GER20230 Transcultural Encounters 1

Academic Year 2023/2024

As a result of the bilateral agreement between Turkey and West Germany in 1961, Turks are now Germany’s largest minority and Berlin has one of the largest Turkish populations of any city. This module will equip students with an in-depth knowledge of post-War Germany’s history, society and cultural landscape from the Turkish-German perspective through analysis of a diverse selection of poems from the ’70s to the present day, including rap and hip-hop. Identity will be the module’s unifying theme. The writing and context of the ‘guest worker’ generation will be examined primarily, centring on the themes of labour, exploitation and estrangement, which will then be compared and contrasted with the poetry of the second generation, whose work deals with racism, cultural identity and the politics of Reunification. Poetry is a particularly popular medium for writers of Turkish origin and students will be introduced to the work of important contemporary poets, such as Aras Ören, Zehra Çirak and Zafer Şenocak.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

in-depth knowledge of the history of Turkish labour migration to Germany and its impact upon contemporary society;

clear understanding of the major themes and events that have shaped the Turkish-German community and wider society;

confidence when engaging in discussion, debate and written presentation of the course’s key issues;

highly developed skills in analysing poetic texts, reflected in high-quality academic writing and thoughtful literary translations;

appropriate use of theoretical frameworks to explore ideas expressed in poetry, particularly with regard to the concept of identity;

conceptual outlook necessary to take on level 3 modules;

transferable skills for language-learning, further study and the world of work: IT, communication, organisation, argumentation, intercultural competences.

Indicative Module Content:

analysing poetry; labour migration to Germany; Turkish-Germans and the fall of the Berlin Wall; xenophobia and racism in Germany; literary translation; identity and multiculturalism

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching and learning takes place in the form of interactive lectures, seminars, group discussion, group-work, task-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students should have a good reading knowledge of German (at least B1 of the European Framework).

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Literary translation / 1000-word essay Week 9 n/a Graded No


Oral Examination: Discussion of two poems/songs from anthology Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Every student will receive written feedback and the opportunity for face-to-face feedback from the module coordinator on all assessment. Feedback on the first essay will be timely, so that it can be taken on board and applied to the final essay. There will be an opportunity for peer feedback on the literary translations during an in-class poetry reading. All students will have the opportunity to obtain written and/or verbal feedback on plans and drafts for assessment.

selection of poems by Zehra Çirak, Nevfel Cumart, Gülbahar Kültür, Aras Ören, Hasan Özdemir, Zafer Şenocak, Deniz Utlu and others, and of rap songs by Cartel, Fresh Familee and Haftbefehl [all provided in course booklet]
Name Role
Dr Joseph Twist Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Siobhan Donovan Tutor