Gender Studies | Graduate Topics in Gender Studies: Representation of Gender & Sexuality in Modern European Culture
G701 | 24337 | Breger, C


European modernity has been deeply shaped by its notions of “sex.”
Throughout the nineteenth, twentieth and now twenty-first centuries,
representations of gender and sexuality served not only to establish
social order, but have also played a crucial role in imagining both
individual and collective identities. Looking at the interplay
between gender, sexuality, race and religion, this course serves as
an introduction to the ways in which cultural identities are
constructed – and contested – through representations of gender and
sexuality. The course draws on a wide range of media (literature,
art, film, political and scientific writings etc.) and covers
different historical moments. Geographically, the emphasis is on
Germany, within the larger frames of Europe and globalization. The
introductory course sequence thematizes how in the decades around
1800, the foundations of modern European gender orders were
established. Afterwards we discuss how in another crucial cultural
moment around 1900, the category of sexuality, in its interplay with
gender, assumes a central position for the articulation of cultural
identity. In the second part of the class, we pursue the development
of the concepts, themes and fantasies then established until today,
asking for the impact of political and social change, including the
rise of fascism, post-war democratization processes, feminist and
sexual liberation movements.  Lectures and discussions are in
English; all readings and materials are available in English or with
English subtitles. According to departmental policy, however,
students of Germanic Studies are encouraged to read primary
materials in German.  In the second half of the semester, there will
also be a regular film showing on Tuesdays from 7:15pm-9:15pm.