Exploring Berlin Museums - Memory, Collecting and Display

The aim of this course is to explore the Berlin museological landscape using anthropological field methods. You will actively approach the sites and reflect on them interactively, using a constant comparison methodology.


Course periodJan. 9, 2023 - Jan. 27, 2023
Category Cultural Studies & Religion
Course levelsBachelor
LanguageEnglish
Class size

max. 18 participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend classes regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-Universität.

Application deadline Nov. 15, 2022, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee730.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)
Description

As early as 1706 Berlin was referred to as Athens on the Spree as a homage to its burgeoning Prussian culture and museum landscape.  Today, Berlin boasts well over 200 museums.  In this course, we will explore a number of museums that highlight key aspects of Berlin’s history. The focus will be on the key issues of memory – especially that of WWII – and collecting practices – how did certain objects find their way here?  How are such histories displayed and transmitted today?  These are the questions that we will address as we explore the museums as dynamic fields that can inform our understanding of how Berlin presents itself both inwardly (in smaller city museums) and outwardly in larger, world-famous museums. 

This course is anthropologically inflected and treats the sites as field sites to be explored empirically and analyzed critically. It is well-suited to students who are interested in history, the social sciences, and/or more specific fields such as urban studies, ethics or museum studies.
Syllabus

Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes; 15 hours per week).
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions

 

Schedule (Track C):

Monday: 5.05 pm – 6.35 pm & 6.45 pm – 7.30 pm
 
Tuesday & Wednesday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.20 pm – 4.50 pm
 
Thursday: 9.00 am – 10.30 am & 11.00 am – 12.30 pm

 

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, Ice Skating, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

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

Undergraduate students of all disciplines.

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. Victoria Bishop Kendzia

Victoria Bishop Kendzia teaches the course: Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Her teaching method, although anthropologically inflected, is interdisciplinary in nature and is, therefore, not limited to the social sciences. It appeals to students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds from history to art, through to geography, theology, and politics. The focus of her work is on the urban landscape, especially, but not only, museums and memorials in and around Berlin.  In this context, locations are approached as field sites that can be read, explored, and critically analyzed as dynamic sites that project and reframe key aspects of history and culture, focusing on issues of interreligious significance.  The urban laboratory that is Berlin is particularly well-suited to this endeavor, given the historical and cultural upheavals it has witnessed during the 20th century.

She has a background in Museum Studies, having completed her master’s degree in this field from the University of Toronto, Canada in 2001 and her Bachelor of Arts Honours at the same university in 1999.  She has been publishing scholarly articles in her field since 2009 and teaching at the university level since 2008.

In 2013, she obtained her doctoral degree at the Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin under the supervision of Prof. Wolfgang Kaschuba and Prof. Sharon Macdonald, with an ethnographic dissertation on visitor experience in the context of political education at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Her book “Visitors to the House of Memory: Identity and Political Education at the Jewish Museum Berlin”, based on her empirical research, is now available:

http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/BishopKendziaVisitors

The book’s introduction:

http://www.berghahnbooks.com/downloads/intros/BishopKendziaVisitors_intro.pdf 

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

huwisu@hu-berlin.de

This course can be combined with: