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Exile Modernism: German Kultur, American Culture
GRST 297
Spring 2009
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 302, AMST 303

With the failure of the Weimar Republic and Hitler's rise to power in 1933, many of Germany's most significant and prolific artists and intellectuals were forced to flee the country. The United States welcomed a good number of these refugees, and Los Angeles, the center of the film industry, became the most attractive location for German and Austrian emigrants. While of course not all exiles aspired to work in Hollywood, the L.A. area housed a uniquely fertile mix of creative talents working in film, music, literature, and philosophy. In this course, we will study the productive tensions that ensued from the confrontations between German and European practices of modernist art and "high" culture on the one hand, and more democratic, egalitarian ideas and habits of cultural life in the United States on the other, asking in particular how the encounter with commercial popular culture and with American democracy (but also with McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist) was reflected in the various "modernist" works that the exiles produced during their time in L.A. Artists and intellectuals studied in this course include the writers Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, and Alfred Döblin; the composers Hanns Eisler and Arnold Schönberg; the directors Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Robert Siodmak; and the philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Intercultural Literacy: Students will study a variety of materials representing the encounter between different cultures.
Interpretation: Students will learn how to make sense of verbal and non-verbal material.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-23-2024
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