2021-2022 Catalog

ARTH 288 Paris and Berlin: Capitals and Crossroads of the 20th Century

The cities of Paris and Berlin formed a major axis of cultural production and exchange during the early- to mid-20th century. Both were modern political and industrial capitals, and both cities were vibrant catalysts for the work of cultural producers of all stripes - from artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and architects, to social theorists, scientists, psychologists, and political activists. Like magnets, these two cities drew people from across the European and American continents to their streets, offering the promise of cultural ferment and collective interaction, in cities each with their own traditions of avant-garde, modernist practice. But, people also moved between these two cities, creating networks and subcultures, sharing ideas and diverse cultural perspectives, in ways that radically transformed the cultural landscapes of 20th century Europe and America. As capitals, Paris and Berlin also offer views into the major social and political upheavals of the 20th century, culminating in the transformation of a networked, intercultural model of exchange between the two cities, in the 1920's and 1930's, into an actual occupation of Paris by Berlin in 1940. In this course, we will map out these varied structures of exchange by exploring the histories of the two cities through research and analysis of key urban sites, centers, and cultural producers who lived and worked there between 1910 and 1945. Not open to frosh.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus