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Cancelled: Berlin's Graveyard Culture – Perspectives on Death and Dying

Graveyards bring life and death together through cultural involvement. Recently, changes have begun in the handling of the dead and the burial process. Let’s explore this practice not only by reading, but also by experiencing it at Berlin’s cemeteries!

Course periodJune 15, 2020 - July 10, 2020 Session I
Category Cultural Studies & Religion
Course levelsBachelor
Class size

max. 15 participants in class

Credits and certificate

You will receive a final grade certificate and 5 ECTS credit points only in the event of regular attendance (must be present 80% of the time), as well as active class participation. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-University.

Application deadline June 1, 2020, or when participant quota is reached Application period over.
Course fee680.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)


This course wants to approach the subject of life, death and dying from the spatial defined area of cemeteries. This means looking at historical and cultural changes, as well as their implications on law, society, landscape art or upcoming industries. Beginning of the 20th century our relation to death and dying has again changed as new models of funeral customs and cemetery culture show. The course wants to approach this subject by reading texts in cultural and social history as well as in literature.

Further it wants to view artistic changes in memorial architecture and landscape art, and bringing into focus alternative modes of green funerals and coffins. The course wants to undertake excursions to different cemeteries in Berlin. Here we want to explore and complement our knowledge by inspecting the cemeteries with three main questions in mind: Who is buried and how is he/she buried? Where is the cemetery located within Berlin, and what does this imply? What dominant funeral customs do we find here?

The course aims to combine reading and excursion and join the impressions together. Doing so, makes clear that not only past and present / death and life meet on cemeteries but different disciplines and perspectives such as law, architecture, literature, industry, social studies, ethnological perspectives as well as cultural techniques come together here.


Course Program (pdf)

Course structure

Academic Lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 contact hours: one contact hour equals 45 minutes; 15 contact hours per week.
  • The lessons are held four times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.

Schedule (Track C)

Tuesday: 1.30 pm - 3 pm & 3.30 pm - 5 pm
Wednesday: 1.30 pm - 3 pm & 3.30 pm - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 10.30 am & 11.00 am - 11.45 am

Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students of all subjects with a strong interest in the course topic.

In order to follow the course a very good command of English is required. The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Ms. Anna Katharina Neufeld, M.A.

Anna Katharina Neufeld studied English und German at Humboldt-Universiät zu Berlin. After working for the International Literature Festival Berlin, at the German Historical Museum Berlin, as well as in the Jewish Museum Berlin, she now works as a freelance curator, curating several smaller exhibitions.

As scholar of the Evangelische Studienwerk e.V. she is currently finishing her PhD at the department of cultural studies at Humboldt-Universiät zu Berlin on Dying narratives. In this context she has published articles, organized conferences and has worked as lecturer for different universities concentrating on altering aspects of her academic field.

Her focus on the present debate on death and dying, as well as her experiences in museology open her lectures for interdisciplinary approaches, which have accompanied her throughout her educational work. These are enriched by her interest in alternative forms of teaching and presentation.

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin


This course can be combined with: