Courses Fall 2017*

Core Courses

Foundational Modules

Advanced Modules

Electives

Language Courses

*The course list may be subject to change.

Core Courses

IS101 Plato’s Republic and Its Interlocutors

AY/BA1/Bard1 Core Course

Module: Greek Civilization

Instructors: Hans Stauffacher, Tracy Colony, James Harker, Paul Festa, Ewa Atanassow (coordinator)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00-10:30, Thu 13:30-15:00

Bard College Berlin's core curriculum begins with a semester-long investigation of Plato’s Republic in its cultural, political, and intellectual context. This text—in conversation with what we here figure as its “interlocutors,” the main works and movements with which it is in dialogue—offers a unique point of entry into the epochal literary, philosophical, cultural and political achievements of fifth and fourth century Athens. Republic depicts and draws us into a discussion of the kinds of values (ethical, political, aesthetic, religious, epistemic, and literary) at the heart of Bard College Berlin's approach to education, and fundamental to human life itself. Rather than a series of separate treatises, the Republic treats these values as the subject of a single investigation that transcends disciplinary boundaries as we have come to conceive of them. And while it may be said to contain a “social contract” theory, a theory of psychology, a theory of demonstration, a theology, a critique of mimetic art, a theory of education, or a typology of political regimes among other proposals, it is reducible to none of these. Simply, this text, perhaps in a manner unlike any other written before or after, sets the agenda for any set of research questions that one might wish to pursue today. In this course we shall be particularly attentive to the dialogic character of Plato’s writing, and to its exchanges with other authors, works, genres and kinds of thought in the Greek tradition. Reading Plato’s work alongside Homer’s Iliad, Hesiod’s Works and Days, Euripides’s Bacchae, Parmenides’s poem, Aristophanes’s Clouds, Herodotus’ Histories and Thucydides’ (so-called) History of the Peloponnesian War, and a selection from Euclid’s Elements, together with a lecture and seminar on the Parthenon and a visit to both the Pergamon and the Trojan collection at the Neues Museum, we will strive to better appreciate and evaluate the argument and drama of the Republic. As we read the Republic and attend to the conversations it has with its interlocutors, we aim to become informed and engaging interlocutors for Plato and for one another.

Syllabus

IS102 Renaissance Florence

BA2 Core Course

Module: Renaissance Art and Thought

Instructors: Geoff Lehman, Katalin Makkai, Rodolfo Garau, Ian Lawson

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00-10:30, Thu 13:30-15:00

In this course we examine the visual and intellectual culture of Renaissance Florence. A sustained engagement with a number of principal monuments in Florentine painting, sculpture, and architecture provides the basis for a consideration of key values within the development of Renaissance art that also shape, more broadly, the thought, cultural practices, and everyday experiences of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Renaissance could arguably be characterized as a historical period in which the visual arts played the leading role in the culture as a whole. Thus the focus on works of visual art, in a sustained dialogue with literary, philosophical, and political texts of the period, opens upon a consideration of trans-disciplinary problems such as the emergence of new models of subjectivity and objectivity, the relationship between religious and secular experiences, the framing of early modern political thought, and the origins of the scientific method.  The course is structured around four principal topics, each a defining value for the visual arts between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries that is also central to the development of Renaissance thought: self-reflexivity, perspective, harmony and grace, humanism. The direct experience, evaluation, and interpretation of individual works of art are a crucial part of the course, and with this in mind there will be several visits to Berlin museums – specifically, the Gemäldegalerie and the Bode Museum, with their extensive Renaissance collections – to encounter works of art firsthand.

Syllabus

IS303 Origins of Political Economy

BA3/4 Core Course

Module: Origins of Political Economy

Instructor: Michael WeinmanBoris Vormann

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 11:00-12:30, Thu 11:00-12:30

This core course explores the intellectual history of the contemporary disciplines of economics, political theory and sociology, by examining the historical origins of the discourse known as “political economy”: the philosophical study of the means and processes by which societies and populations provide for their own survival and development. We proceed in three movements. In the first segment, we discuss the formation of political economies as they co-merge with new concepts of (national) society. We see how the early modern contestations of the relationship between state and popular sovereignty against the background of natural law theory coalesced into modern liberalism and socialism, each with its own set of normative assumptions. In the second part of the course, we turn to the key thinkers of the liberal tradition and their arguments about the necessary limitations of government, individual liberty, pluralism, and the potential for societal progress and welfare. In that part we also investigate a series of related key “problems” that have plagued political economy in its modern formulations: labor and its exploitation, most viscerally in the phenomenon of slavery; as well as the “domestic” sphere, especially with relation to sexual relations in and out of marriage. The final, third part of the class starts out with Marx’s critique of liberalism to work its way to the pivotal arguments of the early 20th century about state-market relations, the role of technology in society and the problems of racial, sexual, and class inequalities that still shape our societies and social sciences today.

Syllabus

IS123 Academic Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences 

Module: Senior Core Colloquium

Instructor: James Harker, Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 13:30-16:45

This seminar is a training in the methods of academic research. Focusing on representative contemporary research in the humanities and the social sciences, it supports students in proceeding with their own individual research projects by focusing on the essential elements of independent scholarly work: the choice of a topic or object of study; the outline of the main components of an article or scholarly paper; finding, gathering, collating and interpreting the sources needed for the project; correct citation, attribution, and bibliographical documentation, and lastly, the effective presentation of the final work in structure and style, as well as peer review and constructive feedback. Including the participation of thesis supervisors and other faculty members, this course meets throughout fall term and in spring term until the submission of the final thesis project.

Syllabus

Foundational Modules

Art and Aesthetics

UB102 Landing on Kulturforum– an Introduction to Architecture and Urbanism

Module: Art and Artists in Context 

Instructors: Wulf Böttger & Caroline Wolf

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Sat 12:00-18:00 (block seminar on Sep. 9 & 23, Oct. 7 & 21, Nov. 11 & 25, & Dec. 9)

Through excursions, lectures and design exercises, this course aims to provide students with an introduction to urban and architectural analysis and design. Over the last hundred years, Berlin has witnessed six different political systems that have each left their legacy – or scars – on its urban fabric. The Kulturforum in the heart of Berlin seems to be paradigmatic:  notable for its collection of architectural post-war masterpieces such as Scharoun’s Philharmonic Hall and Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery, it is yet incomplete and lacking urban coherence – a problem that the future M20 Museum is hoped to resolve. The course will include an analysis of the Kulturforum and its buildings as well as the results of last year’s international competition for the M20 Museum, won by Swiss architects Herzog de Meuron. In a practical design brief students will be required to develop their own vision for a small structure on site that serves as a viewing platform and exhibition space. Over the course of the semester, students will develop the drawing skills and vocabulary essential to visualize and present their ideas – spatially and conceptually – for the site. The course will be organized in block seminars.

Syllabus

AH213 Exile, Emigration & Art

Module: Art and Artists in Context 

Instructor: Dorothea Schöne

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-16:45

Exile and Emigration is a subject that occupies a special position in German history and art history. Thousands of artists were forced into exile between 1933 and 1945 – due to their ethnic and religious background or political beliefs. Starting with theoretical discourse on exile and emigration, the course will examine the impact of exile on modernism, postwar modernism, and contemporary art in Germany. In selected case studies, students will examine the various ways in which exile has an impact on artistic styles and movements: the ways in which context (such as the socialist-realist aesthetic of the Soviet Union or the relative freedom to explore possibilities of satirical critique in art that was offered by the Anglo-American context). Some scholars (and artists) argue that the separation from cultural ties imposed by exile leads to greater abstraction. Having undertaken an historical and stylistic journey through different kinds of exile, we will visit the Berlin studio of Kamal Boullata, an artist and writer who has theorized the relationship between abstraction and exile in visual art. The course also includes a visit to the exhibition on emigration and re-migration at the Kunsthaus Dahlem (June 2017-June 2018) and meetings with exiled artists in Berlin.

