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Berlin: Capital of Modernity

Semester and Year SU 2014
Course Number TRAVL-UG9500
Section 001
Instructor Karen Hornick
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


This four-week course meets in Berlin, June 21 - July 19. Permission required. Application deadline is March 1, 2014. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and link to application.


Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/summersaapp.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/berlin.html Description: Some of the most thrilling, momentous, and terrible events of the 1900’s occurred in Berlin, Germany. Today, Berlin's streets, buildings, and cultural monuments offer tales of warning and inspiration to the present century about the folly of nationalist ambition; inspiring sagas of intellectual and physical courage; cold testimonials of crime and retribution; lyrical ballads of brutal honesty; personal records of hope and despair. This course, set in the heart of that city, will take in many of the sights and sounds of old and contemporary Berlin. We will focus on the involvement of twentieth-century politicians and activists, artists and architects, bohemians and intellectuals with the causes, experience, and far-reaching consequences of World War II. Our period of study begins just after World War I and focuses first on the turbulent politics and culture of Weimar Berlin in the 1920's. Then we consider the consolidation of Nazi power in the 1930's when Hitler declared Berlin his capital, and the seige on Berlin of 1945 that ended Hitler's Reich once and for all. We look next at life in Berlin during the Cold War years and pay particular attention to the impact of the Wall (built in 1961) on the imaginations and realities of Berlin's citizens, and finally we assess our experiences of this reunited city as the the astonishing building boom that followed the fall of the Wall in 1989 slows down and the city faces its future as an EU capital. Required class meetings include several seminars a week as well as related field trips intended to deepen our understanding of the readings, as well as the rich resources of the city’s museums, neighborhoods, historical sites, memorials, and cultural monuments. There is a lot of required reading but students will find ample opportunity to explore Berlin and develop their own individual projects. The course is taught in English but we also provide a few voluntary survival German language classes.

Course Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

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