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"Birth of a Cultural Revolution: Ideas and Inspirations from the 1900's Viennese Coffeehouse"                                   

Dr. Anna Souchuk '05 MA, '08 PhD

Wednesdays, October 31 - November 26, 6:30 - 8:30pm                           $375

Location: Harold Washington Library Center 400 S. State Street Chicago IL 60605

**Course excursion to be planned at a later date

Course Description: 

This five-week seminar organized under the auspices of the Yale Alumni College - Chicago will focus on fin-de-siècle Viennese culture and history. Vienna around 1900 was a place in transition, the setting for major innovations in the arts, literature, sciences, and philosophy.  Otherwise known as the Wiener Moderne (“Viennese Modern Age”), this fin-de-siècle Vienna was a stage preoccupied with self-presentation, a decadent surface beneath which profound anxiety simmered, a dream city populated by figures such as Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Arthur Schnitzler, Gustav Mahler, and Arnold Schönberg.  Central to the rich cultural life in turn of the century Vienna was the Viennese coffeehouse, a place that encouraged an exchange of ideas and served as a spatial extension of the private sphere. Using the coffeehouse as a kind of experiential environment, this course will look at the ideas that emerged from the café interiors of Vienna 1900, with each week devoted to a particular theme. 

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Syllabus: This syllabus is a general overview of the course topics that will be covered. The final syllabus may differ slightly or be added to.

Week 1- Wednesday, October 31: Space and place in Vienna, the Viennese Ringstraße, historicism in Vienna and the radicalism of modernist architects Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos

Week 2- Wednesday, November 7: Freud’s theories of the unconscious, dreams, and (female) hysteria

Week 3- Wednesday, November 14: The visual art of Gustav Klimt and the Viennese Secessionists, the objects and graphic designs of the Wiener Werkstätte, and Austrian Expressionism through Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

Week 4- Wednesday, November 21: Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, and the “Young Vienna” literary circle, with the legendary bohemian flâneur Peter Altenberg and the acerbic, apocalyptic visionary Karl Kraus

Week 5- Monday, November 26: “The Second Vienna School” in music, with Gustav Mahler as a transitional figure and the new, radical musical language of Arnold Schönberg.

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Dr. Anna Souchuk 

Anna Souchuk is Associate Professor of German and German Program Director in DePaul University's Department of Modern Languages.  She received her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 2008, with a dissertation on constructions of place in the novels of Elfriede Jelinek, Josef Haslinger, and Robert Menasse.  Since then, her research has concentrated largely on the collected works of Josef Haslinger and his depictions of Austria’s conflicted relationship to Vergangenheitsbewältigung (coming to terms with the past), though Dr. Souchuk continues to write on other Austrian writers and artists, including Elfriede Jelinek, Linda Stift, the visual artist Deborah Sengl, and the filmmaker Markus Schleinzer.  Her research has been presented frequently at the annual Conferences of the German Studies Association and Austrian Studies Association (the leading conferences in the fields of German and Austrian Studies in the U.S.), along with the Convention of the Modern Language Association.   Most recently, she edited a special edition of the scholarly journal Modern Languages Open with a focus on the family novel in German(ic) literature.  This project drew on her interests in the generational transmission of the family story as an emblem of problematic Austrian Vergangenheitsbewältigung while exploring the recent increase in popularity of Familienromane (family novels) in German-language literature.  Dr. Souchuk teaches a wide variety of courses in DePaul University’s German Program and Honors Program.

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