Syllabus

AR231 Vision and Perspective

Module: Art Objects and Experience 

Instructor: Geoff Lehman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 13:30-15:00, Fri 13:30-16:45

In this course, we explore the problem of painter’s perspective, as it emerged in the Renaissance, and its implications for picture making and for the understanding of vision in the Western tradition up until the present day. Through sustained attention to individual works of art, we will consider how the re-conception of painting as a window, through which we look upon a space that is both measurable and potentially infinite, gives rise to new ideas of subjectivity and objectivity and new modes of subjective experience, shapes the depiction of the human and of human (social, affective, and intellectual) interactions, and provides a structural basis for the expression of religious meaning and of (scientific) curiosity. Topics for the course include: subjectivity and the gaze; the origins of landscape painting and the mathematization of nature; embodied experience and the phenomenology of vision; and the relationship of perspectival representation to its alternatives, both inside and outside the Western tradition. The origins and development of photography, as a perspectival medium, and its role within modernity, as well as its relationship to digital mediums of the contemporary period, will be carefully considered. Among the artists whose work we will examine are Masaccio, Jan van Eyck, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Bruegel, Nadar, Atget, Lawler, and Eliasson. Readings will focus on philosophical and literary texts (Alberti, Nicholas of Cusa, Leonardo, Shakespeare, Descartes, Merleau-Ponty) as well as art historical writing on perspective (Panofsky, Damisch, Belting). Visits to museums to encounter works of art firsthand will be an integral part of the course.

Syllabus

FM172 Talking Heads: The Republic on Film

Course offered in conjunction with the Eine Uni Ein Buch initiative 

Module: Art Objects and Experience 

Instructor: Paul Festa 

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Thu 15:15-18:30

This course unites the philosophical and artistic interests of BCB’s students in linking the core text from the first semester, Plato’s Republic, with the medium of film and the practice of filmmaking. As is well known, the Republic appears hostile to poetry and theatrical representation, but stages its philosophical reflections in forms that strike the modern reader as closely allied to a variety of kinds of aesthetic experiment. Not only does the text pursue its own processes of argumentation in dialogue form, it is specifically interested in the failures as well as the achievements of dialogue—the moments when understanding breaks down, or when there is deception or lack of candor. More mysteriously, the text includes mythological scenarios that require and induce feats of imaginative visualization. Our project will be to respond to the aesthetic and the philosophical concerns of Republic by creating our own filmic version of and commentary on its strategies and themes. We will also draw upon relevant techniques from contemporary film and literature. The end-result of the course will be a film that combines a series of contributions into a resonant single work. No prior filmmaking experience required.

Syllabus

FA106 Beginners Black and White Photography Class: Made for a Party

Module: Art Objects and Experience

Instructor: April Gertler

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-16:45

Using the backdrop of Berlin, this class (named after a famous Hannah Höch piece from the late 1930s) will explore the history of photography by Berlin based photographers while learning how to use a manual camera and also finding one’s way around an analogue darkroom through acquiring the technique of printing black and white photographs. Participants will be exposed to the rich photographic history of Berlin through presentations, discussions and studio visits. The historical component of the class will cover works by Berlin based photographers from Erna Lendvai-Dircksen to Michael Schmidt. Assignments throughout the semester will mirror various photo techniques used in the historical examples discussed. Camera techniques and black and white printing will be the fundamental element of the class.

Syllabus

FM201 An Introduction to Film Studies

Modules: Theater and Film/Approaching Arts Through Theory

Cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-15:00 & 19:30-22:00 (screening), Thu 15:15-16:45

This course is an introduction to Film Studies and provides an insight into film history and theory, film aesthetics and cinematic language. Central topics are the characteristics of film as visual form of representation, the development of film technology and film language since the late 19th century, styles of filmic discourse, film analysis, and distinctive approaches to film interpretation, classical films (e.g. Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane, ), popular film genres and film directors (e.g. Antonioni, Eisenstein, Fellini, Spielberg, Truffaut, Welles). We explore and discuss the meaning of film as an art form, the elements of narration in fiction film and the representative function of film in our (post)modern world and society, including the capacity of film to address important social, political and philosophical questions.

Syllabus

TH207 Intensifying Reality: Survey and Staging of German Drama of the 21st Century

Module: Art and Artists in Context

Cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Julia Hart

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15-18:30

Syllabus

Economics

EC110 Principles of Economics

Module: Principles of Economics

Instructors: Martin Binder, Beatrice Farkas

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00-12:30, Wed 11:00-12:30

This course is an introduction to the essential ideas of economic analysis. It elaborates the basic model of consumer and firm behavior, including demand and supply, in the context of an idealized competitive market, and examines several ways in which the real world deviates from this model, including monopoly, minimum wages and other price controls, taxes, and government regulation. The assumptions concerning human behavior that underlie economics are presented and critiqued. The course is also concerned with the aggregate behavior of modern economies: growth and measurement of the economy, unemployment, interest rates, inflation, government spending and its impact, and international trade. Part of the course focuses on the government tools used to influence economic growth and individuals' behavior.

Syllabus (Farkas) / Syllabus (Binder)

EC210 Microeconomics (Section A)

Module: Microeconomics

Instructor: Israel Waichman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 10:45-12:15, Thu 10:45-12:15

Microeconomics is the study of how individual economic units (households and firms) interact to determine outcomes (allocation of goods and services) in a market setting. This course further develops principles and analytical methods introduced by the Principles of Economics course. The first part of the course deals with consumer behavior, market demand and the extent to which a consumer’s decisions can be modeled as rational. The second part of the course deals with the theory of the firm and the positive and normative characteristics of alternative market structures—perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, pure monopoly, and, in resource markets, monopsony—are studied in depth. Finally, the efficiency of market outcomes is studied as well as conditions (e.g. the presence of externalities) under which markets are not efficient. Part of the course is devoted to problem solving, in which students present solutions to specific case studies. 

Syllabus

EC210 Microeconomics (Section B)

Module: Microeconomics

Instructor: Israel Waichman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-15:00, Thu 15:15-16:45

Microeconomics is the study of how individual economic units (households and firms) interact to determine outcomes (allocation of goods and services) in a market setting. This course further develops principles and analytical methods introduced by the Principles of Economics course. The first part of the course deals with consumer behavior, market demand and the extent to which a consumer’s decisions can be modeled as rational. The second part of the course deals with the theory of the firm and the positive and normative characteristics of alternative market structures—perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, pure monopoly, and, in resource markets, monopsony—are studied in depth. Finally, the efficiency of market outcomes is studied as well as conditions (e.g. the presence of externalities) under which markets are not efficient. Part of the course is devoted to problem solving, in which students present solutions to specific case studies.

Syllabus

MA151 Introduction to Statistics

Module: Statistics

Instructor: Bastian Becker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-15:00, Wed 9:00-10:30

This course introduces students to quantitative research methods. These methods are fundamental to modern policy analyses and empirical social science research more generally. Knowledge of these methods is indispensable for anyone seeking to conduct, or to critically engage with, such analyses and research. The course covers the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics, with a focus on probability theory, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. To facilitate students’ ability to understand and critically engage with these methods, examples of quantitative social science research are discussed throughout the course. Classes are complemented with exercises to build students' skills in applying the learned methods independently. Many of these exercises use data from public opinion surveys, which cover a wide range of social, economic, and political topics. Working with this survey data, students will also have the opportunity to explore research questions of their own. At the end of the course, students will be able to read and engage with the majority of modern quantitative research. They also will be well prepared to pursue a variety of more advanced quantitative research courses.

