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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Enhancing digital teaching

A Taste of Berlin

Taught by Linda-Rabea Heyden/Marie Schröer

Thursday, 16:00 - 19:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Course taught in English and German

Language requirements: English B2

 

Course Description

Eating is an everyday practice, so profane it seems to be just a physical necessity to stay alive. Its ubiquity easily hides the variety of discourses and the many sign systems that influence and are linked to the simple gesture of eating and preparing food. Who eats what and where refers to the history, culture and conception of a region and its inhabitants. In return, national and regional habits of eating find their linguistic expression in idioms and metaphors. For individuals and social groups alike, food serves as a marker of identity and a means of distinction - symbolism, ritual behavior, myths, themes and motives of food and eating can be read and analyzed as signs(ystems).
 
In addition to foundational theoretical texts from the culture and social sciences and on Berlin (food) culture, we will analyze different representations of food and the acts and places of eating in literature (Döblin), film (Good bye, Lenin!), art (Zille) and comics (Mawil). In order to further German language proficiency we will focus especially on metaphors and idioms involving food and eating in everyday speech as well as their function in literary texts.
 
The intellectual intake is complimented by the practical-sensuous discovery of Berlin and its regional specialties. We will make excursions to various eateries to discover the different flavors of Berlin as well as explore food related places like the currywurst museum.
 
Requirements: regular attendance, active participation in class, oral presentation, participation in the excursions.

Literature

  • Barthes, Roland (1981): Das Reich der Zeichen. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp (Edition Suhrkamp Neue Folge, Bd. 77).
  • Barthes, Roland (1982): Für eine Psycho-Soziologie der zeitgenössischen Ernährung. In: Freiburger Universitätsblätter 75, 65-73.
  • Barthes, Roland (1957): Mythologie. Paris.
  • Bourdieu, Pierre (2011): Die feinen Unterschiede. Kritik der gesellschaftlichen Urteilskraft. [Nachdr.]. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp (Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, 658).
  • Döblin, Alfred: Berlin Alexander Platz. DTV, 2011.
  • Fontane, Friedérique C. (1903): Wie man in Berlin zur Zeit der Königin Luise kochte. Ein gastronomischer Beitrag nach dem im Jahre 1795 niedergeschriebenen Aufzeichnungen von F.C. Fontane, geb. Werner. Berlin.
  • Greif, Mark (Hg.) (2012): Hipster. Eine transatlantische Diskussion. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
  • Grewe-Volpp, C.; Halfmann, U.; Reinhart, W. (2003): Erlesenes Essen: literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Beiträge zu Hunger, Sattheit und Genuss. Für Ulrich Halfmann. Narr.
  • Henderson, Heike (2004): “Beyond Currywurst and Döner: The Role of Food in German Multicultural Literature and Society” Glossen 20. Kimmich, Dorothee und Schamma Schahadat (Hrsg.) (2012): Essen. Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. Bielefeld.
  • Mawil: Restaurant or Kitchen. Berlin City Blog. Online.
  • Möhring, Maren (2014): „Food for Thought: Rethinking the History of Migration to West Germany Through the Migrant Restaurant Business.“ In: Journal of Contemporary History 49 (1), S. 209–227.
  • Osthus, Dietmar (2000), Metaphern im Sprachenvergleich: eine kontrastive Studie zur Nahrungsmetaphorik im Französischen und Deutschen, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Regener, Sven (2004): Berlin blues. London: Vintage.
  • Rudolph, Hedwig und Flicitas Hillmann (1998): „How Turkish ist he donar kebab? Turks in Berlin’s food sector”, Scottish Geographical Magazine, 114:3, 138-147.
  • Springer, Robert (1850): Berlin’s Straßen, Kneipen und Clubs im Jahre 1848. Berlin.
  • Wandt, Heinrich (1954): 700 Jahre Weinhandel in Berlin 1254-1954. Berlin.