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B-Track Subject Courses

Instructor: Dr. Stefano de Bosio
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses

Course Description

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

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 in Europe and beyond. From the role of artists like Raphael and Michelangelo in 16th-century papal Rome to the rise of genre painting in the Flanders and the Dutch Republic of the Golden Age, from the ‘painters of modern life’ in 19th-century Paris to the German Avant-garde of the 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 as well as the basic concepts and terminology of art history. Visits to the outstanding collections of Berlin museums (according to Covid-19 regulations) 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: Prof. Dr. Volker Nitsch
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses

Course Description

What is today’s role of the European Union? After decades towards greater integration, economic relationships have recently become more fragile. Examples of the rise of disintegration include tendencies of secession and the exit of countries from international institutional arrangements. In view of strong interdependencies between economic actors (global supply chains), these disruptions seem to be particularly costly and may require appropriate policy responses.

This course introduces the main economic aspects of the current development of the European Union (EU) and its policies. The basic idea is to discuss general issues in economic integration with a strong emphasis on experiences in Europe. After reviewing the institutional, political and historical background of European integration, the main focus is on the economic analysis of the policies and prospects for the European Union and its economic impacts on individuals, firms and regions.

Some recent developments in the international policy agenda like sovereign debt crises, Brexit and the euro crisis will also be covered.

This course provides an introduction to economic tools and concepts useful for the analysis of European integration. More generally, students learn to apply economic theory to real-world problems.

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

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Instructor: Dr. Thomas R. Henschel
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours
: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)

Course Description

To successfully overcome the multiple challenges of our time, people must cooperate peacefully with one another. Otherwise, we as humanity will not be able to cope with climate change, ensure equal access to resources and shape a future in which peace, self-determination, freedom, and prosperity are possible.

In this course we discuss what it takes and how it is possible for people to cooperate with each other, solve problems collaboratively and resolve conflicts peacefully. The course examines the different conditions and models for cooperation. To this end, the latest results from cognitive and behavioral research, psychology, sociology, game and systems theory as well as complexity theory are presented and their relevance for creating conditions for cooperation is examined. Building on the scientific foundations, theories and methods for the peaceful resolution of differences and conflicts are then introduced. The focus here is on mediative skills and international peace mediation. However, cooperation and conflict resolution are not just knowledge, but can and must be learned and trained. In the course, students are given the opportunity to transform the knowledge they have learned into concrete skills through role plays and exercises. The experiences gained in the exercises are reflected on together. In this way, knowledge does not remain external, but is linked to concrete experiences. This creates the basis for implementing what has been learned.

The concrete practical relevance is further strengthened by two visits to Berlin NGOs that are active in international peace work. We will also invite guest speakers from the practice of international peace policy and discuss with them. Subject to availability, international guest speakers may also be invited to join the course via video conference.

Berlin has a very special significance for international peace work due to its history. Especially here, students can experience how a society dealt with its own through the Holocaust, war crimes, collapse, liberation, and new beginnings. These experiences will be embedded by visiting memorial sites in Berlin and students will thus be able to use concrete history to shape the future.

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

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Robert G. Waite
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours
: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses

Course Description

The ‘Thousand Year Reich’ promised by Hitler when he became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933 lasted but 12 years. During this time, Hitler and his Nazi Party came to dominate the continent, terrorized vast numbers of Germans and Europeans, launched a devastating war, dominated and laid waste to much of Europe, and orchestrated the murder of more than five million Jews. Despite the terror and vast destruction, Hitler and the Nazi Party gained and retained the active support and involvement of most Germans. How was this possible? What roles did seduction and terror, consent and coercion, play?

This class focuses on Hitler’s Germany, and it begins with the 19th century background. Central to this session will be a discussion of the broad political currents, the agitators and petty demagogues who fueled the dissatisfaction and spread it widely. We will also examine the popular literature that Hitler and many of his supporters read and absorbed.

Crucial to understanding the lure of Hitler and the Nazi Party was Germany’s experience in the First World War, a conflict that decimated a generation and destroyed Europe as it was known. In its wake it left a shattered, humiliated, and deeply torn Germany. In this climate of uncertainty and despair, Hitler and the Nazi Party grew from a small group on the fringe of radical politics in Munich into a national force. This development is of central importance to this session. Those traits of Hitler crucial to his success, particularly his charisma, will be defined and analyzed within the broader political context of Weimar political and cultural life.

In late January 1933, Hitler gained the long desired but elusive goal: he became chancellor of Germany, the leader of a coalition government. The political intrigues leading to his appointment will be discussed. Much attention will be paid in this session to how Hitler, his cabinet, and supporters were able to consolidate the control over the state and society within a matter of months. This came at the cost of political liberties, through the growing use of terror, oppression, and intimidation. Yet, Hitler gained supporters as he seemingly offered economic stability and a new unity to the German people. How did the regime solidify its control over society and over political life? Was it seduction or terror, consent or coercion?

A key element of Hitler’s rule was the concentration camp system, what came to be a vast network of prisons, centers of oppression and death. How this developed from the hundreds of small concentration camps set up in Berlin and across Germany shortly after Hitler’s takeover of power in 1933 to the well-organized and highly centralized system by 1939 will be the focus of this session. During the war, the concentration camp system spread across Germany and occupied Europe.

Hitler’s ambitions, the conquest of ‘living space’ in Eastern Europe, the ruthless exploitation of these territories, and the annihilation of the Jews, motivated his foreign ambitions and led directly to World War II, the most destructive conflict in human history. We will also discuss the measures taken against the handicapped, homosexuals, Sinti and Roma within Germany and in the occupied territories.