This course fulfills the mathematics and science requirement for humanities students.

Syllabus

Ethics and Politics

PL105 Introduction to Ethics: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern

Module: Ethics and Moral Philosophy 

Instructor: Jeffrey Champlin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

Course Times: Tue 15:15-16:45, Fri 13:30-15:00

This course primarily investigates the three central topics of ethics: the good life, the good will, and the good deed. We begin with Plato's inquiry into the form of the good and Aristotle's writings on habit and the middle way. Turning to the modern period, we then study Kant's concept of duty as a consistent set of rules that establishes an ethical standard. In contrast, Mill's utilitarianism looks to the consequences rather than the causes of an action. The final stage of the course examines the challenge to these traditional approaches by thinkers of an ethics of alterity, or radical difference, as developed more recently by Levinas, Irigaray, and Butler.

Syllabus

PL208 Introduction to Existentialism

Module:  Ethics and Moral Philosophy

Instructor: Tracy Colony

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Thu 17:00-18:30

One of the most important philosophical movements of the 20th century is unquestionably Existentialism. The philosophy of existence developed by Jean-Paul Sartre can be seen as the clearest expression of this movement. In this course we will read selections from Sartre and other core representatives of French Existentialism. However, this reading will be prepared for by tracing through important philosophical lines of influence which the existentialists often acknowledged in the works of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger. All texts will be read in translation, however, parallel readings in the original French or German will be supported and encouraged.

Syllabus

PS206 Constitutions, Ancient and Modern

Module: History of Political Thought

Instructor: Michael Weinman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 13:30-15:00, Fri 15:15-16:45

In this course, we will look at three paradigmatic constitutions in order to understand what a (written) constitution is, how it works, and what it hopes to achieve. In each case, we will pair an actual constitution—that of Classical Athens, of the United States of America, and of the Federal Republic of Germany—with theoretical reflections by major political philosophers—respectively, Aristotle, Madison (and Hamilton and Jay), and Habermas—who played a role in framing these constitutions and in advocating for their positive reception in the communities to be ruled under them and their importance for those empowered to rule those communities. Our refrain will be the truism “theory follows practice.” In keeping with this we shall “discipline” our theoretical discussion by constant reference back to the actual practice of constitutionalism: principally, commitment to the rule of law and the robust self-expression of a republican body politic. At the same time, in order to critically engage with the republican tradition, we will draw upon the rich resources for the contestation of constitutionalism, both from within “the tradition” and from more recent, perhaps “radical,” quarters.

Syllabus

SO220 Research Design and Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences

Module: Methods in Social Studies

Instructor: Elena Stavrevska

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S credits

Course Times: Tue 17:00-18:30, Fri 10:45-12:15

Enabling us to uncover evidence, analyze it and develop theories that help us comprehend politics and society, research is a core component of social science. As such, it ought to be guided by a rigorous design and appropriate methodology. Using examples from different social science disciplines, including anthropology, political science, international relations, history and sociology, the goal of this course is to familiarize students with the essentials of research design and a number of qualitative methodological tools, as well as to enable them to critically evaluate published studies from a methodological perspective and to develop qualitative designs for their own research endeavors. The first part of the course offers an introduction to different philosophical approaches to social science research and the elements of research design. It addresses issues of formulating topics and research questions, developing hypotheses, situating the research in existing literature, selecting cases and applying suitable methods to study the chosen phenomenon. The second part will focus on a range of qualitative methods of data collection, analysis and interpretation, including comparative, longitudinal and case study research, interviewing, archival research, participant observation, ethnography and discourse analysis. Importantly, the course will also look at ethical considerations in conducting research and the researcher’s role in the process.

Syllabus

Literature and Rhetoric

LT132 Migration and Exile. Journeys in Imperial Space 

Module: Theories and Kinds of Narrative

Instructor: Laura Scuriatti

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15-16:45, Fri 13:30-15:00

How is it possible to narrate the experiences of estrangement, disorientation and surprise born out of the encounter with a foreign place which is also supposed to feel like "home"? How does life go when you look or sound different to the majority of people in that space? And what kind of voice, what kind of form, can make this experience visible?

We look at three journeys taken by narrators who are connected to the imperial space they wander in: voices created by Jean Rhys, of Welsh, Scottish and Creole descent, born on the Caribbean island of Dominica and later resident in London, Paris, and Vienna; Sam Selvon, an Indian West-Indian writer born in Trinidad who also later lived in London, and finally the Nigerian-American author Teju Cole, who has become one of the major contemporary laureates of the city of New York.

In considering the following works Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark (1934), Quartet (1928), Sam Selvon's The Lonely Londoners (1956) Teju Cole's Open City (2011), we also look at how the narration of exile becomes an exposure of the dreams, projections, and delusions of the imperial "center" and its ordering of the world.

Syllabus

TH207 Intensifying Reality: Survey and Staging of German Drama of the 21st Century

Module: Theater and Film

Instructor: Julia Hart

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15-18:30

German dramatists in the 21st Century have developed new methods of ordering and processing verbal material for the stage. Some writers, like Fritz Kater, are said to create a special kind of compression, an intensification of reality. Other dramatists, like Elfriede Jelinek, use polyphonic voice to attack the inhuman asylum policy of affluent European countries. This course will examine some of the most significant German plays from 2000- present. We will be discussing the dramaturgy of these sometimes shocking plays as well as exploring methods of staging these works. We will be reading and rehearsing plays in translation by writers including: Elfriede Jelinek, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Dea Loher, Rene Pollesch, Falk Richter, Anja Hilling, Fritz Kater, and Ewald Palmetshofer. Students will work as dramaturgs, directors, and actors throughout the semester. Questions we will be wrestling with include: What are the issues that German dramatists are addressing in the 21st Century? And how can these plays, that experiment radically with theatrical form, be staged?

Syllabus

FM201 An Introduction to Film Studies

Modules: Theater and Film/Approaching Arts Through Theory

Cross-listed with Art and Aesthetics

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-15:00 & 19:30-22:00 (screening), Thu 15:15-16:45

Syllabus

Politics

PS114 States, Institutions, and Post-Conflict Societies: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Module: Comparative Politics

Instructor: Elena Stavrevska

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-15:00, Wed 17:00-18:30

What constitutes a state and how are nations formed? What are the different systems in which political power can be organized? How do we account for the differences between democracies and autocracies and which institutional forms can they take? And why do some states provide better living conditions for their citizens and are better able to tackle contemporary challenges than others? These are some of the questions at the heart of the study of comparative politics. By the same token, they are also some of the most pressing questions faced by post-conflict societies in their efforts to organize political power anew. Drawing on examples and debates from peace and conflict literature, the course provides an introduction to key theoretical approaches and concepts in the comparative study of politics. The focus will be on core topics in political development, such as state- and nation-building, the role of the state, democratization, economic development, ethnic conflict, and political culture. We will also look at the different types of political regimes, electoral and party systems, the way they affect the structure, functioning, logic, and social role of political institutions, as well as the role of civil society. In exploring these topics from a comparative perspective, theoretical texts are combined with case studies primarily from different post-conflict societies. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand important topics in domestic politics, grasp the diversity of political systems and regimes, and analyze current political developments.

