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 a two-hour 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. Students are also required to take one class a week at various local studios in order to experience the dance scene firsthand.

The afternoon seminar, taught by Jacalyn Carley, is held at the Mediathek dance archives. Through lectures and films, we explore the very unique history of German modern dancers and their contribution to American modern dance, examine how the five different political systems Germany experienced in the past 100 years affected dance, and how dance reflects and even influences social history. By attending dance and theatre events in the evening, students will experience the burgeoning dance scene in Berlin today—depending upon availability the student will see new dance companies and genre-mixing troupes, classical works by the state ballet company, community dance events, or discover off-venues presenting highly experimental work.

The Practice and Study of Visual Arts & Architecture in Berlin (3 credits)
Visual Arts & Architecture students begin their day with two hours of Morning Practice with either fine arts instructor, Lara Lu Faroqhi, or photography instructor, Klaus W. Eisenlohr. Working ‘on-location’ is emphasized, so that students will be either drawing or shooting in different parts of the city at least three mornings a week. The locations configure with the core course in German Culture, and might involve more than one place each day. (For example: while academically considering former Soviet-governed East Berlin in the afternoon, morning locations can configure by photographing or sketching in original Stalinistic architecture, out-of-the-way Russian memorials, or being given Wall-specific assignments.)

Afternoon lectures and instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays are also held at various venues and on-location. Architecture studies, instructed by Christian Dengler, involve extensive walking and intellectual engagement with entire sections of Berlin that reflect post-WWII rebuilding, politically motivated building, Bauhaus-inspired structures and/or post-Wall ventures into post-modern architecture. Gundula Avenarius, the visual arts lecturer, takes students to a different museum or gallery for each class. She presents confluent examples and provides in-depth understanding of art movements/directions that refer either to the students’ core-course in German Culture or to major new directions in German art today.   

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. Language skills that students acquire at Die Neue Schule are reinforced by excursions and in the German Culture core seminar, thus placed and experienced in a true historical and cultural context. For the less experienced language student, this is an excellent introduction to German language and culture.

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.