LS 819:  Berlin 2014

Summer 2014 | May 2 to May 30 | Dr. Eleanor Stebner
A Simon Fraser University/Graduate Liberal Studies Travel-Study course

Berlin is one of the most dynamic and culturally creative cities in Europe. This course explores the history and culture of Berlin in the 20th and 21st centuries, focusing on the Weimar era, National Socialist period, World War II, Cold War, and post-unification Germany. Seminars, lectures, films, and field trips (museums, historical sites, cultural venues) provide students with an interdisciplinary and contextual learning experience.

The readings, lectures, films, and sites to be visited focus on two major themes or tensions that are inescapable when considering – and experiencing – the city of Berlin, namely, that of the interactions between outsiders and insiders and that of the past and present.

Please contact Dr. Stebner (if you have not already done so) if you are interested in participating in this course. A general information meeting will be held in December or early January for all interested students.

Pre-departure seminars will be held in Vancouver to prepare students for their course of study.

Course outline

WEEK 1

Seminar:

Vladimir Nabokov, “A Guide to Berlin” (1925)
Harold Nicolson, “The Charm of Berlin” (1929)
Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin (1939)

Seminar:

Jason Lutes, Berlin: City of Stones, book one (2002)
Jason Lutes, Berlin: City of Smoke, book two (2008) 

Films:

People on Sunday (1930) – Billy Wilder
The Threepenny Opera (1931) - Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill

Sites:

Modernist Housing Estates  (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Bauhaus Museum
Kathe Kollwitz Museum

WEEK 2

Seminar:

Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin/Every Man Dies Alone (1947)

Seminar:

Peter Gay, My German Question: Growing up in Nazi Berlin (1998)

Films:

Olympia (1933) - Leni Reifenstahl
Rosenstrasse (2003) – Margarethe von Trotta

 Sites:

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Jewish Museum
Topography of Terror
House of the Wannsee Conference
Liebermann-Villa on Wannsee

WEEK 3

Seminar:

Christa Wolf, They Divided the Sky (1963)

Seminar:

Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper: A Berlin Story (1982)

Films:

Murderers Among Us (1946) – Wolfgang Staudte
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) – John le Carré
The Lives of Others (2007) – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Sites:

Potsdam
Stasi Museum
Marienfelde Refugee Centre Museum

WEEK 4

Seminar:

Chloe Aridjis, Books of Clouds (2009)

Seminar:

Karen Till, The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place (2005)

Films:

Good-bye Lenin (2003) – Wolfgang Becker
Audre Lorde, the Berlin years, 1984-1992 (2012) – Dagmar Schultz
Almanya – Welcome to Germany (2011) – Yasemin Samdereli

Sites:

"Alternative" Berlin – Graffiti, East Side Gallery, Kunst-werke Institute
Reichstag
Hackesche Hoefe