Arts and Nations: The Rise of the National Idiom in East-Central European Music, Literature, and the Visual Arts

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Cultural Studies
Art History
History
Terms offered: 
Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
English
Contact Hours: 
45
Prerequisites: 

Basic knowledge of 19th and 20th century European history.

 

Description: 

The rise of nations and nationalism in most Central and East-Central European countries in the 19th and much of the 20th centuries was supported and accelerated by, as well as reflected on, art and art-forms. The study of art in this region helps understand the way “imagined communities” or real we call nations emerged. The national language, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, and a host of other artistic genres have impacted the philosophy and politics of nation- building, national and nationalist movements throughout the former “Eastern” Europe. The fabric of national and nationalist thinking can be better approached and understood through the study of artistic expression.

The course will serve as an introduction into the most important cultural differences among various Central and East-Central European countries, ethnic, national and religious groups. Special emphasis will be given to what we may identify as the “national idiom” such as the language, the folk poetry and folk music, and the “national genres” such as the national opera, the national painting and the historical novel, which have both created and expressed national cultures. As Central and East Central European nations are deeply embedded in their languages, cultures, and cultural symbolism, this field of study is essential to the historical appraisal of the region. Providing a general cultural background to Central European studies in Vienna, the course is essential to understand nationalism as it has developed in the modern history of Central and East-Central Europe.

Attendance policy: 

Required

 

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students should

- be able to know of the history of nationalism in Europe;

- understand the contribution of music, literature and the visual arts to the building of the nations in Europe;

- develop the ability to relate his/her experiences of nationalism and patriotism in the U.S. with similar phenomena in Europe;

- learn substantially of the European origins of patterns of American thought.

 

Method of presentation: 

Lectures, organized discussions, student presentations

 

Field study: 

Optional Programs

*Touring national/historical public monuments in Vienna

*Field trip to Budapest, Hungary

*An audio/video performance and discussion of an East-Central European national opera such as Bánk bán by Ferenc Erkel or Prodaná nevesta by Bedrich Smetana

 

Required work and form of assessment: 

(1) Mid-term exam (identifications of terms, names, dates; map quiz; essay question)
(2) A take-home paper of 15,000 characters (cca 10-12 pages)
(3) Final exam (identifications of terms, names, dates; map quiz; essay question)

Grading: Attendance 10%, mid-term exam 30%, take-home paper 30%, final exam 30%

 

content: 

Week 1-2 The age of nationalism

Ethnicity, nation, nationality, nationalism in Europe and in America in the 18th and 19th centuries.
National products, national economy, national market. Regional differences in Europe. The unification of Germany and Italy. From empires to nation state: emerging nations in Russia, the Habsburg Monarchy, and th Ottoman Empire. Nation building: new nations in Central and East-Central Europe. Comparisons with the Unite States.

Readings: Part II of Reader

Week 3 From romantic to modern: the making of national art

Art forms and movements in modern Europe and their impact on the United States. From Classical to Romantic the impact of political and social change in England and France. Interactions of social revolutions and artistic change. Art forms as expressions and shapers of historical development. European art and national art: the ris of the national in artistic expression. Great figures of the Romantic Movement in Europe. Links between Romanticism and nationalism.

Readings: Part II of Reader

Week 4 National idioms I: The rise of the national language(s), folksong and poetry

The creation of a modern vernacular from regional and local dialects and idioms: the German of the Grimm brothers, the making of Serbo-Croatian (Vuk Karadzic), linguistic innovation in Hungary (F. Kazinczy and his circle), A. Pushkin and the renewal of the Russian literary language; the languages of the Habsburg Monarchy and their survival in the successor states. Language and national identity. National languages and supranationa languages (e.g. Latin, German, French, recently English). The role of folksongs and poetry in creating the vernacular. Folk music, folksong: ethnic elements as modern national idiom.

