Journal Review: German History, 2/2014

2.coverThe June edition of German History features an article on ‘Jazz, Synaesthesia and the History of the Senses in the Weimar Republic‘. Michael J. Schmidt argues that jazz was not primarily a musical, but a visual and textual phenomenon in Germany during 1920s: ‘Most Germans did not have access to live performances of jazz or radio and gramophones. Instead, they encountered it in newspapers and visual culture.’ The author furthermore ‘uses jazz as a window onto the larger history of the senses. A number of scholars have argued that the human senses were separated within modernity. This study argues that, within a growing media society such as early twentieth century Germany, the senses did not necessarily remain singular or divided. As this history of Weimar jazz suggests, modern media culture often promoted synaesthesia and perceptual mixing.’

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