Over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Berlin has been home to a heterogeneous Jewish community, from “assimilated” German Jews during the Wilhelmine era, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe during the Weimar Republic, and people of Jewish heritage who suffered under and sought to flee from the Nazi regime to a small post-war Jewish enclave in a divided Berlin and a vibrant Jewish community after reunification that now draws thousands of others from around the world to the city as their elective home. Through selected essays, satire, newspaper reports, memoirs, poems, photographs and graphic memoirs, we will discuss how Jewish identity has been negotiated against the backdrop of Berlin’s ever-changing socio-political landscape. In addition to mapping the literary terrain of Jewish identity in Berlin, we will pay special attention to urban sites that have played an important role in this process. As a result, this course pairs written works with a physical exploration of the city to paint a more detailed picture of our readings. You will be asked to visit specific sites to explore the spaces that feature in the texts or that provide important historical context for our discussions. By scratching the layers of history around us, we will also look at our own identity as elective Berliners and how we inhabit this city as members of the international community.
This seminar carries 5 ECTS.
Language requirements: English B2, German A1
You can register for this course online (no registration via Agnes!):
(registration period: 2 September – 13 October 2019)
You will find the detailed syllabus for this course on the Berlin Perspectives Website:
Berlin Perspectives is an international and interdisciplinary module for incoming international students to complement their regular studies at Humboldt-Universität. It is also open to regular HU students who may enroll as part of their elective course requirements (üWP). Courses are taught in English, German, or in bilingual formats.