Readings: Part III of Reader

Week 5 National idioms II: National symbol, national design

National patterns, forms, and colors on coats of arms, flags, anthems; ancient symbols and their survival through the modern nation state. The case of the Russian national flag: its historical relations to the Dutch and the various Slavic flags. History on the British and the U.S. flag. Coats of arms in the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states. Patterns of national symbolism: crosses, flowers, rivers, hills, crowns, colors. The use of national symbols in war and peace. Interpreting national symbols in the visual arts, music, and literature. Architectural patterns and designs. Capital cities as national symbols.

Readings: Part II of Reader

Week 6 Review session
Mid-term exam

Week 7 National genres I: The opera

The rise of opera as a national genre; from Italian opera to German opera: the idea of human liberty and national freedom (W. A. Mozart, Die Zauberflöte, L. van Beethoven, Fidelio); opera and national unification: the case of Italy (G. Verdi, Nabucco, Don Carlo) and Germany (R. Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), maintaining national identity and the sense of sovereignty: national opera in East Central Europe (F. Erkel, Bánk bán, B. Smetana, Prodana nevesta, S. Moniuszko, Halka); Russian history in opera (A. Borodin, Knjas Igor, M. Mussorgski, Boris Godunov, M. Glinka, Ivan Susanin).

Readings: Part III of Reader

Week 8 National genres II: Historical painting and sculpture

The function of painting and sculpture in the 19th century. Historical painting in Europe: Karl v. Piloty and his school in Munich. "Gedankenkunst” in Germany. The painting of Karl Becker, Wilhelm Kaulbach, Franz Lenbach The role of historical subjects in Hungary during and after Habsburg absolutism: B. Székely, V. Madarász, Gy. Benczúr, M. Than, K. Lotz. Historical monuments as shapers of the national consciousness. French historicism: Th. Géricault, E. Delacroix, P. Delaroche. Russia at war and peace: V. Vereshchagin, I. Ryepin.

Readings: Part II of Reader

Week 9 National genres III: Historical fiction

The Napoleonic wars and the notion of world history; the political functions of the historical novel in 19th century Europe. From feudal France to bourgeois (Victor Hugo, 1793, H. de Balzac, La comédie humaine, Les illusions perdues, G. Flaubert, Salammbo, R. Rolland, Colas Breugnon); imagining Scotland (Walter Scott, Waverly, Rob Roy, The Bride of Lammermoor, Old Mortality) England and America (W. Thackeray, The History of Henry Esmond, The Virginians); unifying the Italian mind (A. Manzoni, I promessi sposi); the making of modern Germany (Th. Mann, The Buddenbrooks, H. Mann, Henry IV, recreating national identities in East- Central Europe (Poland: H. Sienkiewicz, Quo vadis? Trilogies, B. Pros, Lake, Aaron; Czech lands: A. Jurassic, Riot seem, F. L. Vet, Tempo; Hungary: M. Joke, As remember, Apathy Sultan, A kŒszívı ember fiai; Romania: M. Sadoveanu, Neamul Soimarestilor, Fratii Jderi, L. Rebreanu, Padurea spinzuratilor, Craisorul Horia)

Readings: Part II of Reader and Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel

Week 10 Theories of national art. The national canon. Art, ideology, and politics

The rise of national ideologies in Central and East-Central Europe: a comparison of art forms, movements, and schools. National vs. nationalist: positive and negative functions of ethnocentrism. Offensive and defensive nationalism. The role of national and nationalist elements in the various national canons. Art as a political tool i Central Europe. The legacy of national and nationalist art in 20th century political rhetoric. National art and totalitarian art, art and dictatorship: modes of artistic expression in Nazi dominated Europe and under Communism. Nation and art today in the region.

Readings: Part I of Reader

Week 11-12 Review session
Final exam

 

Required readings: 

A reader has been compiled for this course and is available in the library. The specific, week-by-week reading list to be distributed at the beginning of the course.

Reader Contents:

I

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism,
Chapters 1-6, pp. 1-111....................................................

