“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

Fall 2021

Taught By: Margaret Araneo

Section: A

CRN: 11251

Credits: 4

This course will interrogate how performance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries both reflected and helped generate modernist ideologies around neuropsychological difference and normativity. An array of cultural locations during the long fin de siècle were dynamic correlative spaces where medical and social scientific discourse intersected with an array of cultural phenomena. Within a hyperstimulating modernist landscape marked by rapid changes to physical and social environments (e.g., industrialization, urbanization, mass migration), the medical discipline of neurology emerged. With it came new approaches to the human condition that relied upon the identification of neuropsychological impairment to articulate fragile, contradictory models of normativity. As these medical and social-scientific ideas spread beyond lecture halls and hospitals into the broader culture, theatre artists working in a variety of genres (drama, opera, cabaret, dance, variety entertainments, the avant-garde among others) began to explore modernity’s neuropathological tendencies. ”Hysterics,” epileptics, neurasthenics, and other “nervous” bodies could be seen on large and small stages in vibrating metropolises such as Paris, Munich, London, and New York. Course materials will include an array of modernist performance texts, artists, and theatrical events. These materials will be examined alongside contemporaneous medical, social scientific, and popular discourse relating to pathologies of the brain and nervous system. The class will meet once a week synchronously and employ asynchronous methods in place of the second weekly meeting. Small group and individual conferences will also be available to accommodate students in different time zones.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five 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: 4:33am 9/21/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 10:00am - 11:40am

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 615

Date Range: 8/30/2021 - 12/13/2021