Cultural Literacy: The Hapsburgs

Moving right along, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Hapsburgs.

Incidentally, if you are interested in turning this into high-interest material, you might note for students the infamous “Habsburg Jaw” (the dynasty’s name, I discover in researching this post, is spelled with both a p and a b), a visual metaphor for the inbreeding that occurred in this family. In fact, this family’s incestuous relationships are so well known that even the brilliant hit comedy series “30 Rock” wrote them into an episode starring, as Gerhardt Hapsburg, the great Paul Reubens (a.k.a. “Peewee Herman“).

I’ve never announced this fact about the Hapsburgs and have this material fall flat. Once students get beyond the obvious gross-out dimension of this story, there is a lot of room for a discussion of both literal and figurative incest in ruling-class families and how this affects sovereignty and power in nation-states.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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