Course Number

GERM 230

Syllabus Date

Spring 2011

Department course is offered by

GERM - German

Course description

In this course, we will use the tools of literary and cultural analysis, studying fictional, political, psychoanalytic and scientific works to investigate the emergence of modern sexual discourses in the German-speaking world. The Greek term “homo” (same) and the Latinate “sex” (sex) were first combined to describe someone with a sexual interest in members of their own sex in 1869 in the German-speaking world. Similar observations can be made about terms such as “heterosexual,” “masochist,” and “transvestite.” There was apparently an intense interest in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German-speaking central Europe in reconfiguring and reconsidering sexuality. Out of this interest emerged sexologists such as Richard von Krafft- Ebing, whose Psychopathia Sexualis introduced a new vocabulary of sexuality to the entire world, homosexual activists such as Karl Ulrichs, who made arguments about sexual rights that are still prevalent in the gay community today, and Sigmund Freud, whose understanding of sexuality arguably structured much of twentieth-century popular culture.


psychology, Sigmund Freud, Germany, queer studies, sexuality, psychoanalysis



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.