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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Transkulturelle Landeskunde? Neuere Konzepte zum Fach Landeskunde in Deutsch als Fremdsprache
Transcultural Landeskunde? New concepts in the subject Landeskunde in German as a Foreign Language
Based on a lecture at a workshop at Stellenbosch University in September 2007, the article discusses various concepts of Landeskunde in German as a Foreign Language. It focusses on Landeskunde as Kulturwissenschaft and argues in favour of a dynamic and open concept of culture. A 'national culture' can not be described as a totality, and to claim 'cultural standards' as empirical entities is also problematic. Rather, as it is argued with Claus Altmayer's concept of Culture as Hypertext (2004), patterns of cultural knowledge can only be indirectly traced in a dialogical process of production and reception of texts. Consequently, Landeskunde should not aim to achieve a compilation of cognitive knowledge about 'a culture', but aim to engage in a dynamic exploration of differing and converging cultural interpretations, thus allowing different degrees of closeness and distance and transgressing the rift between the 'self' and the 'other' in a transnational Landeskunde.
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