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Cinematic Modernism: METROPOLIS and the Frankfurt School

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Cinematic Modernism: METROPOLIS and the Frankfurt School


Join Professor Richard Begam (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) and the Centre for Modernist Cultures for a one-off talk about Fritz Lang's cinematic masterpiece, Metropolis (1927). In his talk, Professor Begam will ask: What relation existed in 1920s Germany between aesthetic autonomy and industrial automation? How did a liberal film-director position himself politically as Adolf Hitler was coming to power? And why is Walter Benjamin's essay on 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' relevant to a science-fiction movie? These are among the questions Professor Begam will consider as he draws on Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Siegfried Kracauer in examining issues of modernity and technology in Lang’s magnum opus.

***Please arrive at 5.45pm for a prompt 6pm start.***

Richard Begam is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a Visiting Professor at Duke University, the University of Düsseldorf and Stockholm University. His book publications as author or editor include Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity (Stanford University Press, 1996); Modernism and Colonialism (Duke University Press, 2007); Text and Meaning (Düsseldorf University Press, 2011); Platonic Occasions (Stockholm University Press, 2015); Modernism and Opera (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016); and Modernism, Postcolonialism, and Globalism (Oxford University Press, 2019).



Map Arts Building Main Lecture Theatre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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