Saturday, September 29, 2018

Proposed Project for Berlin Prize

In addition to a "Summer Stipend" grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities, I'm also applying this year for a "Berlin Prize," which is administered by The American Academy in Berlin, Germany.  Information about my "Summer Stipend" proposed project can be found in the post just preceding this one.

The narrative for my "Berlin Prize" project proposal totals 7 pages, and what follows are the first 2 pages:




Proposed Project


20th Century Perspectives: Radical Renaissance and Social Change in the Age of Global War



  
My proposed project is a request for support toward the greater research of 2 parallel book projects, whose titles are From Bauhaus |To Black Mountain: A Transcontinental Renaissance in the Age of Global War, and The Agency of Art: War, Pedagogy and Social Change in the Western World – 1915 to 1965.  Both books deal with historic aspects of the Weimar Republic, and Staatliches Bauhaus (1919 – 1933), a school founded by Walter Gropius that begin in Weimar, moved to Dessau and closed in Berlin.  Both books also examine the impact of some Bauhaus alumnae who migrated to the United States (US) to continue their pioneering social and artistic lives at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina.


By investigating one of the most enduring spans of the 20th century—from 1919 to 1933 and directly thereafter 1933 to 1957—representing the respective years of operation for Staatliches Bauhaus (the Bauhaus) in Germany and Black Mountain College (BMC) in the United States—my proposed book project goes beyond existing tropes and conversations on the subject to provide a captivating narrative on the transatlantic art and education interactions at the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College (BMC); two schools that ultimately produced many of the 20th century’s leading artists, architects, designers and bleeding-edge dramatists.

What began at the Bauhaus—a small, radical, German art school which greatly transformed European thought on visual art and architecture, urban planning, interior aesthetics and design—continued across the Atlantic Ocean to inspire the foundational DNA for yet another small, radical school with a heavy focus on the arts, yet thousands of miles away.  In From Bauhaus |To Black Mountain: A Transcontinental Renaissance in the Age of Global War, there are 9 areas of study – asking and answering:

·         What was the manifesto and core principles supporting the Bauhaus?

·         How were these core principles implemented – what did they look like in practice?

·         In addition to Walter Gropius, who were some of the Bauhaus’ key players?

·         Throughout its changes in leadership and various relocations, how did the Bauhaus remain cohesive?

·         At its end in 1933, how had the Bauhaus impacted the culture-at-large?

·         In 1933 BMC came into being as a result of what culminations?

·         Who were some of the key Bauhaus alumnae that were also at BMC?

·         BMC was similar to and different from the Bauhaus in what ways?

·         By its closure in 1957, how had BMC impacted the culture-at-large?

An expanded historical survey of the mid-20th century is examined in The Agency of Art: War, Pedagogy and Social Change in the Western World – 1915 to 1965, where a total of 5 radical art and liberal arts schools of the 20th century, including the 2 aforementioned, take center stage to speak more directly to the impact of the Two World Wars and the Great Depression, inclusive to the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt, specifically as it relates to the creation of the Works Project Administration (WPA), and as well to how women’s liberation and the emergence of America’s 1950’s and 60’s civil rights movement shaped and colored theses schools, which then shaped and colored the world.

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