“Nervous” Modernities: Performance Practices and the Neuropsychological Condition of the Modern

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
"Nervous" Modernities
Spring 2024
Taught By: Margaret Araneo
Section: A

CRN: 14751

Credits: 4

This course interrogates the intersection of performance and neurological impairment in modernist culture of the long fin de siècle. Neurology as a western medical specialty emerged in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It coalesced inside European and North American cultural landscapes vibrating with change. With its focus on the brain and nervous system, neurology offered a vocabulary for engaging an array of impairments both physical and psychological. The gestures of the hysterics, epileptics, neurasthenics, and other “nervous” bodies performed in hospital wards and medical lecture halls in the late nineteenth century soon found expression in the theatres, cabarets, dance halls, and opera houses of modern metropolises. In such cities as Paris, Munich, London, and New York, to be modern was to be nervous. In this course, we will examine the nervous language of the modern, considering how it coalesced and circulated through a variety of performance practices. Course materials will include an array of primary and secondary sources focused on the history of performance. These texts will be examined alongside contemporaneous medical, social scientific, and popular discourse relating to pathologies of the brain and nervous system.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (ART)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 6:14am EDT 6/17/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 509
Date Range: 1/22/2024 - 5/13/2024