theatre repertoires.
7. Theatre festivals and tourism: 'Die Bregenzer Festspiele'.
8. Theatre festivals and politics: Transborder theatre festivals.
9. Performing the local: Amateur theatre in the German-speaking world.
10. Conclusions: Theatre between the local and the global?

Module Skills

Problem solving Students will learn to work through the problems of using an interdisciplinary methodology which arise when applying social science theories of cultural globalization to theatre texts and performances.  
Research skills Students will be required to find, evaluate and use source materials (primary and secondary).  
Communication Students will be expected to communicate in seminars both informally and in an assessed presentation, as well as to write at an appropriate level for assignments.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to observe the improvement in their own competence in analyzing, interpreting and comparing literary texts and will also develop new skills in analyzing theatre performances (on video).  
Team work Students will be expected to work in groups during seminars and in their own time and will thus develop team skills in dividing up and organizing work.  
Information Technology Students will be expected to use the internet to access theatre websites. There will also be the opportunity to use programs such as PowerPoint in seminar presentations and written assignments will be word processed.  
Application of Number Not directly addressed in this module.  
Personal Development and Career planning Not directly addressed in this module.  
Subject Specific Skills Linguistic competence will be developed through reading primary and secondary literature in German and watching videos of German-speaking theatre performances. Students will learn new vocabulary specific to the topics of theatre and globalisation.  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Jelinek, Elfriede (2004) Bambiland Rohwolt
Walser, Theresia (2000) So wild ist es in unseren Waeldern schon lange nicht mehr Verlag der Autoren
Widmer, Urs (1997) Top Dogs Verlag der Autoren
** Essential Reading
Appadurai, Arjun (1996 (various p) Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of globalization / Arjun Appadurai. 0816627924
Bauman, Zygmunt. (2000.) Liquid modernity / Zygmunt Bauman. 0745624103
Hannerz, Ulf. (1996 (2002 prin) Transnational connections: culture, people, places / Ulf Hannerz. 041514308X
Phipps, Alison (ed) (2002.) Contemporary German cultural studies / edited by Alison Phipps. Encountering Stories from Contemporary German Theatre 0340764023
** Recommended Text
Anderson, Benedict R. O'G. (1991 (various p) Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism / Benedict Anderson. 0860913295
Eagleton, Terry (2000.) The idea of culture / Terry Eagleton. 063121965X
Featherstone, Mike (1990.) Global culture: nationalism, globalization and modernity: a Theory, culture & society special issue / edited by Mike Featherstone. 0803983212
Featherstone, Mike. (1995.) Undoing culture: globalization, postmoderism and identity / Mike Featherstone. 0803976054
Hanika, Karin and Wagner, Bernd (2004) Kulturelle Globalisierung und Regionale Identitaet Klartext-Verlag
Smiers, Joost. (2003.) Arts under pressure: promoting cultural diversity in the age of globalisation / Joost Smiers. 1842772627
Tomlinson, John. (1999 (various p) Globalization and culture / John Tomlinson. 0745613373
Wagner, Bernd (2001) Kulturelle Globalisierung Klartext-Verlag
** Recommended Background
(1991.) Culture, globalisation and the world system / edited by Anthony D. King. 033353560X
Featherstone, Mike (1995 (various p) Global modernities / edited by Mike Featherstone, Scott Lash, and Roland Robertson. 0803979479
Giddens, Anthony. (2002.) Runaway world: how globalisation is reshaping our lives / Anthony Giddens. 1861974299
Moran, Albert. (1998.) Copycat television: globalisation, program formats, and cultural identity / Albert Moran. 1860205372
Perry, Nick (1998.) Hyperreality and global culture / Nick Perry. 0415105153
Robertson, Roland. (1992 (various p) Globalization: social theory and global culture / Roland Robertson. 0803981864


This module is at CQFW Level 5