The Post-WWII Pastoral Imagination
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Level: Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PGHT 5018
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course examines representations of Europe in American visual and literary culture of the 1950s and 1960s. We will explore how Europe was largely stripped of its claims on modernity and technology and returned to a picturesque state in American films, literature, and philosophy of the period. France, for example, was pictured as a fashion fantasyland, Italy a landscape of intriguing holiday noir, and Germany a lair of seductive moral ruin and rehabilitation. Such visual and literary representations, we will argue, pointed to a new politics of the pastoral, the visualization of a new form of governmentality, as well as a renewal of the great nineteenth-century theme of American morality and naivete coming into conflict with European decadence and ennui, reformulated for the post-WWII world. Through a broad-based inquiry, we will come to understand the complex cultural-political processes of mythmaking in the aftermath of victory and defeat in total war.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university graduate degree students; undergraduate seniors by permission of the School of Art & Design History & Theory