The avant-garde has considered itself as the intellectual vanguard of progress and modernity, against power and tradition. Subject considers whether, in an age of popular consumer culture, the avant-garde is under threat. Students view the history and cultural politics of avant-garde movements in the cinema and literature of contemporary Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Topic for Spring 2004: Avant-Garde and Culture Industry. Examines the terms "avant-garde" and "Kulturindustrie" in French and German culture of the early twentieth century. After considering the origins of these concepts in surrealist and dadaist literature, art, and cinema, the subject expands to engage parallel formations across Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Artists and writers to be considered are Adorno, Aragon, Bataille, Beckett, Brecht, Breton, Berger, Duchamp, Eisenstein, Ernst, Junger, Greenberg, Kandinsky, Malevich, Mayakovsky, and Tzara. Taught in English.
Faculty: Scribner, Charity