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General Information

If you plan on registering for a  module exam or thesis project (B.A. or M.A.) with JProf. Dr. Judith Rauscher, please keep in mind that your topic(s) need(s) to focus on North American literature and culture (i.e. literary and cultural texts produced by people coming from or residing in the studies of the United States and Canada, in some cases Mexico or the Caribbean; or literary and cultural texts produced elsewhere in the world dealing in important ways with U.S.-American or Canadian literature, culture, history, society, politics, etc.). If you want to do comparative work, at least half of your sources have to come from or engage with North America in significant ways.

For orientation in the field of North American literature and culture, consider taking a look at the following resources:

  • Cambridge Companions to Literature (American Literature), available for a variety of topics, e.g. The Cambridge Companion to African American Womens Writing, The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism, The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, etc.

  • Keywords Series by NYU Press, available for a variety of topics, e.g. Keywords for American Cultural Studies (Full books available via the UB; selected essays available on the following Website)

  • Heike Paul: The Myths That Made America: An Introduction to American Studies (Open Access)

  • Neil Campbell & Alasdair Kean: American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture. 4th ed. (or earlier versions, if the 4th edition is not availalbe)

  • Peter Barry: Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 4th ed. (or earlier versions, if the 4th edition is not available)

Moreover, remember to make use of the resources provided by the University Library, for example, the library catalogue or online archives such as JSTOR or PROJECT MUSE for browsing journal articles. Google can sometimes help you to get access to materials you have found in the databases, but it is not necessarily a good place to find relevant articles and book chapters. Here are a few links to peer-reviewed, open-access American Studies journals that you can always consult for relevant articles:

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, Chronic Illnesses, or Care-Taking Responsibilities

If you have a (learning) disability or a chronic illness that makes you elligble for disadvantage compensation (Nachteilsausgleich), please get in touch with JProf. Rauscher before you register for the exam, so the appropriate adjustments to the exam can be made.

If you have care-taking responsibilities (for children or other family members) that may keep you from keeping the expected deadlines or from taking an exam in the form it is described here, please do not hesitate to approach JProf. Rauscher about possible adjustments to the examination procedure. I firmly believe that students have to take responsibility for their studies, but if accommodations can be made to remove hurdles, we will gladly provide them.


Final Theses

Please get in contact with potential thesis advisors early, ideally during the semester and well before you want to write and hand in your thesis.

Available thesis advisors (B.A. and M.A. theses) at the Department of English I (ES I):

  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Antor (Postcolonial Literature, British Literature)

  • Prof. Dr. Hanjo Berressem (North American Literature and Culture; available only until September 2023)

  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Gruß (British Literature and Culture)

  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Gutenberg (British and American Literature and Culture)

  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Rauscher (North American literature and culture)

If you want to write your final thesis with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Rauscher, send her an email that includes the following information:

  • your full name and student ID

  • the topic(s) you are interested in

  • the authors/ artists and/or the primary works you would like to write about

  • when you want to start writing your thesis and when you want to hand it in

You can find a list of final theses (B.A. and M.A.) that other students have written with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Rauscher here.

If you are unsure about whether your chosen topic is suitable, or if you want additional feedback on a topic before proposing it, consider discussing your ideas and questions with one of the following instructors -- before booking a slot in Prof. Rauscher's office hours:

  • Dr. Mahshid Mayar (M.A. theses, B.A. theses)

  • Kathrin Lachenmaier, M.A. (B.A. theses)

You can reach Dr. Mahshid Mayar and Kathrin Lachenmaier via email or book slots in their respective office hours.

Module Exams

Available Instructors

There are a number of instructors who administer module exams focused on North American literature and culture at the department of English I. Generally speaking, instructors who teach courses focused on North American literature and culture are available for module exams focusing on North American literature and culture. There are some exceptions for associate instructors (Lehrbeauftragte) and certain types of module exams (such as Selbständige Studien). If in doubt, please contact the instructors you have taken courses with to ask whether they are available for the specific type of module exam you would like to take.

