"BA Manual: Formal Requirements of a BA Thesis" (Michaela Koch)
A short input lecture on the technicalities of writing a BA thesis. What are the formal requirements? How do I find a supervisor? Where can I get support?
"A 'Mythology for England' or the 'Gospel of Tolkien'?: A Comparative Analysis of Christian and Mythological Readings of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” (Gesa Claußen)
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings became a milestone in fantasy literature due to its idealistic potential. Its complexity and the multilayered story stirred a lot of interpretations and assumptions about an inner meaning or intention. One question could not be finally answered: Is The Lord of the Rings Christian or pagan? Scholars defending the Christian approach discuss different manifestations of the Trinity in The Lord of the Rings and point out subtly hidden Christian elements such as the motif of grace, mercy, forgiveness, glimpses of an afterlife and purpose. Scholars defending the mythological approach argue that parts of the storyline are based on pre-Christian myths and Norse mythology, especially epics like Beowulf, the Finnish Kalevala and collections of Icelandic sagas in the two Eddas. They point out that Middle-earth is a pre-Christian world containing mythical species and magical powers. While the arguments used to support the Christian reading sometimes seem rather speculative and far-fetched, the arguments in favour of a mythological reading tend to ignore the possibility of different interpretations. In my Bachelor thesis, I show how Christianity on the one hand and Norse mythology on the other hand influenced The Lord of the Rings. I focus mainly on secondary sources while examining their strategies. Furthermore, I analyse the fictional character Samwise Gamgee with regard to Christian and mythological influences. Based on my findings I advance a proposal how to combine the Christian and the mythological readings which I term “Christianised Mythology.”
"Anglicisms in German and Dutch Print Media: A Comparative Analysis Based on a Corpus of National Newspapers" (Mara Dijkgraaf/Vanessa Warneke)
This research aims at investigating the use of Anglicisms in Dutch and German in order to have a closer look at the influence of the English language on the two respective languages. The comparative analysis is based on a corpus of articles from national newspapers in Dutch (De Telegraaf, De Volkskrant & NRC Handelsblad) and German (Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung & Süddeutsche Zeitung) as they cover many different topics and are considered to be a safe marker for language change. From each newspaper five articles were selected for the respective sections sports, domestic politics, foreign politics, culture and internet. Every article was read through manually, word-counted and only direct borrowings from the English language were counted as Anglicisms. Pseudo-Anglicisms as well as Hybrid-Anglicisms were regarded separately. The ratio of Anglicisms was calculated per language, section and newspaper. Moreover, the Anglicisms were classified according to word-class and gender. As expected the analysis has shown that more Anglicisms were used in the Dutch corpus than in the German one. Outstanding was the difference of frequency per section, with German having the highest rates of Anglicisms in the culture and internet sections while in Dutch a high percentage of Anglicisms was found in the sports section. This study helped to show the difference in use of Anglicisms in Dutch and German, however, more studies –ideally based on tabloids, social media or TV shows- should be encouraged to broaden the scope.