Cultural History: Sweet Dreams, Chilling Nightmares - Vienna 1870-1938

Ref: C3741109

The gulf between the artistic developments, the fantasy world of artists, musicians, architects, designers and the reality of the collapsing Austrian Empire was huge. Many attempted to portray and even fill this gap, Freud, Wittgenstein, Roth, Mahler, Loos are but a few. The aftermath of World War 1 however did not destroy the spirit of the city and against the background of economic and political perils the world of dreams or artistic licence flourished in new music, art, literature and political life (Schoenberg, Korngold, Kokoschka and ‘Red Vienna’). Hovering menacingly was the rise of fascism and increasing anti-Semitism which finally extinguishing all the dreams for a number of generations at least.

Course aim

To introduce students to the achievements in Vienna between 1870 and 1938 as well as the political and economical turmoil

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise and give examples of the achievements in art, architecture, literature and music and describe their importance
  • Identify autobiographical texts to gain an appreciation of the anguish of war, starvation and unemployment
  • Define the meaning of the terms nationalism, populism and anti-Semitism and what specifically they meant in Austria in the 1930s.
  • Recognise and identify the limitations of individual freedom by examples of the curtailment of these by totalitarian governments
  • Explain what is meant by the term'social injustice'

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Cultural History: Sweet Dreams, Chilling Nightmares - Vienna 1870-1938


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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