Donald E. Pease, “New Americanists: Revisionist Interventions into the Canon,” Boundary, An
International Journal of Literature and Culture, Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 1990, pp. 1-
37.....................................................................

Donald E. Pease, “New Perspectives on U.S. Culture and Imperialism,” in
Amy Kaplan and Donald E. Pease, eds., Cultures of United States Imperialism, pp. 22-
37...........................................................................

Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, eds., Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader
.............................................................................................
Frantz Fanon, “On National Culture,” pp. 16-52,
Anthony Giddens, from The Consequences of Modernity, pp. 180-189, Deniz Kandiyoti, “Identity and Its Discontents: Women and the Nation,” pp. 376-390

II

George L. Mosse, “Nationalism,” in The Culture of Western Europe. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 3rd ed., pp. 65-84......................................

Robert A. Kann, A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526-1918, Chapters VII and X, pp. 367-405, 521-564................................................................

Emil Niederhauser, “National Language and National Scholarship,” in The Rise of Nationality in
Eastern Europe, pp. 37-92............................................

Peter F. Sugar, ed., Eastern European Nationalism in the 20th Century.................
Peter F. Sugar, “Nationalism, The Victorious Ideology,” pp. 413-429
Tibor Frank, “Nation, National Minorities, and Nationalism in
Twentieth-Century Hungary,” pp. 205-242

Nikolai Danilevski, from Russia and Europe, in Peter N. Stearns, ed.,
in World History, Vol. II, pp. 44-48................................................

Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin, “Habsburg Vienna: City of Paradoxes,” in Wittgenstein’s Vienna, pp. 33-66....................................................

Paul Hoffmann, The Viennese: Splendor, Twilight, and Exile, pp. 1-51................

A. J. P. Taylor, “The Vienna of Schnitzler,” in A. J. P. Taylor, From Napoleon to the Second International. Essays on Nineteenth-Century Europe, pp. 383-389.............................................................................

Carl E. Schorske, “Politics in a New Key: An Austrian Trio,” in Carl E. Schorske,
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna. Politics and Culture, pp. 116-180.........................

III

Carl Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History, pp. 19-33................................

Gerald Abraham, “Opera (1830-93),” in Gerald Abraham, The Concise Oxford
History of Music, pp. 705-745......................................................

William Weber, “Wagner, Wagnerism, and Musical Idealism,” in David C. Large and William Weber, eds., Wagnerism in European Culture and Politics,
pp. 28-71...............................................................................

Jacques Barzun, “The Artistic Revolution,” in Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner, pp. 231-
317...........................................................................

Gerald Abraham, Essays on Russian and East European Music, pp. 68-82,
113-171................................................................................

Malcolm Hamrick Brown and Roland John Wiley, eds., Slavonic and Western Music: Essays for Gerald Abraham................................................. David Brown: “Tchaikovsky and Chekhov,” pp. 197-205
John Clapham, “Dvorak’s Visit to Worcester, Massachusetts,” pp. 207-214
Edward Garden, “Sibeliuis and Balakirev,” pp. 215-218
Martin Cooper, “Alexander Skriabin and the Russian Renaissance,”
pp. 219-239

Howard Hartog, ed., European Music in the Twentieth Century .......................
Everettt Helm, “The Music of Béla Bartók,” pp. 11-39
Bernard Stevens, “Czechoslovakia and Poland,” pp. 296-319

Béla Bartók, Rumanian Folk Music, Vol. III, pp. xxxix-cvl............................

Historische Volksmusikforschung..........................................................
Bálint Sárosi, “Historical Documents Concerning Gipsy Musicians and Their Music in Hungary,” pp. 111-120.  Ghizela Suliteanu, “Antique South-East-European Elements in the
Rumanian and Greek Contemporary Musical Folklore,”
pp. 181-208

Musica Antiqua pod Padronatem UNESCO, Acta Scientifica, Bydgoszcz,
Polska, 1982, pp. 223-236, 565-579, 651-667..................................

Károly Viski, Hungarian Dances, pp. 7-63, 80-90.......................................