Exile Modernism: Weimar Culture in Los Angeles, 1936-1950|
Fall 2014 not offered
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 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 Ernst Lubitsch; and the philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Thomas Mann, DOCTOR FAUSTUS; JOSEPH THE PROVIDER (excerpt); essays and letters
Alfred Döblin, KARL AND ROSA (excerpt)
Theodor W. Adorno, MINIMA MORALIA; essays and letters
Adorno and Max Horkheimer, "The Culture Industry"
Adorno and Hanns Eisler, COMPOSING FOR THE FILMS
Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht, HOLLYWOOD SONGBOOK
Brecht, THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI; JOURNALS
Fritz Lang, FURY; HANGMEN ALSO DIE
Billy Wilder, DOUBLE INDEMNITY; A FOREIGN AFFAIR
Edward Dmytryk, CROSSFIRE
Robert Siodmak, PHANTOM LADY; THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE
Arnold Schönberg, A SURVIVOR IN WARSAW
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly reading responses, three longer research papers.
|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.
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