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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab - Neue Lehre. Neues Lernen

Sommersemester 2020


Download: our brochure for the summer semester 2020


Please note that in the summer semester 2020, all Berlin Perspectives courses are held in a digital format. The information in the brochure regarding seminar rooms, excursions, etc. is no longer valid. 




YOU KYUNG BYUN                       

Agnes: 2181331

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Tuesday 16-18 c.t. 


This course aims to explore, critically analyze, and comprehend the history of migration and the recent development of migrant economies in Berlin with a particular focus on migrant entrepreneurship. About 30 % of the total population in Berlin has migration backgrounds. Many of them are part of migrant economies in this multicultural city, such as in ethnic restaurants, market places, and tourist agencies. Migrant economies and entrepreneurship in Berlin are deeply involved in everyday life and it is essential to consider in what ways migration and migrant economies are integrated into ordinary life. Migrant entrepreneurship reflects multilayered connections of the local business to the origin of the represented culture and the multicultural identity of the involved individuals. Who are the migrant entrepreneurs in Berlin? How do they reproduce their national and international identity in their business? How does it interact with the city's socioeconomic environment? Course participants will work with the examples from Berlin's multicultural economic sceneries to implement the learned theories in practice. For this purpose, students are expected to participate in the field trips and to analyze migrant economies in Berlin with their hands-on experience. Through these exercises, participants expect to develop individual perspectives in living together in a multicultural city.



SHELLEY ETKIN                       

Agnes: 2181332

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Tuesday 10-14 c.t. 

Gardens of Berlin: Transdisciplinary Ecology studies several unique urban garden projects in Berlin in order to ask: what can a garden be? We will look at what these gardens do in the context of Berlin, through the many human and nonhuman communities that are part of them. The course proposes ecological thinking as a frame for engagement with the many disciplines that inform the field of ecology ranging from environmental, to social and political, artistic and spiritual. From plants to political dynamics, activism to artistry, the urban gardens studied will reflect the diverse topography of Berlin's ecology. 
In lieu of group site visits, we will be guided through virtual tours created by local organisers from each of the projects and a range of materials to give impressions of these gardens, their histories and current forms. Readings will contextualise each project with theory from the transdisciplinary field of ecology. Students will be supported with resources and prompts to work autonomously. Discussions will take place via on Zoom and through the forum of Moodle. There will be several smaller assignments throughout and a final garden design project to conclude. 
The course embraces the wide range of cultural and academic backgrounds that students bring to ecological thinking, emphasising creative and critical reflection. The course is an opportunity to situate questions of planetary change through the study of Berlin as a complex ecosystem, gaining in-depth perspectives through its urban gardens. There is no requirement for students to have previous familiarity with the subject, only a willingness to engage.





language requirements English B2

The course “Berlin as refugee city” explores the recent history of (forced) migration to the city of Berlin from an anthropological perspective. How and where are refugees visible in urban spaces of Berlin? What are the challenges they are confronted with and what are their practices of space-making and maneuvering the city? The temporal focus of this course is set on the so-called ‘European refugee crisis’ in 2015 and its aftermath, yet we also discuss Germany’s migration regime from a historical perspective. In doing so, the seminar invites critical engagement with classifications and terminology (“refugee”, “crisis”, etc.) and a multidimensional exploration of Berlin as space of refuge, settlement and activism. Besides reading and discussing a variety of critical sources, such as field reports, academic articles and media coverage, this course offers an exploration of mapping methodologies, and participation in excursions to different locations in Berlin that have played a role in the ‘refugee crisis’ and its aftermath.  Furthermore, there is a reflective dimension to this course that strongly motivates us: students are encouraged to engage with their own and their families’ immersion in migration, are asked to reflect in which ways they experience Berlin as a ‘refugee city’, and what it meant for them to arrive and settle in Berlin.



ALESSA PALUCH                       

Agnes: 2181336

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Monday 12-14 c.t. 

Capital of Cool, City of Tolerance and (affordable) Hub of Creativity – Berlin’s image is an alluring one. The images of Berlin circulating in all kinds of media are just as interesting, but also surprisingly diversified. If this is true for contemporary Berlin it proves to be so even more in regard of its 20th century history: historic moments like the fall of the Berlin Wall are always also represented in images. The image(s) of Berlin is/are an interconnected mixture of past, present and hoped for future. This seminar focuses on the double meaning of image as pictures with a certain imaginative power (e.g. symbols, iconic images) and image as reputation. It is meant to be an expedition into Berlin’s and Germany‘s Visual Culture. We are going to have a closer look on some of these images – ranging from iconic photographs to music video clips to official marketing campaigns – and reflect their symbolic meaning and varying interpretations, their impact on Berlin's self-concept, identity, on its cultural scene and even on its economic value. Basic concepts developed in the context of the Visual Culture Studies are introduced, with aspects of Art History, Film Studies, Metropolitan Studies, Tourism Studies and Social Science. The seminar aims to be an exercise in Visual Literacy (VL), enabling students to better understand, interpret and use images in their everyday life.




Agnes: 2181337

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Wednesday 10-12 c.t. 


This weekly course explores Berlin’s sonic perspectives with an approach to architecture, urban planning, human and social sciences as well as art in our everyday life. In everyday life, our vision merges to our listening actions and therefore we continuously follow a rhythm which is created by our own actions and our surroundings. As an intuitive, non-cognitive and unconscious act, listening helps us to understand our environment. The listener creates individual and subjective images because of the fact that any acoustic format is visual. From the urban sonic perspective, every city and every urban space has a particular sonic identity for every individual. Central questions in the course are: What is the sound of Berlin? Which sonic elements in architecture, urban planning, art and cultural events have shaped berlin? How these projects are in relation to Berlin’s socio-political processes? In this course, we respond these questions through the interdisciplinary collective listening exercises with site visits, recordings, readings and discussions. We will examine cultural projects and develop, discover and analyze the urban environment with an approach that focuses on hearing and sound. We will draw a research line for exploring the city and understanding the current urban complexities with a specific methodology that considers the aural environment, acoustic ecologies and listening.



BANU TÜLÜ                             

Agnes: 2181338

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Wednesday 14-16 c.t. 

Berlin is considered as multi-layered urban lab with contradictory landscape; luxury housing, big urban development projects next to squats, small urban garden projects, urban parks and green areas, etc. Over the course of the 1990s and 2000s till today, over 50 percent of the city’s public housing stock has been sold to private investors and the city has become a highly desirable destination for international property investment (Holm 2007). The lack of affordable housing and a rise in the speculative real-estate market spur new discussions about gentrification. Meanwhile, inhabitants and newcomers fight for their rights in the city. The focal point of this course is an examination of the changes associated with urban development in Berlin and “counter actions” as urban social movements. This interdisciplinary course explores Berlin through urban activism in with several lenses, including: housing, urban environmental activism, community gardening and political power relations in the city. In addition to that this course offers an analysis of right to the city, participation, social justice, urban resistance, grassroots organizing, and urban development policy. Within the broad theme of “urban activism”, the course focuses on the ways in which neighborhood/inhabitant experiences and citizens’ collide to produce different forms of resistance within Berlin’s political sphere.



DR. STEFANIE RINKE                      

Agnes: 2181340

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B1, German B1

Monday 14-16 c.t. 

Berlin is called the most sexually open capital of Europe today. Berlin is open to develop a personal sexual orientation and identity. In clubs, bars, workshops and festivals a brought range and mix of sexual orientations are created in different and also crossing scenes. Homosexual, transgender, tantric, polyamory, sex-positive and BDSM-oriented persons meet and celebrate and create new sexual technics and lifestyles. 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 it turns into commerce? We will discuss all these issues by visiting central places in Berlin in field trips, by reading texts and watching films.
The questions will be discussed in class not only by listening to the professor but by finding an own student research question and project, which will be pursued in groups. The final presentation will be a student film, a poster presentation, a website or another available format dealing with the sexual culture of Berlin. Please remark: Students motivation and participation are very important to this class.
The texts and handouts will be available for all students via Moodle. The films will be available via the media center of the HU Berlin.



ERIK BECKER                             

Agnes: 2181329

Download: Detailed Syllabus (previsously planned version; the schedule has been adapted for the online format)

language requirements English B2, German A2-B1

Thursday 14-16 c.t. 

Digital, data-based technologies like apps play an increasingly important role in our daily lives in Berlin: be it in the search for the fastest route through the city by public transport (BVG-Fahrinfo), by bike or on foot (Google Maps), when shopping or ordering food or when at leisure while playing games (Pokemon Go). As we navigate through the urban space, we produce a lot of data without being aware of it. We do not know the purpose of its use by the tech companies or the platform industry. We see new dominant narratives that imagine the city of the future as "smart" and based on data. But what does that mean for us and our data? How does a "smart future" in the eyes of politicians and other decision makers look like?
The seminar would like to combine the current discussions about data-based surveillance capitalism/Digital Capitalism and urban research. In this way, the role of data-based, digital technologies in our everyday life in Berlin should be made visible and be reflected on. The seminar further aims at changing the given "strategies" of the apps like Google Maps by exploring the urban space through walks in the city. They will be conceptualized and carried out by the students themselves. Perhaps, this could offer us a different perspective on urban space and allow us to regain our agency for a moment.





DR. RUSSELL ALT-HAAKER                     

Agnes: 2181328

Download: Detailed Syllabus (previsously planned version; the schedule has been adapted for the online format)

language requirements English B2

Tuesday 10-12 c.t. 


