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Program in the Humanities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Shock of the Modern: Art and Culture in the Long 20th Century

Featuring Carolina Performing Arts’ Rite of Spring at 100 Program and the PlayMakers Repertory Company production of Cabaret

April 20, 2013

Modernism emerged at the turn of the century as a way to cope with and depict the dizzying aspects of modern life. Over the course of the long 20th-century, with its destructive wars and utopian social visions, modernist culture struggled to come to terms with the malleability of time and space. In this seminar, we are delighted to collaborate with Carolina Performing Arts’ Rite of Spring at 100 Program and PlayMakers’ production of Cabaret. Starting with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and its raucous reception in 1913 we consider avant-garde cultures in early 20th-century France. Drawing next on the theater, we explore another modern venue, the cabaret and nightlife of the Weimar era, and examine how the culture of political criticism and social hedonism was recast in the 1960s musical. We then turn to painting and Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977 series. In these fifteen paintings of Red Army Faction terrorists, Richter engaged with a dark past to comment on the present, and like Stravinsky, disrupted “normal” perception as a kind of cultural practice. Seminar participants may attend both performances and/or partake in a tour of modernist art at the Ackland Art Museum. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn about and experience modernist art as a way of seeing and conveying meaning that continues to shock, unsettle, and engage.

Topics and Speakers

Avant-Garde Cultures in early 20th-century France
Lloyd S. Kramer, Professor and Chair of History

Goodbye to Berlin? From Cabaret to Cabaret
Tim Carter, David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music

Performance of Cabaret (optional)
A Production by the PlayMakers Repertory Company

A Certain Uncertainty: Art in an Age of Doubt
Cary Levine, Assistant Professor of Art

The Shock of the Modern and the Gaze of the Postmodern
A panel discussion with our speakers

Performance of Spring Dance (optional)
A Production by Carolina Performing Arts

Time and Cost
9:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013. The tuition is $125 ($110 by January 30). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by January 30).  The optional lunch is $15. Teachers receive 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit.

There are two optional performances you may attend in conjunction with this seminar. The PlayMakers matinee of Cabaret is at 2:00 p.m and tickets are $25. Spring Dance, the UNC School of the Arts performance inspired by The Rite of Spring, is at 8:00 p.m. Please contact the Humanities Program for information about ordering Spring Dance tickets.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.

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