SPANG013A/SPANG028 - Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe

Value: 15 credits/30 credits
Tutor: Dr Alexander Samson
Teaching structure:
4,000 word essay (100%).

Module Description:

This module will introduce topics in the history of sexuality and analyse the emergence of subjectivity in the early modern period through a range of literary, historical and dramatic texts, as well as painting. Within a theoretical framework drawing on Lacqueur, Bahktin, Greenblatt, Foucault and Barker we will examine areas from prostitution, gender, witchcraft, exorcism, and madness to issues concerned with the representation of the self and body in love, sickness and death.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

In the first instance you should look at a selection of the material for the first two sessions on 'Theoretical Concepts in the History of Sexuality', perhaps reading extracts from Bahktin, Foucault, Laqueur or Maclean, then read Rojas' La Celestina in an edition by Severin either in Spanish or Mabbe's translation.

  • Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1993.
  • Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1990.
  • Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina, Dorothy S. Severin (ed.), Letras Hispánicas, vol. 4 (Madrid, Cátedra, 1989).
  • ‘El coloquio de los perros’ in Miguel de Cervantes, Novelas ejemplares, ed. Harry, Madrid, Cátedra, 1995, vol. 2.
  • Robert Burton, The anatomy of melancholy: a selection, ed. Kevin Jackson. Manchester, Fyfield Books, 2004.
  • Miguel de Cervantes, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha. Any decent edition.
  • Francisco de Quevedo, El Buscón, ed. Domingo Ynduráin. Madrid, Cátedra, 1996.
  • Lope de Vega, Lo fingido verdadero. Photocopies will be given out.