The development of a new conception of the self was central in distinguishing modernity from the ages preceding it.

This class traces the history of the modern self in its cultural expressions from its beginnings in Renaissance scepticism. The developing and often diverse explorations of the self in the early modern period will be considered through an examination of the philosophic and literary texts as well as other aesthetic phenomena. To help provide a sense of what the modern self implies, continual reference will be made to its relation to social and economic developments, to a changing perception of gender and to institutional authority, particularly governmental and ecclesial.