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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: German Studies

Sex and Identity in German Cultures

Academic year 2018-19

The module examines constructions of sexuality and gender in a variety of textual and visual material from the Enlightenment to the 21st Century. By the end of the module, students will be familiar with a range of key works in word and image, drawn from various epochs of German cultural history, in which questions of gender and sexuality are central. They will be able to situate these works in their historical, social and cultural context, and to analyse the means by which gender identity is constructed and subverted. They will also have aquired the necessary skills to conduct this analysis in the target language.

Texts likely to be studied include:

  • Frank Wedekind, Frühlings Erwachen (1890)
  • Robert Musil, Grigia (1923)
  • Hugo von Hoffmansthal, Elektra (1909)
  • Josef von Sternberg, Der Blaue Engel (1930)
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Emilia Galotti
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Die Verlobung in St. Domingo
  • Bettine von Arnim: Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann: Der Sandmann

Module Co-ordinator:

Dr Benjamin Schaper, A14, Elvet Riverside Ι

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment