HUWISU | Summer on Campus
Subject Course

Global Cities as Centers of Knowledge Production [S1]

Globalization isn’t only about economics and multinational concerns! Have you ever thought about the role of knowledge in the global play? Education institutions have an important impact on politics, culture and economics – let's carry out historical investigations, compare New York and Berlin, do some field study projects and take a close look at the chances and functions of education concepts!

Course Period
June 17, 2024 – July 12, 2024 Session I
Social Sciences, Politics & History
Course Levels
Bachelor, Master
Class Size

max. 18 participants

Credits and Certificate

Participants will receive 6 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-Universität.

Application Deadline
May 15, 2024, or when participant quota is reached
Course Fee

The course will introduce students to the theory, development and realities of global cities as centres of knowledge production. Based upon a closer look at the formation of the European and the American city as knowledge centres in historical perspective, particularly in terms of travelling educational philosophies and practices of education, the 19th century German university will be explored as a role model for American educational institutions. In a second step in the course will discuss the shifting aims and institutional paradigms of education in Europe and the United States since the 20th century.

In a third step, current knowledge models of selected cities both in the Global North and Global South will serve to address the various concepts, formats, and resources of knowledge production in the contemporary global city. This discussion will be accompanied by investigating public and private education institutions in Berlin in terms of their impact on the politics, economy and culture of the city.

Finally, the course will address future directions of and challenges to the knowledge metropolis by exploring competing concepts of education in Europe and the United States in the 21st century and their functions in a transnational and international perspective, for instance with regard to the emergence of "Education Cities" in non-Western countries (such as Arab countries).

Course structure
  • You will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes; 11 hours per week).
  • Lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions

Weekly Schedule

Monday: 9.00 am - 10.30 am & 11.00 am - 12.30 pm
Wednesday: 9.00 am - 10.30 am & 11.00 am - 12.30 pm
Friday: 1.30 pm - 3.00 pm & 3.30 pm - 5.00 pm


Cultural activities
You are welcome to join our cultural program with an excellent selection of excursions, sports activities, and social gatherings. It is the perfect setting for getting to know each other and for experiencing the varous facets of Berlin. There are no additional costs for participation in the activities.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Exhibitions…

Language Skills
Motivation Letter
About one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate and graduate students with an academic background of the topic and strong interest in transatlantic issues, educational systems, contemporary history, social sciences, and European studies.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

PD Dr. phil. Reinhard Isensee

Reinhard Isensee teaches in the American Studies Program at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. After completing his Ph.D. in 19th century American literature he pursued a postdoctoral research project on 20th Century-American Adolescent Literature (Habilitation, 2002).

With a particular interest in transatlantic and transnational topics, he has more recently focused in his research on (visual) media with a special emphasis on the cultural work of digital media.

He has published extensively in the field of American literature on American naturalism and on 20th century young adult literature, as well as in cultural studies on multicultural education, cultural identity formation and digital media. His cur-rent research work encompasses the contemporary American adolescent novel, the cultural and social history and present models of transatlantic, transnational and global education as well as the impact of digital media on the production and distribution of knowledge in American culture.

He has frequently held long-term as well as short-term guest professorships at universities and colleges in the United States and Europe.

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