Modules

This is a short introduction to all the modules in the MATS program. For more detailed information please request the official module description.

M1 Theoretical Foundations of Transculturality

Contents and Goals

This module introduces cultural theories that are central for engaging with questions of transculturality. The lecture will provide an overview of theoretical schools and their development over the last 200 years and connect this history of thought with current debates in the field of transculturality.

The seminar focuses on developing an anthropological worldview and introduces students to the reflexive engagement with culture through ethnographic examples.

Lectures and examinations

The module is completed with either an end of term examination, or several short writing assignments based on regular reading.

M2 Postcolonial Theories of Transculturality

Contents and Goals

This module deals with current transcultural approaches: cultural contact, exchange, hybridity, syncretism, ‘creolité’, différence, alterity, and the subaltern. A main focus lies on the analysis of postcolonial representations in literature, film, television and video art. The module offers an overview about current debates on the global dynamics of transculturalism and provides students with the theoretical tools to place local forms of transcultural exchange into a global and historical context.

Lectures and Examinations

The themes are introduced in lectures and advanced in a corresponding seminar based on students’ discussions of central readings. In the scope of the seminars, elected literary and visual representations of transculturalism will be analysed in detail. The module is completed with a written test or an essay assignment.

M3 Transcultural Competencies

Contents and Goals

This module provides basic knowledge about inter- and transcultural communication and diversity management in practice. The goal is combining theoretical knowledge and practical field experience. Popular approaches used in intercultural trainings and diversity management programs are subject to critical practice and analysis. This builds the base to develop innovative forms of implementing transcultural concepts, for example in workshops or trainings. 

Lectures and Examinations

This module is made up of a combination of seminars and practical exercises. Upon consultation with the teachers, the practical part can be replaced with an independent internship in the field of cultural work. In any case, a written reflection evaluating either practical training or the transfer of theory to practice is mandatory.

M4 Independent Studies

Contents and Goals

The focus of this module is in large part determined by the students. It can encompass optional excursions, stays abroad for studies or internships, focused reading, or the development of language skills. It is possible to choose one area or a combination. Before beginning this module, students should get advice from teachers to make a plan for the best way to set up their independent study and get the approval of the module coordinator. One possibility is to focus on a specific author (as a part of a reading group or individually) and to document this work in the form of a reading diary. Another option is to conduct an independently organized research or practice project, and submit a written report reflecting on the experiences. Language course certificates can also be recognized as independent study.

Lectures and Examinations

This module consists of accompanying seminars or independently organized events and activities. The ungraded study achievement of 6 CP is based on the individual agreement on the form of self-study and the corresponding form of documentation (reading diary, research or project report, or another particular product).

M5 Literary Analysis

Contents and Goals

Literary analysis offers fundamental approaches to analyse constructions of the world and cultural representations in all forms of media. The theoretical part of this module introduces current theories on literature and analytical procedures (semiotic, literary, structural, and post-structural approaches, inter-textuality, post-colonial literary research, narratology, and contemporary reception studies). The goal is to understand diverse literary genres as complex and flexible designs of transcultural realities, and to interpret their multifaceted and context dependent meanings.

Lectures and Examinations

In the frame of this seminar, selected methods of text analysis are introduced. The seminar is accompanied by a tutorial in which students practice literary analysis methods on various genres. The results are presented in a written report.

M6 Ethnography and Qualitative Methods of Cultural Analysis

Contents and Goals

In this module basic techniques of qualitative methods in social and cultural studies are explained and practiced in an individual field research project. Following the principle of research-oriented learning, the research topic is developed individually and different techniques of participant observation, interviewing and visual documentation are practiced and combined. A further focus is the analysis of the acquired data. The data itself is used to test the procedures discussed in class. Participants will learn qualitative methods for cultural analysis flexibly and in specific contexts and will reflect ethically and epistemologically on their own research.

Lectures and Examinations

This module results in 15 CP and is made up of four-hour sessions each week that are also used for practicing methods and evaluation procedures. The main focus is an independent research project within Bremen, conducted during the semester; this is the basis for a written research paper, which should entail a visual component. Students are asked to find a theme for their research project before the beginning of semester, so that the work can begin in the first session of the course.

M7  Religious Studies of Transculturality

Contents and Goals

This module introduces a Religious Studies perspective on transcultural dynamics, using examples from religious traditions and other belief systems. Central to this is the concept of a discursive understanding of a “European Religious History”. Religions and their cultural embeddedness cannot be understood as individual, distinctive units. Instead, the course asks for the developments within religions, their exchange relationships, as well as the functions and negotiation processes of collective identities. The main focus lies on learning basic theories and methods of cultural religious analysis. This helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the different perspectives within Religious Studies, also in relation to aspects of transculturalism covered in other modules (see M 8, 9, 10).

Lectures and Examinations

This module is made up of a  lecture and complemented by a seminar or tutorial based on current or historical examples of religious studies. The examination will take the form of a written end of term examination, a short presentation and written report, or an oral examination.

Module 8, 9, 10 Electives: Research Fields of Transculturality

Contents and Goals

These electives in the second year will expand on theories and methods for the study of transculturality, using concrete examples. Students are encouraged to work on their own subjects of interest. They can conduct independent research according to the principles of research-oriented learning either on sub-topics related to the courses, or on individually designed project, and present their work in the seminar sessions. The goal of the module is for students to specialize in research fields of transculturality and to get inspiration for the development of research topics for the upcoming master thesis. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their professional academic writing skills through written essays. 

Lectures and Examinations

Each module of the three obligatory "electives" (M8, 9, 10) is made up of 2 seminars, which can be studied separately or connected thematically. One seminar is based on active participation (for 3 CP) and a written essay (for another 3 CP), which will be graded (for a total of 6 CP). The second seminar is based on active participation through an oral presentation, readings, or short essays (for 3 CP). The grading of the complete module (6 CPs + 3 CPs = 9CPs) is based on the written essay for one of the  seminars. 

You can download a handout with detailed information about the grades and requirements for M8, 9, 10 here

Module 11: Master Thesis with Colloquium

Contents and Goals

This module qualifies for designing a master thesis of about 50 pages. A colloquium accompanies the independent process of finding a thesis topic related to theoretical debates or current research fields relating to transculturality. In discussion with fellow students and teachers the thesis projects are shaped and advanced.  Presentation techniques for the oral examination are also practiced. 

Lectures and Examinations

This module is structured around active participation in a colloquium (2 hour sessions, 3 CP); the bulk is made up of the independent production of a master thesis (30 CP), from finding a theme to completing the manuscript. Advisors provide advice at each step. Registration for the master thesis requires the completion of 60 CPs, or in other words, the first year of study has to be successfully completed.