Art and Environment in the Third Reich
From radical conservationist practices to vegetarianism to biodynamic farming, ecological consciousness was central to the project of German National Socialism. Capitalizing on a generations-long compulsion to uncover an Ur-Germanic past in rural folkways and the physical countryside, the ecological theories and policies of the Third Reich were central to its essentializing of a nationalist, mystical kinship of Germans with their homeland, all of which reinforced blood and soil ideologies. This panel assesses National Socialism’s eugenicist brand of environmental science and politics by taking a closer look at the aestheticization of race and landscape in the visual arts produced in and around that period. By examining the Nazification of Nature in art and its reception, we also hope to draw critical lessons for understanding right-wing adaptations of ecological thought in the age of the Anthropocene. Speakers include: Gregory Bryda (Barnard), Kenny Cupers (Basel), Freyja Hartzell (BGC), Jacqueline J. Jung (Yale), Hannah Shaw (Rutgers), and Matthew Vollgraff (Bilderfahrzeuge, Warburg).