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Course Information

Instructor Info:Anna Schrade
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Monday
06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 102

In this course 'artworks', in the broadest sense of the term, will provide entry points to the city of Berlin, which is today one of the most vibrant cultural centers of Europe. Each session will be centered around one work of art, film or architecture that re/presents Berlin-specific histories and has triggered controversial public debates in Germany either today or in the past. We will trace these debates in German newspaper articles, webpages, exhibition catalogs, art/culture magazines, TV-shows or radio broadcasts and analyze them alongside critical theory readings. Supervised translations of such 'documents' will be part of the course requirements for all students who wish to advance their German language proficiency. However, no German is required. This course is open to all students who are interested in cultural studies approaches to cityscapes in general and in the cultural poetics and politics of/in the German capital in particular.

Distribution: Culture, Humanities, and Languages • Power, Community and Social Justice

Cumulative Skills: Independent Work •  Multiple Cultural Perspectives • Writing and Research

Goals: Multiple Cultural Perspectives • Presentation • Reading • Writing

Course Objectives:


To prepare students for the 'Hampshire in Berlin' Program in Spring 2013.

To develop a competency in cultural studies approaches to cityscapes.

To investigate Berlin as a city shaped by diverse currents of migration, Cold War divisions and colonial legacies.

To introduce students to key moments of Berlin’s history.

To investigate the relationship between nation, race, class, gender and sexuality.

To encourage students to advance their German language proficiency.



Evaluation Criteria:




ATTENDANCE AND CLASS PARTICIPATION: Regular attendance, preparation for class and active participation in class discussions are basic expectations for this course. You must come to class on time. Persistent tardiness is unacceptable under any circumstances. Since this is a once a week class I will only accept two excused absences. If you can not come to class please write me an email on the very same day and explain briefly the reason for your absence. I will not accept unexcused absences. More than three unexcused absences will result in no evaluation.

READINGS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: It is very important that you come prepared to class. Complete all readings prior to class meetings, otherwise you will not be able to contribute to class discussions. Our goal is to build a learning community where we all can feel comfortable and equally engaged. I’ll occasionally send around questions for discussion that will serve as guidelines and student presenters will lead the class in a meaningful discussion after each presentation. But you should also bring in your own questions to our discussions and therefore prepare the readings carefully.

STUDENT PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION FACILITATION: For each class session (beginning October 1.) a team of two students will prepare and execute a 30-40 minute presentation on one of the works of art, performance or architecture that are indicated in the syllabus. Following the presentation, the presenters will lead the class in a meaningful discussion about their subject. I’ll provide you with some basic materials for your presentation, but additional research is needed and expected. Ideally, at least one of the respective team members should be able to read, understand and summarize German texts for their peers. 

!!! Please choose the topic of your presentation and your team member by September 24th and plan on meeting with me in each case two weeks before your presentation!!!!

FINAL PAPER: The subject of your presentation, and the research you have undertaken in this regard, should ideally result in your final paper. But you can also come up with a new theme and discuss it with me. Your final paper should be 12-15 pages in length and include your analysis and comparison of at least three texts, artworks or films we have covered in class. You should demonstrate clear ideas by presenting your own original analysis and thoughts. However, you should support your arguments textually and draw broader connections between your themes and arguments and other themes of the course.

!!!!!Please plan on preparing an outline and meeting with me during the week of November 12th to discuss your final paper. Due Date Monday, December 17th!!!!!

COURSE EVALUATION POLICY: In accordance with the student assessment practices of Hampshire College, each student will be evaluated based upon their course attendance and participation, and the fulfillment of all assignments in a satisfactory and timely manner. (Non-Hampshire students see “Five College Students”)

FIVE COLLEGE STUDENTS: Those who are not Hampshire students will receive a letter grade at conventional A-Fail grading scale instead of a written evaluation. Each assignment will be graded accordingly, including the final paper.

Attendance and active participation in class discussions 30%, student presentation 30%, final paper 40%. 







Additional Info:

The following syllabus is subject to change.