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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

GERM 44.07 Metropolis Berlin: Cultural and Political History in the Urban Landscape (in English)

This interdisciplinary class explores the German capital as a cultural and political center from the eighteenth century to the present day through historical and sociological readings, literary excerpts, films, conversations with Berliners, and excursions. Built around five core modules, the class provides a panorama of key moments in the city’s history: City of Growth (tenement housing or Mietskasernen in the 1920s; the Bauhaus; contemporary architecture; migration); City of Intellectuals (Jewish salons and enlightenment culture in the eighteenth century; underground literature and music under conditions of GDR censorship; today’s literary scene); City of Film (Weimar film; East German genre cinema); City of Ruptures (Fascism; the Berlin Wall; reunification); and City of Sustainability (a cultural history of water supply; public transportation; parks; and gentrification). Students will not only learn how to “read” Berlin’s present-day characteristics in the context of modern Germany’s cultural, political, and social history, they will also develop a refined understanding of the historically contested and emotionally charged nature of the city’s urban landscape and analyze the conflicts that arise from the challenges of commemorating Germany’s fraught past. The course will be taught in English by the German Studies Faculty Program Director. It will include the option to complete additional assignments in German during the x-hour for German major/minor credit. The Friday excursions will be open to all students on the FSP. Students enrolled in this course will serve as tour guides for their FSP peers.


McGillen, P


Accceptance into the Foreign Study Program.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:SOC; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.