Skip to main content


Decadence and the Birth of Modernism (TRU3038)

30 credits

This module will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to decadence and early modernism. Beginning with the French Decadence of the Second Empire and moving through into British Aestheticism, classic writers of the fin de siècle (such as Pater and Wilde) before finishing with the emergence of Modernism in Britain and America, this subject will introduce students to a range of canonical and forgotten texts, and films. Students should expect to cover such issues as Hellenism; Decadent reconceptions of time and ‘the moment’, and how this influenced the Bloomsbury group; parodies and rejections of Decadence; Decadent conceptions of landscape; the flaneur; Decadent Gothic; Decadence in America; Decadence in the little magazines; The New Woman; Aestheticist interior design and collecting; deviant sexualities; stylistic exemplifications of Decadence; Decadence on film.