Program Details

By 1929 the teaming, cosmopolitan city of Berlin was teetering on the edge of an abyss. The tolerant Weimar Republic would soon be replaced by an intolerant, Nazi regime, whose hubris would led to Berlin’s brain drain and fall. Home to some of the greates
Location:
Berlin, Germany
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
Using the city of Berlin as a living museum, students will examine the German Avant-Garde’s participation in the social, technological, political and cultural transformation of Berlin, from the years directly preceding World War I up through the Nazi Campaign against ‘Degenerate Art.’ Alongside, using Berlin as a case study for understanding an era’s art in the context of its time, the students will work on various in-class exercises that are designed to provoke them into considering what makes their work (including, but limited to, journalism, historical writing, visual art, music, film, theater, etc.) a unique expression of their own age, beliefs and histories. All these activities will also help guide the students to discover and develop a personal vision, the means of communicating it and the critical ability to understand to what extent what they are doing engages (or doesn’t) with the broader context of contemporary art and life.

By 1929 the teaming, cosmopolitan city of Berlin was teetering on the edge of an abyss. The tolerant Weimar Republic would soon be replaced by an intolerant, Nazi regime, whose hubris would led to Berlin’s brain drain and fall. Home to some of the greatest intellectuals in history, the city that had come to define Modernism itself was on the verge of economic and political collapse, played out in its streets and cafes, cabarets, theaters, art works, films and novels. The candle was burning furiously on both ends; and rarely in history had it been so bright. This program uses Berlin as a living archive for students to examine the German Avant-Garde’s participation in the social, technological, political, and cultural transformations of that city, from the years directly preceding World War I up through the Nazi Campaign against "Degenerate Art."

Students from all disciplines are welcome as we sleuth our way through a once divided city to explore life in a very particular time and place. Along with visits to museums, art works, architectural haunts, literary cafés and historical monuments as case studies for understanding an era in the context of its time, the students will work on in-class exercises that are designed to provoke them into considering what makes their work a unique expression of their own age, beliefs and histories. They will read articles, watch films, listen to music. To these, they will craft their own responses in forms of their own choosing, such as – but not limited to - fictitious letters to editors, memoirs, drawings, films, music, poems, theatrical works, historical reportage. To dare to dig beneath the city’s scars, unearth its vivid past and embrace its re-unified present can shed light on the roles and stances we chose to adopt in our own fast-paced, frequently nostalgia ridden and volatile world today — an era in which not so long ago the then presidential candidate Barack Obama declared, “People of Berlin–people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.”
Setting Description:
Visits to the following sites are included as part of the program: Weimar Berlin: The Golden Twenties Tour Die Brucke Museum Neue Nationalgalerie The Heinrich Zille Museum Mies van der Rohe Haus Bauhaus Archives- Museum of Design The Typology of Terror The Berlin Gallery The Kathe Kollwitz Museum
Cost:
Cost will be posted on the program site in December

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