The Art and Politics of Propaganda (Gen Ed 1012)





Why did Nazi sights, sounds, and propaganda prove to be so captivating and compelling for German audiences of a modern nation and how do we explain the continuing impact of Nazi images and fantasies to this very day, which is to ask, what do “they” have to do with “us”?  

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Eric Rentschler

As thinking beings we consider the limits of human potential and wonder what is the worst. The Nazis obsess us because they were masters of extremity who brought to the world unprecedented violence, destruction, and murder. They were also masters of propaganda who engineered sophisticated techniques of mass manipulation; in this endeavor cinema and modern media assumed a seminal role. This course considers why films proved to be so essential to the Hitler regime and so captivating to German audiences of the Third Reich. It also reflects on the continuing allure of Nazi sights and sounds for contemporary mass culture.

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