Syllabus

PT150 Global Citizenship  

Module: International Studies and Globalization

Instructor: Kerry Bystrom

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 15:15-16:45, Thu 9:00-10:30

Citizenship is traditionally a concept associated with nation-states, and at base signifies the status of belonging to a bounded political order and the rights and duties this entails. Yet economic, legal and technological globalization increasingly calls state boundaries into question, and borderless problems such as climate change, forced migration, epidemics, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism require collective action on an equally global scale. In this context, global citizenship has been promoted as a sensibility and indeed as an emerging reality. This course explores the notion of “global citizenship” from the philosophical, cultural, and political perspectives and challenges students to think critically about what global citizenship can and should mean. We will explore the history of this concept, with its roots in ancient philosophy as well as in modern definitions of national borders and processes of globalization; critiques of it; and contemporary experiences and movements through which it might be forged.  The heart of the course will be in an interdisciplinary exploration of two of the borderless problems already noted above—climate change and forced migration—through readings and discussion of novels, film, social theory, social scientific research, and policy documents from international institutions like the UN. Texts will include essays by Kant, Martha Nussbaum and Craig Calhoun, Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines, Ghassan Kanafani's Men in the Sun, Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior and Michael Winterbottom's In This World. An important part of the course will be exchange between students enrolling in this course in different locations across the Bard network (USA, Russia, Lithuania, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan).

Syllabus

The following courses are cross-listed with Ethics and Politics: 

PL105 Introduction to Ethics: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern

Module: Ethics and Moral Philosophy 

Instructor: Jeffrey Champlin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

Course Times: Tue 15:15-16:45, Fri 13:30-15:00

Syllabus

PL208 Introduction to Existentialism

Module:  Political and Moral Thought 

Instructor: Tracy Colony

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Thu 17:00-18:30

Syllabus

PS206 Constitutions, Ancient and Modern

Module: Political and Moral Thought 

Instructor: Michael Weinman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 13:30-15:00, Fri 15:15-16:45

Syllabus

Advanced Modules

Art and Aesthetics

AR340 documenta, Skulptur Projekte Münster, Venice Biennial

Module: Exhibition Culture and Public Space

Instructor: Dorothea von Hantelmann

Credits: 8 ECTS , 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30-16:45 (until end of October)

Excursions: Sep. 14-15; Sep. 30 - Oct. 1; Oct. 31 - Nov. 3

This course is focused on three major international art exhibitions taking place this year: documenta, Skulptur Projekte Münster and the Venice Biennial. Through visits to and discussion of these art events, we explore developments and individual works in contemporary art and examine the logistics, politics, framing, and effect of the major international art exhibition as a phenomenon.  Documenta, held every five years, is considered the most important contemporary art exhibition worldwide. Up to 900,000 visitors come to Kassel expecting to encounter the current “state of art,” or even more: the current “state of thinking.” This year the exhibition is divided between Kassel and Athens. Situated in the West German city of Münster the Skulptur Projekte has taken place every ten years since 1977. Artists from all over the world are invited to create projects for and in interaction with the public space. For the 2017 edition the focus is on the relation between public and private space in a time of increasing digitalization. The Biennale di Venezia, finally, is the oldest world exhibition of visual art: founded in 1895 it figures as a model (and counter-model) for many of the 200 international biennials and triennials that exist today. Our visit to Venice will include Pierre Huyghe's exhibition. The excursions to Kassel, Münster and Venice will be supplemented by pre- and post-sessions in Berlin. During these we will visits, engage with the history, conceptual agenda and theoretical framework of the exhibitions, and discuss individual artworks.

Please note there is a fee of €600 for participation in this course to cover travel to and accommodation in Kassel, Münster and Venice. The excursions to Kassel and Münster will take place in the second week of the semester. The trip to Venice is planned for fall break.

Syllabus

FA312 Advanced Sculpture: The Challenge of Form

Module: Media Practices and Techniques

Instructor: John von Bergen

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 10:45-12:15 & 13:30-15:00

This sculpture course is designed to sharpen a variety of critical skills relating to one's sculptural practice, with a focus on experimenting and adapting to object-based art production outside of a typical studio environment. An independent working attitude is mandatory. We will engage in a discourse surrounding the challenges of limited resources, and the realities of developing projects in foreign circumstances (an almost universal condition for international artists). Model-building will be encouraged as a first stage strategy to explore larger ideas and plans, and may be critiqued and graded just as larger projects would. Some on-campus production may involve mold-making (plaster, clay, concrete, silicones), wood construction, textiles, etc. We will explore health and safety strategies, as well as the logistics of packing, transporting and installing artworks. Other questions raised may relate to art market production in contrast to public commissions (Percent for Art / "Kunst am Bau").  Individual and group critiques would be supplemented by possible slide lectures from visiting artists, off-campus visits to galleries, museums, private artist studios, off-spaces, private collections, etc. 

IMPORTANT: This is NOT a beginner's sculpture course, though some basic production skills may be explored. Students who are beginners with sculpting will be discouraged from registering for this course. The professor requests that students interested in this course submit a portfolio directly to j.vonbergen@berlin.bard.edu in PDF form (minimum 4 separate artworks, details welcomed as well) before the registration process begins on July 12th to obtain permission.

Students who have already successfully completed a sculpture course at Bard College Berlin will automatically be accepted. Also, students must be prepared to present their current body of sculptural work on the first day of class as a slide-show presentation with their own laptops (we supply VGA or HDMI adapters for Macbook) OR via USB stick / external HD with images prepared in chronological order.

Syllabus

FA322 Making history: political storytelling in contemporary art practice

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: Alex Martinis Roe, Assaf Gruber

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Introductory session: Sat 10:30-13:30 on Sep. 9

Course Times: Sat 10:30-18:30 (block seminar on Sep. 16 & 30, Oct. 14 & 28, Nov. 11 & 25, & Dec. 9)

The production of histories is intimately entwined with the generation of possible futures. It is vital not only to learn from the past, but to engage with the politics of the storytelling methods that transmit it and shape its assimilation. In this course, each student will complete a project based on historical research conducted in the city of Berlin using media that is most appropriate to each project, which may include video, sound installation, performance, dialogic formats or site-specific interventions. In the first phase of the course, students will gather material with which to construct their historical narratives and will engage - both theoretically and practically - in an exploration of different research methods, including archival and textual research, oral history and participant observation. The second phase of the course will concentrate on methods of constructing a narrative from this material and the political effects of what is included/omitted and how it is structured. The class will then research and experiment with various ways of delivering this narrative, including formats like the visual essay, the voice-over, re-enactment, the edited interview, archival display, and the monument. At the end of the course, the completed projects will be shown as a public exhibition. Those enrolling in the course must submit a short statement of motivation (max 350 words) along with a portfolio of previous artistic works, or documentation of at least one prior project in pdf format or URL.

Syllabus

FM306 German Film: Reflections of History and Style

Module: Artists, Genres, Movements

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00-12:30 & 19:30-22:00 (screening), Wed 11:00-12:30

This course examines the history of German cinema from the 1910s to the present, and highlights the genres, movements and characteristic features that mark German cinema as a modern art form. The films – ranging from The Student of Prague (1913, Stellan Rye and Paul Wegener) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, Robert Wiene), Triumph of the Will (1935, Leni Riefenstahl), The Legend of Paul and Paula (1973, Heiner Carow) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979, Rainer Werner Fassbinder) to Head On (2004, Fatih Akin), The Lives of Others (2006, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) and Toni Erdmann (2016, Maren Ade) – reflect historical and cultural changes as well as developments in aesthetics and cinematic style. As a mirror to society the films represent crucial moments in time, contemporary social issues and collective experiences, thus commenting on the challenges and transformations that shattered and reshaped modern Germany. The analysis and contextualized interpretation of these films will consequently also figure as a dynamic journey through German history from the early 20th century. The course consists of both seminars and film screenings.

