Module Catalogue 2020/21

GER2010 : A Cultural History of Berlin: Cabaret, Catastrophe, Capital

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML to introduce the most important aspects of the cultural history of Berlin from 1900 to the present day; to understand Berlin’s cultural and historical importance during the Weimar Republic; to understand aspects of Weimar culture and society through the analysis of print media, film, social theory and literature; to understand the history of the divided city 1945-1989 and how this was represented in aesthetic representations; to understand 21st Century changes and developments and the role played by the contemporary city as cultural capital of Germany; to encourage students to read German in an academic register, and to engage in critical discussions about texts and history in an academic context.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Berlin history 1900-1933: Revolution, foundation of the Weimar Republic.
•       Berlin Symphonie einer Grossstadt (Ruttmann, 1927)
•       Berliner Berichte, (Joseph Roth, 1929)
•       Kuhle Wampe, (Dudow, 1932)
•       Kleiner Mann – was nun?, (Hans Fallada, 1932)
•       Die Angestellten, (Siegfried Kracauer, 1930)
•       Berlin history and culture 1945-1989: the divided city and the Cold War
•       ‘Souvenirs von den Kontrollen’, (Hildebrandt, 1963)
•       ‘In Berlin’, Irina Liebmann (1988)
•       Post-Wende Berlin: New identities and the city 1990-present day
•       Simple Stories, Ingo Schulz, (1999)
•       Goodbye Lenin, (Becker, 2003)
•       Architecture and memorial culture in the capital city

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

•       the most important features of Berlin’s cultural and historical development 1900-present day
•       culture, society and history of the Weimar Republic
•       reasons for the division of Berlin in 1945 and the foundation of the two Germanies
•       changes to Berlin since unification
•       some key texts from the 1920s to 21st Century (literature, social theory, film, journalism)
•       how the function and meaning of buildings can change with history; the most important museums and memorials in contemporary Berlin.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       following lectures
•       making notes on lectures
•       taking notes from German texts
•       interpreting texts
•       group work
•       taking part in seminar discussions
•       giving an oral presentation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminar.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with an introduction to the main issues covered by the module. Seminars will be used for student-active discussion of the issues, in order to enable students to develop their interpersonal skills and to practise their ability to articulate ideas. Students will also be expected to prepare a short non-assessed presentation on a subject of their choice relating to the texts and issues explored in the module. This will develop their oral presentation skills and, additionally, enable them to practise constructing coherent and reasoned arguments.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A502,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed essay will allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the first half of the module, and to produce a reasoned and coherent argument in writing. The essay will be based on individual study and encourages students to carry out individual research. In addition, the essay will enable students to show evidence of the following skills: bibliographical work, word-processing, footnoting and referencing.
The exam will allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the second half of the module, an ability to retain information and apply it to specific contexts without textual support, to produce coherent arguments in writing.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.