Germanic Languages | Seminar in German Literature
G825 | 6162-6163 | Sykora, K
G825 Seminar in German Literature ( 3 cr. / 4 cr.)
(1st 8 weeks course)
6163 / 3 cr.
6162 / 4 cr.
5:45P-8:15P / TR
Germany‘s comparably late industrialization, late national
unification, and late development as colonial power made the turn
of the 19th to the 20th century an important time for alternative
social and aesthetic utopias. In these movements assembled under the
notion of „Lebenreform“ tendencies merged, that wanted to improve
all aspects of human life. Being politically very differently
oriented (anarchism, communism, socialism, nationalism, religion in
all its facets were the ferment) they had in common, that neither
revolution nore stagnation were considered the answer to
industrialization and mass society but slow and longterm reform.
The course will focus on reading texts about different aspects
of „Lebensreform“, that is health reform, sexual and Eugenic reform,
land reform, alternative architecture and settlement movement ecc.,
and its central ideological influences (for example by Nietzsche).
In addition different artists and art works that were promoting
the „Lebensreform“ (first of all Fidus) or that were influenced by
it (like Kandinsky, Marc, Kirchner, Beckmann and Hodler but also
poets like Hesse and Wedekind), will be subjects of analysis.
Assignments will include one longer paper and a couple of short
essays and/or presentations in class.
Die Lebensreform. Entwürfe zur Neugestaltung von Leben und Kunst um
1900, 2 Bände, Darmstadt 2001.
Diethart Kerbs, Jürgen Reulecke (Ed.): Handbuch der deutschen
Reformbewegungen 1880-1933, Wuppertal 1998.
A course reader.