Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Monument, Memorial, and Public Space in Germany
This course looks at the important role that monuments, memorials, and public spaces have played in Germany’s turbulent modern history. Weimar designs, Fascist Nazi designs, and the stark contrasts between former-East and former-West German places and spaces are highlighted as expressions of cultural values and dictated doctrine shaped by the powerful and complex historical forces of war, politics, aesthetics, and collective memory. In addition, post-war and post-Wall ruins and rebuilding efforts shed light on what today is saved, what is erased, and what is honored on the German landscape. Particular attention is given to Holocaust memorials and places of remembrance. Themes of pride, shame, memory, and collective consciousness run deeply through this course.
Intercultural Communications: Power, Performance & Improvisation
Based on the premise that that everyday life is a ritualized performance of observable speech and action driven by unseen influences of culture, students in this course employ theory and performance-based practice to explore and understand intercultural communications in our highly mediated digital world. Students generally spend mornings in discussion of core academic readings and afternoons engaged in theater-based exercises and improvisation that offer powerful cross-cultural communication methods and strategies.
Topics include: core cultural values, norms & boundaries; notions of the sacred & profane; symbolic interactionism & proxemics; conformity & individualism; conflict & harmony; setting, status & power; stereotypes; self-awareness & empathy; eye-contact & body language; roll-playing & perspective-shifting; listening & close observation, improvisation.
Materials and Equipment
Students should come prepared with an Internet-enabled laptop. CIEE will supply each student with a digital sound recorder, headphones, and one compact memory card. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase additional compact memory cards.
Funky Berlin—Radio Production and Storytelling
The German word for radio is "Funk." This intensive, hands-on, laboratory course teaches students to make radio while exploring the history, places, and people of Berlin. Students capture the sounds and stories of this vibrant, creative city at the crossroads of Europe. Storytelling and voice, listening and communicating are our themes.
Students will sharpen their research and reporting skills, develop interview techniques, and learn or improve their editing and production skills. Local site visits to historically significant studios and current, state-of-the-art production facilities introduce students to the history of German radio innovation. We also explore the important historical influence of radio as tool of Nazi and Cold War propaganda.
Participants work intensively on both specific assignments and more individual pursuits that engage personal interests and muses. Final productions will be collected and featured on a the CIEE-Funk-Berlin website.
Lands Lost: The Rise & Fall of Prussia & East Germany
Berlin was the capital of two places that no longer exist: Prussia and East Germany. The Kingdom of Prussia (1525-1947) was a major European power that ceased to exist with the rise of the Nazis and met its official end after WWII. The socialist state of East Germany (1949-1990) was created at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 and formed the front line of the Cold War until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This course tells the stories of these two historically important German states. Students will learn the history and influence of these two vanished places within the modern context of the nation state while reflecting on notions of power, politics, sovereignty, war and international relations. Students generally spend mornings in discussion of readings and afternoons on local site visits.
Methods of Instruction
This course is taught through lecture, the study of images and architectural plans, discussion, weekly assignments, and a final project assignment and exam.
Visits to key monuments and sites, both in Berlin and elsewhere, will be incorporated into the instruction. During the semester guest lecturers will be invited to speak to the class.
The final project asks students to theorize, design, and present a new monument of their own creation to be situated somewhere on the German landscape, preferably in Berlin. Students will be assessed on their thoughtful application of the materials and ideas covered in the course.