The topography of Berlin can be examined as a microcosm of German history and memory. The presences and absences of the German monarchy, the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist dictatorship, the so-called Cold War division (capitalist West versus socialist East), and finally, the reunified Federal Republic all mark the urban fabric of Berlin. Its urban context has been written, erased and rewritten by these ruptures and continuities. As a laboratory of modern urban development, Berlin has affected political, socio-economic, cultural and technological trends of the last two hundred years.
The course will devote time to important urban issues, both historical and actual: the relationship of municipal and state government in city planning; the impact of new technology on urban development; the city as an imperial or (post-) colonial power center; demographic challenges (shrinking versus expanding cities); the emergence of specific urban movements (Garden City, modernism, postmodernism, "Critical Reconstruction," “Right to the City”); contrasting patterns of racism, poverty, and immigration; and the impact of global warming. Different images and maps will be presented throughout the lectures to familiarize the students with particular districts and stories of the city. Additionally, the film screenings and related discussions aim to solidify the social imaginations of students on the historical and contemporary narratives of the German capital. Moreover, walking tours and site-specific excursions will portray the ruptures and continuities of Berlin. Last but not least, small projects relying on the movies and discussions intent to encourage the students to discover different parts of the city and to reflect on the daily urban practices.
The relationship between urban space and migration has been full of challenges and inspirations in Europe. While migrants have a great impetus on the development of socio-economic, political, cultural, symbolic, and psychical conditions of the urban space, their narratives and practices have also been shaped by various components of the urban space they dwell in. The course aims to examine the structures, agencies, and contingencies of this relationship through the ruptures and continuities of twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Taking Berlin as a crucial example of the relationship between urban space and migration, this course brings in case studies from different parts of Europe keeping in mind their local, national, regional and global connections. The course is arranged thematically and hence some of the central points of interests include, but are not limited to, discrimination, representation, media, social stratification, race, religion, networks, borders, dynamics of integration and control, urban restructuring, and social movements. It builds up an interactive discussion platform by reflecting on some questions: What are the definitions of migration? Who is (not) a migrant? Who defines it? What are the features of migration? Does it compliment, compete, subvert and foreshadow ethnic, national, religious, class and gender identities? How do practices of migration co-habit with the state? What are the references in migration to the concepts such as multiculturalism, toleration, collective rights, alienation and difference? Comparing diverse concepts, policies, and practices, the course intends to create a critical perspective on the relationship between urban space and migration.
Intercultural competencies are ever more important in this multicultural world. Are your intercultural competencies developed enough? The summer course will help you to develop an understanding first for your own culture before looking at the differences in the other cultures you experience around you. Consequently, using theory and practice, you will learn and use various methods to develop your intercultural competencies. A focus of the course will be on business communication.
Berlin is a diverse, international city with a worldwide reputation for providing a creative, innovative environment for people from all over the world. Berlin International is an English language University of Applied Sciences with a very diverse student body and academic staff. It provides the ideal environment for a course on intercultural competencies.