Extreme States: From Hysteria to Desire (TRU3047)

30 credits

Extreme States is a module about the self: more specifically, it is about the self subjected to states of extremity, a fascination for literature in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Why did writers of the era return repeatedly to hyperbolic figures like trauma, alienation and incest? And how did these experiences relate to the legacy of the serene rational cogito bequeathed by the Enlightenment? This module looks at a range of genres (poetry, essay, novel) in historical, philosophical/theoretical and formal terms to explore this reconsideration of identity and subjectivity under the rubric of the extreme.