Courses Spring 2017*

Core Courses

Foundational Modules

Advanced Modules

Electives

Language Courses

* The course list may be subject to change.

Core Courses

IS104 Forms of Love

AY/BA1/Begin in Berlin Core Course

Module: Medieval Literatures and Cultures

Instructors: Tracy ColonyDavid HayesGeoff LehmanKatalin Makkai, Hans Stauffacher

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

 “Love” is a word whose meanings seem to be known to all of us. It names a feeling, an experience, and a value whose importance appears incontestable. But did “love” always mean what we might consider it to mean today? How recent are ideals of romantic or sexual love? What kinds of prototypes did they have in earlier historical periods? To what extent is our word “love” equivalent to the terms used for it in the languages and cultures that have shaped European and so-called “Western” culture? This course explores the other meanings for the word “love” that contributed to our contemporary perspective or apparently diverge markedly from it. We focus on texts and ideas from the place and time that was foundational for the development of European societies, and yet seems distant and strange now: medieval Christendom. We look at the change that took place in the use of Ancient philosophical terms for love in Christian texts, and at the consequences (literary and doctrinal) of the condemnatory view of sexual and erotic love taken by Christian theology. Above all, we examine the ramifications of the primacy of the category of love in Christendom: how could this category become so all-important, and yet at the same time express such a hostility to the erotic and the sensual? The course looks at the norms, rituals and rhetoric that organized the idea of love in the medieval world, attending also to the relationship between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 

Syllabus

IS212 Early Modern Science (a cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)

BA2 Core Course

Module: Early Modern Science

Coordinator: Ewa AtanassowAndreas BlankRodolfo GarauIan Lawson

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00 - 10:30, Thu 11:00 - 12:30

The course seeks to introduce the scientific advances of the early modern period (with particular focus on the seventeenth century): the developments that defined the principles, methods and frameworks of modern natural science as it exists today.  We not only explore the philosophical basis and conclusions of this historical development, but its experimental procedures, and come to an understanding of their practical form and the meaning of their results. In the first section, we concentrate on the new understanding of space, matter and motion deriving from the cosmologies and mechanical theories of this era (the basis of modern physics). In the second, we consider the remarkable advances in the life sciences at this period (examining anatomical and medical texts), and finally, attend to the emergence of what came to be called “chemistry” out of the mystical practice of alchemy. Included in the course are visits to exhibitions and collections in Berlin, which will help us to reflect on the way in which scientific practices and their discoveries have been historicized, and why we ought to enhance our critical awareness of such historicizing. 

Syllabus

IS322 Modernism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Aesthetics of Internationalism

BA3-4/PY Core Course                              

Module: Modernism

Coordinator: Laura Scuriatti

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 9:00 - 10:30, Thu 11:00 - 12:30

In the aesthetic and cultural moment we identify as Modernism, newness in art became a defining value. At the beginning of the twentieth century, experiments in style, technique and content characterised the arts and generated close interdisciplinary dialogue between them. Modernist experimentation also had, in some cases, socio-political implications: while some authors and artists lived cosmopolitan lives, numerous avant-garde and modernist movements questioned the meaning of national identities and boundaries, both politically and culturally. Focusing on a broad range of modernist texts, visual and theoretical material, the course explores the significance, and the aesthetics and politics, of different versions of modernist internationalism – exile, cosmopolitanism, colonialism, multilingualism, orientalism and exoticism. It also aims at understanding the emergence of modernism, the political contexts in which its practices could thrive, as well as its legacy.

Syllabus

IS123 Academic Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences 

Module: Senior Core Colloquium

Instructor: James Harker

Credits: 12 ECTS, 6 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 15:15 - 18:30 (until thesis deadline)

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

FA106 Beginners Black and White Photography: Made for a Party

Module: Art Objects and Experience

Instructor: April Gertler

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Thu 17:00 - 20:15

Using the backdrop of Berlin the Beginning Photo Class titled Made for a Party (*named after the Berlin artist and photographer Hannah Höch) will combine several elements simultaneously: exploring the history of photography by Berlin-based photographers, learning how to use a manual camera, and how to make analogue photographic prints in an analogue darkroom.  Participants will be exposed to the rich photographic history of Berlin through presentations, discussions and walks through the city focusing on famous Berlin based photographers. Students will undertake assignments through the semester that will enrich their understanding of analogue photography on as many levels as possible. Camera techniques and black and white printing will be the core substance of the class.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FA111 Hands-On: Exploring Methods Towards a Personal Sculpting Practice

Module: Art Objects and Experience

Instructor: John von Bergen

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 15:15 - 18:30

As with previous Bard College Berlin sculpture courses, we will investigate a wide range of conceptual platforms and material decisions for beginning art students. Potential materials for production may include wood, styrofoam, plaster, clays, rubbers, plastics, polymers, wax and found objects. Many techniques will be explored for incorporating “materials” in art. In the first half of the semester, students are expected to respond to intense weekly deadlines with a new project challenge every week. Class time will usually be divided between workshop production and critique. Students learn the importance of preparation, safety, and cleanup while working hands-on at Bard College Berlin’s factory building. The second half of the semester invites larger, ambitious projects to be developed from personal initiative. Projects may involve room installation, collaboration with other students, as well as outdoor projects as the weather begins to get warmer. No practicing art experience is necessary for this class, but an ambitious attitude along with a serious commitment to working independently outside of class time will be essential for this course. Students with previous sculpture experience would of course be welcome to enroll, and could undertake projects befitting their level of expertise.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FA103 Found Fragments & Layered Lines: mixed-media techniques for drawing and collage

Module: Art Objects and Experience

Instructor: John Kleckner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30 - 16:45

This is a hands-on studio art course exploring contemporary and historical approaches to drawing and collage. The class projects are designed to exercise each student’s skills in visual thinking through the creation of drawings on paper and collages of found printed fragments. Students will gather printed materials from Berlin’s famous Flohmärkte (flea markets) to use in creating original collages; students will also draw dynamic object arrangements, make abstractions from nature by working outdoors, work collaboratively on large-scale drawings, develop their own systematic approach for generating compositions, and experiment with the expressive possibilities of combining text and imagery. A central focus will be examining the potential to create new and surprising meanings and contexts resulting from the juxtaposition and layering of image fragments together. The semester culminates in the creation of a body of original artwork that will be shown in a class exhibition. The majority of classes are studio sessions. There will also be a number of group critiques, image presentations, and several artist studio / gallery visits. The ideal student will be highly motivated, with a strong interest in studying and producing art, and must be comfortable with presenting their artistic creations with peers in class discussions.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FM216 Order and Chaos – The Films of Fritz Lang

Modules: Approaching Arts Through Theory/Theater and Film

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30 - 15:00 and 19:30 - 21:00 (film screenings), Wed 13:30 - 15:00

Fritz Lang (1890 - 1976) started his career as a filmmaker in Germany in the 1920s, becoming one of the most prolific and renowned – and uncompromising – directors of Weimar cinema. With films like Dr. Mabuse (1922), Die Nibelungen (1924), Metropolis (1927) and M (1931) he created visually stunning representations of social anxiety, and contributed to the emerging film genres of crime film, fantasy, science fiction and psychological thriller, defining new standards in mass entertainment and the art of film. In 1934 he emigrated to the US and continued his career as director of Western films, anti-Nazi films and crime dramas in the film noir tradition. Lang’s films of the German period and of the American period might differ in style and scope but they very often share a specific mindset of pessimism and bleakness in depicting an ongoing struggle between order and chaos, on both individual and social levels. Discussing selected films by Lang, we will also explore concepts of film aesthetics and cinematic language, styles of filmic presentation and different approaches to film analysis and interpretation.

Syllabus

AH212 German Art and Identity

Module: Art and Artists in Context

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Instructor: Aya Soika

Course Times: Wed 11:00 - 12:30, Fri 9:45 - 12:30 (offsite visits every second week)

The nineteenth century was the great age of “nationalism,” or the belief that the ideal political configuration was the linguistically and culturally unified population formed into a state. Nationalism was in part a progressive movement, reacting to rule by aristocratic hierarchies, imperial control, or conquering foreign powers. It also developed reactionary components, relying on notions of race or of ethnic homogenity that were dangerously exclusionary or even annhilatory. Art has played a contradictory role in regard to nationalism, contributing to or appropriated by it to establish narratives of the history of a “people,” yet also attacking such constructs by dismantling the tropes they exploit. The relation between art and nationalism is particularly complex in the German case because of the territorial intricacy of the lands in which vernacular German-speakers or those claiming some kind of German identity lived. It is also complicated by an historical antithesis between German culture and the styles of expression that were defined as most desirable for art and for civilized life. This course traces the relationship between German art and German identity from the period that is seen as the first manifestation of a specifically “German” proto-national identity, the Reformation, through the Romantic movement that arose in the period of Napoleonic occupation, up to the modern critiques (and violent enforcements) of a “national” aesthetic in the twentieth century. 

Syllabus

Economics

MA120 Mathematics for Economics

Module: Mathematics for Economics

Instructors: Israel Waichman, Martin Binder

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15 - 16:45, Thu 15:15 - 16:45

This course focuses on the mathematical tools important for the study of economics: analytic geometry, functions of a single variable, functions of two variables, calculus, integrals and linear algebra (matrices, determinants, systems of linear equations and methods for solving them). A large part of the course will deal with optimization in one or more variables and its corresponding applications in economics (e.g. utility and profit maximization problems). The course will also be useful for any student with a general interest in mathematics, or who does not intend advanced specialization in economics, but wishes to become informed regarding the essential mathematical building blocks of economics as a discipline.

This course fulfils the mathematics and science requirement for humanities students

Syllabus

EC211 Macroeconomics

Module: Macroeconomics

Instructor: Beatrice Farkas

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

This course familiarizes students with the main models that macroeconomists use to analyze the way economies behave. The module begins by examining theories that seek to explain money and banking. We then focus our attention on investigating economic theories that explain short run business cycles, the periods of recession and boom that occur on a regular basis. An important part of the course is to investigate the role of governments in affecting the long and short-term economic prospects of their countries. We apply this theoretical knowledge to a range of current economic issues, including budget deficits and national debt, loans and private sector debt, the current account, and the role of institutions. 

Syllabus

MA151 Statistics

Module: Statistics

Instructor: Marius Fahrner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 9:00 - 12:15

This module is designed to introduce the methodologies proper to the empirical social sciences. Basic concepts of statistics, probability, probability distributions, random variables, correlation, and simple regression are introduced; the techniques of statistical inference hypothesis testing are developed. 

This course fulfils the mathematics and science requirement for humanities students

Syllabus

Ethics and Politics

The following courses are cross-listed with Politics

PL120 Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Modules: Ethics and Moral Philosophy/Moral and Political Thought

Instructor: David Hayes

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits 

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

How should a person live? For Aristotle, the answer to this question is that living well and happily involves becoming a certain sort of person, rather than applying universal principles of reason (deontology) or maximizing benefit (consequentialism). More specially, we ought to strive to become persons who possess a character that comprises numerous virtues involving the exercise of both the mind and the emotions. This class is a close reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics in its entirety. Some supplementary material from psychoanalytic theory, literature, and film will be offered in order to see what it is like to “fill in” what Aristotle suggests can only be given “in outline.” Additionally, and contrarily, we will consider a contemporary philosophic challenge (John Doris) to the viability of any virtue-ethical project.

Syllabus

HI180 Theories of Tolerance

Modules: History of Political Thought/Moral and Political Thought

Instructor: Andreas Blank

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Throughout the history of political thought, theories of tolerance have to find responses to experiences of extreme religious and ideological oppression. The core question of theories of tolerance is the question of how plurality of religious, political and theoretical points of view can be shown to have a stabilizing function for the life of societies. In the early modern period, religious and political oppression derived from the Reformation and the subsequent confessionalization of the political life of European states. The earliest defenses of tolerance in the sixteenth century tried to formulate answers to this experience by reflecting on cognitive fallibility of human beings and on the phenomenon of religiously motivated violence. In the seventeenth century, issues concerning toleration were discussed from the perspective of strategies of conflict resolution, which tried to provide a minimal consensus that could serve as the basis for the peaceful co-existence of diverse groups. As an alternative to such conflict-resolution- oriented approaches, the idea of freedom of thought began to develop in the late seventeenth century. This novel approach was more fully developed into a theory of freedom of expression in the eighteenth century, when the question of the limits of toleration became part of the agenda of political thought. Contemporary debates about toleration reflect all of these developments in the early modern period. The seminar will trace the connections between some of the central historical positions (Sebastian Castellion, Michel de Montaigne, Samuel Pufendorf, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Baruch de Spinoza, John Locke, and Voltaire) and some influential contemporary positions in political philosophy—both analytic and continental—and thereby illustrate the persisting relevance of these issues.

