Both geographically and culturally Berlin is a city situated between East and West. This division was most visible after World War II, when a wall literally split the city into two. Yet, long before the Berlin Wall was erected, Berlin’s metropolitan character was shaped by migration from Eastern Europe. Since reunification, the presence of Berlin’s Turkish community, along with other migrant groups, has left a major imprint on the city.
This course will explore the East-West duality that has defined Berlin since the late nineteenth century through literature, film, and popular culture. The first three weeks of the course are divided chronologically and thematically into sections: 1. The Haul to the West: Jewish Berlin during the Weimar Republic / 2. A Tale of Two Cities: Divided Berlin and the Cold War / 3. Between Orient and Occident: Turkish Berlin since Reunification. The final week of the course brings all three topics together in a discussion of present-day Berlin.
Recommended Preparation:100-level HIS/ POL/GER course/International or European Studies
GER354Y0 – Preliminary Course Outline
Field Trips: This course will incorporate visits to numerous neighbourhoods and museums in Berlin and an excursion to Leipzig. The cost of the trips is CAD$275, paid to U of T for return transportation, some entry fees and guided tours and CAD$35 to be paid onsite for local transportation and tips.
Instructor: Erol Boran teaches German literature, culture and language, and directs student theatre productions. His research is on Turkish-German theater and political cabaret. He collaborates frequently with the Goethe Institut of Toronto and has taught internationally at the University of Würzburg, the Freie Universität Berlin, the University of New Mexico and the Goethe Institut in Thessaloniki, Greece. Currently he is working on his first German fantasy novel.
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