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DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect by R. Bruce Elder Book Summary:
This book deals with the early intellectual reception of the cinema and the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and especially artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to its advent. While the idea persists that early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s lowly form, this work proposes that there was another, largely unrecognized, strain in the reception of it. Far from anxious about film’s provenance in popular entertainment, some writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was the most important art for the moderns, as it exemplified the vibrancy of contemporary life. This view of the cinema was especially common among those whose commitments were to advanced artistic practices. Their notions about how to recast the art media (or the forms forged from those media’s materials) and the urgency of doing so formed the principal part of the conceptual core of the artistic programs advanced by the vanguard art movements of the first half of the twentieth century. This book, a companion to the author’s previous, Harmony & Dissent, examines the Dada and Surrealist movements as responses to the advent of the cinema.
Memory, Metaphor, and Aby Warburg's Atlas of Images by Christopher D. Johnson Book Summary:
The work of German cultural theorist and art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929) has had a lasting effect on how we think about images. This book is the first in English to focus on his last project, the encyclopedic Atlas of Images: Mnemosyne. Begun in earnest in 1927, and left unfinished at the time of Warburg's death in 1929, the Atlas consisted of sixty-three large wooden panels covered with black cloth. On these panels Warburg carefully, intuitively arranged some thousand black-and-white photographs of classical and Renaissance art objects, as well as of astrological and astronomical images ranging from ancient Babylon to Weimar Germany. Here and there, he also included maps, manuscript pages, and contemporary images taken from newspapers. Trying through these constellations of images to make visible the many polarities that fueled antiquity's afterlife, Warburg envisioned the Atlas as a vital form of metaphoric thought. While the nondiscursive, frequently digressive character of the Atlas complicates any linear narrative of its themes and contents, Christopher D. Johnson traces several thematic sequences in the panels. By drawing on Warburg's published and unpublished writings and by attending to Warburg's cardinal idea that "pathos formulas" structure the West's cultural memory, Johnson maps numerous tensions between word and image in the Atlas. In addition to examining the work itself, he considers the literary, philosophical, and intellectual-historical implications of the Atlas. As Johnson demonstrates, the Atlas is not simply the culmination of Warburg's lifelong study of Renaissance culture but the ultimate expression of his now literal, now metaphoric search for syncretic solutions to the urgent problems posed by the history of art and culture.
Becoming Austrians by Lisa Silverman Book Summary:
The collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918 left all Austrians in a state of political, social, and economic turmoil, but Jews in particular found their lives shaken to the core. Although Jews' former comfort zone suddenly disappeared, the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy also created plenty of room for innovation and change in the realm of culture. Jews eagerly took up the challenge to fill this void, and they became heavily invested in culture as a way to shape their new, but also vexed, self-understandings. By isolating the years between the World Wars and examining formative events in both Vienna and the provinces, Becoming Austrians: Jews and Culture between the World Wars demonstrates that an intensified marking of people, places, and events as "Jewish" accompanied the crises occurring in the wake of Austria-Hungary's collapse, with profound effects on Austria's cultural legacy. In some cases, the consequences of this marking resulted in grave injustices. Philipp Halsmann, for example, was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his father years before he became a world-famous photographer. And the men who shot and killed writer Hugo Bettauer and philosopher Moritz Schlick received inadequate punishment for their murderous deeds. But engagements with the terms of Jewish difference also characterized the creation of culture, as shown in Hugo Bettauer's satirical novel The City without Jews and its film adaptation, other texts by Veza Canetti, David Vogel, A.M. Fuchs, Vicki Baum, and Mela Hartwig, and performances at the Salzburg Festival and the Yiddish theater in Vienna. By examining the lives, works, and deeds of a broad range of Austrians, Lisa Silverman reveals how the social codings of politics, gender, and nation received a powerful boost when articulated along the lines of Jewish difference.
Essays on Ancient and Modern Judaism by Arnaldo Momigliano Book Summary:
Momigliano acknowledged that his Judaism was the most fundamental inspiration for his scholarship, and the writings in this collection demonstrate how the ethical experience of the Hebraic tradition informed his other works.
