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The University of Southampton

GERM3006 Minorities and Migrants: Exploring Multicultural Germany

Module Overview

Germany has had a long tradition of immigration and is one of the most multi-cultural countries in Europe today. We will examine the impact of diverse immigration movements on recent German history and notions of German identity. This includes examining broad developments of post-war immigrations, exploring some of the legacies of German colonialism and addressing contemporary issues and debates. The course puts emphasis on working with a range of scholarly, media and aesthetic texts (including films) and students will continue to hone their critical reading, reflection and research skills.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The production of minority and racial discourse
  • The history and place of the other within post-war German culture
  • The ways in which ‘texts’ reproduce and/or subvert master narratives
  • The themes and patterns of displacement and creativity
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognize and interrogate the cultural production of ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ or ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ in a given context.
  • Describe, employ and evaluate theoretical concepts, such as representation, othering, and identity.
  • Use these concepts to question your presuppositions about identity construction and contextualize the place of ethnic and other minorities within German culture.
  • Read critical and creative texts alongside one another
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand theoretical approaches and apply them to selected material;
  • Further develop strategies of independent research and learning;
  • Carry out close analysis of cultural artefacts and reflect on the relationship between cultural context and the content and form of the works studied;
  • Organize relevant material in written and oral discussion in order to communicate clearly and effectively;
  • Carry out library and on-line research, construct a bibliography and produce accurate and consistent referencing in your work;
  • Participate in and lead group discussion.
  • Express your ideas in the form of short reviews, thus combining critical observation with in-depth understanding of a subject
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Read texts by and about minority cultures in Germany and Austria
  • Respond to ethnic and cultural difference in non-reductive ways.
  • Articulate an informed response to questions of textual and visual interpretation, in both discussion and writing.


This course explores contemporary Germany, recent German history and notions of German identity through the lens of immigration and diversity. We begin by tracing the broad developments of post-war immigrations and their close relationship to larger historical developments. This includes a look at some of the legacies of German colonialism, which will lead us to examine notions of ‘race’ and ‘German’ identity. We then explore the debates on Islam and Muslims in Germany and look at the effects of government-led ‘dialogues’ with Muslim communities. A session on refugees will explore a more precarious and often controversially debated form of immigration. Finally a session on creative interventions will explore the rich range of arts practices which have challenged narrow definitions of German identity. The course puts emphasis on working with a range of scholarly, media and aesthetic texts (including films) and students will continue to hone their critical reading, viewing, reflection and research skills. We place special emphasis on developing intertextual sensitivity and analysis and students will be expected to think of themselves as participants in a research team that will gather materials beyond those provided by the tutor. This will allow students to study certain aspects in greater depth and to contribute to a growing resource base for all.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

There will be a double seminar each week. The tutor will introduce topics and provide some brief lecture-style input. Special emphasis will be placed on (small group) seminar discussions of study material and student work. Students will take on role of facilitators of seminar meetings. The aim of the seminars is to establish a collaborative context in which each student can work creatively with ideas, build on the thoughts of others, strengthen their communication skills and develop their research interests. A session on ‘how to write a review’ will prepare the aesthetic text review assignment. A course blog will facilitate the development of a shared resource. This includes a news blog (containing student posts on contemporary German news reporting on immigration issues), student team research (oral presentation slides) and aesthetic text review exercises.

Follow-up work10
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Completion of assessment task45
Wider reading or practice20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Deniz Göktürk, David Gramling, Anton Kaes (2007). Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005. 

Peter Wade (2002). Race, Nature and Culture. 

Richard Dyer (1997). White. 

Bundeszentrale politische Bildung, Grundlagendossier Migration.

Ulrich Herbert (1990). History of Foreign Labor in Germany, 1880-1980: Seasonal Workers, Forced Laborers, Guest Workers. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessment Method 1. Essay [summative] 2,500 words 2. Seminar Presentation [summative] Students investigate (if possible as a team) an agreed theme and prepare an oral presentation (about 30 min) on their findings and facilitate a class discussion. 3. News blog posting [summative] Write 3 blog entries @300 words each during the first 8 weeks of the course. Each entry should be accompanied by a link to the original item. The tutor will upload feedback on at least one post. Students are allowed to revise their entries until 8 -week cut-off date. 4. Aesthetic text review [summative] Write a text review @600 words. This assignment will be prepared in class and a practice review posted on the blog. Peer and tutor feedback will be given on the practice review.


MethodPercentage contribution
Blog  (900 words) 20%
Essay  (2500 words) 40%
Presentation 20%
Review  (600 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students can invest in some additional reading resources in German. However, this is not compulsory and not required for the successful passing of the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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