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The course taught on side in Berlin, Germany, familiarizes students with the rich cultural fabric of German art and culture. Visits include not only museums, but also to the hotbeds of street art and concerts. Berlin’s Museumsinsel (Museum Island) unites in five museums world-class art collections that encompass 6000 years of world heritage and the best of German art. We will also investigate how Germany deals with its Nazi past and the period of division by visiting the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen and the GDR museum. Students will keep a daily travel diary in which they will record impressions and interesting discoveries, and will also write a final paper on one of the cultural sites in Berlin.
In 2016, the course is taught parallel to IDIS 350m, Holocaust and Memory in Germany. The following Powerpoint Presentation:
This study abroad course offers students the opportunity to experience one of the great European cities – Vienna, the capital of Austria and former capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire – and to visit many of the city’s most iconic sites. Home to many famous artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers, including Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arthur Schnitzler, Theodor Herzl, and Gustav Mahler, Vienna is a city with an extraordinarily rich cultural and historical past. Students will explore the city’s parks, museums, and key historical sites while also enjoying Viennese life and cuisine – we will visit, for example, a few cafés that were earlier frequented by Viennese literary legends. We will also spend one day visiting Mauthausen, the infamous concentration camp not far from Vienna, along with its museum and memorials. Students will keep a daily travel diary in which they will record impressions and interesting discoveries, and will also write a final paper on a Viennese figure of their choice.
Building on the success of the Austrian course, this trip includes a couple of days in Budapest and its sourounding area. While Austria and Hungary shared a history for a long time, Hungary has a very distinct artistic and cultural life. Besides art museums and architectural gems such as the Parliament, the castle, and the Fishermen’s Bastion, we will also try famous culinary dishes such as Goulash or Lángos. During a trip to the Danube bend, we will get acquainted with religious culture (Esztergom cathedral) and folk art (Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum).
Mixing it up from previous years, we explore how Austrian and Czech arts and culture were intertwined. While Bohemia and its capital Prague have played a critical role in German and Austrian history, the language and culture of the native Czech population were suppressed for centuries. Nevertheless, works by Alphonse Mucha (poster designer) and Franz Kafka (writer) oscillate within the lively fabric of the multicultural city. Visits to Karlstejn and Cesky Krumlov (Unesco Heritage Site) give a glimpse into pre-Austrian, vernacular architecture. Vienna is will have for us, as always, iconic imperial palaces, museums, and coffee houses.