Guest Lecture with writer Angela Flournoy
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The Literature and Rhetoric Concentration

What is “literature”? Established as a special category in the eighteenth century, the specificity of the literary object has since been subject to debate: it cannot be defined by fictiveness or by a special use of language wholly distinct from “ordinary” expression. Nevertheless, the recognizability and importance of literature persists, and the methods used to understand and analyze it have been extended to the broader interpretation of culture, deriving their approaches from a range of disciplines, including history, sociology, linguistics and philosophy. This concentration introduces the manifestations of the literary object, its genres and styles and their development, as well as their relationship to other discourses and forms. In particular, it examines the connection between literary production and interpretation and the history of rhetoric, or the exploration of patterns of communication and their effectiveness. Cultivating an interdisciplinary knowledge of the origins, structure, and affiliations of literary art, the concentration provides the tools and background necessary for bringing the strategies and insights of literary hermeneutics to the scrutiny of cultural norms and values as systems of language. The literature concentration at Bard College Berlin includes the opportunity to take courses in the practice of a variety of kinds of writing, from journalistic reportage to creative writing, in workshops at foundational and advanced level. 
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Students in this concentration begin their studies with foundational coursework in both the production and analysis of literature. Advanced courses build on this basis, and incorporate a social analysis of the writer’s ‘place’ in the world. For any given module listed in the overview above, several courses may be offered that allow students to fulfill the requirement.
Sample Foundational Courses Sample Advanced Courses
Writing Fiction
Theories of the Body
Thucydides’ War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians
Living at the Edge: Outsiders in Film
Intrigue, Power, and Politics: Staging Friedrich Schiller’s Maria Stuart
The Writing Life
Contemporary Selves: Autofiction and Autotheory
Technology and Culture: The Invention of the Printing Press
Critical Diversity and Decolonial Methodology in the (Liberal) Arts
Feminism and Community

Study Abroad Opportunities

Literature and Rhetoric students may spend up to two semesters abroad during their third year of study. Students can pursue a wide array of coursework in literature at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Students also can pursue study at Central European University in Vienna.
Dr. James Harker

Dr. James Harker

Literature and Rhetoric

PhD in Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley
Prof. Dr. Matthias Hurst

Prof. Dr. Matthias Hurst

Film Studies

Habilitation in Literature and Film Studies
Universität Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Laura Scuriatti

Prof. Dr. Laura Scuriatti

Comparative Literature

PhD in English Literature
University of Reading
Prof. Dr. Catherine Toal

Prof. Dr. Catherine Toal


PhD in English and American Literature
Harvard University
Dr. Andreas Martin Widmann 

Dr. Andreas Martin Widmann

German Literature

PhD in German Literature
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz
Dr. Ulrike Wagner

Dr. Ulrike Wagner

Director of the German Studies Program

PhD in German and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

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