The New School
Eugene Lang College
New York, NY 10011
(212) 229-5100
Program Search
Program Type:
Program Country:
Program Term:


Berlin Museums: The Culture and Politics of Memory at the Freie Universität Berlin

Term To Study: Summer 2014
Application Deadline: Feb 20, 2015
Program Starts: Jun 01, 2014
Program Ends: Aug 05, 2014
Program Category: One-Country
Program Type: Faculty-led
Link 1: Freie Universität Berlin International Summer Course Information
Link 2: Freie Universität Berlin International Summer Fee Information
Program Locations: Berlin
Contact Phone: 2122295100
Contact Name: Study Abroad
Contact Email:
fubis info flyer_2014.pdf
Program Description

Berlin Museums: The Culture and Politics of Memory at the Freie Universität Berlin

Summer (4 weeks), 4 credits

Prerequisites: 2.8 minimum GPA, and at least sophomore status by the start of the program.

Each summer, a Lang instructor leads a course during a six-week summer session at the Freie Universität Berlin International Summer (FUBiS).

Museums play a central role in the promotion of national identities, the production and dissemination of historical “truths,” and the process whereby people work through legacies of trauma. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Berlin, a city with more than 170 museums. Over the past century, the city’s museums have been used to promote the political mandates and historical narratives of Germany’s shifting political powers, played a symbolic role in the city’s reunification, and served as sites of memorialization and education on the Holocaust. In this course, students will visit and engage in fieldwork at ten of Berlin’s museums. Focusing on the history and contemporary practice of the museum, students will investigate the conditions under which these institutions were developed, their political and educational mandates (and how they have changed over time), their relationship to the city’s and nation’s tourist industry, and the extent to which memory, trauma and history are commodified through the museum and thereby, implicated in “dark tourism” or “thanotourism.” Required texts include readings by Giorgio Agamben, Tony Bennett and Andreas Huyssen among other key theorists. Class readings and discussions and site visits will be augmented by guest lectures and workshops by museum curators. The course has three primary objectives: 1. to explore how museums have both shaped and represented Berlin’s history; 2. to provide students with an introduction to contemporary theorizing on the museum as a political, cultural, educational, and economic structure; and 3. to further develop students’ research skills, including their ability to carry out textual and ethnographic research in and about cultural institutions.

Quick Facts

Population: 81305856
Capital: Berlin
Per-capita GDP: $ 38400
Size: 357022 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 01:00 hour) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
See :
Country Specific Info.

The New School Study Abroad Programs