Berlin Fieldcourse: Tracing Geopolitics in Urban Space

Module code: GY3418

At the heart of this module is a week-long field trip to Berlin. The focus of the module thinks about geopolitics at the urban scale and the ways in which Berlin (and Germany’s) geopolitical history continues to shape the geography of the city. The fieldtrip begins with a day focused on the legacies of Cold War geopolitics, the Berlin Wall, and the division of Germany on the city. The exact timetable of the trip depends partly on the numbers of students that sign up for it. However, the second and third days in Berlin normally involve focused theme days, in smaller groups, looking at issues such as Germany’s colonial legacies; surveillance, privacy and security; migration; and everyday life in the DDR (East Germany). Students also have at least a day and a half in the field to undertake their own individual research projects linked to the module themes. In preparation for the fieldcourse, there are a number of compulsory lectures introducing the key themes of the module. Students also receive feedback on their proposed research project before and during the fieldtrip. As well as investigating and examining key geopolitical issues in situ, a key aspect of the module is to encourage students to experiment with creative methodologies for researching geopolitics in the urban landscape – to explore alternative ways of seeing and experiencing the city and its past.

Learning

  • 6 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of fieldwork
  • 56 hours of fieldwork
  • 85 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Research proposal (15%)
  • Blog (25%)
  • Written Report (60%)