Springe direkt zu Inhalt

B-Track Subject Courses

Instructor: Dr. Omar Kasmani
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,100
Can be combined with all A-Track on-site courses

Course Description

Urban studies and its discourse on the city draw in scholarship from fields as diverse as human geography, history, anthropology and the arts. Berlin, with its seemingly infinite possibilities for memory, imagination and creative self-fashioning, offers a rich analytical model. It is a city, which is as much a fixed place with a distinct topography as it is an imaginary that glides between remembering and forgetting. A measured understanding of the interplay of place, space and memory in Berlin’s cityscape is key for students who are eager to learn about the city’s many pasts and presents. FUBiS invites you to join us as we analyze and explore Berlin.

This seminar brings to the fore connections between Berlin's distinct topography, its radical histories, and its current trajectories as a political and cultural space. That cities are a complex assemblage – at best multiple constellations existing simultaneously – is enabled through perspectives on migration, queerness and religion for instance. In-class analysis and discussion of academic and literary texts about Berlin will prepare participants for course excursions. Our temporal-topographical inquiry will take us to a diverse set of historical sites, cultural places and neighborhoods in the city (such as the Berlin Wall Memorial, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Schwules Museum, Sonnenallee).

We will conduct on-site discussions of these places/spaces in historical, spatial, social, and literary terms and record the urban with methodical observations, mapping and sound walks. Upon completing the course, students will have compiled a portfolio of short essays reflecting their critical reception of Berlin’s places/spaces as well as their gendered and embodied engagements, observations and memories of the city. The course not only enables an appreciation of how places/spaces are living archives of Berlin’s past and present, it also invites participants to create their own personal record of Berlin.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Kim Feser
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,100
Can be combined with all A-Track on-site courses

Course Description

In many ways, Berlin is a center for contemporary electronic music. This is primarily due to the strong connection between technological and aesthetic developments. Nightclubs, such as the Berghain, have a worldwide reputation for their sound systems, which allow a specific acoustic experience and encourage nightlong dancing and partying. Berlin-based companies such as Ableton and Native Instruments are global leaders in their music software, especially in the context of techno, electronica and electronic dance music. Many DJs and musicians´ market themselves or their tracks via blogs and streaming services. Particularly in the context of sound art, there are fairly strong parallels with media art.

Due to the key 'digital' aspects of such phenomena, we often speak of a 'Digital Age' in which Berlin plays a particular role in the field of music. However, the 'analog' phenomena are constantly growing, so that there is some debate over the beginning of a 'post-digital age'. This corresponds with an increasing focus both on the virtual and haptic dimension. Among other things, software companies have made strong efforts over the past years to develop their own hardware controllers for their computer programs in order to be able to better design musical processes manually.

Based on such phenomena, the course will explore the relationship between aesthetic trends and technological developments with the focus on the cultural and economic conditions in Berlin. Particular emphasis will be made on the past and present of techno, (experimental) electronica and electronic dance music. What makes Berlin a magnet not only for thrill-seeking club-goers, but also for DJs, musicians, producers and developers? How does this relate to the recent past of Berlin since the fall of the Berlin Wall, especially given the gentrification processes? To what extent is Berlin's creative scene at the same time internationally networked and can its conditions only be understood in a global context?

Beyond the Berlin perspective, the course examines the current conditions of production and consumption as well as the performance and distribution of music. How do legal/illegal file sharing and streaming services affect listening to music? What is changing in music culture through sampling, remixing, mashup and approaches to interactive music in video games? What opposing trends are out there?

And last but not least: To what extent has the time of the pandemic in 2020/21 changed the conditions of production, distribution and consumption of music – in Berlin and globally?

In addition to the joint discussion of texts and film excerpts, excursions also provide an opportunity for an exchange with proven experts in the course subject areas.    

At the end of the course, the participants can elaborate on and present a topic (either alone or in a group) of their choice in the context of the general list of topics on the course.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Andrzej Ancygier
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,100
Can be combined with all A-Track on-site courses

Course Description

The course introduces students to the politics, governance and ethics of sustainability. The key challenges of our time are global by nature. However, the current system of global governance based on sovereign states (often in competition with each other) is ill equipped to face global challenges such as poverty, climate change, environmental degradation and availability of resources. While states struggle to provide a sustainable future for their citizens, they are increasingly forced into a logic of sustainability for all people and responsibility for the global commons. This new logic is based on the concept of interconnectedness and the impact of our actions on the generations to come.

The course examines major current global challenges divided into economic, political and environmental issues. Climate change is only one of many environmental issues facing our planet, but due to its importance and overwhelming impact, it will be given the main focus of this course. We will not only look at the science behind and consequences of global warming, but will also study the two pillars of the global climate governance: the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The analysis of the UNFCCC process will further lead us to review the Paris Agreement from 2015. We will discuss how effective it can be in dealing with one of the biggest threats of the 21st century and whether it can still achieve its goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2°C/1.5°C”.

A special session will be devoted to technological, political, social and economic solutions to environmental issues. Do we – as purported by some – need to replace capitalism and stop economic growth in order to prevent further environmental destruction? Or is there a way to move towards a “green growth”, and utilize the benefits of the free market to increase environmental protection? This will lead us to the question of what the future will look like. Will we continue to cross planetary boundaries and endanger the capability of different ecosystems? Or will the 21st century witness a major shift away from fossil fuels and environmental destruction to a more sustainable economy?

The discussions in the class will be complemented by at least two field trips and possibly a visit of a guest speaker. 

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)