Art, Architecture, and Ideology under Totalitarian Regimes
This seminar will examine the visual culture of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Stalinist Russia with a view toward how totalitarian regimes do (and do not) shape visual culture. Before beginning embarking on our three case studies, we will review working models of what constitutes avant-garde and modern practice in order to consider these regimes’ influence on the art, architecture and film produced within the greater context of European modernism. Throughout the course, we will analyze both the aestheticization of politics and the politicization of aesthetics. Lastly, the course will include a brief consideration of visual culture in the United States contemporary to the three totalitarian regimes under investigation. Students will be encouraged to explore research topics related to these four cultural contexts and/or other more recent relevant regimes that fall on the left and on the right.