HIST 334 Spring 2014 Sex and Psyche: A Cultural History of Fin-de-Siècle Europe

Cross Listed as WGSS334
This course will introduce students to some of the most significant and exciting social, artistic, intellectual, and political developments in fin-de- siècle Europe (1870 to 1914). "Fin-de-siècle" is a concept that denotes not only a historical period--the end of a century--but refers to a consciousness of living in a time of accelerated change and crisis. Intellectuals and artists of the decades we will be examining were preoccupied with "degeneration," loss of innocence, meaning, morality, and the inner self. They were simultaneously fascinated and horrified by technological innovation, emergent political and ideological currents, and the challenges to traditional values and identities posed by them. After a survey of political upheavals during the European fin-de- siècle, the course will focus on three metropolises consecutively: Vienna, Paris, and St. Petersburg. Through analyses of historical literature, novels, music, visual art, and the seminal texts of psychoanalysis we will explore how the self, public life, gender relations, sexuality, and aesthetics were conceived and re-imagined in each city, and bring to light the sensibilities and culture they shared.
Class Format: discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, an oral presentation, two short critical essays based on class readings, and a final research paper
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Prerequisites: none; open to first-year students with instructors permission
Enrollment Preference: determined by instructor
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 20-25
Class Number: 3722
HIST334-01(S) LEC Cultural Hist of Fin-de-Siècle Division 2: Social Studies Anna Fishzon
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM 62CtrThea&Dance Seminar Rm 167 3722
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