Kitsch. The Aesthetic, Moral, and Political Dimensions of “Bad Taste” - Dr. Gordana-Dana Grozdanic
(Kitsch (Spring 2018))

Kitsch. The Aesthetic, Moral, and Political Dimensions of “Bad Taste” - Dr. Gordana-Dana Grozdanic

Spring 2018


In this course we will explore the concept of kitsch from its first emergence in Munich art circles in the second half of the nineteenth century to its internationalization in the early twentieth century to its omnipresence in today’s globalized society and economy. What is kitsch? Why do dictators like it? Is there something inherently evil in kitsch as Hermann Broch famously claimed? Or is kitsch simply “bad art”? What makes a description or depiction of an object “kitschy”? Why do such objects often have an intense emotional appeal as we all, particularly children, sometimes find comfort in them? As we try to tackle these and other questions, we will engage with theoretical and fictional texts, films, paintings, sculptures and music which will provide a springboard for discussions about the nature of art, consumerism and political and moral dimensions of the creative process. Prof. Catriona MacLeod from University of Pennsylvania, our guest speaker, will enrich our discussions with her insights.