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B-Track Subject Courses

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. Stefano de Bosio
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

This course explores European art from the 15th to the 20th century with a particular focus on the travels of artists between urban centers like Florence, Rome, Venice, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Berlin. The aim is to analyze how mobility contributed through the centuries to shape local identities as well as European visual cultural traditions and styles common to different countries.

The course will present iconic moments of the history of the arts in Europe by drawing a special attention to episodes of cultural exchanges and hybridization that arose from travelling artworks as well as from artists’ travels. From the impact of Flemish art in 15th century Italy, to the stays of artists like Raphael and Michelangelo in the early 16th-century papal Rome; from the rise of genre painting in the Flanders and the Dutch Republic during the Age of Explorations, to the ‘painters of modern life’ in 19th-century Paris, and the European network of the Avant-gardes in the 1910s-1920s, we will analyze the artworks and their authors in relation to the different historical contexts and the places of their creation. Recurrent will be the focus on the complex interplay between artists and patrons, between local traditions, individual creativity and the broader social, political and cultural contexts in which artworks and buildings were produced.

Students will gain understanding of the main art movements and relevant artists from the Renaissance to the postwar period and the special role played by travels in giving shape to a European cultural space. Virtual visits to the outstanding collections of European museums will allow the participants to study in depth specific artifacts and to learn how to look closely at works of art.

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

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Teigrob
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

Over the course of the Cold War, the city of Berlin was frequently at the centre of global tensions and a potential front line should the superpower rivalry descend into actual war. This course utilizes the city of Berlin as a laboratory in which to examine the origins, nature, and conclusion of the Cold War that defined international relations between 1945 and 1991. We analyze the Allied occupation of the city following the Nazi defeat, the Berlin blockade and airlift that helped solidify the divisions between East and West. Next, we will examine the workers’ uprising of 1953 that provoked a Soviet military response. The following sessions will deal with the emigration crisis of the late 1950s that led the Soviets to first threaten a military takeover of the city and eventually to construct the Berlin Wall. Finally, we will look at the fall of the wall and the subsequent reunification of Berlin and Germany.

Field trips to important Cold War sites will permit students to gain a deeper appreciation of how the Cold War changed Berlin, and how events in Berlin influenced the wider international struggle. In order to place the interests and goals of the superpowers in context, we will also discuss the ways in which the Cold War rivalry affected Europe as a whole, as well as Asia and Latin America. Attention will be given to the role of international organizations such as the United Nations in world affairs, and the changes brought about by the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In this way, we will examine the roots of contemporary crises. Students will gain an understanding of the recent past, which will help equip them to evaluate the current and emerging international order.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule) Watch an interview with Dr. Robert Teigrob about his course on our YouTube channel.

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Imran G. Chowdhury
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

Europe encompasses the world’s largest and most complicated market. Recent events, particularly those following the ongoing economic crisis on the continent, raise profound questions about the future of Europe. This course will focus on present and future business issues facing the entire continent. Under this focus, we will examine the following questions: Should a “European” management style be developed instead of the national practices that frequently characterize companies originating in different European nations? How and under what circumstances should the European Union expand to Turkey, Ukraine and other countries in the East? What has been the impact of the Treaty of Lisbon, in effect since 2009, on European economic, political and social issues? In order to provide essential background and context for these issues, we will also review key events in modern European History.

In class, we will utilize a variety of approaches, including small-group study, lectures, and case-study analysis, to develop a comprehensive understanding of European business.On virtual excursions to different districts of Berlin, we will study how European and German history have influenced the economic development of this magnificent international capital and we will investigate the impact Berlin has in turn had on European business management. The course will also feature guest speakers on different topics in business and society in the European context.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule) Watch an interview with Dr. Imran G. Chowdhury about his course on our YouTube channel.

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)