Module Identifier ENM6120  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Other staff Professor Lyn Pykett  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   Seminar. 2 hours per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 word essay 


"Fin de siecle": The end of an epoch? The end of civilisation? The dawning of a new age? These were some of the most important questions posed by writers at the end of the last century. This option aims to introduce students to some important aspects of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century culture by exploring the ways in which these questions were formulated, and how they intersected and interacted with other anxieties of the turn-of-the-century period, in a range of texts - literary, journalistic and scientific.

1. The sense of an ending

   The "fin de siecle" and ideas of decadence and degeneration.
   Main text: Max Nordau, "Degeneration"

2. Sexual anarchy (i)

   The New Woman: an examination of the debate about the New Woman and the New Woman Fiction.   
   Main texts: Ella Hepworth Dixon, "The Story of a Modern Woman", Elaine Showalter (ed.) "The Daughters of Decadence".
   Thomas Hardy, "Jude the Obscure"

3. Sexual anarchy (ii)

   The Homosexual: the new sex psychology, the construction of the homosexual, and a crisis in masculinity.
   Main texts: Case studies from the sex psychology literature (some photocopied material provided) Oscar Wilde, "The Picture
   of Dorian Gray". Reference will also be made to some of the texts to be discussed in 4 and 5.

4. The fin de siecle subject and the birth of psychoanalysis

   Main texts: Bram Stoker, "Dracula", Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"

5. Civilisation and its discontents: Survivals and regression

   Main texts: Rider Haggard, "She", Bram Stoker, "Dracula", Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and
   Mr Hyde"

Primary Texts

In the case of novels which are available in a wide range of cheap editions I have not specified a particular edition.

H Havelock Ellis, "Man and Woman" (1894)
Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer, "Studies on Hysteria" (1895, trans. 1909) (Penguin, 1991)
Ella Hepworth Dixon, "The Story of a Modern Woman" (1894) (Merlin Press, 1990)
H Rider Haggard, "She" (1887)
Thomas Hardy, "Jude the Obscure" (1895)
Max Nordau, "Degeneration" (1892, trans. 1895) (University of Nebraska Press, 1993)
Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (1886)
Elaine Showalter (ed) "Daughters of Decadence" (Virago, 1993)
Bram Stoker, "Dracula" (1897)
Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1891)


This module is at CQFW Level 7