Important Deadlines

Please note that you are not required to take your module exam immediately in the semester in which you are taking the course that you want to base your oral exam topics/ paper topic on. Generally, you have up to 3 semesters to register for your module exam on a topic related to a course you have taken. However, different rules may apply, if instructors are associated instructors (Lehrbeauftragte), or if their contracts are ending, so if you plan to push back your oral exam or paper one or two semesters, make sure to discuss your plans with your instructor to ensure that they will still be available.

Do NOT register for the examination on KLIPS until the semester you are actually planning to turn in your work or take the oral exam. By registering on KLIPS (and not de-registering on time) you set a deadline that you must meet.

Here are some important deadlines for exam registrations at the department of English I (ES I):

  • Start of registration: 12 weeks before the KLIPS examination date or the official paper/ portfolio deadline

  • End of registration: 6 weeks before the KLIPS examination date or the official paper/ portfolio deadline

  • Start of de-registration: 12 weeks before the KLIPS examination date or the official paper/ portfolio deadline

  • End of de-registration: 2 weeks before the KLIPS examination date or the official paper/ portfolio deadline

  • After the de-registration deadline, you need a medical certificate (Attest) to step back from an exam

Please note that the NAS de-/registration deadlines can differ from the ones listed above because most of the NAS modules are administered by the Institute of History.

Please also note that the KLIPS examination date for oral exams is only a stand-in that we need for technical purposes. It determines the registration and de-registration deadlines, but it does not determine the actual date of your oral exam, which is determined by your instructor, either via the scheduler or some other means. The due dates for the list of primary sources (Leselisten) and thesis statements (Thesenpapiere) you have to submit in preparation for regular oral exams are determined by your actual exam date (not the KLIPS examination date). The official paper and portfolio deadlines at the ES I are March 15 for the winter term and September 15 for the summer term.

Check out this handout for further information on module exams.

Examinations with Compensation for Disadvantages (NTA)

Students with a disability or with a chronic or mental illness can apply for disadvantage compensation (Nachteilsausgleich, NTA) at the responsible examination office upon presentation of a medical certificate.

Once the applicaiton is approved, the examination office provides NTA documents that define measures to be taken by instructors in courses or examinations in order to compensate for the students' disadvantages.

NTA documents commonly allow for a certain flexibility in measures and a range of options for compensations, which is why measures for compensation will have to be adapted individually depending on the degree of impairment, the content of the course, and the type of examination.

In order to organize disadvantage compensation for individual students consistently and reliably, the English Seminar I has deviced the following process:

  1. Students send a PDF version of the NTA document together with the filled-out form "Notification of an exam with disadvantage compensation" via email to the following address: beratung-es1[at] The Deadline for the submission of NTA documents is December 1 for the winter semester and June 1 for the summer semester.
  2. Upon receiving the documents, the ESI management office will contact the respective examiner(s) to discuss the concrete measures of compensation for the selected exam.
  3. The examiner then informs the examinee about the proposed compensation measures.

Please find additional information and all forms on the website "Procedure for module examinations with compensation for disadvantages (NTA)" (

English Assessments for Courses of Study Abroad

Language Tests and Certificates:

1. Students enrolled in language practice courses at the English Seminar I:
The English seminar I (ESI) only issues language certificates to students who are currently enrolled in a language practice course. If you are currently enrolled in a language practice course and need a language certificate, please contact the instructor of the course to arrange for an appointment/ assessment. Practical language courses can only be attended by students of the ESI.

2. Students who are not enrolled in language practice courses at the English Seminar I:
Students who are not currently enrolled in language practice courses at the ESI can receive a DAAD English language certificate by taking part in a placement test at the language laboratory of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Please note that registrations for placement tests should be booked at least two months before the desired test date. More information about the placement tests can be found on the language laboratory's website:

There are also options to take placement tests at the English Institute, Gertrudenstraße 24-28 (near Neumarkt), 50667 Cologne. Please note that fees are charged for the tests and certificates at the English Institute.


Types of Exams