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3.21 Popular Culture: Berlin and Beyond

Instructor: Dr. Karolina Golimowska
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 4
Course fee:
€ 1,100
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
  • Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Course Description

This course is meant to show Berlin as both, a setting of popular culture practices and phenomena as well as a protagonist and source of inspiration thereof. We will consider the many facets and dimensions of popular culture, including its history and various modes of ideology within. We will then see how these are intertwined with the cultural history of the city and its urban, social and political developments.

The course will cover a whole range of pop culture representations related to the city in different ways: film, television, comic books, fiction, music, paintings, street art etc. and will discuss their significance within the historical frame of reference as well as their international impact. We will also look at how these popular culture representations on one hand reflect the city and on the other contribute to the way Berlin is being imagined, perceived and remembered.

Studying the history of popular culture, students will be able to see various cultural disciplines and practices as interlinked and as having a mutual influence on one another. Providing theoretical as well as practical approaches, the course aims at developing critical thinking and embracing popular culture representations in the context of a given time period and political setting. It shows artistic and cultural practices as related to one another in time and space and therefore also allows for a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.    

Student Profile

This course is open to all students interested in the critical study of popular culture with a special focus on Berlin. No previous experience with (pop) cultural studies is necessary.


Students have to be fluent in English at an at least advanced intermediate level.

Required language skills

The language of instruction is English. Language proficiency on an advanced Intermediate level (Mittelstufe II) is a prerequisite for participation. For orientation purposes, you can assess your language skills here (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Course Requirements

  • Consistent preparation, regular attendance, and active participation in all course activities including field trips: the more you contribute, the better the class is going to be.
  • An in-class presentation of appx. 10-15 minutes including questions to guide the session’s reading.
  • Final paper on a topic related to the course.


  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Oral presentations
  • 40% Final Paper


A course reader will be provided at the first course meeting.

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)