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Utopia or Decadence? European Art at the Fin-de-Siècle

ARHA 350
Spring 2013 not offered
Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

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?
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CGST-MN)

Last Updated on JUL-13-2024
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