Visual Culture in Twentieth-Century Germany

Visual Culture in Twentieth-Century Germany

Text as Spectacle
Edited by Gail Finney
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/20/2006
Format: Paperback 22 b&w photos, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21833-9
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If the 21st century is the digital age, the 20th century can be characterized as the visual age—the era in which visual activity achieved unprecedented prominence. As this volume richly demonstrates, the visual mode was nowhere more dynamic and powerful during the 1900s than in Germany.

Visual Culture in Twentieth-Century Germany explores a wide spectrum of visual media in 20th-century Germany in their critical and social contexts. Contributors examine film, photography, cabaret performance, advertising, architecture, painting, dance, television, and cartography, investigating the ways in which these visual media were inflected by aesthetic innovation, changing attitudes toward gender and sexuality, and the political upheavals of the day. This volume sheds new light on German cultural history during the 1900s and represents a major contribution to the field of visual culture studies.

Author Bio

Gail Finney is Professor of Comparative Literature and German at the University of California, Davis. Her publications include The Counterfeit Idyll: The Garden Ideal and Social Reality in Nineteenth-Century Fiction; Women in Modern Drama: Freud, Feminism, and European Theater at the Turn of the Century; Look Who’s Laughing: Gender and Comedy (ed.); and Christa Wolf.


“Visual Culture in Twentieth-Century Germany sheds new light on German cultural history during the 1900s and represents a major contribution to the field of visual culture studies.”

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Table of Contents

Gail Finney, University of California, Davis. "Introduction"
Part I. Questions of Methodology and Aesthetics
Ch. 1. Questions of Methodology in Visual Studies, Nora M. Alter
Ch. 2. The Interarts Experiment in Early German Film, Ingeborg Hoesterey
Ch. 3. From Dance to Film: The Cinematic Art of Leni Riefenstahl and Dorothy Arzner, Dagmar von Hoff
Ch. 4. The Photographic Comportment of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Blake Stimson
Ch. 5. Ready, Set, Made! Joseph Beuys and the Critique of Silence, Jan Mieszkowski
Ch. 6. Las Vegas on the Spree: The Americanization of the New Berlin, Janet Ward

Part II. Gender And Sexuality
Ch. 7. Magnus Hirschfeld and the Photographic (Re)Invention of the 'Third Sex,' David James Prickett
Ch. 8. (Un)Fashioning Identities: Ernst Lubitsch's Early Comedies of Mistaken Identity, Valerie Weinstein
Ch. 9. Cigarettes, Advertising, and the Weimar Republic's Modern Woman, Barbara Kosta
Ch. 10. Brecht, Fassbinder, and Queer Montage, Patrick Greaney
Ch. 11. Activism, Alterity, Alex & Ali: Writing Germany's First Gay Sitcom, Thomas J. D. Armbrecht
Ch. 12. Gender, Imperialism, and the Encounter with Islam: Ruth Beckermann's Film A Fleeting Passage to the Orient, Dagmar C. G. Lorenz

Part III. Political Dimensions
Ch. 13. Cartographic Claims: Colonial Mappings of Poland in German Territorial Revisionism, Kristin Kopp
Ch. 14. Face/Off: Hitler and Weimar Political Photography, Lutz KoepnickCh. 15. 'Send in the Clowns': Carnivalizing the Heil-Hitler Salute in German Visual Culture, Peter Arnds
Ch. 16. Visual Signaling Systems in East German Political Cabaret: The Case of Berlin's Distel, Michele Ricci
Ch. 17. Reframing Celan in the Paintings of Anselm Kiefer, Eric Kligerman