Giacomo Casanova and the Birth of the Modern Individual

Author and adventurer Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) is one of the most colourful and noteworthy characters of the late 18th century. But more, he is a symbol of the era that precipitated the downfall of the old European order and that gave rise to our modern Western world.

His memoirs, Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), chronicle the emergence of modern conceptions of love, society and individuality. Explore these aspects of Casanova’s legacy, and draw connections to contemporary discourses on race, gender and identity.

FLORIAN GASSNER, PhD is a Fellow of the New Europe College in Bucharest, Romania, and he has represented the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at the Donetsk National University, Ukraine. He specializes in the cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in Russian-European relations, and he is an expert on German literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. He currently teaches in UBC’s Department of Central, Eastern and Northern Studies.

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