Germany in the Jazz Age: 1918-1930

The new, democratic, Weimar Republic of Germany after World War I was the centre of avant culture in the west. The Jazz Age brought new expressionist art, literature and film. Germany also led the way in architecture, interior design, drama and music. It was a world of excitement with provocative art and cabaret that explored new political as well as new cultural movements. A world that lasted but briefly because of hostility on the part of a number of segments of German society, and of the advent of the Depression.


Note: This course uses a multi-media approach, with slides, film, and music. It is the first of a 3-part series that examines Germany from 1918 to 1947.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Peter Gay, Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider
  • Thomas Elsaesser, Weimar Cinema and After: Germany’s Historical Imaginary
  • Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick, eds., Weimar Thought: A Contested Legacy


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The effects of World War I and the new Weimar Republic in the visual arts
  • The Arts, cultural ferment and politics
  • Political and economic crisis in the new Republic and stabilisation, 1920-24
  • Architecture and the decorative arts: Bauhaus
  • Drama and opera become experimental
  • The new art: film and Germany’s central role in its development
  • The expansion of popular culture: advertising, film, magazines
  • Literature as experiment and as social and political voice
  • Popular culture in jazz, cabaret and politics
  • Hostility to the new democratic Republic: its bases and its effects.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Experiencing slides, film and music, as well as information about the arts and cultural creations of Germany in the 1920s.
  2. Analysing opposition to the new State and the strength of rightwing politics in the 20s.
  3. Studying literature, and also writings by artists and architects concerning their works.
  4. Analysing the arts and cultural creations in terms of their radical artistic principles.
  5. Exploring the new roles for women, and the idea of "the outsider as insider."
  6. Considering popular culture and its effects, such as film, radio, advertising and cabaret.
  7. Examining the relationship of the arts to cultural and historical studies.
  8. Analysing the bases of rightwing success beginning in 1929.
$232 Limited / $209

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31 Jan

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