WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2011-2012       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Science and Modernism
CHEM 160
Spring 2012 not offered
Crosslisting: MB&B 160

An extraordinary set of breakthroughs in the sciences and mathematics (statistical mechanics, relativity theory, light and color, quantum mechanics, and non-Euclidean geometry) emerged in the same late 19th-, early 20th-century time frame as major new advances in the visual arts (postimpressionism, fauvism, cubism, futurism, and dynamism), as well as experimental fiction, music, and dance. Fundamental ideas at the core of modern science, particularly in the treatment of time, space, and motion, are remarkably similar to those in modernist works. This course considers the collected works as cultural artifacts and investigates critically the extent to which hypotheses about parallelisms, interconnections, cultural influences, causalities, and field effects hold up. Topics such as positivism vs. atomism, the reliance on understanding scientific color theory by modernist artists, and the more controversial but provocative similarities between relativity theory, non-Euclidean geometry, and cubism are included. The social, cultural, and political matrix within which modern science and modernism came about provides numerous chances to discuss conflicted issues in terms of what is known about the lived experience of creative individuals compared and contrasted with the more academic social, political, and cultural optic. The scientific contributions of Boltzmann, Poincaré, Chevreul, Blanc, Rood, Einstein, de Broglie, and Schrodinger are considered alongside selected works of Cézanne, van Gogh, Seurat, Picasso, Apollinaire, Jarry, Satie, Stravinsky, Joyce, and Proust.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM CHEM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUL-13-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459