Travel Dates for fall session: November - December, 2016

The Faculty

Dawn Sonntag, Professor Music and German Language

Megan Altman, Professor of Philosophy

The Course

MUSIC/PHILOSOPHY XXXXX: Music, Philosophy and German National Identity Preparation (one credit hour during Fall 12-week session, 2016)
This course will serve as preparation for the 3-week Study Abroad course, Music, Philosophy, and German National Identity. Through readings, listening assignments, videos, and discussion, participants will develop a foundational background though which they will be
better equipped to interpret their experiences and observations in Germany.  The course will introduce participants to 19th and 20th century German philosophers and composers, providing a basis for discussion and understanding of the complex relationship between German philosophy, music, and national identity.  Participants will analyze the close connections between German music and philosophy and the manner in which both were utilized to promote National Socialist Party ideology in the 20th century, examining how some German composers and philosophers distanced themselves from the Nazi party and the consequences they suffered for their aesthetic choices.  All will discuss Germany's history as a center of both philosophy and art music and how the events of the 20th century have shaped their perceptions and interpretation of music and philosophy in the 21st century.  We will also examine the influence that German music and philosophy have had on American art music development and music education.  This course will also introduce current German societal norms and basic phrases that students can use in their interactions with Germans.  Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory.

INTD XXXXX:  Music, Philosophy and German National Identity (three credit hours during Fall 3-week session, 2016)
This course will explore the richness and depths of the musical and philosophical soil of 19th and 20th century German identity.  Participants will learn about such canonical philosophers and composers of post-Enlightenment Germany as Forcher and Scheibe, who sought to define a transcendental ideal of "German" music and set Germany on its Sonderweg, separating itself from its Eastern and Western neighbors, and Bach, the beloved composer who was esteemed as a national folk-hero and placed at the epicenter of a German Protestant culture.  At the same time, German Jews struggled for emancipation and equality.  The Jewish Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and

his grandchildren, the Romantic composers Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, represented both the significant contributions of German Jews to German musical and philosophical thought and 19th century German ambivalence towards the Other.  The devastating economic hardships of post-WWI Germany fueled fear and anger that contributed to the rise of the National Socialist Party, which sought to destroy Jewish culture while promoting German Romanticism as an ideal.  German composers who opposed the Nazi party divorced themselves from the Romantic tradition, embracing atonality, which had been outlawed by the Third Reich as "degenerate," and Germany became an international center for New Music, i.e., atonality, a position it still holds today.  Meanwhile, German philosophers such as Heidegger joined the National Socialist party, while others, such as Adorno and Bloch, opposed it and became major influences of the student revolution of the 1960s.  The tensions and tragedies of the past are very present in 21st century German identity, and this is reflected in contemporary views of music.

Class Requirements:
Grade work is based on participation, attendance, essays, discussions, journals, and cultural hunt. 

The Program

This program will study the complex and important role that music and philosophy have played in shaping Germany's cultural and political identity from 1800 to the present.  

Field Trips:

Teaching this course in several different geographical locations in Germany, participants will have an opportunity to visit universities, concert halls, churches, and private residences, where the musicians and philosophers taught, worked and lived. Locations include Heidelberg, Bayreuth, Halle, and Berlin.

Program Details

  • Program Costs:  $4,500 above tuition, room and board.  Costs include round trip airfare, housing, meals, entrance fees and tips.  Personal expenses, passport fees, and independent travel are not included.  
  • Application Deadline:  THIS DEADLINE HAS PASSED; A $75 non-refundable fee will be billed to your Hiram College account upon receipt of your application.  This fee is used to pay for processing costs, an International Student Identity Card, passport holder, and luggage tags.
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Study Abroad Staff

For more information, contact:

Brittany Jackson
Assistant Director
Strategic Academic Initiatives
Hiram College
PO Box 67
Hiram, OH  44234

Phone: 330.569.5380
Fax: 330.569.6005

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