The Nineties



Zeit/Ort n.V.:

  • Mi 10:15-11:45, Raum C 301

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

Das Hauptseminar gehört in folgenden Studiengängen zu folgenden Modulen:
- BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A Literature (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul II)
- Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien (neu): Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature. (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul Literature)
- MA English Studies: Core Module: Literature (module 4051)
- MA English Studies: Master Module II: Literature (module 8360)
- MA Literaturstudien – intermedial und interkulturell (Anglistik als Kernfach): Modul 9 Aufbaumodul


The era between 1890 and 1900 - frequently referred to as "The Nineties" or "The English Fin de Siècle" by literary critics - is one of the most fascinating periods in literary history. It was intensely characterised by social tensions, achievements in both science and technology and provocative theories of art in general and literature in particular. Since the fin de siècle is no isolated national phenomenon, its literature has to be interpreted against the backdrop of significant international ideas, including 'naturalism', (French) 'symbolism', and 'decadence'. After studying the culture of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and William Morris's 'Arts and Crafts Movement', we will focus on significant fin de siècle texts such as Oscar Wilde's novel |The Picture of Dorian Gray| (1890), his theoretical essays "The Critic as Artist" (1891) and "The Decay of Lying" (1891), Walter Pater's "Conclusion” (|Studies in the History of the Renaissance|, 1873) and Arthur Symons's The |Symbolist Movement| (1899). We will also read and interpret the poems of Austin Dobson, Ernest Christopher Dowson and Algernon Swinburne.