In Germany and in occupied Europe opposition and resistance emerged and challenged Nazi rule. Opponents were motivated by a variety of reasons, some personal, some political. These too will be discussed as well as the regime’s ruthless efforts to eradicate all opposition.

Lastly, the class will examine the end of the war, the so-called ‘zero hour’, the destruction and collapse of Nazi Germany. Soon, the reckoning with the Nazi past through investigations and criminal prosecutions, and the widespread non-reckoning among the German public, began. Only since the late 1960s has Germany looked openly and critically at its Nazi past and only then began establishing a series of memorials and monuments, a number of which we will be visiting.

We will be visiting local museums, historical sites and locations that reveal the operations and nature of Nazi rule. These visits to sites in and near Berlin are a key element of the class and the experience of studying here. Please note that field trips are subject to change depending on the availability of appointments and speakers; on field trip days, class hours may be adjusted.

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

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Instructor: Duygu Gürsel
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours
: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10); Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)

Course Description

In the last decade, the EU experienced unprecedented migration movements. EU’s response has been shaped by distinguishing between “deserving refugees” and “undeserving economic migrants” and has oscillated between humanitarian and securitarian approaches. Whereas the recent developments on the EU borders, such as pushbacks and the containment of migrants in the hotspots, signalize the abandonment of the humanitarian approach, the quick and less bureaucratic protection of Ukrainian refugees demonstrates more of a selective humanitarian approach.

This form of differential inclusion shaping the migration and asylum policies is the governmental product of an ongoing process of conflict, negotiation, subordination, resistance, and solidarity on the ‘external’ and ‘internal’ borders of something called Europe or of Europe as borderland (Balibar 2009). There are different actors with unequal power relations involved in this process. Departing from critical migration theories, we will focus on the subjectivity of migrants and refugees on different levels by breaking their usual representation as victims/villains from a state-centered or market-centered perspective. 

Starting from a critical overview of EU-level migration and border management policies, we will challenge the metaphor of Fortress Europe. Scaling down, we will learn about the recent changes in the migration/integration policies in Germany and how these are implemented by the local authorities in Berlin and challenged by civil society actors. Analyzing the volatility of the recent public discourse on migration, we will focus on anti-Muslim racism, femonationalism/homonationalism, right-wing populism, and their intersection. Finally, we will examine the transformation of migrant labor and learn about the history of migrant struggles by focusing on the recent refugee movement, which has been described as the movement of the 21st century (Davis 2015). Through a diverse combination of assigned articles, class discussions, and field trips, we will encounter viewpoints on the conflicts, compromises, resistances, solidarity, and social transformation concerning the recent migration movements to Europe.

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

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Lauren van Vuuren
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours
: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)

Course Description

In this course we examine the emergence of mainly youth-led resistance and protest movements in post-World War II Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and attempt to understand their origins, their meaning and their effect on the societies in which they occurred.

American counterculture in the 1960s is often associated with rock’n’roll music, drug-taking, ’dropping out’ and the Anti-Vietnam protest movement. In Europe the associations are more complex and include countercultures in places like West Germany and Italy that are remembered for planting bombs and joining underground terror cells in the name of the New Left, or more extreme iterations of the New Left. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, in places like Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, anti-government protesters faced a very different, more dangerous existential struggle against authoritarian regimes that utilised torture and detention without trial to mute or prevent social uprisings.

In this course we account for the nature and intensity of post-war European protest movements by examining the historical context of the traumatic impact of recently defeated fascism on the continent, and the division of Europe into spheres of interest reflecting the Cold War world. We examine the post-war socio-economic developments that led to the massive expansion of higher education in Western Europe, promoting a generational divide which saw a radicalized younger generation turn on their parents and other members of the older (Nazi) generation or the so called ‘system’, sometimes in rage and violence, as in the examples of the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. We compare this to examples in Eastern Europe, where resistance movements against Communist regimes, such as in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany, were met with deadly force and violent oppression.

The course keeps as its particular focus East Germany (GDR) and West Germany (FRG), but we will also encounter the student-led uprisings against Sovietized Communism in Hungary in 1956 and during the 1968 ‘Prague Spring’, as well as the curious case of the ‘Soviet Hippies’. Throughout the course, the city of Berlin will serve as a backdrop: as a place of often very radical anti-government movements in West Berlin, compared with the muted and hidden resistance to authority over the Berlin Wall in East Berlin. We will also examine how ‘resistance’ in Western Europe often meant solidarity with anti-colonial movements in the Middle East, Africa and South America. Last but not least, we will also discuss the gestation and rise, within these larger movements, of political parties such as the Green Party in Germany.

Some of the major questions in this course will be: how did the concept of ‘resistance’ and ‘rebellion’ differ between Western Europe and Eastern Bloc countries? How did dramatic changes after World War II in education, technology and popular culture inspire young people to question authority and choreograph that questioning into mass movements? What were the terms and concepts (the language, the writers and the thinkers) that they utilised to justify their struggle? How did these movements become violent? When were they productive and inspiring, when did they career into nihilism and destruction? What were, if any, the long-term effects on their societies and political institutions? And finally, in our current world of enormous economic inequality and environmental destruction, what can we learn from the radicals and resisters of the second half of the twentieth century in Europe, about the potential for productive protest and resistance today?

As source materials we will read historical accounts and analyses, contemporary sources such as communiques and newspaper articles, watch films, and go on outings in Berlin that will take us to the scenes of some of the most dramatic confrontations of this era. Being at Freie Universität is a good start – it was at this university that some of the most radical student activism of the 1960s occurred.

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

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)