“Berlin has to become the city of theater in Europe”, king Frederick the Great demanded and basically started Berlin’s rich theatrical tradition, which has been shaped by world-renowned artists and saw famous premieres and productions. Because of the city’s status as a capital and cultural metropolis politics, society and art have always been closely linked here and influenced each other. Exploring three theatrical phenomena of the 20th century, which are unique to Berlin but have also had a worldwide impact, this bilingual seminar traces connections between sociopolitical developments and art in a historical and contemporary context and discusses aspects like artistic purpose, responsibility and censorship. The Berlin operetta, a hybrid genre integrating modern dance, jazz and chanson, can be considered a seismograph of the Roaring Twenties, addressing globalization, urbanity, gender roles and sexuality. Its existence and reputation were shattered by the National Socialists, who also forced German-born dramatist Bertolt Brecht into exile. He later re-turned to East Berlin and founded the Berliner Ensemble in 1949, which we will tour during the seminar. In West Berlin the Schaubühne became the most famous stage, where Peter Stein introduced a system of codetermination and staged several experimental productions in the 1970s. We will visit two theater performances as part of the course.
This seminar carries 5 ECTS.
Language requirements: English B2, German B1
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.