Utopia or Decadence? European Art at the Fin-de-Siècle|
The fin-de-siècle (1886-1910) has been viewed as a period of optimism and promise as well as one of pessimism and decline. Marked by realignments in the political, aesthetic, scientific, and social landscape, this period witnessed the crumbling of one world and the birth of another. Sexual identities were redefined in light of scientific definitions of homosexuality and the rise of feminism; a valuation of the unconscious led to the founding of psychology as a discipline; artists combined artistic media and the arts of music, poetry, and painting to recreate a lost totality; new forms of performance were invented that produced avant-garde theater. Political discourse was transformed by the rise of opposing doctrines of socialism and radicalism on the one hand and nationalism and racist political ideologies on the other. This course examines fin-de-siècle art in the context of larger societal and political developments. Throughout we will examine the relationship between utopia and decadence. To what degree did artists seek to build a better world, and to what degree did they contribute to decline by overindulging in the senses?
Interpretation: Readings and discussion wil give students the opportunity to engage closely with different modes of interpretation and to identify the assumptions and interests motivating specific historical practices.
Writing: Students will have to submit weekly, graded writing assignments in addition to completing a 15-20 page research paper.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARST)(CGST-MN)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Carl Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Debora Silverman, Art Nouveau in Fin-de-Siecle France
Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain
William Morris, News from Nowhere and Other Writings
Frederic Schwarz, The Werkbund: Design Theory and Mass Culture Before the First World War
Friedrich Nietzsche, selected writings
Peter Noever, ed. Yearning for Beauty:The Wiener Werkstätte and the Stoclet House
Peter Paret, The Berlin Secession
Edward Gordon Craig, The Actor and the Übermarionette
Eugen Weber, Fin-de-Siecle France
Oscar Wilde, Salome
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, selected plays
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly response papers, two oral presentations, 15-20 page research paper.
|Instructor(s): Kuenzli,Katherine M. Times: .....F. 01:10PM-04:00PM; Location: DAC300; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 19||SR major: 6||JR major: 5|| || |
|Seats Available: 8||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 4||SO: X||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
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