Syllabus

Literature and Rhetoric

LT251 Poetry and Poetics

Module: Poetry and Poetics

Instructor: James Harker     

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 10:45 - 12:15, Fri 10:45 - 12:15

This course will approach poetry from many angles. First, what does poetry do? And what makes poetic language distinct? As we look for answers to these questions, we will think about poetry’s relationship to philosophy, rhetoric, prose, and everyday speech. Second, how do we analyze poetry? Throughout the course, we will learn to identify verse forms, meters, and figures and to speak with fluency using the technical language of prosody. The goal is more than that of learning a “technical” vocabulary; it is to learn to discover more in the poetry that we read. Finally, how has poetry changed over time? The course offers a survey of English-language poetry from the English Renaissance to the present day. We will be able to trace the rise and fall—and occasional return—of poetic forms as well as the influence that certain major figures and movements have exerted on succeeding poets. We will also each memorize a sonnet and even try writing in some of the poetic forms we study. All of these approaches are intended to make every phase in the history of poetry more alive, exciting, and relevant.

Syllabus

LT250 Realism, Naturalism, "Verismo", Magical Realism: The Metamorphosis of a Style

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

Since its emergence, the novel has been seen in two completely divergent ways: as potentially deceitful, exercising dangerous power over readers, or, alternatively, as the only modern genre capable of representing the reality of the world and the human condition at large. The latter characterization, prevailing in the nineteenth century, was associated with a specific narrative style - realism - which almost came to function as a defining marker of the genre itself. The course aims at investigating the historical and cultural significance of the emergence of the novel as a genre, and of realism as a style that took on various forms during the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. During the course, we will address the different forms of realism, including French Naturalism, Italian "Verismo" and “Magical Realism” in South America. The labels will be investigated both as historical concepts and as sets of specific narrative techniques, and will be discussed on the basis of a few primary sources and theoretical texts. Through the analysis of narrative techniques, narrative structure, form and historical context, we reflect on the ideology of realism and the significance of its mimetic claims.

Syllabus

FM216 Order and Chaos: The Films of Fritz Lang

Modules: Theater and Film/Art Objects and Experience

Cross-listed with Art and Aesthetics

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30 - 15:00 and 19:30 - 21:00 (film screenings), Wed 13:30 - 15:00

Politics

PS105 Systems of Power: Foundations of Comparative Politics

Module: Comparative Politics

Instructor: Adina Maricut

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 15:15 - 16:45, Wed 15:15 - 16:45

Political power is one of the most contested concepts in the study of politics. The organization of political power into different political systems raises key questions about the capacity of various institutional arrangements to generate desirable social outcomes such as political stability, accountability, and redistribution. This course provides an introduction to central notions of comparative politics regarding the functioning of political systems in the post–World War II context. The course explores from a comparative perspective different types of states, political regimes, democratic and dictatorial institutions, political culture(s), as well as the role of identity groups in the organization of politics. At the same time, the course addresses current challenges of contemporary political systems, including globalization, civic disengagement, the rise of extremist movements, and new forms of political violence like terrorism. The core of the course consists of analyses of case studies illustrating the different concepts covered in the foundational readings of the field. The case studies are rooted in the diverse experiences of European states and additionally include, depending on the topic, comparisons with the United States, Russia, and China. 

Syllabus

PT150 Citizens of the World: Ancient, Modern, Contemporary

Module: International Studies and Globalization

Instructor: Ewa Atanassow

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S credits

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

This course will explore a tension at the heart of the ideal of global citizenship: the relationship between the particularity that defines membership in a given cultural and political community and the universality of the human condition. Reading key texts in the evolution of the concept of global citizenship, we will examine its philosophical and historical development and its political, ethical, and psychological implications from antiquity to the present day. In Plato’s Apology, Socrates raises the question of whether the virtue or excellence of a citizen (politikos) is the same as that of a human being (anthropos) and in the fourth-century BCE, Diogenes will become the first person on record to declare himself a citizen of the world (kosmopolitês). Starting with such texts, we will examine the relationship between the particular and the universal, the local and the global, attentive to both the tensions between the two perspectives and the possibilities for reconciliation. This course aims, among other things, to compare ideas about political community in various regions and at different times and to reflect on the nature and status of ethical or moral claims that may be thought to transcend cultural and political boundaries. Authors to be read include Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Cicero, Ibn Tufayl, Kant, Tocqueville, Nietzsche, Tagore, Arendt, Gandhi, Qutb, Darwish, Coetzee, Nussbaum, and Appiah. This course will be co-taught simultaneously in Berlin and Annandale-on-Hudson. 

Syllabus

The following courses are cross-listed with Ethics and Politics

PL120 Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

Modules: Moral and Political Thought/Ethics and Moral Philosophy 

Instructor: David Hayes

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

HI180 Theories of Tolerance

Modules: Moral and Political Thought/History of Political Thought

Instructor: Andreas Blank     

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Advanced Modules

Art and Aesthetics

AH208 Pablo Picasso

Module: Artists, Genres, Movements

Instructor: Geoff Lehman

Credits: 8 ECTS , 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 17:00 - 18:30, Fri 13:30 - 16:45 (long session for offsite trips)

This course focuses on the paintings, drawings, and prints of Pablo Picasso. Berlin’s Berggruen Museum, with its collection of works by Picasso from every period of his long career, is a major resource, and visits to this museum, as well as other Berlin museums and galleries, form an integral part of the course. Topics for the course include: cubism, with special attention to its central role within the modernist avant-garde; collage, semiotics, and the problem of interpretation; sex, self-reflexivity, and personal iconography; theme and variation as pictorial practice; and the relationship to, and subversion of, the Renaissance tradition. We will consider works by Picasso in a wide range of styles created between the 1890s and the 1970s, and seminars will focus on close readings of a small number of major works within this oeuvre (the Demoiselles d’Avignon, the collages of 1911-12, Guernica, the Las Meninas series – to name just a few). Picasso’s ongoing dialogue with Henri Matisse will also be a focus, with careful attention to the works by both artists in the Berggruen Museum. Readings include works by art critics and art historians (Clark, Krauss, Steinberg, Malraux, Kahnweiler) as well as literary and philosophical texts, and we will examine, among others, semiotic, contextualist, formalist, phenomenological, and psychoanalytic approaches to Picasso’s work, always in the context of interpreting specific works of art.

Syllabus

AH302 The Idea of the Aesthetic

Module: Aesthetics and Art Theory

Instructor: Katalin Makkai

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

“Aesthetics” and “aesthetic” are terms that are often taken for granted inside as well as outside academic discourse. We speak of aesthetic experiences and judgments and qualities, and we employ “aesthetics” to designate the study of such matters. Although their root is taken from the Greek, the now-familiar terms (in their now-familiar usages) are, however, comparatively new. They are commonly regarded as having been introduced into the philosophical lexicon in the eighteenth century—a few hundred years ago. This course studies some of the texts that were key to the discovery, or perhaps the invention, of the “aesthetic”. What work was the “aesthetic” meant to do? How did its evolution retain or reconfigure its original senses and purposes? Is the idea of the “aesthetic” problematic, ideological, or chimerical? Do we need an idea of the “aesthetic” to think about contemporary art? Do we need such an idea to think about nature and our relation to it? Authors may include Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, Coleridge, Bell, Beardsley, Bullough, Stolnitz, Isenberg, Dickie, Greenberg, Carroll, Bernstein, Rancière.

Syllabus

AR311 Curatorial Practice, Past and Present

Module: Exhibition Culture and Public Space

Instructor: Aya Soika

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 9:00 - 10.30, Fri 9:45 - 12:30 (offsite visits every second week)

Curatorial Practice involves a careful consideration of thematic, pedagogical, and aesthetic concerns. The course assesses the disclosure of such concerns in the structure of the exhibition form over time, drawing on a variety of museum collections and art spaces in Berlin. Our investigation begins with an exploration of some of the past, present and future challenges curators, conservators and archivists have faced on the Berlin Museum Island as well as at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum of contemporary art. We concentrate on the underlying debates concerning the complex dynamics between questions of display, the demands of conservation and the need for accessibility in the light of an increase in visitor numbers. The second part of the course is dedicated to smaller houses and art spaces as well private collections and galleries. Here, we discuss in greater detail the process of framing: the relationship between individual works, the role of the spectator and the conceptual rationale of curatorial choice as well as the significance of different settings. Conversations with curators and critics, conservator-restorers and dealers will be part of the course. Readings include art-historical, essays in the field of museum studies, as well as recent interviews and selected websites/online sources. 

Syllabus

FM228 Star Trek: The Final Frontier and Beyond

Module: Artists, Genres, Movements

Instructor: Matthias Hurst

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 17:00 - 18:30 and 19:30 - 21:00 (film screenings), Thu 17:00 - 18:30

Fifty years ago – on September 8, 1966 – Star Trek  launched the most famous TV spaceship, the Enterprise,  to cross the final frontier, to discover new worlds and “boldly go” where no man (or no “one” as the phrase was later updated) had gone before. The science fiction genre in film and television features fantastic sights that are at the same time utopian and dystopian imaginings of the actual future: hypermodern cities, distant planets, new forms of life, travel, and conflict, and new kinds of machine that threaten to surpass the intelligence and control of their makers. Science fiction is a narrative means of exploring issues of general interest (whether anthropological, cultural, technological or social and political). This is not only true of Star Trek the original series (1966-1969), but of its many spin-offs with their fictional history of the 23rd century. At the heart of Star Trek we find an optimistic outlook for the future of humanity, a philosophy of tolerance and an appreciation of diversity, but also a sense of constant threat and challenge. As the producer of the show, Gene Rodenberry, commented on the worldview of the series: the future—always assuming the human species survives to see it—promises the realisation that “differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.”  The course explores the aesthetics of the science fiction film and TV genre through a focus on Star Trek, and the means it chooses for intervening in cultural transformation, and creating entertainment value. 

Syllabus

FA316 From natural history to “after nature”: Berlin as studio

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: Ana María Gomez Lopez

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Sat 13:30 - 18:45 (nine Saturdays)

This studio-intensive course aims to strengthen students’ artistic practice by engaging with ideas of the “natural” in present-day Berlin. Students will initiate work under the broad theme of the “natural”, responding individually with projects inspired by scientific collections, rare manuscripts, and outdoor spaces unique to Berlin. Class assignments during the first half of the course will focus on the body, examination of physical traces, and engagement with the surrounding environment; the second half is devoted entirely to each student’s individual project. Direct contact with specimens, recordings, prints, and artifacts during site visits will serve as prompts for hands-on exercises and independent work in studio. Themes that integrate class excursions, readings, and group discussions include the relationship between the human and the non-human, the development of ecological thinking, and historical definitions of life. Weekly critiques will help students identify the formal, subjective, and conceptual underpinnings that motivate their artwork. Experimentation with materials and across media is welcome; however, students are highly encouraged to concentrate on either two- dimensional, three-dimensional, or time-based media and performance for their final project, in order to better address concerns specific to each medium and support individual progress.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FM312 DIY VIDEO - Autobiography as Process and Performance in Video

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: Dafna Maimon

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30 - 16:45

Many video artists appear in their works, and turn the lens onto their own lives, environments and bodies. This class will explore the ways in which autobiography and DIY approaches can function as a performative tool for making video art. We will create performances or live situations, which when filmed become independent video works that transcend documentation. We will also experiment with the way a video work is shown in relationship to the space around it, which may include live elements and objects outside of the realm of the screen. We will work on creating an interplay between performance and video and between physical and non-physical dimensions. The class focus will be on the “making” of video work, putting the artist’s process and experimentation in the foreground. In this approach an end result will be considered only a momentary pause within a longer trajectory; each work can be seen as an episode or variation in an ongoing series. The aim is to reach a continuous rigorous practice and dialogue that draws from an independent performative visual language. We will analyze documentary and fiction works from video artists, who work with performance as their starting point and who utilize the very means they have directly at hand, as well as visit Berlin artists using these techniques in their studios. Many of the classes will have an on-site collaborative workshop format.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FM313 Dream Scene Studio

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: Deville Cohen

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18:30

The concept of a dream scene adds another layer of awareness and subconsciousness to the system of symbols and representations of a fictional project. In this studio/video class, students will work with sculptural and performative techniques to create video works with a focus on developing an idiosyncratic visual language and concept. Each project will need to have a clear vision and structure while integrating a dream scene within it. We will look at dream scenes in TV shows, films, and literature to research classic concepts and possible executions of the “dream scene” as a dramatic device or psychological agent (such as Hitchcock’s Spellbound designed by Salvador Dali, Cronenberg's Videodrome, Lynch’s Lost Highway, among others).

The introduction of the video camera into the artist’s studio brings narrative into the sculptural process; materials, tools and techniques become characters and formal decisions become fictions. We will read post-dramatic and performance texts that study the connection between sculpture, theater, performance and video. In the prototype phase the students will begin by working on small scale ideas in the studio with a variety of materials to create drawings, collages, and models. As they develop the conceptual and visual language of their projects, students learn how to create a storyboard and a production schedule. The limitation of the project to the artist's studio scale forces participants to push the limitations of production value with their available resources. Students will also be exposed to studio and video production skills using DSLR cameras, lighting equipment, and post-production techniques (video and audio editing).

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

FA206 Photography: Cut with a Kitchen Knife

Module: Media, Practices, Techniques

Instructor: April Gertler

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Thu 13:30 - 16:45

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.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students) which covers the cost of film and paper.

