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HA230 POLITICS OR SPECTACLE?: GERMAN VISUAL CULTURE 1890-1940

HA230 POLITICS OR SPECTACLE: GERMAN VISUAL CULTURE, 1890-1940

with Charlotte Klonk

German Visual Culture in the early twentieth century has been variously described as postmodernity avant la lettre, a surface culture without depth, or as a culture marked by political struggle on a scale unknown before or after. You will be looking at a broad range of visual media, from painting to film, design to advertisements, and investigate the purposes these fulfilled. The aim of the course is to introduce you to the ambiguous ways visual media have been employed within a culture (as politics or as spectacle?). The lectures will give you an overview of the period according to themes. The seminars will cover paintings, drawings and prints (for example, by Kirchner, Kollwitz and H?ch), films (for example, ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ and ‘Metropolis’), Bauhaus design, the so-called “new photography”, avant-garde theatre and Nazi architecture.

Assessment Method: 1 x 4,000-word essay (50%)

1 x 2-hour paper, usually a photograph paper (50%)

PRELIMINARY READING

- Shearer West, The Visual Arts in Germany, 1871-1937 (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2001).

- Anton Kaes, Martin Jay and Edward Dimendberg (eds), The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1994).

- Robin Lenman, Artists and Society in Germany, 1850-1914 (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1997).

- Beth Irwin Lewis, Art for All?: The Collision of Modern Art and the Public in Late-Nineteenth-Century Germany (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003).

- Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1947 and new ed.).

- Janet Ward, Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2001).


Full Bibliography

Lecture and Seminar List and Timetable