Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

BA Politics and Modern History

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918

Unit code GERM30722
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by German Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course unit seeks to gain a better understanding of Imperial Germany by examining the response of German artists and thinkers to their rapidly changing social and political environment. It looks at ways in which the new Empire sought to legitimise its existence through culture – monuments, buildings, paintings – and asks how successful this was. It then concentrates on a variety of critics and reformers, who pioneered new approaches in music, art and architecture. The course unit reveals an increasingly pluralistic society, in which people were already wrestling with some of the modern world’s most enduring problems.

 

Pre/co-requisites

Available on which programme(s)?

Programmes with German Studies

 

 

Aims

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of German history, particularly of the imperial era (1871-1918)
  • To analyse and comment on a range of visual sources, including paintings, monuments and buildings
  • To undertake a critical and sophisticated review of the historiography, and to develop an individual perspective

 

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the semester, you will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of:

  • the official culture of Imperial Germany; its buildings, monuments, festivals and art
  • a variety of cultural and social reform movements in Imperial Germany
  • historical methods, particularly with regard to cultural history

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Engage in independent reflection and enquiry
  • Engage in the discussion and critical evaluation of cultural products from Germany’s imperial era
  • Use empirical evidence to support synthetic conclusions and interpretations
  • Analyse secondary sources and provide a synthesis of the most relevant findings

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Use library, electronic and online resources
  • Apply skills of analysis and synthesis to practical issues and problems
  • Work in a group to produce a web-based wiki resource

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Presentation – present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience
  • Literacy – the capacity both to make written presentations using appropriate language for a target audience and to collect and integrate evidence to formulate and test a hypothesis
  • Time Management – ability to schedule tasks in order of importance and work to deadlines
  • Improving own learning – ability to improve one's own learning through planning, monitoring, critical reflection, evaluate and adapt strategies for one's learning

Employability skills

Other
On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to: ¿ manage time and work to deadlines ¿ participate constructively in group work ¿ assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others ¿ present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience ¿ demonstrate powers of analysis

Assessment methods

Examination         75%
Group Wiki
25%

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Comments made during class discussion regarding the relevance and coherence of student responses/participation in discussion

Formative

Verbal feedback on Wikis throughout the semester

Formative

Advice on revision and exam preparation given in Week 11

Formative

Post-exam feedback if required

Summative

 

Recommended reading

Set Text

  1. Jefferies, Matthew   Imperial Culture in Germany 1871-1918 (Basingstoke, 2003) 901.43/J13 (also available in High Demand)

 

Recommended Reading

  1. Allen, Ann Taylor, Satire and Society in Wilhelmine Germany: Kladderadatsch and Simplicissimus 1890-1914 (Lexington: U.P. of Kentucky, 1984) online access available
  2. Bartmann, Dominik, Anton von Werner: zur Kunst und Kunstpolitik im Deutschen Kaiserreich (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1985) 750.92,WE495 1 (high demand)
  3. Buddensieg, Tilmann, Industriekultur: Peter Behrens and the AEG, 1907-1914 (Cambridge, Mass. & London: MIT, 1984) 720.92, BE395/6
  4. Burns, Rob (ed.), German Cultural Studies. An Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 1995) - especially chapter one by R. Lenman, J. Osborne and E. Sagarra   901.43/B32
  5. Campbell, Joan, The German Werkbund: the Politics of Reform in the Applied Arts (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1978) 745/C8
  6. Chapple, Gerald & Schulte, Hans, eds., The Turn of the Century: German Literature and Art, 1890-1915 (Bonn: Bouvier, 1981) 830.9/M88
  7. Duncan, Alastair,   Art Nouveau (London: Thames and Hudson, 1994) 745/D214
  8. Eksteins, Modris, Rites of Spring: The First World War and the Birth of the Modern Age (London: Bantam, 1989) 940.93/E33
  9. Forster-Hahn, Francoise (ed.), Imagining Modern German Culture, 1889-1910 (Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1997) 709.43/F87
  10. Hamann, Richard & Hermand, Jost, Deutsche Kunst und Kultur von der Gr¿nderzeit bis zum Expressionismus (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1977) vols. 1-5 (Gr¿nderzeit; Naturalismus; Impressionismus; Stilkunst um 1900; Expressionismus) 709.43/H31 etc.
  11. Hepp, Corona, Avantgarde. Moderne Kunst, Kulturkritik und Reformbewegungen nach der Jahrhundertwende  (Munich: dtv, 1987)    709.43/H56
  12. Heskett, John, Design in Germany, 1870-1918 (London: Trefoil, 1986) 745/H15
  13. Jefferies, Matthew, Politics and Culture in Wilhelmine Germany: The Case of Industrial Architecture (Oxford: Berg, 1995) 725.4/J48
  14. Jefferies, Matthew, Contesting the German Empire (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008) 943.08/J2
  15. Kerbs, D. & Reulecke, J.  (eds.), Handbuch der deutschen Reformbewegungen, 1880-1933  (Wuppertal: Hammer, 1998)  309.43/K58
  16. Kolinsky, Eva & van der Will, Wilfried (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture (Cambridge: CUP, 1998)    901.43/K72
  17. Koshar, Rudy, From Monuments to Traces: Artifacts of German Memory 1870-1990 (Berkeley & London: U. of California Press, 2000)
  18. Lenman, Robin, Artists and Society in Germany 1850-1914 (Manchester: M.U.P., 1997) 750.943 L12
  19. Lenman, Robin, Die Kunst, die Macht und das Geld: zur Kulturgeschichte des kaiserlichen Deutschland (Frankfurt, 1994) 901.43 L14
  20. Makela, Maria, The Munich Secession. Art and Artists in turn-of-the-century Munich (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1990) 709.4336/M1
  21. Paret, Peter, The Berlin Secession. Modernism and its Enemies in Imperial Germany (Cambridge, Mass. & London: Harvard U.P., 1980) 709.43/P4
  22. Paret, Peter, Art as History: Episodes in the Culture and Politics of Nineteenth-Century Germany (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1988) 709.43/P16
  23. Schorske, Carl, Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture (Cambridge: C.U.P., 1981) 943.61/S13
  24. Schwartz, Frederic, The Werkbund: Design Theory and Mass Culture before the First World War (New Haven: Yale U.P., 1996) 745/S71
  25. West, Shearer, The Visual Arts in Germany 1890-1940: Utopia and Despair (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000) 709.43/W31

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Matthew Jefferies Unit coordinator

Additional notes

 

 

Return to course details