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CityLAB: Berlin

Explore your passion for architecture, art, history, political science, studies in war and peace, computer science, and German in one of Europe's most dynamic cities.

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This course provides a historical overview of events, politics, and visual culture that have shaped Berlin’s identity over the last two centuries. Classes are coordinated with site visits to locations selected for both their architectural significance and their reflection of the different periods of Berlin’s complex history, with special emphasis on the last 25 years, after the fall of the Wall. The course begins with the emergence of Berlin as a modern European city at the beginning of the 19th century and examines developments through the destruction brought about by the Second World War. Students then compare the efforts on both sides of the Wall to rebuild according to economic and ideological principles determined by the Cold War and explore how reunification offered Berlin a chance to reinvent itself as a contemporary capital and vibrant, cosmopolitan world city.