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4. Sport in Art and Culture
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about some the ways that art and culture responded to the boom in sports in the Weimar Republic, focusing in particular on: (i) Bertolt Brecht's play Im Dickicht der Städte (In the Jungle of Cities); (ii) the trend in the later Weimar Republic to value scientific objectivity – including in sport; (iii) George Grosz's painting of Max Schmeling, cf. Grosz's more darkly satirical work (e.g. The Pillars of Society) and the work of George Bellows; (iv) Renee Sintenis' sculpture of Paavo Nurmi; (v) Nicholas Kaufmann and Wilhelm Prager's 1925 film Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit (Paths to Strength and Beauty); and (vi) the GeSoLei Expo in Düsseldorf.
In this course, Dr Jon Hughes (Royal Holloway) explores the role played by sport and physical culture in the Weimar Republic. In the fist module, we provide an introduction to sport and physical culture in Germany from the mid-19th century to the end of the First World War, including the preference among Germans for non-competitive gymnastics as opposed to competitive sports such as football or boxing. In the second and third modules, we think about the spectacular growth in the popularity of sport in Weimar Germany, before turning in the fourth module to consider the ways that art and culture responded to this boom in sports. In the fifth module, we think about how and why sport in the Weimar Republic became the subject of political debate and ideological instrumentalization, particularly in the 1930s.
Dr Jon Hughes is Reader in German and Cultural Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests lie in Modern German and Austrian literature and film, and in particular in the culture of the interwar period (1918-1939). He also researches the history of sport and cultural responses to sport and leisure in the German-speaking countries. His recent publications include a substantial, illustrated monograph on the cultural, social and political significance of the legendary German boxer Max Schmeling (1905-2005), Max Schmeling and the Making of a National Hero in Twentieth-Century Germany (2017).
Cite this Lecture
Hughes, J. (2021, March 10). Germany – Sport and Physical Culture, 1919-33 - Sport in Art and Culture [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/germany-sport-and-physical-culture-1919-33/sport-in-art-and-culture
Hughes, Jon. "Germany – Sport and Physical Culture, 1919-33 – Sport in Art and Culture." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Mar 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/germany-sport-and-physical-culture-1919-33/sport-in-art-and-culture