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GERM4141 - German Literature and Psychology

Value: 0.5 course units / 30 MA credits
MA module code: GERMG055
Tutor: Dr Martin Liebscher
Teaching structure:
Assessment for GERM4141: two assessed 2500 word essays (50% each).
Assessment for GERMG055: one 6000 word essay (100%).
Available to: Final Year students and MA students


Module Description:

This module examines the interaction between psychology and German literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will analyse a selection of literary texts that have either been inspired by psychological findings or have been the subject of psychological interpretations. This will not only give an insight in the psychological theories of literature, but also help to understand the formation of psychology as a science in the second half of the nineteenth century and the crucial role literature played for the development of psychoanalysis around 1900. At the same time, the module will investigate some of the ways in which psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic theories influenced the work of major writers such as Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig and Hermann Hesse.

Set texts and introductory readings:

  • Dawson, Terence: ‘Jung, literature, and literary criticism’. In: The Cambridge companion to Jung, eds. Polly Young-Eisendrath and Terence Dawson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 255-280.
  • Rowland, Susan: C.G. Jung in the Humanities. Taking the Soul’s Path (New Orleans: Spring Journal Books, 2010), pp. 47-76.
  • Vine, Steven:  Literature in Psychoanalysis. A Practical Reader (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  • Wright, Elisabeth: Psychoanalytic Criticism. A Reappraisal, second edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998).