Representations of the Other
This course examines the art made in Germany between 1918 and 1939, a period of extraordinary political, social, and economic upheaval. From the ignominious defeat in World War I in 1918 and the subsequent establishment of a moderate socialist republic as Germany's government, through the inflation years of 1919 to 1923 and the so-called "golden years" of relative social and economic stability of 1925-1929, to the depression of 1929 and the rise of the Nazis, the country and its people were repeatedly submitted to a wide variety of stresses and strains. We will be examining in this class the extraordinary visual culture of this period - from paintings, prints and drawings, to architecture, design, photography, film, and mass media - and how it inflected contemporary discourse on such issues as mass culture, urbanization, technology, politics, the body, Americanism, and sexuality. Our text will be a custom-made class reader of essays written from a wide variety of methodological perspectives, which students will be expected to address in two take-home exams. Students can also anticipate regular in-class quizzes and reader/viewer response essays.