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GER4017 : Berlin: culture, literature and film from the Weimar Republic to the Berlin Republic

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Teresa Ludden
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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)
Jeder stirbt fuer sich allein, (Hans Fallada, 1947)
Berlin history and culture 1945-1989: the divided city and the Cold War
‘Souvenirs von den Kontrollen’, (Hildebrandt, 1963)
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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:3016:30Present in person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Includes preparation for essay writing masterclass which takes place in the seminar slot of week 11.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:00Includes preparation for seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:3016:30present in person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1041:00104:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures and seminars will be delivered in person. The seminars allow for application of concepts introduced in the lectures and the online material on Canvas. Seminars are where students engage in practical work using concepts and methodologies, undertaking specific research tasks and applying techniques which tie into the lectures. 100% of the module will be delivered in person.
Seminars allow student-led discussion and debate; students practise close reading, analysis, interpretation and textual exegesis to achieve the learning aims for this module.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50Answers in English
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M503,000 words in English (with German quotations) to be submitted at the end of Semester 1.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam and the assessed essay will allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main texts covered in 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: critical thinking, complex problem solving, bibliographical work, word-processing, footnoting and referencing. Essay tests the ability to think analytically, the ability to construct an argument and allows the students to demonstrate skills in close reading of texts, independent research, creativity, and decision-making.

Reading Lists