History | Paris-Berlin 1920's Cultural History
B366 | 16896 | Pace

Above section carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only
Above section meets with WEUR-W 405 and 605

Between the end of the First World War and Hitlerís seizure of power
there occurred in Paris and Berlin a cultural explosion that altered
our notions of art and reality and that have shaped our way of
viewing the world ever since.  Using in-class films and images
extensively augmented by original sources on the internet, we will
explore this era, focusing on the artists and intellectuals who
produced this rich cultural heritage.  In the first part of the
course we will consider the pre-1914 experiments of French artists
such as Henri Rousseau and Eric Satie, the assault of Dadaist and
Surrealists on Western concepts of reality, and the theater of
Antonin Artaud.  Next we will move to Berlin to study the impact of
the First World War on German culture, the development of
Expressionism in painting and film, the new architecture of the
Bauhaus, the radical politicization of German culture, and the final
victory of Nazi art.  In the third section of the course we return
to Paris to see the role that the American expatriates of the 1920s
played in all of this creativity, focusing on John Dos Passos,
Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Henry Miller.

At the end of each section of the course there will be a take-home
exam, as well as several smaller assignments.  In addition to their
individual work, students will work in teams to explore images and
texts from the period.  Students without a strong grounding in
modern culture are encouraged to take the twentieth century
culture.  Those who already have some knowledge of the topic should
be able to expand and deepen their grasp of the period, and all
students will have been able to experience at first hand the vibrant
writing, films, and images of the period.