Fall 2022 - HUM 340 D100

Great Cities in Their Time (4)


Class Number: 6188

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    EDB 9651, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 19, 2022
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    BLU 10921, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Niall Mackenzie
  • Instructor:

    Niall Mackenzie
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



An exploration of the cultural and intellectual accomplishments of a specific city that achieved prominence in a particular time period, and had substantial impact and influence on human civilization. Examines the political, social, religious, and cultural factors that help to explain a city's significance and investigates the achievements of its citizens. Students may repeat this course for further credit under a different topic. Breadth-Humanities.


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Great Cities in Their Time: Berlin

Marlene Dietrich on stage in a smoke-filled cabaret, the Soviet flag atop a shattered Reichstag, jubilant crowds spilling over the Wall in 1989, the haunting expanse of Peter Eisenman’s Holocaust Memorial . . . no city is associated with more of the twentieth century’s most deeply etched images than Berlin.

Taking in the full range of media where Berlin’s multiple personalities have been constructed and maintained—including film, literature, music, architecture and visual art—we are going to examine the city’s history from its medieval origins to the present, paying special attention to its several twentieth-century identities: the hypermodern Babylon of the Weimar Republic, the capital and gravesite of the Third Reich, the quintessential setting of Cold War intrigue and, now, the palladium of civil liberties and digital rights. Students will acquire not only an understanding of Berlin’s unique profile in modern memory, but an appreciation of the responsible and serious-minded way in which Germans have reckoned with the last century’s ghosts.


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • First Paper 15%
  • Reading Quizzes 20%
  • Discussion board posts (Berlin film diary) 15%
  • Second Paper 20%
  • Final Exam 20%


This course counts towards a concentration in Art and Material Culture for students in a Humanities major or minor program.



All sources will be made available for free on Canvas, except for the following title which is not currently available in digital form:

Anonymous, A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City, trans. Philip Boehm (Picador 2006) ISBN: 978-0312426118


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html