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Grant number like: FS-50178-08

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FS-50178-08

Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)
Russell Berman (Project Director: March 2008 to June 2010)
German Exile Culture in California: European Traditions and American Modernity

A six-week seminar for fifteen college and university faculty on the cultural experience and contributions of German artists, writers, and musicians who fled Nazi Germany to settle in Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s.

This seminar for college teachers examines the complex cultural interactions that took place when German writers, artists and musicians who had fled Nazi Germany encountered American culture during the 1930s and 1940s. In particular, the seminar focuses on German intellectuals who gathered in the Los Angeles area, including the novelist Thomas Mann, the playwright Bertolt Brecht, film directors Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder, the actress Marlene Dietrich, the philosopher Theodor Adorno, and the composers Arnold Schoenberg and Hanns Eisler. Their works display rich tensions between their European heritages and their encounters with American democracy, in particular the "mass culture" of the film industry. Grateful for the refuge they found, the exiles engaged in thoughtful reflections on the cultural distance between their background and the American they experienced, especially with regard to problems of art and politics, democracy, and modernism.

Project fields:
German Language

Program:
Seminars for College Teachers

Division:
Education Programs

Totals:
$185,497 (approved)
$185,497 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 9/30/2009