Syllabus

AH210 Modern Movements in the Visual Arts

Module: Artists, Genres, Movements

Instructor: Aya Soika 

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 9:00-12:15

With the emergence of modernism artists not only questioned previous practices and conventional modes of presentation, they also attempted to gain public attention in new ways, ultimately redefining their role within society: the organization of exhibitions, the foundation of artists’ associations, the publication of manifestos and – later on – the staging of performances were all an integral part of a changed understanding of artistic practice. Their cross-disciplinary activities and interests also reflected a mode of thinking which was centered around notions of difference and renewal. This course will focus on the rapid transformations in the art world across Europe and Northern America within the century from the 1860s to the decades after the Second World War. Artistic movements which emerged in Paris, Moscow, Milan, Berlin, London or New York – from Impressionism through Futurism, Expressionism, Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism - will be discussed with regard to the shaping of a new language of expression and the development of more ambitious agendas which went far beyond the boundaries of the picture frame. The course ends with a discussion of post-war developments such as Pop Art, Neo-Dada or Fluxus with Joseph Beuys and his notion of “social sculpture,” which present a continuation of the earlier debates concerning art’s potential to transform society. Visits to the Berlin collections of late 19th and 20th century art and the discussion in front of originals are an important part of the seminar.

Syllabus

FA302 Advanced Painting: Oil Paint and After

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: John Kleckner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

Course Times: Group A - Thu 15:15-18:30; Group B - Thu 9:15-12:30

This advanced studio course is designed to connect the gamut of materials and techniques in contemporary painting with the development of an individual aesthetic style. Weekly sessions will expose students to a wide range of experimental paint applications with the aim of synchronizing chosen materials and methods with expression and content. Classes will feature demonstrations of techniques such as airbrushing, marbling, projection, masking, stamping, stencils, collage, and inkjet printing on canvas. Students will gain experience working with oil, acrylic, enamel, vinyl, and gouache paints. Material demonstrations will be augmented by readings, slideshows, gallery tours, and studio visits. The syllabus begins with group assignments that become increasingly directed toward personalized content and independent projects. The ideal student will have previous painting experience and be highly motivated to make a body of work. The semester will culminate in a student group exhibition.

Syllabus

AH303 Art and Society: Situating Art  

Module: Aesthetics and Art Theory

Instructor: Dorothea von Hantelmann

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-16:45

Museum visits: See syllabus

Excursions: Sep. 16

Where is art situated in modern societies? Is it part of everyday life, or something apart? How did its social function evolve historically – and how is it transformed today? Are concepts such as “autonomy” and “criticality” still appropriate to describe the position and function of art in society? These are among the questions we will explore in this course, which combines the study of texts by scholars of philosophy, art history and sociology with excursions into Berlin's creative art scene. In the theory part we will discuss authors such as Friedrich Schiller, Theodor W. Adorno, Jacques Rancière, Tony Bennett, Pierre Bourdieu, Niklas Luhmann, Luc Boltanski/Eve Chiapello and Andreas Reckwitz. The aim will be to understand art's double character as “autonomous” and “social fact” (Adorno). How can we comprehend this ambiguous condition that situates art simultaneously in and outside of society? How does the fact that “creativity” today has become a major social force, even a cultural imperative, challenge this position? Our discussions will be complemented by visits to artist studios, theaters and exhibitions. Comparing different practices and disciplines we will reflect on their distinctive economies, social realities and degrees of political efficacy.

Syllabus

FM314 Into One’s Own Process - Video Art

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: Dafna Maimon

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15-18:30

In this class, we will utilize existing works of video art, films, sculptures and drawings of artists that are known for a strong individualistic style, or have been seen as “game-changers” within their field, as a basis for exploring our own very distinct inner logic and artistic language. The class will follow a high-pace structure wherein we will analyze works by creating (nearly) weekly responses through video assignments. The idea is to create a structure that allows us to utilize the knowledge already available to us. Interacting with pre-existing works is meant to enable experimentations across several different formal ways of making and thinking about video art. Simultaneously combining the “existing” with techniques that help us access our own subconscious, this will eventually lead us to an individually-crafted mode of expression. We will experiment with drawing, stream-of-consciousness writing and movement, improvisation techniques, embodiment practices and role-playing exercises, as well as using restrictions and scores as part of our working methods. The class focus will be on the “making of work,” putting the artist’s process and experimentation first. In this approach, an end result will be considered only a momentary pause within a longer trajectory; each work can be seen as a dot connecting a larger, continually growing process.

Syllabus

FA206 Photography: Cut with a Kitchen Knife

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: April Gertler

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 19:00-22:15

Berlin has a tremendous photographic history which is evident in the variety shown by commercial galleries and project spaces devoted to this medium. The city’s political and cultural transitions over the last 100 years have created a diverse backdrop which has been used by countless photographers. The photo class Cut with a Kitchen Knife (referencing a collage work by one of Berlin’s photographic icons, Hannah Höch) will pay homage to some of the most historically significant Berlin-based photographers while concentrating on helping students develop their work through directed projects throughout the semester. There will be two main points of focus for the class; using the city of Berlin as a springboard for specific projects that transcend the usual clichés that occur in photographing a city and working in the darkroom on innovative printing techniques. 

The student must have a clear understanding of how to use a 35mm manual film camera, work in the darkroom, be able to mix chemistry and print their own images. Therefore it is a requirement that students have their own cameras and submit a portfolio of 3-5 black and white photographic prints not larger than A4 or 8"x10" in size to April Gertler (at the main college address) prior to enrolling in the class. If a student has completed the beginner's photography course at either Bard College Berlin or Bard Annandale they are automatically allowed to take this course.

Syllabus

Economics

EC310 Global Economics

Module: Global Economic Systems

Instructor: Beatrice Farkas

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

Course Times: Mon 15:15-16:45, Thu 9:00-10:30

Dealing with advanced topics of macroeconomics, such as trade and financial aspects of open economic systems, this course addresses real flows of goods in international trade as well as the flow of assets and liabilities in international financial markets. Key theories of trade are discussed and evaluated along with the role played by money, credit, and banking within modern economies. The module also looks at economic systems and the organization of economic life within these systems: what are the key features of global capitalism? To what extent is economic planning relegated to the state or the market and how are these two entities distinguished? How viable are these systems and what sorts of institutions do they create?

Syllabus

EC320 Econometrics

Module: Econometrics

Instructor: Israel Waichman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15-16:45, Fri 9:00-10:30

Economics is in many ways an applied science deeply anchored in real-world phenomena that can be measured and quantified. In order to answer important quantitative questions, the economist needs to collect data and assess the empirical relationships between objects of interest. Since much economic data is observational, a main task of the econometrician is trying to find out whether events that are correlated also stand in causal relationship with each other and in what order of priority. In order to answer such questions, the economist needs the toolkit of multivariate regression analysis as well as a number of sophisticated techniques that expand on the simple linear regression model (time series and panel data models, vector-autoregressive models, non- and semiparametric econometric techniques, and various methods to assess the degree to which such models fit). This course expands on the basic statistics course by applying and developing core statistical notions within an economic context. It develops literacy in applied economics, and capacity to assess claims made in that field through critique of methods of econometric analysis.

Syllabus

EC315 Behavioral Economics

Module: Behavioral Economics

Instructor: Martin Binder

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Thu 17:00-18:30

While much of the core of economic theory is based on the rational choice model of human activity (i.e. the human being is seen as homo economicus, a hyper-rational and solely self-interested individual), research in psychology calls for a more realistic picture of human decision-making. Behavioral economics is the subdiscipline of economics that aims at modifying the rational choice model of behavior in the direction of a more realistic model that accounts for bounded rationality, the use of heuristics, and the analysis of how human decisions are driven by emotions, and distorted by various biases. This course familiarizes students with this new and fascinating approach to economics and presents economic models that take into account the rich psychological structure of human decision-making. We analyze the consequences of using such a nuanced behavioral model of decision-making, and of taking into account the existence of social preferences (such as other-regarding, altruistic preferences) and so forth. Courses also can deal with the implications human irrationality would have for economic policy-making as well as research into human subjective well being (“happiness”) and its economic correlates.

Syllabus

Ethics and Politics

PT204 German Constitutional Law and Society

Module: Law and Society

Instructor: Sergey Lagodinsky

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 17:00-20:15

It is hardly possible to understand German society without understanding the legal foundations of this country. The dense framework of regulations and a legal mindset are important factors that both determine and explain Germany's post-war politics and identity. This course offers participants an opportunity to learn the foundations of German constitutional law against the background of current political and societal developments. Students are introduced to main concepts and relevant judicial rulings. A special emphasis is placed on democratic instruments as products of a learning process from Germany's history and characteristics of its new democratic identity. Participants in the course thereby acquire the necessary analytical tools to orient themselves in social and political discussions. The course is highly interactive, with analytical and comparative exercises accompanying the lectures. It covers a broad range of topics from asylum law to data protection or regulation of free speech on the Internet. Due to particular timing, the course will focus on legal rules determining the German party system, governmental institutions and electoral processes as the German election and transition of power to a newly elected parliament are unfolding. The personal political experience of the course instructor (and students) will inform the discussions in class.

Syllabus

PT318 Populism in Western Europe – Rewriting the Rules of the Political Game

Module: Law and Society 

Instructor: Timo Lochocki

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-16:45

This class will be concerned with the reasons for and the impact of the recent rise of populist forces in Liberal Democracies. While in southern Europe, left-wing populist parties thrive (e.g. Podemos in Spain) northern European countries and the US see the rise of right-wing populist actors (e.g. UKIP in the UK or Donald Trump in the States). This course will examine these phenomena in a fourfold process: firstly, in understanding the basic political mechanisms uncovered by comparative party research to help us to understand these organizations; secondly, in conducting a qualitative research project on the recent rise of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD); thirdly, in bringing the insights we have gleaned to bear on other consequential cases of populist growth and appeal. Our researches enable us to understand the significance of the rise of populist forces generally, including the issue of their impact on liberal democracy itself.

Syllabus

HI283 History and Memory: Forced Migration from Nineteenth to Twenty-First-Century Germany 

Module: Historical Studies/Methods in Historiography

Instructor: Marion Detjen (ZZF, Potsdam)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30-16:45

This course is an introduction to the history of forced migration in Germany from WWI to the present day, in the light of recent experiences in Germany related to the ordeals and the designation of those who seek “refugee” status. The course proceeds from the fundamental assumption that the category of the “refugee” is a social construction, negotiated every day under specific conditions of power and hierarchy and tied closely to the memories of those who take part in this negotiation. Germany’s history has always been permeated by violent movements of forced migration. Memories of escape and expulsion have left deep marks in the culture of the country. We will acquire the historical knowledge and methodology needed to understand some of the conditions of these negotiation processes throughout the 20th century until today, and we will then seek, analyse and interpret the memory traces in German and non-German literature. Most importantly, our inquiry will be steered by the questions that the experiences of contemporary “refugeedom” in Germany impose on us. The class will include non-enrolled students and host guests with a personal background of forced migration. We will also make excursions to places where cultural memory is “institutionalized” to a greater or lesser degree.

Syllabus

SO315 Race and Science 

Module: Social Theory

Instructors: Rodolfo Garau, Ian Lawson

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Thu 17:00-18:30

Contemporary biologists agree that the concept of "race" has no genetic foundation, yet Western science has a long history of being complicit in establishing or justifying racial prejudices and power structures. This course examines the history of scientific approaches to race and, on the other hand, how existing racial thinking has influenced the research of scientists, placing both in broad political and cultural backgrounds. We begin with the extension of early modern taxonomical systems for categorizing people in the context of European colonial projects. We then consider race science in the Enlightenment, and the development of measuring techniques like anthropometry, craniography, phrenology and physiognomy. The development of eugenics and racially-loaded criminology will be addressed before moving on to 20th Century contexts like Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany and pre-civil rights era USA. The course asks how we can think about biological difference today, given the inseparability of science and society and the history of racial theories.

This course fulfills the mathematics and science requirement for humanities students.

Syllabus

PL302 Hegel: The Shorter Logic 

Module: Movements and Thinkers

Instructor: Jan Völker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 17:00-20:15

In 1817 Hegel published the “Shorter Logic” as part of his Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse), which was a textbook intended as a guide to his lectures. The “Shorter Logic” was so named in order to distinguish it from the “Greater Logic” or Science of Logic. We will use the more accessible work to gain an understanding of the central features of Hegel’s conception of logic, which differs significantly from the usual understanding of formal logic. For Hegel, logic is the attempt to formulate the “becoming” of thought. This means that it includes the process of thought’s own development, and cannot be rendered in general formulae. Any enactment of this model of logic has to encompass the elaboration of thought over time, as well as giving an account of formal structure. The elements of Hegel’s logic are not general, procedural rules of thought, but concepts such as Being, Quality, Quantity, Existence, Appearance, Reality, Judgment, Object, Idea. His logic spans two apparently contradictory dimensions: an unpredictable adventure of discovery that should at the same time lead not only to reliable but absolute knowledge. Understanding the method enacted in the “Smaller Logic” provides insight into the most essential features of Hegel’s thought—Negativity, dialectics, idealism—and its relation to preceding systems. The “Shorter Logic” articulates one of the most fundamental problems of modern philosophy: how is it possible to formulate a concept that incorporates its own formation as well as its future? In sounding this question, Hegel locates the common thread in the paradigms of German Idealism, and anticipates key themes in Marxism, psychoanalysis, and a materialism beyond empiricism.

Syllabus

SO321 All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Module: Social Theory 

Cross-listed with Politics, and with Literature and Rhetoric 

Instructor: Agata Lisiak

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00-10:30, Thu 13:30-15:00

This class is dedicated to a careful reading of Marshall Berman’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air – a highly influential, if not uncontroversial 1982 book on the experience of modernity. With this book, Berman aimed for nothing less than grasping "a world where everything is pregnant with its contrary" and we will attempt to do the same. We will read and discuss the authors Berman engages with (Goethe, Marx and Engels, Dostoyevsky, Baudelaire, Benjamin), as well as many others whose voices remain absent from his analysis, but need to be heard in the context of reflections on modernity. This class makes no attempt to erect a monument for Berman – as he once said (speaking of Marx), "a thinker needs beatification like a hole in the head!" – but, rather, offers a critical engagement with his writings on modernity. We will therefore discuss Berman’s admittedly western-centric study alongside texts that offer postcolonial, feminist, and queer approaches to modernity. Aside from Berlin, Paris, New York, and Saint Petersburg, presented as the modern metropolises in All That Is Solid, we will also discuss experiences of modernity in Mexico City, Taipei, Lagos, and Sao Paulo, among other cities. Drawing from fiction, film, ethnographic studies, essays, theory, and hip hop, we will reflect on how modern individuals assert their dignity in the city, even if it is exclusionary and oppressive. As Berman observes: "the streets, our streets, are where modernism belongs" – we will explore these streets not only through through fiction, film, and theory, but also off-campus walks. In order to immerse ourselves in sensory experiences of modernity, we will engage in psychogeography and sonic walks through Berlin.