Syllabus

AR312 Contemporary Narratives in New Media: Systems, Mechanisms, and the Instruments of Power

Module/s: Law and Society/Media, Practices, Techniques/Critical and Cultural Theory

Cross-Listed with Ethics and Politics, Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Heba Amin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18.30

TH338 Faust

Modules: Author and Influence/Media, Practices, Techniques

Cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Julia Hart

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30 - 16:45

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Economics

EC311 Ethics and Economics

Module: Ethics and Economic Analysis

Instructor: Martin Binder

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13.30 - 15:00, Thu 13:30 - 15:00

This course aims at highlighting how economics and ethics intersect in various ways: Is it legitimate to dump our trash in lesser-developed countries because it is, economically speaking, “efficient”? Are high salaries for managers or movie stars justified? Should a company be allowed to bribe officials in foreign countries in order to do business there? Should we encourage markets for organs or blood if they are efficiently allocating “resources”? In this course, seminars deal with these aspects of the economy, where different value judgments may be in conflict. While it is often useful to analyze various aspects of human life in economic terms, there may be spheres where economic calculation might seriously distort our judgments of goodness and rightness and hence might be in need of correction by other forms of measurement. The course balances the positive aspects of economics (such as alleviation of poverty and development of nations) with its negative sides (such as corruption of values and neglect of fairness issues). It elaborates on the value judgments underlying economics (its often utilitarian or libertarian commitments), and the difference between market logic and market ideology. 

Syllabus

EC212 Experimental Economics

Module: Choice, Resources and Development

Instructor: Israel Waichman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 13:30 - 16:45

Experimental economics is the application of experimental methods to the study of economic questions. Especially, experimental economics allows for the controlled study of markets, environments, and the behavior of participants. The course aims at introducing experimental economics and its various applications. Our inquiry consists of two parts. In the first part, “the methodology of experimental economics,” we introduce experimental economics. We discuss the merits (and limits) of experiments, and the principles of conducting and analyzing an experiment. In the second part, “Applications: Influential experiments in economics,” we survey some of the seminal research in experimental (and behavioral) economics (e.g. market experiments, bargaining experiments, biases and heuristics under uncertainty, field experiments, social dilemma experiments, etc.). During the course we will conduct some experiments in the classroom, providing the course participants with first-hand experience of the economic situations that are being described.

Pre-requisite: The course is non-technical and students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate. However, students taking this class must have successfully completed the course Principles of Economics. 

Syllabus

EC312 Cost Benefit Analysis

Module: Choice, Resources, and Development

Instructor: Israel Waichman

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 9:15 - 12:30

Did you ever ask yourself how economists make practical use of their studies in making real-life decisions? Or more precisely, how microeconomics is related to actual business and government decisions? This course deals with an important application of economic theory to real-life decision making. Cost-benefit Analysis (CBA) is a practical tool used by governments, regulatory bodies and other agencies as an aid to making public policy decisions. More precisely, CBA is a policy assessment method that quantifies the value of policy in monetary terms to all members of society. It is related to financial analysis or capital budgeting as done by private firms, but is distinct in that the goal is not to maximize profits but rather to seek the most beneficial course of action from a larger social perspective. Cost-benefit analysis is a legal prerequisite in several countries, including the U.S.A., U.K., Canada and Australia, before decisions are taken on projects related to the environment, health, transportation, etc. For instance, the question of whether or not to ban smoking in public places, or whether to build a new terminal in Heathrow airport. The goal of this course is to introduce students to cost-benefit analysis. We first study the microeconomic foundations of CBA. Then, we study particular issues in CBA (such as identification of costs and benefits, discounting, dealing with uncertainty, valuing intangibles, shadow prices, etc.).

Pre-requisite: Students taking this class should have already have successfully completed the classes Mathematics for Economics, Principles of Economics, and Microeconomics.

Syllabus

EC310 Global Economics

Module: Global Economic Systems

Instructor: Beatrice Farkas

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 15:15 - 16:45, Thu 15:15 - 16:45

This course provides an overview of international economics in today's interconnected world.  International economics is split neatly into two parts: international trade and international finance. This division essentially coincides with the distinction between the microeconomics and macroeconomics of the open economy.

The first part examines theories of international trade and analyzes the consequences of trade policies. We analyze why countries trade, what they trade, who gains (or loses) from trade, and the effects of trade policies.The second part includes topics in international finance and examines the macroeconomics of open economies. We look into exchange rate determination and monetary policy-making under different exchange rate regimes. The discussions will focus on macroeconomic policies in open economies and currency crises.

Pre-requisite: Students taking this class should have already have successfully completed the classes  Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics.

Syllabus

PL214 Marx Yesterday and Today

Modules: Social Theory/Movements and Thinkers

Instructor: Jan Völker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 17:00 - 20:15

The name “Marx” today tends to conjure up a familiar reference that is somehow at the same time obscure: either a resource for left-wing critique that we are often told is in need of rediscovery, or a monolith responsible for ideological oppression and stagnation. But what does “Marx” mean if we consider the variety of his works and the phases of his long career as a journalist, agitator, writer, philosopher, and political economist? It is well known that Marx is supposed to have put the Hegelian system “on its feet,” or introduced the reality of material life into a philosophy concerned with the mind and the spirit.  But what were the implications of this maneuver for the rest of Marx’s career, and for the relationships between “philosophy,” “history,” “politics” and “economics” that it articulates? The early Marx is sometimes considered a “humanist,” while the later is a scientist tracing the “laws” of capital or of historical development itself. Other interpreters regard the early Marx as the true philosopher, while still others would consider that “philosophy” can only be described as such when it does not engage with politics at all. In reading Marx’s work we will explore these distinctions and debates, as well as the uses to which Marx’s ideas and proposals can be put in understanding our contemporary world, even where we might reject orthodoxies that have been established in the reception of his theories. Above all, Marx’s writings challenge the very notion of “objective” forms of knowledge that claim to be detached from interests, and show how such interests may be recognized and traced in arguments, cultural practices, and social structures. This course will be an opportunity to become familiar with Marx’s major works and interpreters, and with the appropriations of his theories that have influenced political and cultural movements. Students able to do so are encouraged to complete readings in the original German, and to write their papers and assignments in German. 

Syllabus

PL318 The Thought of Martin Heidegger

Module: Movements and Thinkers/Philosophy and Society

Instructor: Tracy Colony

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 17:00 - 18:30, Thu 17:00 - 18.30

This advanced course addresses the thought of Martin Heidegger, its distinctive phases, and its influence on and interpretation within philosophy today. We begin by examining Heidegger’s early radicalization of Husserlian phenomenology and his turn to ontology. We will then read sections of Heidegger’s seminal Being and Time (1927) and trace Heidegger’s transition toward the preoccupations of his later works. With an eye to articulating the development of Heidegger’s thought, we will engage in close readings of: The Origin of the Work of Art (1936), Letter on Humanism (1947) and The Question Concerning Technology (1954). We will conclude with selections from Heidegger’s later period. Against the background of this chronological introduction we will also read important secondary texts on Heidegger’s work and present crucial aspects of Heidegger’s reception in Germany and France. As part of this course we will also confront the important question of the relation of Heidegger to National Socialism in light of key texts from that period and the only recently available Ponderings or Black Notebooks (1931-1938). All texts and discussion will be in English, however, simultaneous readings of Heidegger in the original German will be encouraged and supported. 

