ONLINE COURSE: Surveillance Technologies and Cultural Transformations since 9/11 (Nov/Dec)

How have surveillance technologies transformed culture and identity in post-9/11 worlds? As Jonathan Finn has stated, through digitalisation as well as public space cameras, surveillance has become a “way of seeing, a way of being” (2012). This course will examine the impact of surveillance technology on society by looking at the multifaceted ways technologies and societies interact.

Course periodNov. 30, 2020 - Dec. 18, 2020 Session I
Category Social Sciences, Politics & History
Course levelsBachelor
Class size

max. 18 participants

Credits and certificate

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

Application deadline Nov. 15, 2020, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee650.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)

Online Course Fee


This course will examine the impact of surveillance technology on society by looking at the multifaceted ways technologies and societies interact. We will explore how surveillance is represented in contemporary art, literature, film and popular culture. The omnipresence of surveillance jeopardizes the hard-fought enlightened right to privacy, individuality and freedom. The course will map out important themes revolving around surveillance and its repercussions (e.g. visibility, identity, privacy and control as essential elements of today's culture of surveillance). The course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of surveillance and covers the latest research in the following major areas: 1. Relationship between surveillance, power and social control; 2. The concept of privacy; 3. Surveillance in the arts and popular culture.


Online Course Program (pdf)

Course structure

The course content is equivalent to an on-site course offering 45 contact hours.


The study time includes:

  • virtual class room lessons with the lecturer and the fellow students (30%)
  • group exercises (30%)
  • assignments and self-study (40%)


Weekly schedule of virtual class room lessons:

  • Course days: Monday and Wednesday
  • 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (Berlin time, UTC+1)
    5.00 pm – 7.00 pm (Beijing time, UTC+8)
    8.00 pm – 10.00 pm (Sydney time, UTC+11)
    3.00 am – 5.00 am (Chicago time, UTC-6)
Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students of all subjects with an academic background and a strong interest in the various aspects of Culture, Literature, Film and Visual Arts, as well as Surveillance Studies.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

Dr. Betiel Wasihun

Dr. Betiel Wasihun is IPODI Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Philosophy, History of Literature, Science and Technology at the TU Berlin and currently conducts research on surveillance and its cultural and literary manifestations. Before coming to the TU Berlin, she was a Fellow of Lincoln College and a member of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. She holds an M.A. (2005) and PhD (2009) in German Studies from the University of Heidelberg and was also a Research and Teaching Fellow at the German Department of Yale University (2006-2008).

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