Culture, Commerce, and the City by Emily Jane Levine Book Summary:
"This dissertation examines the intimate relationship between place and culture in Weimar-era Hamburg through the lives and works of its three most prominent intellectuals: the historian of art and civilization, Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the philosopher Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945), and the art historian Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968). Cassirer, Panofsky, and Warburg shared an intellectual interest in the historical development of what they called "symbolic forms" in art history and philosophy from the classical through the modern periods. Rather than offer an exegesis of their works, I use their lives and works to investigate three historical themes: Weimar culture and politics; the relationship between Germans and Jews; and Hamburg's particular history in relation to Germany. I argue that this circle's unconventional methodology, bridging contextualism and formalism, as well as metaphysics and epistemology, reflected the cultural, political, and economic institutions of its host city. Hamburg enjoyed a longtime reputation as a mercantilist city, but it was not an intellectual center. Yet Hamburg's cosmopolitanism resulting from its international trade, its tradition of cultural philanthropy, and its loose institutional structure ultimately granted its scholars a unique degree of cultural autonomy. This dissertation shows how and why the unlikely port city of Hamburg -- and not Berlin with its century-old university -- produced one of the most important interdisciplinary contributions to the humanities in the twentieth century. The first chapter describes Warburg's role in the debate leading up to the University of Hamburg's founding in 1919 that pitted scholarly and economic interests against one another. The second presents Cassirer's appointment at the university as a testament to Warburg's vision of an open and liberal Hamburg, and Cassirer' s potential departure as a threat to that vision. The third completes the triumvirate of the Hamburg School by placing Panofsky' s groundbreaking work in the nascent field of art history in the context of Hamburg. The fourth focuses on the scholars' wives -- Mary Warburg, Toni Cassirer, and Dora Panofsky -- and views the circle through historical questions concerning gender and masculinity. The fifth chapter uses Cassirer's tenure as rector of the young university to describe the rise and fall of the "Republican moment" in German politics and ideas."
Einzelne Hefte Als "Special Issue" Bez.. - Hauptsacht. 99.2007,1, Sonst Nebent.: Monatshefte by N.A Book Summary:
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Paolo Uccello by Stefano Borsi,Paolo Uccello Book Summary:
An illustrated monograph that explores the lives and works of some of the most famous, influential, and talented artists throughout history. It features a number of insightful essays, a comprehensive chronology - set in an historical and artistic context, and a bibliography for ideas on further reading.
Der Begriff der Kultur bei Warburg, Nietzsche und Burckhardt by Yoshihiko Maikuma Book Summary:
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Antisemitismus und deutsche Universitäten by Notker Hammerstein Book Summary:
Describes the sense of mission of German universities in the 19th century, the belief that independence of thought could coexist only with Protestantism and that true scholarship was rooted in the German character. Jews, lacking both these qualifications, could hardly become true scholars; university faculties and ministries of education resisted appointing them to teaching posts, especially in the "weltanschauliche" faculties (law, social sciences, humanities). Conversion helped only to a limited extent. This discrimination continued to hamper the advancement of Jews also during the Weimar period, although it was prohibited by law. However, it was antisemitism on a cultural basis; racism affected only a minority of university professors, even in the 1920s when it became more virulent among the general public, in the press, and among the students.
Transforming Images by Claire J. Farago,Donna Pierce,José Antonio Esquibel,Marianne L. Stoller,Kelly Donahue-Wallace Book Summary:
The essays collected here explore the Catholic instruments of religious devotion produced in New Mexico from around 1760 until the radical transformation of the tradition in the twentieth century. The writers in this volume make three key arguments. First, they make a case for bringing new theoretical perspectives and research strategies to bear on the New Mexican materials and other colonial contexts. Second, they demonstrate that the New Mexican materials provide an excellent case study for rethinking many of the most fundamental questions in art-historical and anthropological study. Third, the authors collectively argue that the New Mexican images had, and still have, importance to diverse audiences and makers.
Makers of Jewish Modernity by Jacques Picard,Jacques M. Revel,Michael P. Steinberg,Idith Zertal Book Summary:
This superb collection presents more than forty incisive portraits of leading Jewish thinkers, artists, scientists, and other public figures of the last hundred years who, in their own unique ways, engaged with and helped shape the modern world. Makers of Jewish Modernity features entries on political figures such as Walther Rathenau, Rosa Luxemburg, and David Ben-Gurion; philosophers and critics such as Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, Jacques Derrida, and Judith Butler; and artists such as Mark Rothko. The book provides fresh insights into the lives and careers of novelists like Franz Kafka, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth; the filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen; social scientists such as Sigmund Freud; religious leaders and thinkers such as Avraham Kook and Martin Buber; and many others. Written by a diverse group of leading contemporary scholars from around the world, these vibrant and frequently surprising portraits offer a global perspective that highlights the multiplicity of Jewish experience and thought. A reference book like no other, Makers of Jewish Modernity includes an informative general introduction that situates its subjects within the broader context of Jewish modernity as well as a rich selection of photos.