Syllabus

PL213 Plurality: Philosophy and Politics from Kant to Arendt

Module/s: Social Theory/Movements and Thinkers

Instructor: Jeffrey Champlin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 13:30 - 15:00, Thu 13:30 - 15:00

 Western philosophy insists that by thinking alone we can better learn to live together. Yet the modern emphasis on the individual in this tradition leads to continued conflicts between private reflection as a means of overcoming common prejudices and the need to find meaning in a common world. In this course we will explore questions of justice, liberty, and authority in Enlightenment texts before turning to the early 20th century. In considering the post-war moment, we explore how Existentialist lines of thinking, with intense focus on individual experience, provide Hannah Arendt with surprising resources for conceptualizing humans as fundamentally plural beings who are both equal and distinct. Authors read in the class include Kant, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger, Sartre, and Arendt.

Syllabus

HI218 Practical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Module/s: Movements and Thinkers/Philosophy and Society/Historical Studies

Instructors: Maria Avxentevskaya and Sebastian Felten

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30 - 16:45

What do we consider “useful” knowledge? We might consider a variety of skills highly useful, like knowing how to cook or how to fix a bicycle, but we still encounter hierarchies in which “practical” skills are less prized than intellectual capacities. Writing the history of the early modern period was previously influenced by such a hierarchy between skill and intellect. However, new approaches have shown the continual and often surprisingly productive link between everyday know-how and theoretical insight. This course explores the interaction between these two realms, and across a variety of contexts, such as the (al)chemical laboratory, the meeting rooms of learned societies, or the furnaces of mines. Our investigation will focus on understanding these sites, the physical objects found and processes staged within them, and the distinctive bodies of knowledge – artisanal and humanist, empirical and bookish, popular and academic – that they establish and intermingle. We discover illuminating links between alchemical experiments and methodical ale brewing at country houses; between bureaucratic governmental paper-pushing and the evocation of new fauna in marine expeditions; between the legal protocols of a witch trial, and new rules of discourse about nature at the Royal Society in London. These interactions often transformed existing techniques of perception and knowledge-acquisition, and sometimes created new reserves and conceptions of knowledge about nature. The notion of expertise itself came as a result to be reevaluated, as did hierarchies determining unimportant or illegitimate sources or criteria of knowing. Our course will include the examination of primary source material, and visits to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the library of the Max Planck Institute Berlin. 

This course fulfils the mathematics and science requirement for humanities students

Syllabus

HI282 Creation-research: New approaches to contemporary migration history in Germany

Module: Historical Studies

Instructor: Marion Detjen

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 19:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:45, Sun 10:00 - 17:45 (three weekends during the semester)

This course is a continuation of the Fall seminar course In Search of a History: Migration in Germany from World War II to the Present, focusing on students' individual projects. These projects seek to give visual, verbal, spatial, musical and general aesthetic and sensory expression to previously collected knowledge of migration history and experience. The projects need not have the ambition of entering the realm or category of "art": we consider them "notations," recording our perceptions and thoughts in the modes of articulation that suit us best. First we will review the historical data, tools, and concepts of migration history that allow us to achieve an analytical distance and conceptualize as well as historicize our material. Subsequently, we will work on a collective visualization project. The major part of the course is dedicated to developing and completing the individual projects and findings solutions for exhibiting them. We will cooperate with a number of renowned artists who will add creative, formal, and practical input and advice to our historical and linguistic framework. The course will be taught as a block seminar on three weekends in February, March and April at "BOX Freiraum" in Boxhagener Straße, Neukölln, where we will also be able to exhibit the projects in May. The exhibition is part of an international conference on migration history planned for May 11 and 12. One panel has been reserved for us to present the projects and to reflect on the relations between migration, research, education and creativity that we will have uncovered through our work. Due to its special character the course will be restricted to participation by 15 students. Those interested are asked to apply with a project that should have a clear topic and already show some progress in research and in formulation. The project should have a transnational dimension, crossing at least one national border, and take into account migrant and/or post-migrant experiences. Also, the medium of the chosen "notation" (whether it be film, photography, music, drawing or painting etc.) has to be referenced in the application, so that we can arrange to involve artists competent in the practice cited. 

Syllabus

AR312 Contemporary Narratives in New Media: Systems, Mechanisms, and the Instruments of Power

Module: Law and Society/Media, Practices, Techniques/Critical and Cultural Theory

Cross-listed with Art and Aesthetics, Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Heba Amin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18:30

This course will examine the domain of critical social practice and the broad range of art and artists who scrutinize systems of power and data-gathering methods utilized by current industries and governments. Who has control over information? What role do artists play in maintaining sovereignty of information? How can they contribute to the protection of data and privacy? Students will explore works of art that utilize forms of hacking, intervention, cloning, surveillance, and parody to critique and challenge pre-existing systems, mechanisms, and instruments of power. They will addresses “new media” as a medium that critically questions the influences of contemporary technology, and explore ownership of identity within the context of contemporary technological constructs. This course will help students nurture their skills in social analysis and criticism through their art and design practice. Lectures and regular exercises will introduce students to conceptual works of art that relay new meanings through the manipulation and social re-engineering of techno-semiotic structures. Students may work with graphics, computer hardware, software, video, the body, and public space among other resources and tools.

Syllabus

PS381 Crisis Governance in the European Union

Modules: Law and Society/Advanced Topics in Global Politics

Cross-listed with Politics

Instructor: Adina Maricut

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 9:00 - 10:30, Wed 11:00 - 12:30

Literature and Rhetoric

LT318 Rhetoric

Module: Critical and Cultural Theory

Instructor: James Harker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30 - 16:45

Rhetoric, it can be argued, was the most important subject of study in classical times. In the medieval period, rhetoric was understood as one of the seven “liberal arts.” But today, rhetoric appears to occupy a most marginal position, likely to be thought, at best, a compendium of secret techniques of persuasion, at worst, a catalogue of empty ornamentation. In the first half of this course, we will trace the rise and fall of classical rhetoric, looking at its theory and practice as well as its alliances with or estrangements from philosophy and literature. In the second half of the semester, we will explore the twentieth-century return to rhetoric in poststructuralist thinkers including Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, and Judith Butler. 

