GER40280 Transcultural Encounters

Academic Year 2022/2023

Due to post-war labour migration and various waves of political refugees, Germany has a growing number of Muslim minority citizens. This has led both to the creation of new identities and to intercommunal tensions. This module aims to provide students with contextual information about Islam and its position in contemporary German society. They will gain an insight into the debates surrounding Islam and how these are shaped by important writers, filmmakers, theatre directors and intellectuals, such as Zafer Şenocak, Feridun Zaimoglu, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Angelina Maccarone and Navid Kermani. This course will focus on a wide variety of texts, including essays, short stories, a play and a film. Important themes such as integration, the veil, Islamophobia and also Islamic mysticism (Sufism) will be discussed with reference to theoretical frameworks, such as Orientalism, performativity and cosmopolitanism. Some texts are not available in translation, meaning that knowledge of German is a prerequisite for this module.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

in-depth knowledge of the important debates surrounding Islam in contemporary Germany and the recent history of migration to Germany;

clear understanding of the major themes and events that have shaped the Muslim community and wider society;

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

in-depth knowledge of suitable theoretical frameworks to explore ideas connected to identity and community;

critical and analytical thinking with regard to key concepts such Orientalism, cosmopolitanism, performativity and integration;

highly developed skills in literary and filmic analysis;

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

Indicative Module Content:

historical dimension and current status of Islam in Germany; Islamophobia and Orientalism; multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism; performativity and identity; gender; mysticism

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
interactive lectures; group discussion; group-work; task-based learning; blended learning; guided reading; independent study. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: End of module essay (5000 words) Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Choice of poster or presentation Week 8 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

All students will receive written feedback from the module coordinator on their assignments, with the opportunity for face-to-face discussion too. All students will have the opportunity to submit plans/drafts for their assessments prior to submission, with a view to receiving written and/or face-to-face feedback from the module coordinator.

Fremde Haut, dir. by Angelina Maccarone (MMM Film Zimmermann & Co. and Fischer Film, 2005) [Screening during semester]

Kermani, Navid, Wer ist Wir? Deutschland und seine Muslime (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2017)

Oz̈damar, Emine Sevgi, Mutterzunge (Berlin: Rotbuch, 2013)

Şenocak, Zafer, A selection of essays [PDF provided]

Zaimoglu, Feridun and Günter Senkel, Schwarze Jungfrauen (Reinbek: Rowohlt Theater Verlag, 2006) [PDF provided]