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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

WGSS 67.02 Modern Sex: Weimar Republic Germany 1918-1933

This course explores conceptions of gender and sexuality in Weimar Republic Germany – up until today considered the “laboratory of modernity.” After a general introduction into Weimar Republic history and culture through the eyes of the American graphic novel Berlin: City of Stones, we will examine a variety of historical practices, theoretical reflections and artistic representations. We will read pioneering theoretical texts from the fields of psychoanalysis and sexology (e.g., by Magnus Hirschfeld and Wilhelm Reich) as well as literary texts (e.g., by the poet Else Lasker-Schuler). We will also analyze feature films (e.g., the silent film “Different from the Others”) and artwork (e.g., by George Grosz and Hannah Hoch) and discuss the status of the women’s and gay rights movements, and legislation concerning gender and sexuality. The class will focus on the close connections between political and cultural movements and also relate our readings to discussions of modernity and urbanity in general. Throughout this course we will investigate different perceptions and representations of sexuality, homosexuality, transvestitism, sexual reproduction, prostitution, marriage and love. These theoretical discussions and artistic representations still continue to impact our discussions today, e.g., in political controversies about abortion or gay marriage. All readings and discussions are in English.

Cross Listed Courses

GERM 42.15

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:CI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.