Germanic Languages | Colloquium
G625 | 27202 | W. Rasch/E. Comentale


G625: William Rasch
L680: Ed Comentale

A Colder Modernism: Connections in British and German Modernism

This course will track the evolution of a provocative, if often
overlooked counter-modernist tendency within early twentieth-century
thought and culture. Rather then look to traditional milieus of
Paris or New York, we will study Anglo-German crossovers and
collaborations and thus outline the origins of an equally committed,
yet more thoroughly critical modernist practice and its continued
value for contemporary critical theory. We will consider the ways in
which dissident British and German moderns pursued radical theories
of aesthetic and political form to confront not only the material
changes and attendant social structures brought on by modernization,
but also the aesthetic values and practices of their more celebrated
contemporaries. In addition to art and literary movement such as
Decadence, Primitivism, Imagism, Vorticism, Expressionism,
Surrealism, and Bauhaus, we will consider a range of issues
pertinent to modernist studies today: nationhood, gender,
translation, historicism, humanism and anti-humanism, cultural
relativism, cultural transmission, technology, mass culture, etc.

Authors will include Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, T.E.
Hulme, H.D., Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, D.H. Lawrence, Georg Trakl,
Gottfried Benn, Robert Musil, Bertolt Brecht, Mina Loy, Carl
Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Georges Sorel, Lou
Andreas- Salomé.

Students will be required to complete either two conference-length
papers (10-12 pages each) or one longer seminar paper (20-25 pages).

The course will be co-taught by Professors Ed Comentale (English)
and William Rasch (Germanic Studies)