Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany

Courses - January Term 2018

Berlin Courses

Choose one of the courses below. Suggested credit hours are in parentheses. Credits for each course are equal to American credits based on one credit for a minimum of 15 classroom hours plus home study. Classes are taught Monday through Friday for a total of 45 hours. Courses have 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. All courses are taught in English except for “Berlin in the Winter.” The German language course is available at 2 levels: Elementary and Intermediate. Please note that courses are subject to change.


History/Cultural Studies 319 (3 credits) | Cultural Memory - Museums in Berlin

Museums are keepers of our cultural memory. Collecting, preserving and exhibiting are the main tasks museums stand for. Museums focus different subjects and face historical and cultural differences in various ways. What is worth collecting, or how are objects labeled, in what way are they displayed? These are essential questions museums pose today.

The course wants to look at how different museums in Berlin answer these questions. Viewing historical and cultural heritage within the context of a collection brings up the issue of how objects are (re-)animated to tell a story within an exhibition. So, visits to collections and current exhibitions as for instance the Jewish Museum Berlin, the German Historical Museum or the Museum der Dinge are planned. How are exhibitions made? What are significant tools curators use to amplify their thesis? What does hands on mean? How are objects animated, what stories do they tell and how do they respond to questions of gender or race?

History/Politics/Social Science 312 (3 credits) | The Berlin Wall and Cold War Era

For almost 30 years, the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the division of the city of Berlin, of Germany and of Europe during the era of the Cold War between the two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Consequently, the fall of the Wall in 1989 was a hugely symbolic turning point in world history. But how can we explain the building of such a dividing monument? How can we account for its fall in 1989? And how does the Wall influence our lives today? The course will provide answers to such questions via readings of texts from political science, sociology and history, while also taking the opportunity to explore the ground on which the events between 1961 and 1989 took place.

Law 315 (3 credits) | Introduction to International Economic Law

Multinational companies such as Google or Apple self-evidently act on a global stage, but today even small businesses participate in international trade. The integration of national companies and the elimination of barriers of trade no longer allow a solely national view on this development. With the growing importance of international commerce, the need for an ‘International Economic Law’ arises. Common principles of Economic Law will be examined by analyzing leading decisions by international courts. A substantial part of the course will be dedicated to classroom discussion of real-life cases. Students will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the core branches of International Economic Law, the underpinning institutional frameworks and dispute settlement mechanisms. Only open to undergraduate law or economics students and/or students with a strong interest in the topic.

Politics/Social Science 309 (3 credits) | Germany and the New World Order

This course will try to understand the position a reuni ed Germany has sought to de ne for itself in the New World Order that has arisen since the end of the Cold War. Today, a quarter- century after reuni cation, the contours of a new German foreign policy are becoming visible, which we might dub “middle power politics.” New German self-images and ambitions, a changed geopolitical environment, new global tasks and platforms, stronger interdependence with the rest of the world and a growing set of foreign policy instruments amid stagnating resources, all de ne the character and the reach of German foreign policy today. This course aims to give students a thorough understanding of German foreign policy since reuni cation, its bases, ideas, instruments and potentials. It will re ect upon present trends in international relations and global governance and ponder how Germany (or any other Western power) can hope to wield power effectively in this New World Order. This is interdisciplinary and will approach the concept of “middle power politics” from different perspectives, including those of the political sciences, law and regional studies, as well as from those of international relations and German History.

Religion/Culture 308 (3 credits) | Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Germany

This course aims to examine convergences, divergences, and parallel tracks, interrogating tensions evident between the Jewish narrative within the culture of memory in Germany (Erinnerungskultur) and the endeavors to represent migration today. The focus will be on museum and exhibition-oriented institutions with three to four field trips to relevant sites in Berlin. The trips will be preceded in class by an overview of a theoretical framework on the issues of the construction of "Self" and "Other" and followed by discussions of the field sites in a workshop atmosphere. In addition to tracing the historical narratives, class time is set aside to explore ongoing current events, relevant to the course.

Social Science 311 (3 credits) | European City and Regional Development Planning - The Case of Berlin

The aim of this course is to understand and learn about the different challenges European regions are facing, e.g. integration and migration, social exclusion, demographic change, creative milieus, economic decline, shrinking cities and ecological renewal.
  • How is the aging society affecting our rural and urban areas?
  • How are migrants integrated in European cities?
  • Does Berlin have a creative class and if so, how does it affect the city?
These are only some of the questions that will be discussed in the course. The city of Berlin is a hotspot for various regional developments. As a result, several of these aspects will be explored and explained during short excursions and day trips in Berlin (e.g., ethnic businesses and the migration situation in Neukölln, the newly developing zone Tempelhofer Feld).

Students of all relevant disciplines who are interested in different aspects of European regional development, including city and regional planning, geography, politics, social sciences and economics, are most welcome to join this course.

German 101/201 (3 credits) | German language - Berlin in the Winter

This course is specifically designed for those seeking instruction in the German language and is available at Elementary and Intermediate levels. The course can be combined with an English subject course above and is suitable for participants who really want to discover Berlin with weekly extra cultural and social activities offered.