Syllabus

Literature and Rhetoric

GM320 Jewish Berlin from the Enlightenment to the Present (in German)

Module: Literary Movements and Forms

Instructor: Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00-12:30, Wed 11:00-12:30

This course begins in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Berlin, where Jews held a prominent place in the city’s public life, the art scene and the sciences. Figures such as Moses Mendelssohn, David Friedländer and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing contributed to the rise and development of the Haskalah (or Jewish Enlightenment), debating questions of human equality, tolerance and religious truth, while on Jägerstraße in Mitte the Jewish society doyenne Rahel Varnhagen hosted her legendary salon where famous writers, politicians and artists socialized. We then move to Weimar Berlin and its brutal climax and destruction with Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazi war on Jewish existence. We will discuss the rich cultural life of the interwar period, when director Max Reinhardt enthralled Berlin theater audiences, future Hollywood legend Billy Wilder lived in Schöneberg and wrote the screenplay to the film classic People on Sunday, and Walter Benjamin collected his memories of growing up in the city in Berlin Childhood around 1900. And we will explore works written during the Third Reich such as Nelly Sachs’ poetry or Lion Feuchtwanger’s portrayal of the gradual onset of Nazism in his novel The Oppermanns, the wrenching tale of the uprooting of a German-Jewish family from their hometown and country. We will end in present day Berlin, asking how Jewish culture in the city has been reestablishing itself in literature, art and film since the end of the Cold War. We will visit popular as well as lesser known landmarks of its Jewish past and present like Haus Schwarzenberg in Rosenthaler Straße and the Spandauer Vorstadt. Students taking this class should have a C1 proficiency level in German.

Syllabus

LT303 Contemporary Cultural Theory: Approaches to Race, Class, and Gender 

Module/s: Critical and Cultural Theory/Social Theory 

Instructor: Kathy-Ann Tan

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-16:45

In this class, students will be familiarized with comparative approaches in contemporary cultural theory that engage with the central issues of representation and discourse, memory, race, class and gender. By reading the seminal writings of American and continental European thinkers such as Judith Butler, Stuart Hall, Lauren Berlant, Audre Lorde and Maisha Eggers, we will cover the major concepts relevant to an exploration of cultural texts, narratives and discourses. Our discussion of the theoretical texts within a comparative framework will reflect and facilitate the adoption of a broader transnational approach to contemporary cultural theory.

Syllabus

LT216 Fiction Writing Workshop 

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production

Instructor: Tom Drury 

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Thu 15:15-18:30

This course is designed to develop and enhance your capacity for imagination, empathy, and clarity and originality of written expression via the writing and reading of short fiction.

As a workshop, we will be focusing primarily on your short fiction, supplemented by readings from the text Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers (ed. Joyce Carol Oates).

Written requirements: 4 original short stories, 2500 words minimum, due on a rotating schedule over the course of the semester, to be collected in a portfolio at the end of the semester. In addition you will write short response papers (250 words or so) on assigned readings from the anthology.

Participation requirements: Read all assigned works carefully and come to class prepared to discuss them in detail with regard to sentence structure, phrasing, narrative voice, images, dialogue, etc., and how these function as unifying elements. Analysis should be on a line-by-line, word-by-word level. Show precisely where and how a text is working (or could work better). Be creative, constructive, specific. For your fellow students' stories, I would urge you to write a one-page summary of your take and provide that to the writer along with your line-by-line notes after the story is workshopped. This exercise will help you (and, of course, the writer) to understand what you think about the work.

Syllabus

SO321 All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Module: Critical and Cultural Theory

Cross-listed with Politics, and with Ethics and Politics

Instructor: Agata Lisiak

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00-10:30, Thu 13:30-15:00

Politics

PS385 Statecraft in the New Global Order

Module: Advanced Topics in Global and Comparative Politics

Instructor: Boris Vormann

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 17:00-18:30, Fri 10:45-12:15

In this course, we explore forms of state power in the context of changing institutional regimes. We are particularly interested in how processes of globalization, regionalization and urbanization alter existing commitments between states, reshape alliances between governmental and private actors, and lead to the consolidation of new power blocks. This inquiry implies both an analysis of emergent political forms at scales other than the national as well as a consideration of historical path dependencies, cultural ties, and regional specificities. First, we examine persistent statehood at the national level: How have existing inter-state arrangements been altered over time to adapt to changing political and economic realities? What roles do states still play in global politics today? How do they facilitate and respond to globalization processes? This first set of questions implies a reassessment of traditional conceptual tools and reference points (e.g. the nation-state, the global North-South divide). We then turn to the relativization of scales and how it has given rise since the 1970s to a variety of new political actors and new interest coalitions. We begin by analyzing regional political realignments both on the subnational (Québec, Catalonia, Scotland etc.) as well as on the supranational (NAFTA, EU, AU, etc.) level. We will focus on the political and economic viability of these regional formations and ask which degree of independence they actually have from national states. Finally, we turn to the local scale and to the rise of global and mega cities as they compete for resources and cooperate in consolidating transnational city networks. We will conclude this course with different case studies in the Global North and the Global South to assess the potentials and limitations for cooperation on that level, which has come to reflect the hopes for a more sustainable planetary development in today's so-called "urban era."

Syllabus

SO320 Experimental Methods in Social Science Research

Module: Quantitative Methods in Social Science

Instructor: Bastian Becker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00-12:30, Wed 11:00-12:30

This course introduces students to how experiments are designed, implemented, and analyzed to address questions about social phenomena. Social science research and policy analysis have in recent years put greater emphasis on the causes underpinning phenomena of interest. This is an important advance as the lack of doing so can lead to erroneous substantive conclusions and policy recommendations. Experiments are well-suited for the identification of causal effects, as they give researchers sufficient control over the research setting to exclude alternative explanations. The course begins with an introduction of the basic logic underlying experimental research, focusing on the potential outcomes framework. The main part covers the most popular experimental research methods, including lab experiments, survey experiments, field experiments, and natural experiments, whereby all steps of the research process from design to analysis are elaborated. A wide range of examples, from topics such as voting, public opinion, development, conflict, and discrimination, are discussed to illustrate these different methods. At the end of the course, students will have acquired a good understanding of the strengths (and weaknesses) of the experimental methods most commonly employed in social science research and policy analysis. A capacity to employ these methods independently will be fostered through a research project that students conduct as part of the course.

Syllabus

The following courses are cross-listed with Ethics and Politics:

PL302 Hegel: The Shorter Logic

Module: Philosophy and Society 

Instructor: Jan Völker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 17:00-20:15

Syllabus

SO315 Race and Science

Module: Philosophy and Society 

Instructors: Rodolfo Garau, Ian Lawson 

Credits: 8ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Thu 17:00-18:30

Syllabus

SO321 All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Module: Philosophy and Society

Also cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric 

Instructor: Agata Lisiak

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00-10:30, Thu 13:30-15:00

Syllabus

Electives

TH239 Dance Lab: Approaches and Practice

Instructor: Eva Burghardt

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-16:45

This course is designed as an introduction to contemporary dance and improvisation technique as well as providing space to explore theories and techniques of body-based performance work in a broader sense.  In the first half of the semester we will focus on movement and dance-based training, drawing from contemporary dance techniques and bodyworks, such as Release Technique and Body Mind Centering. Using gravity while moving into and out of the floor, finding inner and outer connections through the body and into the space will be explored. Adding to this foundational work, students will be introduced to dance improvisation and instant composition technique. While playing with different imageries and movement qualities, they will expand and develop their movement vocabulary. Rather than prescribing a specific aesthetic, the aim is to give a framework for individual exploration and expression. Listening to oneself as well as to the others will be an essential part.  The second half of the semester will shift the focus to compositional and choreographic aspects of dance. Creating solo as well as group sketches, different layers of composition such as use of space, timing, rhythm and dramaturgy will be explored. A final presentation of the resulting work, containing both improvised and set material, will be shown at the end of the semester. Throughout, the students will learn to analyze various aspects of dance and performance. An introduction to dance history, as well as excursions to dance performances in Berlin, including discussions and a written reflection afterwards, will be an integral part of the course.

