ECTS Points: 5
Language requirements / Sprachanforderungen: min. English B2, Deutsch A2
The literary and cinematic reception of the metropolis is often marked by the mysterious, the uncanny and the surreal. Urban experience seems to reject and transcend a „realistic“ way of perception. Magical urbanism reflects both, the threatening aspects of modernity as well as its utopian promises. The comparative and interdisciplinary seminar explores the history of urban fantasies in Berlin and London literature and discusses its aesthetical and political implications. We will read Chloe Arjidis’ celebrated surreal Berlin novel Book of Clouds and short excerpts of Walter Benjamin’s Berlin Childhood around 1900 and Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz as well as the short story The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allen Poe in English language. In German language, we will read two short stories Von einem, der alles doppelt sah by Martin Stade and Schlüssel by Rudolph Herzog. Reflecting the cinematographic tradition, we will discuss Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis and the Matrix trilogy by Lana and Andy Wachowski. As theoretical background, we will read excerpts from Lucy Huskinson (ed.): The Urban Uncanny. A collection of interdisciplinary studies and Enda Duffy’s and Maurizia Boscagli’s introduction to Joyce, Benjamin and Magical Urbanism. European Joyce Studies 21 (2011).
NO registration via Agnes.
ONLY online application via Berlin Perspectives (7 March - 7 April 2019):
BP application (hu.berlin/bp-application)
You will find the detailed syllabus for this course on the Berlin Perspectives Website:
This seminar carries 5 ECTS.
For international incoming students and HU students.
Language requirements English B2 minimum.