West European Studies / Paris and Berlin in the 1920s
W405 / 4101 / Pace

Meets TR 2:30-3:45 Woodburn Hall 101

Meets with HIST B366 and WEUR W605 Section 8429

Obtain on-line authorization for above section from department

For more information on this course, please check the website at: http://www.indiana.edu/~pb20s

Between the end of the First World War and Hitler's 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 films, images, and original sources, 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 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 cultural experiments of figures such as George Grosz and Bertolt Brecht, the politicization of German culture, the final victor of Nazi art. In the third section of the course we return to Paris to see the role that the American expatriates of the 1920's played in all of this creativity, focussing 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 other smaller assignments. Students without a strong grounding in modern culture are encouraged to take the course, since they should emerge with a good understanding of some of the most important aspects of 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 first hand the vibrant books, films and images of the period.