Pleasures and Distractions

Early Entertainment Culture Around 1900 in the Twin Cities

The Teaching Project
Near the turn of the century (1880-1930), European metropolises such as Berlin, Vienna and Paris underwent drastic change. 
With the increasing mobility – made possible with the advent of the automobile and steam trains; the electrification of cities with luminous architectures and brightly lit shop windows; and with emerging possibilities of urban entertainment in the form of panoramas, amusement parks and Varietés new forms of public perception came into being. Within this context cinema marks a climax. 
We approached cultural and media history of urban experience through works from Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Krakauer, Georg Simmel e.g. 
In the second part of the seminar we approached the entertainment culture of our own metropolis. In the center of our weekly excursions, we will focused on historic spaces of distraction like the fairground, dance halls, and movie theatres. Each student group developed its own research project related to a place in Minneapolis. The inspiring outcomes can be viewed below.

Click on the pictures to enjoy the student projects!