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    Macalester College
   
 
  Jul 21, 2017
 
 
    
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College Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GERM 365 - Modernism and the Avant-Garde


The course will be framed by an exploration of the terms modernism, avant garde and, implicitly, postmodernism, all of which reflect differing (though sometimes overlapping) understandings of the relation between “high” art and mass culture. Similarly all are intertwined with historical, political, and economic developments, whether a world war, totalitarianism, or the influence of consumer capitalism. Proceeding from this reciprocal relationship, we will explore various aspects of the cultures of modernism and the avant-garde in the German-speaking world. Topics will include: expressionism and Kafka, Dada and surrealism, the “New Objectivity” and rise of cinema in the Weimar Republic, Brecht’s epic theater, “high” modernism of figures like Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Else Lasker Schüler, culture criticism (e.g., Theodor Adorno’s theory of modernism) and questions of canonization (the dominance of “high” culture in schools, universities, and museums). Taught in German. Alternate years. Prerequisite(s):   (4 Credits)