GERMAN 304 - Studies in German Culture
Fall 2022, Section 002 - Art and Politics: Joseph Beuys
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Other Course Info:
Taught in English.
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, but he was also an important social activist, ecologist, and political theorist. After an early neo-Dadaist phase, Beuys ‘resigned from art’ as the creation of elite objects and developed instead a unique kind of politically and spiritually charged performance art that he called “social sculpture.”

Some of his most famous “actions” were shamanistic rituals evoking the lost nature-wisdom of the coyote, the hare, and other ‘animal helpers’; others, such as the planting of 7,000 oaks and basalt plinths in Kassel, Germany, were more overtly ecological. Beuys’s utopian politics led him to create a political party for students, then an alternative university; eventually, he became one of the co-founders of the German Green Party. He sought to heal the great wound of the Cold War by seeking a political ‘third way’ in concepts similar to those pursued by theorists of the Prague Spring.

Inspired by Schiller and Steiner, Beuys believed deeply in the power of art to develop human potential, and he adopted Novalis’ claim that “Everyone is an artist” as his own motto. This course will provide an introduction to these many aspects of his life and work, with special attention to their place within the larger contexts of German politics and intellectual history.

Class Format:

As a Distance course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning.

Learning Mode: This course will be asynchronous and will use canvas for all asynchronous online components.

Course Testing/Assessment: asynchronous


GERMAN 304 - Studies in German Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Th 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: This class will meet on the following Thursdays: 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13. (Drop/Add Deadline: 09/12/22)
002 (SEM)
Note: This class will meet on the following Tuesdays: 10/25, 11/01, 11/08, 11/15, 11/22, 11/29, 12/6. (Drop/Add Deadline: 11/07/22)
003 (SEM)
Note: This class will meet on the following Tuesdays: 8/30, 9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11. (Drop/Add Deadline: 09/12/22)
004 (SEM)
Note: This class will meet on the following Thursdays: 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13. (Drop/Add Deadline: 09/12/22)

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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