CENTRAL EUROPEAN CULTURAL HISTORY FROM HISTORISM TO AVANTGARDE
Winter Term 1996
Peter Hanak
Department of History
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY




Course Description

The concept of the course can be read in the syllabus of the first trimester with the addition that the course will mostly deal with problems of modern urbanization, Historism and the Fin-de-siècle revolts preceding the appearance of Avantgarde.


Part 2.

1. Introduction to Modern Urbanization
Central European model of Modernization. Prerequisites of urbanization - Relationship between Classicism (Biedermeier) and Historism.

2. Urbanization
Urbanization process of Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Some examples of the transformation in the countryside.

3. Technical Innovations
Technical transformations and innovations in the great cities. Transportation, water supply, canalization, public and private lighting, heating, sanitation.

4. Historism
The term and the discussion about it. Historism and city scape. Why Historism replaced Classicism in architecture? Historism and the structure of the houses. Historism in painting and sculpture.

5. Home Culture
Middle class homes - villas. Working class tenement houses. Interior decoration. Functional separation and arrangement of the rooms. Representation and disfunctionality.

6. Leisure Hours
Cafes and Coffee-house cult. Theater - cabaret - cinema. The operetta in Central Europe. (J. Strauss, Fr. Lehar, I. Kalman.)

7-8. Cultural Revolts at the Turn of the Century
Sciences - physics, relativity. Psychology, Freudian analysis. Early women liberation movements - reform dressing - body culture, bathing. Reform of lifestyle - The Monte Verita movement. The "generational revolt" of the writers, artists, scholars.

9. Social and Political Background
Crisis of Capitalism - anticapitalist-antiliberal trends and movements. Irrational theories racism. "The Dissolution of the Liberal Ego". Marginalization of the creative intellectuals.

10-11. Art Nouveau
Aestheticism - escapism. Fine arts: the "Sezession" in Vienna. Art Nouvau in Central Europe. Painting - applied arts. Fin-de-siècle decadence - O. Wilde - Huysmans. Hofmannsthal Schnitzler - Wyspianski. Hungarian literature. Neurotic anxiety. Civilization and its Discontent. Th. Mann, R. Musil, Fr. Kafka. "The Last Days of Mankind" (Karl Kraus)


Readings - beyond the list to Part 1.
Required:
William M. Johnston: The Austrian Mind. Los Angeles etc., 1972. Chapt. 8-9., 11-13., 1617.
Carl E. Schorske: Fin-de-Siecle Vienna. New York, 1980. Entire book.
James Schedel: Art and Society. The New Art Movement in Vienna. 1897-1914.
Asa Briggs: Iron Bridge to Crystal Palace. London, 1979.

Suggested:
Steven Bela Vardy - Agnes Huszar Vardy: The Austro-Hungarian Mind at Home and Abroad, Boulder, 1989. Chapt. 5-8.
William J. McGrath: Dionysian Art and Popular Politics in Austria. New Haven, 1974.
Ilona Sarmany-Parsons: Gustav Klimt. Bergamo, 1987.
Tymon Terlecki: Stanislaw Wyspianski. Boston, 1983.
Adrian Forty: Objects of Desire. Design and Society since 1750. London, 1986.
Roman Sandgruber: Strom der Zeit. Das Jahrhundert der Elektizitat. Linz, 1972.
Wolfgang R. Krabbe: Gesellschaftsveranderung durch Lebensreform. Gottingen, 1974.
Robert Landmann: Ascona - Monte Verita. Frankfurt - Berlin - Wien, 1973.
Peter Hanak: The Garden and the Workshop. Comparative Cultural History of Vienna and Budapest. (Copied).


Options for Seminar Papers

Theme: Urbanization
The Viennese Ringstrasse and the Budapest Avenue (Andrassy ut)
Urbanization of Prague
Urbanization of Zagreb
Urbanization of other great cities
Presentation of a middle class apartment (arrangement, interior)
Canalization, draining & sewing system, water supply, consequences
The history of washing and bathing. Bathroom and toilette.

Theme: Reform of life
Reform of dressing at the turn of the 19/20. century
The changes of the female/male fashion
Fresh air, sunlight, water -- body culture
Ascona: the Monte Verita movement

Theme: Cultural Revolutions
History of the Modern Physics from Faraday to Einstein
Ernst Mach's subjective phenomenology
Freud's Interpretation of Dreams
Freud's cultural anthropology
The Freud-polemics today
Modern Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian etc. literature at the turn of the 19/20th centuries.
Hoffmannstal, or Rilke, or Schnitzler
Wyspiansky
Gustav Klimt
Art Nouveau in Central European architecture (Sezession)
Central European Expressionism (Schieke, Kokoscka, etc)
Thomas Mann: Magic Mountain, or R. Musil: Torless, or Fr. Kafka: The Trial & the Castle



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: May, 1996

Han_CeEuCulH.W96Hist.v3

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