Syllabus

IS331 Berlin Internship Seminar: Working Cultures, Urban Cultures

Bard in Berlin Program Course

Instructor: Agata LisiakFlorian Duijsens

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits (in combination with an internship)

Course Times: Wed 13:30-15:00

Students enrolled in the Bard College Berlin Internship Program are required to complete the Berlin Internship Seminar, an interdisciplinary course designed to accompany the internship experience. We will meet on a weekly basis and discuss contemporary ways of living and working in Berlin and beyond: What do we mean when we talk about work? Do we need to love what we do? What renders work in/visible? How is work gendered and classed? How is work organized temporally and spatially and how does it, in turn, affect the city and its residents? What distinguishes the spaces in which we live and work today? Which new forms of work have recently emerged in Berlin? Which of them seem to thrive? How do Berlin’s art institutions and citizen-activist organizations operate? Besides in-class discussions, invited lectures, and off-campus visits, the seminar offers a platform for the exchange of observations, reflections, and comments on individual internships.

Syllabus

EL202 ESL Writing Intensive Seminar

Instructor: Ariane Simard

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Group A - Tue 17:00-18:30, Fri 10:45-12:15; Group B - Tue 15:15-16:45, Fri 13:30-15:00

This course is designed to develop the writing skills of non-native English speakers to prepare for academic work in American Standard English (ASE). Over the semester, students will review grammar, learn how to cite academic sources, as well as develop an effective and original academic writing voice. We will put into practice essential writing techniques such as drafting, research, critical reading skills, re-writing and workshop. Students will be graded on three short essays (2-3 pp) and one in-class essay. Upon successful completion of the class, students should be able to think critically, as well as construct compelling narratives and effective written academic arguments. In addition to some poems, short stories, and non-fiction, we will explore Berlin to help us examine ideas about identity in a rapidly changing city.

Syllabus

MU205 The Music and Thought of Richard Wagner

Instructor: Peter Laki

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30-15:00, Wed 9:00-10:30

If asked about Richard Wagner, many non-musicians would respond that he was an anti-Semite who wrote some long operas.  While this is undeniably true, the situation is considerably more complex.  Wagner, who wrote the texts as well as the music to all his operas, was a composer of genius whose influence on the evolution of classical music was incalculable.  In addition, he was a dramatist of the first order, whose works speak to fundamental questions of human relationships, religion, philosophy, and more.  It is indeed the case that in the final analysis, the message of his stage works (if not of his prose treatises) is love rather than hate and harmony rather than disharmony.  Wagner has become part of the fabric of German culture to the point that one cannot hope to understand the country without engaging with his legacy.  His international impact has been similarly enormous.  Hardly a day goes by without one of his operas being performed in a major venue, and the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria, which he founded, continues to rank as one of the most prestigious musical events worldwide.

The course will concentrate on Wagner’s magnum opus, the four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung. Students will be required to watch the cycle in its entirety and familiarize themselves with the dramatic text as well as the music.  In addition, we will discuss the cultural background of the work, its composition history and the circumstances of its first performance.  Other works by Wagner, especially Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, will also be discussed.

Syllabus

MU206 Big Brother is Listening: Music and Politics Across the Ages

Instructor: Peter Laki

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 17:00-18:30, Fri 9:00-10:30

In a sense, all music is political--if not by virtue of its explicit content, then in terms of its production, dissemination and reception.  Moreover, many political ideas have found their most striking and most effective expression through music.  The intersections of music and politics, then, make for an extremely fruitful and inexhaustible subject for study.

This course will pursue two parallel tracks.  The instructor will offer a historical survey of political music from the Middle Ages to the present in the classical tradition. Works to be examined will include the operas The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Fidelio (Beethoven) and Boris Godunov (Musorgsky); we will discuss nationalism in 19th-century music, as well as works written in response to political events, and in support or opposition to totalitarian regimes in more recent times.

Concurrently, students will give presentations on topics of their own choice.  They will be encouraged to present political music from their own countries of origin; alternatively, they may choose to work on jazz, rock and roll, hip-hop and other popular genres from any country (in addition to classical, of course).  The two strands of the course will combine to provide a broader understanding of the ways in which music and politics are intertwined.

Syllabus

Language Courses

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group A)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Narges Roshan

Course Times: Mon 9:00-10:30, Tue 10:45-12:15, Thu 10:45-12:15

Syllabus

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group B)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Narges Roshan

Course Times: Mon 15:15-16:45, Thu 9:00-10:30, Fri 10:45-12:15

Syllabus

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group C)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Antonia von Trott

Course Times: Mon 13:30-15:00, Wed 9:00-10:30, Fri 9:00-10:30

Syllabus

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group D)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Nina Tolksdorf

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Wed 15:15-16:45, Fri 15:15-16:45

Syllabus

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group E)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Yvonne Toepfer

Course Times: Mon 15:15-16:45, Thu 9:00-10:30, Fri 10:45-12:15

Syllabus

GM151 German Beginner A2 (Group A)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Ulrike Harnisch

Course Times: Mon 9:00-10:30, Tue 10:45-12:15, Thu 10:45-12:15

Syllabus

GM151 German Beginner A2 (Group B)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Mareike Stoll

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Wed 17:00-18:30, Fri 15:15-16:45

Syllabus

GM201 German Intermediate B1 (Group A)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Ariane Faber

Course Times: Mon 9:00-10:30, Tue 10:45-12:15, Thu 10:45-12:15

Syllabus

GM201 German Intermediate B1 (Group B)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Nina Tolksdorf

Course Times: Mon 13:30-15:00, Wed 9:00-10:30, Fri 9:00-10:30

Syllabus

GM201 German Intermediate B1 (Group C)

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Constanze Eichler

Course Times: Mon 17:00-18:30, Wed 15:15-16:45, Fri 15:15-16:45

Syllabus

GM251 German Intermediate B2

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Martin Widmann

Course Times: Mon 15:15-16:45, Tue 17:00-18:30, Thu 9:00-10:30

Syllabus

GM301 German Advanced C1

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Mareike Stoll

Course Times: Mon 13:30-15:00, Wed 9:00-10:30, Fri 9:00-10:30

Syllabus

GM351 German Advanced C2

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Ulrike Harnisch

Course Times: Tues 17:00-18:30, Wed 9:15-10:45, Thu 13:30-15:00

Syllabus

GM320 Jewish Berlin from the Enlightenment to the Present (in German)

Module: Literary Movements and Forms

Instructor: Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00-12:30, Wed 11:00-12:30

Cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric

All Bard College Berlin language courses address the development of skills in reading and listening comprehension, conversation and writing within the context of the European Framework of Languages from level A1 through C2.

Beginner German A1

Emphasis on familiar vocabulary building, listening comprehension and speaking with gradual introduction to grammar and writing skills. 

Beginner German A2

Continued emphasis on listening comprehension and routine communication. Students read and write short, simple texts. 

Intermediate German B1 

Emphasis on communication skills including comprehension of standard speech and descriptive reading passages, topical conversation and simple, descriptive composition. 

Intermediate German B2 

Continued emphasis on communication skills including comprehension of extended speeches and lectures, reading of newspapers and general periodicals, spontaneous conversational interaction with native speakers and writing clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects. 

Advanced German Language C1

Development of listening and reading comprehension levels to include extended speech and some literary texts. Emphasis on conversational and writing skills to express ideas and opinions and present detailed descriptions expressing points of view. 

Advanced German Language C2 

Development of comprehension skills to allow for understanding of all forms of spoken language and written texts. Emphasis on communication skills for the fluent expression of ideas and argument both orally and in written form.