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EN272 The Faust Project (Interdisciplinary and Creative Collaboration)

This module is not running in 2012-13.

Convenor: Dr Paul Prescott

'Everyone should write a Faust of his own...'

(Attributed to Heinrich Heine, 1797-1856)

This new module explores the Faust myth from a variety of disciplinary and creative perspectives. The story of a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for a finite period of pleasure and omniscience has inspired countless artists, writers and philosophers in the four centuries since the publication of the German Faust Book. We will study the myth as it has evolved through a rich history of adaptation (in literature, drama, music, film, and art); we will also make more lateral connections between the Faustian pact and key issues in economics, ecology, neuroscience, theology and law. A range of experts from across the University and beyond will lead the seminars on a week-by-week basis. Each session aims not only to cast new light on the Faust myth, but also to offer an introductory insight into the ways of seeing and knowing of a different discipline. The module culminates in the production of a Group Project, a public ‘performance’ which might take the form of an original adaptation (stage, film, radio), an installation, or an exhibition.

The module is open to all second-year students across the University, regardless of degree subject. It is particularly aimed at those students who enjoy working practically, collaboratively, and creatively, and who relish the challenges of interdisciplinarity.


Outline Syllabus Faust fist (manicule)left.gif

The English Faust Book (Anon), Dr Faustus (Marlowe), Faust, Parts 1 and 2 (Goethe); Faust on Film (Faust, dir. F.W. Murnau; Mephisto, dir. Szabo); Faust Music (Gounod, Liszt, Berlioz, Schnittke); History of Science (Faust in Copenhagen, Segre); the syllabus will also include excursions into Law, Theology, History of Art, Sociology, and Neuroscience.


Teaching Time: Tuesday 5-7pm, Studio, Capital Centre

Method of Assessment: 1 x 3,000 word essay (25%) - (deadline: WEEK 1, TERM 2); Group Project (25%); Individual Portfolio (50%) I.E. 100% ASSESSED

Illustrative Bibliography: 


St. Augustine, ‘Reply to Faustus the Manichean’ (ca.400)

The English Faust Book (1587)

Christopher Marlowe, Dr Faustus (ca.1589)

J.W. von Goethe, Faust, Parts 1 and 2 (1808-32)

Ivan Turgenev, Faust (1856)

Mark Ravenhill, Faust is Dead (1997)

Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (1918)

Wendell Berry, ‘Faustian Economics’, Harper’s, May 2008.

Lorna Fitzsimmons, ed. International Faust Studies: Adaptation, Reception,

Translation. (2008)


Faust (1926) Dir. F.W. Murnau.

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941). Dir. William Dieterle.

Mephisto (1981). Dir. István Szabó

Faust (2006). Devised by Punchdrunk.

La Damnation de Faust (2008). Dir Robert Lepage.


Gounod, Faust (1859); Liszt, Faust Symphony (1857); Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust (1846); Wagner, Faust Overture (1839-55); Mahler, Symphony No.8 (1907); Schnittke, Historia von D. Johann Fausten (1983-94)


  Faust Murnau