Curriculum

The Berlin program is comprehensive in every aspect: students should be willing to involve themselves with the material, the city and their colleagues. We will be actively seeking out the arts and our place in them, continually on-the-go, making our own art and engaging with those who live from the arts. The program is designed for practicing artists.

Required Courses

  • An Introduction to Modern Germany and Berlin (3 credits)
    This course, taught by faculty member Roland Dollinger, is a core requirement. Students will be introduced to the history and culture of modern Germany with an emphasis on its capital, Berlin.

Students also select one of the following courses:

  • Dance Practice and Study (3 credits)
    All dance students begin the day with technique, improvisation and composition class under the guidance of two of Germany’s leading college-level faculty, Professors Ingo Reulecke and Helge Musial. With a strong focus on somatic work, students will be encouraged to bring physical knowledge into a form that will enable them to find new compositional methods through improvisation and visualization. The afternoon seminar, taught by Jacalyn Carley, is held at the Mediathek, a dance archive. Through lectures and films we will explore the very unique history of German modern dancers and their contribution to American modern dance, we will examine how the five different political systems that Germany has experienced in the past 100 years affected dance, and how dance reflects a political system. We will place special emphasis on the burgeoning dance scene in Berlin today: examining the differences between the State Ballet company and Sasha Waltz & Co, and the production potential at the dynamic Üferstudios-complex as well as the purpose and success of Berlin dance festivals committed to presenting the most innovative work from around the world.
  • The Practice and Study of Visual Arts & Architecture in Berlin (3 credits)
    Visual Arts & Architecture students will begin their day with fine arts instructor Lara Lu Faroqhi. Afternoon lectures and instruction will be held at various venues. Students will be on-site for critical investigations and dialogue that examine art and architectural developments in Germany and Berlin. Architectural walking tours take us through Bauhaus, Stalinist, and other modern architectural styles in Berlin. We will also visit museums, galleries, and studios. The Berlin Biennale will be running this summer, a bi-annual curated presentation of the most promising artists working in Germany, and we will be visiting it during class time. In addition, the National Gallery will be presenting the final part of its series on contemporary art of the 20th century, which focuses on the last fifty years of the collection. Both of these temporary exhibitions will be given special attention.
  • German Language Studies in Berlin (3 credits)
    This program is open to German language students of all levels. Our partner, Die Neue Schule, offers eleven levels of classes – from absolute beginner to highly advanced. Classes meet every morning for five weeks, and twice weekly in the afternoon (four weeks) for intensive comprehension and speaking. In combination with the core course and many excursions, the language thus becomes embedded in German arts history and culture. For the less experienced language student this is an excellent introduction.

Independent Projects

During the fifth and final week of the program, all students will pursue Independent Projects under the mentorship of a faculty member. A Visual Art & Architecture project might involve, for example, architectural model building, extended site explorations, fine arts presentations, photography studies, etc. Dancers, in the final week, will have sole use of a space at Ufer Studios or at EDEN, in Berlin Pankow, where they will create works for a final presentation. Language students might consider interviewing ordinary Germans in the streets or cafés of Berlin about political or cultural events, writing reviews of art exhibitions or German movies, or visiting significant cultural sites and creating a detailed report.