Degeneration and Revolution: Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany

Degeneration and Revolution: Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany

by Robert Heynen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608466375
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 678
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


Robert Heynen teaches in Communication Studies at York University. He has published numerous articles on Weimar culture, socialist history, and surveillance, including in New Formations and Canadian Journal of Communication.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

List of Illustrations xi

List of Abbreviations xiii

1 Introduction: Weimar Germany and the Cultures of Capitalist Modernity 1

1.1 Rethinking Weimar History 1

1.2 Weimar Germany: The Crises of Capitalist Modernity 9

1.3 Degeneration, Embodiment, and the Politics of Culture: A Marxist Perspective 30

1.4 The Structure of the Book 52

2 Degeneration: Gender, War and the Politics of the Volkskörper 58

2.1 Introduction 58

2.2 August 1914 62

2.3 Women's Protests and Left Politics 74

2.4 Masculinity, War, and the Cultural Politics of the Weimar Radical Right 107

3 Revolution: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Question of Totality 135

3.1 Introduction 135

3.2 Nostalgia and Shock 140

3.3 Art, Politics, and Revolution 160

3.4 Expressionism and After 205

3.5 Totality 237

4 Bodies and Minds: Art and the Politics of Degeneration 251

4.1 Introduction 251

4.2 (De)militarised Bodies: Art and Gender after War 257

4.3 The Prostitute 275

4.4 The Prosthetic Man: The Wounded or Disabled Veteran 292

4.5 Outsider Art: Asylums and the Cultural Politics of Madness 322

4.6 Primitivism, the Body, and Colonial Nostalgia 342

5 Transforming Vision: Film, Photography, and the Politics of Social Hygiene 386

5.1 Introduction: The Birth of Homo Cinematicus 386

5.2 The Photo-Eye: New Modes of Vision 391

5.3 The Primitive Spectator: Race, Gender, Class, and the Weimar Audience 406

5.4 Optical Hygiene: Sanitising Vision 433

5.5 Racial Aesthetics: Photography, Film, and the Weimar Body 474

6 Revolution and the Degeneration of the Weimar Republic: Worker Culture and the Rise of Fascism 496

6.1 Introduction 496

6.2 Towards a Worker Culture 508

6.3 'We Are the Eyes of Our Class!': Workers' Photography and Film 518

6.4 Proletarian Theatre and the Fight for the Streets 529

6.5 Radical Cultures of the Body: The Left and the Struggle over Abortion 547

6.6 In the Shadow of Fascism: Brecht, the Left, and the End of the Weimar Republic 574

References 585

Index 651

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