The expectation that art should instruct as well as inspire is deeply rooted in modern Western culture and identity. Perhaps it may also be argued that instruction should inform and inspire and also be considered a “total work of art.” University students, ever more accustomed to studying while texting and listening to music, are demanding that their classes also embrace and utilize multiple media. (This is also true of university administrators who labor to provide us with “smart” classrooms.) Given the new demands and possibilities that the “high-tech” classroom offers, now seems an opportune moment to consider what the term Gesamtkunstwerk might have to offer the instructor who inhabits the 21st Century classroom. This paper takes a closer look at how we might profitably reconsider the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk in the context of teaching and offers up some preliminary speculations.
|Keywords:||Teaching as Performance, Gesamtkunstwerk, Total Work of Art, Classroom Performance Space|
Associate Professor, Department of History, Texas State University -- San Marcos, San Marcos, TX, USA