Twilight of Modernity: Art and Culture in the Weimar Republic
Spring 2012 not offered
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; and the Frankfurt School and the critique of modernity.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Student Option
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)