- How did the art and visual culture of the Third Reich achieve a Gesamtkunstwerk?
- How did Nazi-era cultural policies instrumentalize art?
- In what ways do Nazi critiques of modern art as “degenerate” rely on racial typologies and prejudice, as well as idealistic or utopian visions of a perfected Aryan race?
- What connections can be—carefully—made between some of the ideas of “spirit” or cultural renewal that we have discussed in terms of Romanticism and Expressionism?
- Is it possible to divorce form from content? What about in politically volatile circumstances? In other words, can a Nazi-era cultural artifact be interpreted purely for its aesthetics? Why or why not?
- What task did German artists in exile face with regard to saving art and culture from Hitler’s destructive vision? How did that anxiety surface in artworks, films, and intellectual thought produced by Germans in exile?
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25% of final grade; due on the first day of Unit Four at the beginning of class
- Session 7A: The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany: Premises
- Session 7B: Third Reich Totalities: Film
- Film screening: Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl, 1934, 120’
- Session 8A: “Beauty without Sensuality”: Nazi Aesthetics
- Session 8B: Utopia and Eternity
- Session 9A: “Degenerate” Art
- Session 9B: Artists in Exile