Zeitgeist Literature

Subject associations
FRE 545 / HUM 545
Fall 2023
Christy N. Wampole
Registrar description

This course explores the Enlightenment concept of Zeitgeist, or spirit of the age, which emerged in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries, spreading widely in Europe and resonating still today. With a focus on mainly French sources, the course will explore questions such as: What is the nature of this spirit (or ghost) that haunts an age? How does the popular understanding of the term differ from its original meaning? When does a particular Zeitgeist begin and end? How can literature (fiction, poetry, theater, non-fiction) and other cultural artifacts (journalistic writing, visual culture, objects) capture it?