History 197:00
Winter 2002
Professor Lindner

Vienna, Berlin, and Paris, 1890-1930

My parents were born in Central Europe before the invention of the airplane, and they lived long enough to see pictures broadcast from Mars. The world into which they were born was a world without electricity and electronics, a world we would not recognize today with our eyes (there was no smog), our ears (there were no cars), or our nose (there were a lot of horses). Nevertheless we are their heirs, owing an enormous amount to the accomplishments of that generation of men and women who matured in the wake of World War I. There is hardly a field whose present direction was not determined at that time. This seminar is an exploration of the culture of that revolutionary age in three great European cities. Centering our attention on Vienna, we shall discuss some of the most influential developments of those years, weaving in the practically equal achievements of Berlin and Paris. Art, cinema, and music are important elements in this seminar, and we shall have slides, a movie, or a music discussion each week.

What will your work be? Seminars live or die on the basis of discussion, and if you do not attend regularly, your colleagues cannot benefit from your thoughts, and your grade will fall. So you should plan to attend, to listen, and to participate. Participation means a willingness to offer your own interpretations, to discuss the ideas of the other seminar members, and to give them the respect they owe you. A goal of the discussions is for me to gain a sense of how you respond to these assignments, not for me to draw up a list of batting averages.

Outside of class I expect you to read and think about the assigned texts. Typically there will be one reading assignment a week, and the typical assignment will be less than 100 pages. On average, the readings should take no more than four hours a week. If you find that you are doing the reading but getting very little from it, we should discuss it. The one course that high schools should give but never do is a course on effective study habits, and I am willing to offer that course as part of this one.

There will be two short, four page papers, based entirely upon the class work, and you may revise for a higher grade. At the end of the course you will compose a ten page paper on a topic of your choice that I must approve in advance. The first two papers are not research papers, but the final paper will involve some research, in which I can assist you. If you do not own a copy of William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White’s Elements of Style (Allyn & Bacon paperback), please buy one now. You already know White, as he wrote Charlotte’s Web. Strunk and White is the best short introduction to clear writing that I know and you must have a copy in order to benefit from this seminar.

I take plagiarism very seriously: "Plagiarism is representing someone else’s ideas, words, statements or other works as one’s own without proper acknowledgment or citation. Examples of plagiarism are: copying word for word or lifting phrases or a special term from a source or reference without proper attribution; paraphrasing -- using another person’s written words or ideas, albeit in one’s own words, as if they were one’s own thought; borrowing facts, statistics, or other illustrative material without proper reference, unless the information is common knowledge, in common public use. Students may not use Internet source material, in whole or in part, without careful and specific reference to the source. All utilization of the Internet must be thoroughly documented." These are the words of the Office of Student Academic Affairs. Students who plagiarize will fail, and the case file will go to the Dean for further action. If you are in any doubt whether your use of material constitutes plagiarism, please seek my assistance.

Because we meet in a residence hall, you should feel free to bring your breakfast or lunch with you. I don’t care if you eat in class, and I don’t care if you fall asleep, but I draw the line at food fights or snoring. If you read a newspaper in class or disrupt the work of others I shall take it that you would prefer to be somewhere else and I shall help you to obtain that preference. Class begins at 10:10 and there will be a break about half-way through.

The seminar readings are available at Ulrich’s and perhaps at the other bookstores. There will be a course pack available at Accu-Copy on William Street. Most of the readings will be on reserve at the Undergraduate Library. I shall have other information on my web site, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rpl. My office is at 222 University Towers, and my telephone number is 763-2290. My e-mail address is rpl@umich.edu, but you should not assume that I check for messages constantly. I shall hold office hours on Fridays between 10:30 and noon, and by appointment.

Schedule of Meetings

Please do the readings before the date assigned and bring them to the seminar meetings.

January 8

No class.

January 10

Introductions. The birth of the modern film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

January 15

Historical background, 1890-1930. Individual readings.

January 17

The changing look of the cities: Paris and Vienna. Merry E. Wiesner et al., Discovering the Western Past,  vol. 2: 202-240, course pack.

January 22

The new music: Paris. Debussy, "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun."

January 24

The new architecture: Vienna. Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime  (Riverside, 1998): 167-176.

January 29

The new horror. Film: Nosferatu

January 31

The new music: Vienna. Mahler.

February 5

First essay due in class. Growing up before World War I. Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday  (New York, 1943):1-66.

February 7

A woman’s view: Vienna. Alma [Schindler] Mahler [Gropius] Werfel, And the Bridge Is Love  (New York, 1958):3-101.

February 12

The origins of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud, Dora: An Analysis of A Case of Hysteria  (Simon & Schuster paperback).

February 14

The new music: Vienna. Arnold Schoenberg, "Transfigured Night."

February 19

The new Anti-Semitism and its cure. Theodor Herzl, Old New Land (Markus Wiener paperback).

February 21

The new music: Vienna. Arnold Schoenberg, "Pierrot Lunaire."

March 5

Changes in painting. Wiesner: 263-289, course pack.

March 7

The new city. Film: Fritz Lang, Metropolis.

March 12

Second essay due in class. World War I. Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front  (Fawcett paperback).

March 14

The new music: Paris. Igor Stravinsky, "The Rite of Spring."

March 19

The new madness: Paris and Berlin. Expressionism and Dada.

March 21

The new music: Berlin. Film: Kurt Weil and Bertold Brecht, The Threepenny Opera.

March 26

Wit and Vienna. Karl Kraus, Dicta and Contradicta  (University of Illinois Press).

March 28

The new architecture: Berlin and Paris. The Bauhaus and Le Corbusier.

April 2

The end of it all: Paris. Film: Jean Renoir, The Rules of the Game.

April 4

The new music: Paris. Darius Milhaud, "The Creation of the World." Arthur Honegger, "Pacific 231."

April 9

Jazz comes to Europe. The Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

April 11

The end of it all. Film: Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph of the Will.

April 16

Conclusions: research paper due in class.