- 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?
- In what ways, and to what end, did US institutions (including museums, fairs, and the mass media) advance a depoliticized interpretation of German art?
Comments on Guiding Questions are due by Tuesday, August 23 at 5PM. Make your comments at the bottom of THIS page. (Click here for more instructions.)
25% of final grade; due Thursday, August 25 at the beginning of class
Aside from the sections in Long and the book by Michaud, all readings, including optional texts, are available for download on each session page.
- Tuesday, August 16
- 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’
- Thursday, August 18