Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab

Circle U.-Teams of winter semester 2022/23

The bologna.lab and international office at HU offer 2 Circle U.-Teams in winter term 2022/23: We, the global governors; Democracy, Bildung and Decolonialization in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira

The HU lecture period starts on 17th of October and ends on 18th of February.

For dates and time please check the Team that you are interested in. If you are interested in participating in a Circle U.-Team please write an e-mail with the necessary information (see on the right) to

Kursbild_we, the gloabl governors.jpg We, the global governors




Team leader: Milan Varda, doctarate student at University of Belgrade

Level: open to Bachelor and Master students

What prior theoretical and methodological knowledge should students bring with them?

capability of conducting research individually in their field



This course will provide the required theoretical and methodological knowledge in the field of global governance. The field, while within the domain of political science, is inherently interdisciplinary. As such, this course is open for students from various disciplines, provided that students from non-political science disciplines are capable of conducting research within their fields.


Today’s world is very interconnected and issues like climate change, pandemics and conflicts affect us through state borders. Various global governance institutions have been formed to tackle these issues, albeit with varying effectiveness. The course We, the global governors will explore current issues that global governance institutions are trying to solve, as well as the role of democracy in facing contemporary challenges. This course will explore to what extent democracy and civil society have penetrated various areas of global governance, as well as to explore how greater transparency, democratization, inclusion at the local level and deliberation can make the global governance more effective.


The students are supposed to write a research article on the topic of their choosing within the field.


The students of this course will learn what global governance is, how it is forming and changing, as well as how it is affected by democracy. The students will also learn the fundamental knowledge of research such as forming research questions, finding literature, creating theoretical framework, and providing empirical proofs.

Course Dates and Time: Wednesday 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.


vlcsnap-2022-09-07-05h36m53s516.png Democracy, Bildung and Decolonialization in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira 

Team Leader: David S. Contreras Islas, PhD student at Humboldt-Universität

Level: Bachelor and Master students

What prior theoretical and methodological knowledge should students bring with them?

Previous experience within the mentioned fields is desirable but not required. A prerequisite for successful participation in the seminar is regular involvement and the willingness to read and discuss academic texts and create an open and trusting working atmosphere.


Using the example of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira, we will explore the connections between education, embodiment and democracy from a theory of Bildung perspective. To this aim, democracy will not be understood as an institutional order but as a disruptive practice that allows the voices silenced by the institutional order to be heard (Rancière). Accordingly, education for democracy (Dewey, Reichenbach, Biesta) is not understood as the socialisation of “newcomers” in the existing order but as an open-ended process “in which new political identities and subjectivities come into existence” (Biesta). This approach allows addressing education for democracy as a form of Bildung, in which self and world relations are transformed (Benner, Koller, Brinkmann). Furthermore, it highlights the experiential, embodied and situated aspects of democratic education, usually overlooked in cognitive or competence-oriented approaches. Finally, as an embodied process of Bildung, democracy education becomes accessible to qualitative, empirical research. From these perspectives, we will analyse video sequences produced within the framework of a doctoral project on the videographic exploration of experiences of Bildung during the practice of capoeira. Furthermore, to explore the potential of capoeira as a practice of democratic education, we will examine the hypothesis that presents capoeira as a decolonial pedagogy (Abib). Starting from aspects such as embodiment, emotions and community, we will discuss potential relations between democracy, Bildung and decolonialization.

Following research-based learning principles, the seminar aims to provide students with experience conducting independent qualitative research. We will perform joint goal-oriented work as a student research team aiming to produce a piece of scientific communication (e.g. an academic article, a paper, a blog or a science communication video).

Course Dates and Time: Monday 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (GMT+2)