Academic Session 33: UEA 2015

41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Insitute for Art, UEA, Norwich
9 – 11 April 2015

Weimar's 'Other': Visual culture in Germany after 1918

Session Convenors:

Dorothy Price, University of Bristol,
Camilla Smith, University of Birmingham,

In recent years, there has been a significant growth in scholarship investigating both the visual and wider cultural production of Weimar, most often centred in Berlin. However, there were other centres of cultural production besides Berlin as well as other, untold, experiences of Weimar linked to rural communities, provincial cities, parallel cities and urban minorities.

This session explores the cultural practice, production and reception of neglected populations both from the Republic’s cities, the parallel city of Vienna and the rural provinces, particularly in relation to the themes of sexuality and gender, which have become central to our understanding of Weimar culture but also in relation to themes of materiality that are of concern to art history more generally. Papers in this session ask how Weimar visual studies should address the cultural activities of the regions, particularly given the scholarly emphasis to date on sexuality, gender and race as characteristic of Weimar culture’s metropolitan urban character. Papers will explore how relationships between the rural and the urban, and the national and the provincial, shaped artistic and cultural constructions of sex and gender in Germany after 1918. They will ask how debates on sex and gender as well as on the materiality of objects, informed artistic centres, practices, institutions and collecting practices outside Berlin in cities like Hanover, Dresden, Hamburg and Vienna and suburbs like Potsdam. In turn, they will also consider how provincial cultural developments impacted upon the narratives constructed around Weimar’s capital and how these diverse forms of identity - sexuality, gender, race and social class – were culturally experienced and recorded outside Berlin.

Erin Sullivan Maynes (University of San Diego) Return of the Regional: Notgeld and the local experience of Inflation

Ulrich Bach (Texas State University) Material Traces of a Vanished Erotica Collection: Leo Schidrowitz’ Bilder-Lexicon-der Erotik

Maria Makela (California College of the Arts) Making Lemonade out of Lemons: Merz and material poverty

Elinor Beaven (University of Cambridge) The Art of Domesticity? Regional artist couples in the Weimar Republic

Nina Lübbren (Anglia Ruskin University at Cambridge) ‘Gela Forster’s Expressionist Sculpture: Feminism, war and revolution

Kristin Schroeder (University of Michigan) Sobriety or a Neue Sachlichkeit Hangover? Lotte Laserstein’s Evening over Potsdam