How does the visual nature of spectacle inform the citizenry, destabilize the political, challenge aesthetic convention and celebrate cultural creativity? What are the limits – aesthetic, political, social, cultural, economic – of spectacle? How do we explain the inherently exclusionary, revolutionary, dehumanizing and utopian elements of spectacle?
In this book, authors from the fields of cultural studies, cinema studies, history and art history examine the concept of spectacle in the German context across various media forms, historical periods and institutional divides. Drawing on theoretical models of spectacle by Guy Debord, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Jonathan Crary and Michel Foucault, the contributors to this volume suggest that a decidedly German concept of spectacle can be gleaned from critical interventions into exhibitions, architectural milestones, audiovisual materials and cinematic and photographic images emerging out of German culture from the Baroque to the contemporary.
Available for purchase here.
Jennifer L. Creech is Associate Professor of German at the University of Rochester. She has published on German, Austrian and postunification cinema, is the author of Mothers, Comrades and Outcasts: East German Women’s Films 1965 and Beyond and has published essays in the Women in German Yearbook and Seminar.
Thomas O. Haakenson is Associate Provost at California College of the Arts (San Francisco / Oakland). He is co-editor of the series German Visual Culture and co-coordinator of the Visual Culture Network of the German Studies Association in the United States. He has published widely, including essays in New German Critique, Cabinet, Rutgers Art Review, German Studies Review and the anthologies Legacies of Modernism and Memorialization in Germany since 1945.