GER20230 Transcultural Encounters 1: Turkish-German Poetry from ‘70s to Today

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 xenophobia, hybridity and Islam. 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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