Berlin Perspectives - Summer semester 2022

The Berlin Perspectives courses are offered by the Career Center as part of the elective program üWP.

Registration takes place via Agnes and is open until 13 April 2022.

History and Migration Philosophy and Politics Urban Culture and Society

History and Migration

Lecturer
Dr. Victoria Bishop Kendzia
Language requirements
English B2
Time
Thursday, 14-18 c.t. (seven four-hour sessions: 
28 April, 05 May, 12 May, 19 May, 02 June, 09 June, 16 June )
 Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
Berlin’s rich museological landscape lends itself to in-depth exploration of Germany’s difficult heritage: How are the upheavals of the 20th and 21st centuries, especially, remembered and represented? This course aims to enable the students to get to know a number of Berlin museums focusing on Memory and Post-WWII migration using anthropological methods and to critically analyse them within larger theoretical frameworks of “self” and “other” constructions.  To explore the role of museums in rendering such constructions visible and therefore debatable. In the digital format it will consist of online tours and explorations of sites in question, assignments based on these, and Zoom Meetings for discussion, exchange in real time, and student presentations.  In a blended format it will allow for optional museum visits for students in Berlin to replace a number of the online assignments, keeping the Zoom Meetings as above.  In a completely in person course, it will consist of seminars in the classroom and at least three site visits.  Accommodating these visits together as a group would require sessions of between 3-4 hours, so the number of sessions would then be reduced accordingly, should this become a completely in-person course.  In class discussion sessions would remain as 2 hour ct. sessions. 
Agnes course number: 42600011
Lecturer
Azakhiwe Nocanda-Höhling

Language requirements
English B2
Time
Tuesday 10-12 c.t.
 Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
How do our unconscious biases impact the way we view people within the African Diaspora? The course aims to explore intersectional inequalities of citizenship and the politics of Belonging and how our unconscious biases impact the way we view (Black) Africans and people within the African Diaspora. The relationship between migration, social cohesion and national German identity has become an increasingly contentious political issue. Historically, the settlement of migrant groups and the formation of minority ethnic groups have changed the socio-cultural, political and economic fabric of receiving societies. We will explore the relationship between racial and ethnocultural diversity. Students are encouraged to the intentional notion of undoing – unlearning and dismantling unjust practices, assumptions, and institutions – as well as persistent action to create and build alternative spaces and ways of knowing, particularly concerning the Black (African) Diaspora. Berlin will be used as a case study for themes covered, however, students are encouraged to reflect on their own identities and the expressions of various identities around the city. Class sessions will be composed of lectures, online discussions forums and an excursion through Berlin’s Black History. Course materials and readings are designed to give special emphasis to the African Diaspora initiatives and perspectives of shaping their own history. Ultimately the course provides students with a wide interdisciplinary introduction into the othering of (Black) Africans, so that students can interpret contemporary African issues with an informed historical background. 
Agnes course number: 42600012
Lecturer
Julia de Freitas Sampaio

Language requirements
English B2
German A1 (recommended)
Time
Wednesday 14-16 c.t.
 Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
The phrase “Germany is not a country of immigration” has been said by German officials multiple times, and yet, Germany is the second most popular destination for immigrants (just after the USA). But how has this country, which less than 100 years ago was home to one of the most racist and xenophobic regimes that have ever existed, is now home for so many immigrants? In this class we will explore the history and the laws behind it and, even more, we will hear the stories first hand from immigrants living in Berlin. As the course takes place in Berlin, the city will be our study case.  From tours organized by refugees, walks in the diverse Berliner neighborhoods and interviews with immigrants, this class aims to give a more in depth, first hand insight on the condition of immigrants living in Germany. That, without forgetting to take history, law and geography into account, for a richer understanding of the processes that have transformed this city (and country) over and over again.
Agnes course number: 42600013

Philosophy and Politics

Lecturer
Dr. Betiel Wasihun
Language requirements
English B2
Time
Tuesday 14-16 c.t.
Room:   0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7 
Please note: The first session (19 April) takes place online. All other sessions take place on-site at Hausvogteiplatz.  

Please note the individual session dates:
Regular sessions (14:15-15:45): 19 April, 26 April, 14 June, 12 July, 19 July
Longer sessions (14:15-17:00): 3 May, 10 May, 17 May, 24 May, 31 May, 7 June
No sessions: 21 June, 28 June, 5 July