Over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Berlin has been home to a heterogeneous Jewish community, from “assimilated” German Jews during the Wilhelmine era, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe during the Weimar Republic, and people of Jewish heritage who suffered under and sought to flee from the Nazi regime to a small post-war Jewish enclave in a divided Berlin and a vibrant Jewish community after reunification that now draws thousands of others from around the world to the city as their elective home. Through selected essays, satire, newspaper reports, memoirs, poems, photographs and graphic memoirs, we will discuss how Jewish identity has been negotiated against the backdrop of Berlin’s ever-changing socio-political landscape. In addition to mapping the literary terrain of Jewish identity in Berlin, we will pay special attention to urban sites that have played an important role in this process. As a result, this course pairs written works with a physical exploration of the city to paint a more detailed picture of our readings. You will be asked to visit specific sites to explore the spaces that feature in the texts or that provide important historical context for our discussions. By scratching the layers of history around us, we will also look at our own identity as elective Berliners and how we inhabit this city as members of the international community.




Agnes: 2181330

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2


Tuesday 14-18 c.t. 

This interdisciplinary course explores some key aspects visible in Berlin’s museological landscape.  It will focus on issues of Self and Other constructions as attested in museums and exhibitions.  The aim of the course is to use anthropological methods to explore the sites and critical analyses to reflect upon them.  This thematic course touches on several disciplines.  It is based in empirical social anthropology, especially in terms of theoretical framework and methodology.  It does, however, involve a historical overview of the Jewish narrative in Germany from just before 1933 to the present and an overview of migration issues.



DR. OLGA GNYDIUK                          

Agnes: 2181333

Download: Detailed Syllabus (previsously planned version; the schedule has been adapted for the online format)

language requirements English B2


Tuesday 12-14 c.t.

Imagine yourself as a child, or a teenager, living in Berlin during the First or Second World War, under the Nazi regime, or perhaps at a time when the city was divided between the East and the West. What would you do, where would you spend most of your time, where would your parents be, what could you learn at school? What would be your dreams and aspirations? This course equips you with knowledge, skills and information that help to answer and reflect on the questions about Berlin's history and culture, the life of its inhabitants, and socio-political developments in Germany and Europe in the 20th century.
By using the lens of children and adolescents, the course raises the topics of war, racism, eugenics, humanitarianism, displacement, child welfare politics and analyze how different events of this turbulent century shaped the present-day Berlin and Germany. In the class sessions, we will discover a variety of children’s experiences, read personal stories, analyze historical documents, reflect on exhibitions and movies, contrast and compare child policies and politics during war and peacetime.
By the end of the course, we will be able to build a bridge between the past and the present, use historical knowledge and critical analysis in discussions on the current socio-political problems and events as well as reflect on our own lives in the present-day dynamic cityscape of Berlin.




FRIEDERIKE HEINZ                          

Agnes: 2181334

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2, German B1

Monday 10-12 c.t. 

Why is remembrance of the colonial past marginalized in Germany? In this course, we will analyse the traces of the German colonial past and of colonial resistance in former colonies and in Berlin. The course focuses on actual debates and struggles for the remembrance of the colonial history in Berlin.  We will get to know Berlin as the capital of the colonial empire, have an insight in the colonial realities and sharpen our view of the long-term consequences of colonialism. Excursions to the African Quarter in Wedding and the exhibition "Zurückgeschaut“ about colonial shows in Treptow illustrate the current negotiations of remembrance of colonialism in Berlin. Through readings, discussions and the guided excursions, the course will introduce to contemporary debates on marginalization in Germany as well as on restitution of objects to the former colonies and re-naming of streets and places. The last sessions of the seminar will be dedicated to practices of colonial remembrance from different contexts and countries. Final assignments will be contributions for a joined teamwork product (poster, podcast, blog) on a related topic.
The course is taught in German and English for students who have acquired at least the equivalent of B1 in German and B2 in English.



BENJAMIN WILCK                         

Agnes: 2181339

Download: Detailed Syllabus (new version ONLINE COURSE)

language requirements English B2

Wednesday 16-18 c.t. 


This course explores philosophical reflections on the university and the role of philosophy within that institution as put forward by German philosophers in the Prussian Berlin of the 19th century, while also providing a critical perspective on the subsequent history of the university through the 20th century until today. The University of Berlin was founded in 1809/10 as a result of revolutionist treatises on university reforms by philosophers in Berlin such as Fichte, von Humboldt, and Schleiermacher. 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 and economic interests, and in which students would receive a universal education. Consequently, the University of Berlin became the worldwide paradigm of a new era of university and science. By reading key texts by Kant, Fichte, von Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Marx, Heine, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, and others, we will trace how ideas relating to the structure and purpose of the university and academic teaching and scientific research changed and were implemented in the course of the last two centuries, especially in light of the most recent university reform following the Bologna Process in 1999. Moreover, the course puts particular emphasis on the impact of philosophical ideas on politics, religion, and education, as well as on literature, visual arts, and architecture in Berlin past and present. 
Reading materials are made available electronically in both the German original and English translation. Instruction and discussion are in English, but German contributions are welcome.