Syllabus

LT212 Reading into Writing: A Fiction Workshop

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production

Instructor: Paul Festa

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Thu 13:30 - 16:45

Every writer learns the craft by reading. This course, open to students of any level, focuses on that process of self-expression through analysis, criticism, absorption and invention. Each week students will read and write; they will also assume the role of editor in critiquing each other’s work. Readings from masters of short and long fiction, and of criticism, will inform exercises in plot and closure; dialogue; character development, point of view and voice; figurative language, style and genre; action, atmosphere and description; the persistent alternative between showing and telling; and techniques of revision, excision and rewriting. Online or in-person classroom encounters with authors on the syllabus are planned. We’ll look at fiction and criticism by writers including Gustave Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Anton Chekhov, Edward St. Aubyn, Alice Munro, Paul La Farge, Alexander Chee, James Baldwin, Jennifer Egan, James Wood, John Updike, Jonathan Franzen, George Saunders and Francine Prose. 

Syllabus

TH338 Faust

Modules: Author and Influence/Media, Practices, Techniques

Cross-listed with Art and Aesthetics

Instructor: Julia Hart

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30 - 16:45

Goethe's Faust is the most performed play on the German stage. To this day, Faust continues to draw the largest audiences nationwide. Yet how have German theater artists tackled this classical work in recent years? And how can theatermakers approach this work today? This course will look at landmark productions of Faust starting in the second half of the 20th century through today including: the Deutsches Schauspielhaus production starring Gustaf Gründgens (1956), Einar Schleef's production at Schauspiel Frankfurt (1990), Peter Stein's complete staging of Faust I and Faust II (2000), Michael Thalheimer's production at the Deutsches Theater Berlin (2005), Nicolas Stemann's acclaimed Thalia Theater production (2011), and finally Robert Wilson's recent production at the Berliner Ensemble. What can these acclaimed Faust productions tell us about current developments in the German theater? How do they reflect different approaches to theater and the changing political climate in Germany? In this course, students will watch footage and archival material of past Faust productions and attend current productions in Berlin. Together we will analyze staging devices as well as acting and directing techniques. In addition to this aesthetic analysis, students will act and direct key scenes from Faust, experimenting with specific theater techniques discussed in class.

Please note there is a materials fee of approximately €100 for this course (not applicable to visiting Arts & Society or LAB students). 

Syllabus

GM360 Goldene Zwanziger/Roaring Twenties: Art and Culture in Weimar Berlin (In German)

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production

Instructor: Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

The course centers on Berlin in its heyday as a major world city and meeting place of the cultural avant-garde. We will explore this vital period between World War I and the rise of Nazism through literature, art, theater, film, and music. These different media of cultural expression share a set of topics and objectives; and we will investigate them by bringing together Dada artist George Grosz’ caricatural paintings and Hannah Höch’s photomontage with Alfred Döblin’s use of montage in Berlin Alexanderplatz and Walter Benjamin’s critique thereof. We will also look at Fritz Lang’s exploration of the themes of mass production and industrialization in Metropolis, and discuss the political critique that Kurt Tucholsky and Käthe Kollwitz express in their works. While the course places a particular emphasis on vocabulary building and pronunciation throughout, emphasis will be on the development of speaking skills through an intensive engagement with music and theater productions from the era of the Weimar Republic such as Bertolt Brecht’s Dreigroschenoper and songs by the Comedian Harmonists. The course goal is to introduce students of German to this vibrant interwar period of German culture and to thereby learn how to read, discuss, and write about literary texts, works of art, plays and films in German. Students taking the class should have a C1 proficiency level.

Syllabus

TH320 Social Theatre for Intervention and Consciousness-Raising

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production/Social Commitment and the Public Sphere

Cross-listed with Politics

Instructor: Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Sat 13:30 - 16:45

The first part of this course, mainly theory-oriented, will focus on an overview of various forms of intervention theatre across the globe. At this level of discussing intervention theatre, theoretical references will be made to Paulo Freire’s concept of problem-posing education and to Augusto Boal’s “Poetics of the Oppressed”. The reading of excerpts from Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed will serve as a foundation for critical reflection and preparation of the performer’s body for a participatory theatrical workshop. The topic of migration which today informs both public and political discourses will be the major subject requiring both critical reflection and theatrical improvisation. This brings us to the second part of the seminar which will be mainly practical and will introduce the students to a 5 days intensive intervention theatre workshop on migration. Discussions during the workshop will turn around migration and its connections to objectification, otherness, and subjectification. During the workshop, participants will also be expected to participate in discussions that highlight the role played by trans- and inter- and cross-culturality in regard to the topic of migration, and also how migration touches on other social issues. This discussions will enable us to decide, as a class, on the kind of intervention, “soft” or “hard”,  that will be necessary to raise the consciousness of course participants and of the wider public on the subject of migration. After critical reflections, course participants will be expected to create a play and do open performances during which the public will not only be brought to a heightened awareness of the problems of migration, but also encouraged to give their feedback about the play and the topic of migration. 

Syllabus

LT284 (Re-)Writing a Politics of Belonging: Race and Recognition in American Literature

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production

Instructor: Kathy-Ann Tan

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

At the present time, we often hear claims that the United States is riven by intractable divisions of race, class, and gender. The literature of the country has long reflected the conflicts and questions arising from such divisions, and has much to teach us about their historical foundations and development. Above all, literature succeeds in staging a process of recognition, empowerment, and critique. Proponents of the reform and protest movements of nineteenth- and twentieth-century America were aware that the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” announced by the Declaration of Independence had not from the beginning been envisaged for all Americans, but for a white, propertied, male ruling class. In this seminar, we will read a selection of texts from contemporary American literature that propose a struggle with this uneasy foundation, manifesting kinds of social, psychological, and stylistic predicaments imposed by exclusion and persecution. Our central question will concern the ways in which authors reestablish a sense of belonging and collectivity through the act of writing. We will also look at the way in which contemporary literature connects with and revises a sense of tradition, and generates new traditions and affiliations. Above all, our goal will be to understand the fraught, creative dynamics of “belonging” in America, a country that, as Herman Melville once contended “contradicts all prior notions of human things.”

