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Existentialism (PHI 105 & ENG 101, or PHI 232 & ENG 102) with Professors John Garcia and Kurt Hemmer: Home

Research Guide on Existentialism (courses: PHI 105, ENG 101, & PHI 232, ENG 102) with Professors John Garcia and Kurt Hemmer.

Your Instructor


Kurt Hemmer

Welcome to English 101! Our class will cover the existentialist movement. We will be reading authors such as Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Viktor Frankl. This is a Library guide to assist you with your research.

Existenial Literature

"Existentialism is a philosophical approach that rejects the idea that the universe offers any clues about how humanity should live.  A simplified understanding of this thought system can be found in Jean-Paul Sartre’s often-repeated dictum, 'Existence precedes essence.'  What this means is that the identity of any one person—their essence—cannot be found by examining what other people are like, but only in what that particular person has done.  Because no one can claim that his or her actions are 'caused' by anyone else, existentialism literature focuses on freedom and responsibility." ("Existentialism." David Galens, Ed. Literary Movements for Students. Vol 2. Detroit: Gale. 2002. 50.)

"1st December 1969: French writer and existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre pauses for thought during a speech in Paris on Vietnam War crimes. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Express/Getty Images)" Image Date: 12/1/1969. Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.

"1952: French writer Albert Camus (1913 - 1960), who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957 and died in a car crash. Original Publication: Picture Post - 6297 - Camus: The Post-Existentialist - unpub. (Photo by Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Getty Images)" Image Date: 1/1/1952."  Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.

"French existentialist writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" Image Date: 02/11/1947." Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.