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Lecture Series "Outlaws, Rebels, Misfits: Cultures of Deviance"

When: Thursday, 18:30-20:00

Where: Unterrichtsraum Anglistik, UniCampus AAKH, Hof 8.3

This lecture course in cultural studies brings together scholars from six countries and disciplines as varied as cultural studies, literary studies, history, linguistics, anthropology, and Oriental studies. Together, we will examine theoretizations and representations of outlaws, rebels, and misfits in Anglophone literature and culture. One focus will be the Caribbean and a hemispheric American Studies approach that links hispanophone and anglophone regions. Students will learn about pirates, runaway slaves, western heroes, Native American detectives, superheroes from comics, and Fight Clubbers.

The term “Outlaw” and/or “Rebel” and/or “Misfit” will be broadly interpreted, but also specifically defined in each lecture, e.g. with regard to its relation to “traditionally” oppressed and marginalized social/ethnic/religious groups and their agency in terms of resistance (both politically and economically). The main question to be debated during the entire lecture cycle is the usefulness of these terms and possible definitions on the one hand, and the connection between stigmatization and the cultural construction of Otherness (e.g. xenophobia, anti-judaism, anti-islamic discourse, racism, (hetero)sexism, demonization, criminalization) on the other - and how cultural texts, media and society deal with so-called Outlaws.

Hence, the course is multi- and interdisciplinarily oriented and spans epochs from the early modern era to the contemporary period, with one focus on colonial and postcolonial contexts. Based on individual case studies, regional comparisons will be enabled.


Oct 6
Alexandra GANSER (American Studies, University of Vienna):
Enter the Outlaw: Introduction & Overview

Oct 13
Andrea MAYR (Linguistics, Belfast University):
The Language of Crime and Deviance

Oct 20
Michael ZEUSKE (History, Cologne University):
Slaves and Slave Traders between In- and Outlawing: The Amistad Case

Oct 27
Michael DRAXLBAUER (American Studies, University of Vienna):
The Two and a Half Lives of Billy the Kid (1859-?)

Nov 3
Alexandra HAUKE (American Studies, University of Vienna):Indigenizing the Outlaw: Native American Detective Fiction in the US and Canada

Nov 10
Ana SOBRAL (English, Zürich University):“This is our world now“: Deviance and Re-Generation in Chuck Palahniuk‘s Fight Club

Nov 17
Ranthild SALZER (Cultural Studies, University of Vienna):Outraged Outlaws and Monstrous Misfits: Fantasies of Masculinity in Anglophone Superhero Comics

Nov 24
Sonja SCHILLINGS (American Studies, University of Gießen):Invaders of Innocence: John Locke and the “Enemy of all Humankind“ 

Dec 1
Iris GAREIS (Anthropology, University of Frankfurt):Pirates, Buccaneers, and the Internationalization of the Caribbean

Dec 15
Kris LANE (History, Tulane University):
Breaking Bad: The Privateering-Piracy Continuum in Early Modern Times
This lecture will take place in the C2 lecture hall (Hof 2, Altes AKH)

Winter Break

Jan 12
Christian CWIK (History, University of the West Indies St. Augustine, Trinidad):Runaway Slaves: Maroons and Illicit Trade in the Caribbean

Jan 19
Philipp BRUCKMAYR (Oriental Studies, University of Vienna)
Islam and Resistance in the Americas: Histories, Movements, Media

Jan 26
Written Exam

Organizers: Alexandra Ganser, Christian Cwik



Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik /
Department of English
Universität Wien
Campus d. Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 8.3
1090 Wien

T: +43-1-4277-424 01
F: +43-1-4277-9424
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0