Syllabus

AR312 Contemporary Narratives in New Media: Systems, Mechanisms, and the Instruments of Power

Module/s: Law and Society/Media, Practices, Techniques/Critical and Cultural Theory

Cross-Listed with Ethics and Politics, Art and Aesthetics

Instructor: Heba Amin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18:30

Politics

SE220 Social Justice and Urban Spaces

Module: Social Commitment and the Public Sphere

Instructor: Cassandra Ellerbe-Dück

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18:30

Urban spaces have often served as the backdrop for social justice movements and politicized organizing. Racial and ethnic tensions, gender and socioeconomic inequality, forced or voluntary migration etc. are undoubtedly issues that have been at the forefront of many emancipatory movements. However, these issues also play a significant role in how urban space(s) are structured and experienced, and utilised in the struggle for socio-political justice and transformation. In this course we will explore in depth the significance of social justice and politicized mobilization, and how these issues involved in both of these phenomena have taken shape within urban space(s) across the globe. Utilizing an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective (social justice theory, human geography, post-colonial and intersectional theory), we will analyse various historical as well as current contexts that show socio-politically informed social justice movements of marginalized groups in a variety of urban spaces. This course aims not only to discuss the purpose of and necessity for social justice and political activism, but also to assist students in the development of critical thinking of a contextualized understanding of a variety of urban-related social problems. The course entails lectures, in class discussions and presentations, off-campus visits to various Berlin based organisations, as well as guest lectures by local experts & scholars.

Syllabus

TH320 Social Theatre for Intervention and Consciousness-Raising

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production/Social Commitment and the Public Sphere

Cross-listed with Literature and Rhetoric

Instructor: Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Sat 13:30 - 16:45

PS381 Crisis Governance in the European Union

Modules: Advanced Topics in Global Politics/Law and Society

Instructor: Adina Maricut

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 9:00 - 10:30, Wed 11:00 - 12:30

In recent years, the European Union (EU) has been confronted with multiple crises. Since the turn of the century alone, the EU has experienced a legitimacy crisis following the rejection by French and Dutch voters of the proposal for a European constitution, an economic crisis revealing the inherently flawed design of the common currency, and a security crisis caused by terrorist attacks in Madrid, London, Paris, and Brussels. Additionally, an exponential increase in numbers of people seeking to reach the EU from countries in a condition of political and economic collapse has created intense domestic and foreign policy pressure. According to numerous commentators, the performance of EU institutions and officials in response to this range of situations has been dire. Indeed, crisis management remains a difficult notion in a multi-level political system like the EU where local, national, and supranational interests are rarely aligned. This course explores crisis governance in the European Union as a regional organization around four themes: the political system (the legitimacy crisis), the economic system (the Euro crisis), the social system (the refugee crisis), and all of the above (security crises). The course is extensively based on discussions of case studies and simulations of intra- and inter-institutional EU decision-making, aiming to facilitate students’ understanding of EU governance dynamics in times of crisis.

Syllabus

PL214 Marx Yesterday and Today

Modules: Philosophy and Society/Social Theory/Movements and Thinkers

Instructor: Jan Völker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 17:00 - 20:15

PL318 The Thought of Martin Heidegger

Module: Philosophy and Society/Movements and Thinkers

Instructor: Tracy Colony

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

AR312 Contemporary Narratives in New Media: Systems, Mechanisms, and the Instruments of Power

Module: Law and Society/Media, Practices, Techniques/Critical and Cultural Theory

Instructor: Heba Amin

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 15:15 - 18:30

HI218 Practical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Module/s: Movements and Thinkers/Philosophy and Society

Instructors: Maria Avxentevskaya and Sebastian Felten

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Fri 13:30 - 16:45

Electives

IS331 Berlin Internship Seminar: Working Cultures, Urban Cultures

Instructor: Agata Lisiak

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

Course Times: Wed 9:00 - 10:30 (Group A), Wed 10:45 - 12:15 (Group B)

The Berlin Internship Seminar accompanies students’ undertaking of an internship or period of practical training, and addresses such issues as: the successful functioning of institutions, the role of guiding principles and values in determining the direction and structure of projects and initiatives, and the relationship between the various spheres of society (the EU, the state, the market, and the individual) in influencing the way institutions operate. Over the course of the seminar we will also talk about contemporary ways of living and working in Berlin and beyond: 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 emerged in Berlin recently? Which of them seem to thrive? How do Berlin’s political, artistic, and citizen-activist organizations operate? What can we learn from these institutions? 

Syllabus

EL202 ESL Writing Intensive Seminar

Instructor: Ariane Simard

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Tue 13:30 - 16:45

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

PT158 Scholars At Risk

Instructor: Kerry Bystrom

Credits: 4 ECTS, 2 U.S. credits

Course Times: Wed 16:00 - 17:30

Scholars, students, and other researchers around the world are routinely threatened, jailed, or punished. Sometime they are simply trapped in a dangerous place, while in other cases they are deliberately targeted because of their identity or their work. Academic freedom, or freedom of thought and inquiry, is usually considered a basic human right, but its definition and content is essentially contested. This seminar will explore the idea of academic freedom by examining — and attempting to intervene in — situations where it is threatened. In conjunction with the human rights organization Scholars at Risk, we will investigate the cases of scholars currently living under threat and develop projects aimed at releasing them from detention or securing refuge for them. This will involve direct hands-on advocacy work with SAR, taking public positions and creating smart and effective advocacy campaigns for specific endangered students, teachers, and researchers. In order not to do this naively or uncritically, we will explore the history and theory of academic freedom, humanitarianism and human rights advocacy, including the ethics and politics of risk and rescue.

Syllabus

Language Courses

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group A)

Instructor: Narges Roshan

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Syllabus

GM101 German Beginner A1 (Group B)

Instructor: Narges Roshan

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 10:45 - 12:15, Wed 9:00 - 10:30, Fri 9:00 - 10.30

Syllabus

GM151 German Beginner A2 (Group A)

Instructor: Ariane Faber

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Syllabus

GM151 German Beginner A2 (Group B)

Instructor: Ulrike Harnisch

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 10:45 - 12:15, Wed 9:00 - 10:30, Fri 9:00 - 10.30

Syllabus

GM151 German Beginner A2 (Group C)

Instructor: Michaela Nocker

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Syllabus

GM201 German Intermediate B1 (Group A)

Instructor: Ulrike Harnisch

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

Syllabus

GM201 German Intermediate B1 (Group B)

Instructor: Andreas Martin Widmann

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00 - 12:30, Tue 11:00 - 12:30, Thu 9:00 - 10:30

Syllabus

GM251 German Intermediate B2

Instructor: Linde Trenkel

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 10:45 - 12:15, Wed 9:00 - 10:30, Fri 17:00 - 18:30

Syllabus

GM301 German Advanced C1

Instructor: Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

Course Times: Mon 11:00 - 12:30, Tue 11:00 - 12:30, Thu 9:00 - 10:30

Syllabus

GM260 Goldene Zwanziger/Roaring Twenties: Art and Culture in Weimar Berlin (In German)

Module: Literary Analysis and Cultural Production

Instructor: Ulrike Wagner

Credits: 8 ECTS, 4 U.S. credits

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

See 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.

 

Bard College Berlin typically offers students three levels of language instruction, beginning, intermediate and advanced. Placement tests determine each student’s enrollment level.