Twilight of Modernity: Art and Culture in the Weimar Republic|
COL 276, GELT 275|
This course investigates the cultural and artistic productions of the now legendary Weimar Republic (1918 - 1933), Germany's first, and ultimately unsuccessful, experience with democracy, imposed by the victors in the First World War, rife with political turmoil, afflicted with the shock of hyperinflation, and destroyed by the rise of Nazism. Cultural life during this period - that had its magnetic center in the young and chaotic metropolis of Berlin - resembled a dynamic (and explosive) laboratory of modernity that is best studied by looking at both high and low culture, including literature, journalism, music, cultural theory, and the visual arts. Through the comparison of a variety of documents, we will examine the differing and often conflicting incarnations of modernity characteristic of this period. For example, we will look at how the artistic technique of montage migrated from Dada and the cinema to the novel (Alfred Döblin's BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ) and other kinds of avant-garde writings (Walter Benjamin's ONE-WAY STREET). Other possible topics include the rapid development of new media technologies and the concomitant revolutionary changes in perception; "new objectivity" and the culture of distance; the assertion of a previously taboo range of gender identities; the emergence of proletarian mass culture and its theory; the Frankfurt School and the critique of modernity.
Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Intercultural Literacy: Students will be introduced to a variety of materials representing a foreign culture.
Interpretation: Students will learn how to create meaning and make sense of verbal and non-verbal material.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Kaes, Jay, Dimendberg (ed.), THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC SOURCEBOOK
Peter Gay, WEIMAR CULTURE; THE OUTSIDER AS INSIDER
Joseph Roth, WHAT I SAW: REPORTS FROM BERLIN 1920-1933
Walter Benjamin, ONE-WAY STREET
Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill, THE THREEPENNY OPERA; BERLIN REQUIEM
Brecht, ON FILM AND RADIO
Alfred Döblin, BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ: THE STORY OF FRANZ BIBERKOPF
Christopher Isherwood: BERLIN STORIES
Irmgard Keun, THE ARTIFICIAL SILK GIRL
Siegfried Kracauer, FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER
Theoretical writings by Ernst Bloch, Theodor W. Adorno, Erwin Piscator, Carl Schmitt, Ernst Jünger
Walter Ruttmann, BERLIN: SYMPHONY OF THE METROPOLIS
Sternberg, THE BLUE ANGEL
Pabst, THE THREEPENNY OPERA; PANDORA'S BOX
Fritz Lang, METROPOLIS; DR. MABUSE THE GAMBLER
Robert Wiene, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short papers (4-5 pages), two take-home exams (midterm and final).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and participation expected. Students who know German are encouraged to do some of the readings in the original.
|Instructor(s): Plass,Ulrich Times: ..T.R.. 02:40PM-04:00PM; Location: FISK414; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 30||SR major: 4||JR major: 4|| || |
|Seats Available: 10||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 5||JR non-major: 5||SO: 6||FR: 6|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|