"When things fall apart": Narratives of Well-Being and Self-Care in American Literature and Culture

Aus Iaawiki

Sommersemester 2019

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Course Information
Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154672 "When things fall apart": Narratives of Well-Being and Self-Care in American Literature and Culture 2 HS Mo 10:15 - 11:45 R. 0.420 Sattler
Course Description

In the capitalist market economy characterized by increasing pressure and instability, the self-care industry is booming: Apps such as Headspace or 7Mind, products related to concepts like Hygge and Ikigai, self-help guides and Zen coloring books have become part of our life. Yoga and mindfulness have found their way into companies and institutions – to help stressed employees stay calm, but also to increase productivity and place responsibility for their well-being on the workers.
This class will look at narratives of well-being and self-care and their development from the second half of the 19th century until today. How are mental and physical health defined at different points in time? What is the role of gender when talking about well-being? How do changes in the medical system and new scientific discoveries play into these discussions?
Readings in this class include a variety of genres from the self-help guide to poetry and prose to drama; a reader will be made available at the beginning of the semester. Participants will be asked to keep a reading diary.
While this class centers on self-care, please note that discussions may at times also relate to topics you might find triggering including but not limited to depression, substance abuse and self-harm.

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