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Wagner and Modernism

ARHA 339
Spring 2013 not offered
Crosslisting: GRST 239, GELT 239, FRST 339, COL 349, MUSC 285
Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

This course focuses on Richard Wagner and his complicated legacy to modernism in Europe from the 1860s through the 1920s, before his art was co-opted by totalitarian regimes in Europe. 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 visual artists in France, Germany, and Italy after the composer's death in 1883. Artistic movements that we will examine include symbolism, German expressionism, the German werkbund, Italian futurism, and the Bauhaus. We will also look at the influential writings on Wagner by Stéphane Mallarmé and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as post-Wagnerian theories of stage design by Adolphe Appia, Georg Fuchs, and Edward Gordon Craig in so far as these helped shape visual arts production.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on APR-24-2014
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