Sex, Sciences and the Arts (MLG3040)

15 credits

A new language to express possibilities of gender and sexuality emerged at the turn of the twentieth century in the German-speaking world, from Sigmund Freud’s ‘original bisexuality’ in Vienna to Magnus Hirschfeld’s ‘third sex’ in Berlin. This module allows you to explore this emergence of modern concepts of sex, gender and sexuality in the German-speaking world in the period from the 1890s to the 1930s. You will learn how a variety of sexualities, including homosexuality, lesbianism and heterosexuality, and gender expressions, including transgender and non-binary identities, were emerging at the crossroad between modern sexual sciences and literature, film, photography and visual culture. In doing so, you will examine how sciences and the arts came together to form knowledge about sexual and gender identity and diversity, sexual health and sexual rights, topics that are still relevant today. 

While there are no pre-requisites for this module, previous experience of literary or visual analysis and essay writing are very helpful.