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School of History

HST5411 – A Short Intellectual History of Love

Module code: HST5411

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Dr Robin Mills

This course offers a short sojourn through various significant philosophical and literary contributions to the intellectual history of love. Offering a disparate ‘world history’ of the topic, the course covers Greco-Roman, ancient Hindu, early Christian, Medieval Islamic, Buddhist, Confucian, and European Enlightenment-era texts through to the beginnings of twentieth-century feminist, psychological, biological and social constructivist accounts of love. Weekly lectures will set up the historical context of each theorist and intellectual tradition, leading to seminars focused primarily on analysing specific texts. Works will include Plato's Symposium, Vātsyāyana's Kama Sutra, Ibn Hazm's Ring of the Dove, Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Schopenhauer's The Metaphysics of Sexual Love and Beauvoir's The Second Sex.

Assessment: Source Analysis (1,000 words) [25%] and Essay (3,000 words) [75%]
Level: 5