GERMAN 303 - Topics in German Culture and the Arts
Winter 2017, Section 001 - Between the Wars. Art, Politics, and Gender in Germany, 1914-1939
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
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Requirements & Distribution:
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May be elected three times for credit.
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After the end of the First World War, revolutionary changes led to the formation of Germany’s first Republic in 1918. Almost instantly, an exhilarating series of artistic, societal, and gender experiments unfolded, which would characterize the period known as the “Weimar Republic" until the rise of the Nazi party in 1933: women gained the right to vote and played an active role in shaping the new republican order. The image of the New Woman emerged, challenging traditional gender distinctions. Marked by the trauma of WWI, masculinity was under pressure to change as well. The seminar engages with genres and media that capture the period’s upheavals: plays by Ernst Toller and Bertolt Brecht reenact the war's traumatic events on stage and elevate the veteran and his vulnerabilities into a literary figure. Dada art calls traditional paintings into question and revises soldiers’ portraits – among others – into satirical collages and sculptures. The political disputes these artworks provoked also resonate in photomontages (e.g. by Hannah Höch and Marianne Brandt) that interrogate the representational politics of the New Woman. Texts and films by Alfred Döblin, Brecht and Irmgard Keun will ask us to consider how unemployment, and gender crisis can be represented in film and through other media. Finally, moving into the period after 1933, we will ask: How did notions of crisis and representations of gender change when the Nazis assumed power? What do Nazi cultural politics tell us about the power of the written word and the image in constructing collective identities?

Course Requirements:

The seminar is taught in English, and grading is based on participation, in class presentations, reading responses and two paper assignments.

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Class Format:



GERMAN 303 - Topics in German Culture and the Arts
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

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