Complementary Profile North American Studies

The Complementary Studies Profile “North American Studies” enables students to multilingually engage with the vast range of topics surrounding Canada and the United States. In a variety of seminars, we offer diverse perspectives on the history, culture, and politics of those two countries. Furthermore, we will not only present the North American continent from an Anglo-American perspective, but also provide insights into Franco-Canadian (see module 4) and Hispanic cultural spheres (see “Introducing North American Studies”).


Modules in Complementary StudiesTitles and Course Descriptions

Module 1:

Inter- and trans-disciplinary sciences

Introducing North American Studies

The survey course introduces students to three aspects of North American Studies: first, NAS as an academic subject influenced by academic as well as non-academic discourses (such as politics, religion, and the justice system); second, NAS encompassing a vast range of topics, such as minority voices and aspects of “Otherness”; and third, NAS as a showcase for cultural production reflected in literature, art, and film.

Module 2:

Social Sciences mediality-oriented

North American Studies Meets the Social Sciences

In this module, we study different societies in North America and the relationship between individuals within these societies. We focus on such diverse topics as anthropology, ecology, religion, linguistics, and political science while employing theories, such as post colonialism, ecocriticism, and gender studies.

Module 3:


Confronting Contemporary Culture

This project seminar entails all stages of creating a final product in English (e.g. blog, anthology, twitter fiction, volume of poetry). Students work in teams in conjunction with their instructor/s on various aspects of the project and become familiar with genre-related practices and contemporary discourses in North America. This seminar combines theoretical foundations with practical applications.

Module 3 (alternative):

Social Sciences

Confronting Contemporary Society – Excursion

In this project seminar, we put together a study trip to a culturally rich destination in North America. Students plan, coordinate, and carry out the stages of the study trip in conjunction with their instructor/s and reflect on the project upon return. Participants become familiar with contemporary social conflicts and discourses in the region.

Module 4:


North American Studies Meets the Humanities

In this module, we explore various aspects of culture and literature by critically discussing authentic cultural texts, such as literary works, podcasts, films, and (digital, platform, and network) TV productions. We study North American culture, its institutions, and contemporary discourses. We focus on various themes, modes, and cultural contexts through the interdisciplinary lenses of the liberal arts, e.g. ethnic studies, identity construction, and ethics.

Modul 4: (alternative)


La Francophonie d’Amérique du nord: Langue et identité au Québec. Französisch B2.1-C1 (FSL-SZ)

Christophe Hohwald (Winter Semester)

L’aventure coloniale française en Amérique du Nord s’est terminée il y a de cela 250 ans. Les colons établis dans l’ancienne « Nouvelle-France » ont cependant continué à exister en tant que groupe francophone, notamment au sein du Canada. Qu’est-ce qui a permis à la communauté franco-canadienne de maintenir aussi longtemps sa langue et sa culture dans une Amérique du nord majoritairement anglophone? A travers quels éléments définit-elle son identité? Nous essayerons de répondre à ces questions à travers l'analyse de documents authentiques et nous porterons la discussion sur une définition plus générale de l’identité et de l'appartenance à une communauté nationale/ ethnique.