Course description
What does it mean to live in a surveillance society? How does the digital age challenge questions regarding privacy, individuality and freedom? When does surveillance as care tip over into surveillance as control? And how does the Stasi system of vigilance prefigure contemporary surveillance culture? This course will on the one hand examine the impact of surveillance on society by looking at the multifaceted ways technologies, societies and the arts interact and, on the other hand, reflect on surveillance in a totalitarian context while comparing observation techniques in the GDR with contemporary surveillance methods. The course further encourages students to critically engage with the representation of surveillance in contemporary literature, film and popular culture and maps out important themes with regards to surveillance and its repercussions (e.g., visibility, identity, privacy and control). Furthermore, the course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of surveillance studies and covers the latest research in the following major areas: 1. Relationship between surveillance, power and social control; 2. Histories of Surveillance: GDR and the Stasi (especially in the context of Berlin) 3. The concept of privacy; 4. Surveillance in the arts and popular culture.
Agnes course number: 42600014
Lecturer
David Nonhoff, Dorian Alt
Language requirements
English B2
Time
Monday 14-16 c.t.
 Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
In 2017 for the first time since World War II, a right-wing populist party entered the German Bundestag. What came as a massive shock to many political observers in Germany, was merely the expression of a trend stretching across industrialised countries for a couple of decades now: the return of the illiberal right. This course tries to find explanations for the success of the AfD and other right-wing movements or parties, with a specific focus on Germany and the East-West divide that less than 35 years ago still cut Europe and Germany in two halves. In this course we look for answers to questions such as: Why do people vote for right-wing populist parties? What lesson can the history of right-wing extremism offer for contemporary politics? Can the experience of forceful and rapid change among citizens of formerly Communist states explain the prominence of Illiberalism in Eastern Germany and, potentially, beyond? The course is divided into three parts, which deal with the past, present and future of Illiberalism respectively. For each part, we will undertake an excursion within Berlin and discuss a Berlin-based movie to demonstrate how the traces of Illiberalism can be found throughout the city.
Agnes course number:  Agnes: 42600015 
Lecturer
Benjamin Wilck
Language requirements
English B2
German A2
Time
Monday 16-18 c.t.
Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
This course explores reflections on the structure and purpose of the university and the role of philosophy within that institution as put forward by German philosophers in the 19th and 20th centuries until today. The University of Berlin was founded in 1809/10 following a series of philosophical university reform writings: it was the first research university in history. Wilhelm von Humboldt in particular had the idea to create a new kind of university in which teaching and research would form a unity, in which science would be independent of political interests, and in which students would receive a universal education. By reading key texts by philosophers such as Kant, Schelling, Fichte, von Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Marx, Heine, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, we will trace how ideas relating to university reform and education policy changed and were implemented in the course of the last two centuries, also in light of the most recent European university reform: the Bologna Process in 1999. 
Agnes course number:  42600016 

Urban Culture and Society

Lecturer
Dr. Maria Hetzer
Language requirements
English B2
Time
Tuesday 12-14 c.t.
 Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
In this course, we explore the contemporary utilisation of typical Berlin discourses in the context of tourism and city marketing, such as Berlin-specific subcultures, economic developments a la Smart City, political activism and environmental concerns for tourism. By testing different approaches to experiencing and sensing the city, we critically examine the basis of diverse ways of “knowing Berlin”. We will ask: what makes the tourist perspective so intriguing and specific? Who profits from this way of experiencing a city? How is cultural diversity and complexity practically channelled into profitable tourism sites and activities? In small groups and workshop-based, we will develop and analyse contents and methods of explorative walking performances based on specific contemporary Berlin discourses and urban projects. In an application of our seminar findings and self-produced material, we will go on tours of Berlin addressing contemporary urban discourses centring on smart city, participation, touristification and urban activism. 
Agnes course number: 42600017
Lecturer
Ceren Kulkul
Language requirements
English B2
Time
Monday 10-12 c.t.
Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
For many decades, urban and community studies have analyzed the relevance of space for social diversity and integration. What does social diversity induce (in terms of social networks, belonging, everyday life practices)? How can we understand the role of public places (space) in creating new opportunities of meeting (un-)familiar others? How can we approach space as an active participant of sociability as well as community building? In order to answer these questions, we will work with the concept of ‘third place’ which has been firstly conceptualized as a mechanism of sociability between home and work. Today, it is necessary to expand this definition. We talk about how third places open space for women, LGBTI+, immigrants, ethnic minorities, and subculture groups, by looking at book clubs, parks, skateparks, mosques, shisha bars etc. In this course, we will use the concept of third places to address urban complexities in community construction while learning how to do research on these sites. Students will develop their own research project and work on it during the course, for example answering questions about the role of their selected third places on the ways in which people develop a sense of belonging to a group, share, help and seek support from its inhabitants. Overall, they would ask how place itself has a direct impact on their daily practices and networks. We will go on excursion to study and understand how we would use third places to find innovative ways of doing research on social integration or community construction. Additionally, we experience and understand Berlin as a sum of various third places.
Agnes course number:  42600018 

Lecturer
Samuel Perea-Díaz
Language requirements
English B1
Time
Wednesday 10-12 c.t.
Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
The course focuses on mapping and listening to acoustic territories in Berlin. It allows academic research for exploring and understanding the city by sensing aural environments. Structured in theory and practice, the central questions of the course are: which sonic elements can we encounter in navigating historical and contemporary maps? Which methods of research and practices exist in the act of mapping with sound? How can we generate sound maps? The course reflects the city's cultural, social, and political dimensions from a transdisciplinary approach through analyzing and creating maps by listening. It allows students to explore auditory territories, gain strength, and develop knowledge and individual perspectives on cultural and urban studies. The mapping methods are practice-based on field recordings, soundwalk, and sound diagramming exercises. The academic readings and discussions will introduce the student to the field of sound studies.
Agnes course number:  42600019 
Lecturer
Dr. Stefanie Rinke
Language requirements
German B2 
English B1

Time
Thursday 10-12 c.t.
Room: 0323-26, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7  
Course description
Berlin is called the most sexually open capital of Europe today. In clubs, bars, workshops and festivals, a broad range and mix of sexual orientations are created in different and also crossing scenes and sex-positive spaces. Homosexual, transgender, tantric, polyamory, sex-positive and BDSM-oriented persons meet and celebrate and create new sexual techniques and lifestyles in so-called sex-positive spaces. The government of Berlin has already recognized the economic dimension of the liberal sexual culture. What does liberal sexual culture exactly mean? What kind of historical roots are important to analyze, e.g. the anonymity of the big city, the homosexual movement and the golden twenties? What was and is avant-garde and when does it turn into commerce? Four subitems will structure the seminar: Sex-positive spaces, LGBTQI+ and Gender-Fluidity, Kink and Tantra, alternative porn films and literature. Excursions and interviews with experts will be part of the seminar. We will work with texts and films, and students will develop their own research question and project. 
Agnes course number: 42600020