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Peter Hess, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Fall 2009

GRC 327 • Berlin-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38645 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
NOA 1.116

Course Description

As the major German metropolis, Berlin has been at the center of some of the most significant world historical events of the twentieth century. From the founding of the Wilhelmine Empire in 1871 to the creation of the Berlin Republic in 1990, Berlin has played a key role in the making of national identity, urban culture, and modern mass society, first during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich and, later, as the embattled capital during World War Two and a divided city during the Cold War. At the same time, Berlin has functioned as test site for new architectural movements and urban theories, a laboratory for new lifestyles and sensibilities, and a major source of artistic inspiration and social change. Thriving as part of a unified post-Wall Europe, Berlin continues to provide the urban topographies and spatial imaginaries through which to envision past, present, and future and to make sense of the complex interplay of space, place, and identity.

In this course, we will use the rich history of Berlin as a lens through which to analyze the contradictions of modern German history and explore the continuing power and fascination of this major European metropolis. Throughout, special emphasis will be placed on architecture and urban planning and the representation of Berlin in film, literature, and the visual arts.

Grading Policy

20% Attendance, preparation, and active participation 10% ten-minute class presentation 20% midterm exam 50% writing assignments, including five shorter papers (2 pages, 5% each) and one final paper with one rewrite (10 pages, 25 %, with 5 points for the abstract, 10 points for the first draft and 10 for the final version)


Large, David Clay. Berlin. New York: Basic Books, 2000. In addition, we will work extensively with the course website and the photographs, paintings, film clips, bibliographies, and short articles available on that website; additional readings can be found on Blackboard.


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