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Wagner and Modernism
ARHA 339
Spring 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: FRST 339, MUSC 285, COL 349, GRST 239, GELT 239

This course focuses on Richard Wagner and his complicated legacy to modernism in Europe from the 1860s through the Nazis and beyond. Wagner's work stands at the crux of debates surrounding a modernist aesthetic. Key questions raised by his work are the relationship between poetry, music, dance, and the visual arts; art and religion; art and racism; art and a mass audience; art and politics; synaesthesia; and the relationship between abstraction and figuration.

We will begin by analyzing Wagner's music and writings, and especially his idea of the GESAMTKUSNTWERK. The core of the course, however, will consist of looking at the idea that Wagner represented for artists in France, Germany, and Italy between 1860 and 1950. Artistic movements that we will examine include symbolism, German expressionism, futurism, Fascist art, and Socialist realism. We will also look at the influential writings on Wagner by Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor W. Adorno, and Clement Greenberg. Whether for or against Wagner, these writers and theorists decisively influenced artists' views of the composer.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
Interpretation: This course will draw students' attention to the diverse ways in which a single oeuvre -- the writings and music of Richard Wagner -- have been interpreted.
Writing: Students will be asked to write a substantial research paper and to present their arguments to the class for discussion.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA)(ARHA-Asian/Isla)(ARHA-Eur/Am/Afr)(ARST)(COL)(FRST)(GRST)(MUSC)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Less than 50%

Last Updated on APR-23-2014
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