In this course, we will consider a number of seminal developments in modern philosophy, psychology, and literature, which provide the backdrop for the emergence of the contemporary period as an “age of anxiety” and of modern man as “homo anxius” (Agata Bieliek-Robson). In this context, the disciplinary boundaries – philosophy, psychology, literature – are necessarily porous (and the contamination of each by the others has itself been a source of considerable anxiety), but we will nevertheless distinguish between three distinct lines of thought and imagery. The philosophical genealogy of anxiety runs from Schelling and Kierkegaard to Nietzsche and Heidegger, and it coincides with the momentous shift from “I think” to “I am” as the true ‘subject’ of philosophy. The second “psychological” path of thought – including Freud, Otto Rank and Melanie Klein – will again challenge the autonomy of the rational subject, but whereas the philosophers sought to foreground the “I am” of existence, these theorists appeal instead to the newly discovered realm of the unconscious. Finally, in the third section of the course, we turn from philosophy and psychology to literature, and more specifically, to the distinctive form of anxiety that Harold Bloom has described as the “anxiety of influence”. After tracing Bloom’s argument in the works of a number of strong poets, we will see that his insight into poetic anxiety carries implications that go well beyond literary relations and promises to cast light on the distinctive anxieties of 21st Century life.