Arts & Culture In Focus News

New CSP Summer Course to be Offered in Berlin in May 2018


In Florence, Italy. (Photo: Kristen Thompson)
In Florence, Italy. (Photo: Kristen Thompson)

King’s and Dal students looking to get away for the summer while earning six credit-hours now have the opportunity to study in Berlin, Germany with the Contemporary Studies Program.
Similar to the Early Modern Art, Literature and Politics class offered by King’s professor, Jannette Vusich, in Florence, Italy, the Berlin course will be taught entirely on-site in Germany over the course of four weeks in May. The new class is called “Memory, Politics, Place: Berlin’s 20th Century” and is professor Sarah Clift’s brainchild.
Unsure of which one of these fabulous European courses to take? I sat down with both Vusich and Clift to find details about both so you don’t have to.
Clift tells me that the university was looking to add to its summer offerings, and that Berlin is a natural fit for the contemporary studies program since “so much of the material we cover resonates really strongly” with the city.
Clift lived in Berlin for years and completed part of her PhD there. She also speaks fluent German, and has an appreciation for German beer, making her the ideal prof to guide students through the complexities of how a society commemorates its own atrocities.
“Berlin is an amazing place for thinking about issues of collective responsibility.”
Students will be living in a hostel in central Berlin and can expect a day trip to Dresden. Readings will include works by Hannah Arendt. Students will visit significant memorials, architectural sights and museums almost daily. Examining how cityscapes reflect memory will be a key component to this course.
If Italian renaissance art, wine, and more distant history are more in line with your interests, be sure to look into Vusich’s Early Modern Art, Literature and Politics course.
This course, which is offered through the Early Modern Studies department, will be offered in May 2019.
“I’ve already got it marked in my Calendar!” Vusich said excitedly when I ducked into her office to discuss the future of her pilot project turned-success story.
Students in the Florentine course can expect to spend their days examining and discussing the great works of Italian renaissance poets, painters, sculptors, architects, politicians and more.
Readings include works by Machiavelli, Boccaccio and Dante. Classes frequently take place in the halls of the Uffizi Gallery or on the lawns of the Boboli Gardens.
“The immersion just can’t be replicated,” Vusich said.
Students are housed in the ideally located Casa Santo Nome di Gesu, a charming 15th century palace turned-convent that just so happens to serve the most amazing croissants at breakfast. Some of the rooms have gorgeous frescoes on the ceilings, and the on-site gardens are an excellent place to hang out after classes and do complete readings.
Both courses will be offered in alternating years, and cost roughly the same amount – just under $5,300. However, including plane fare, textbooks, meals and pocket money, the total cost is likely to be around $7,500-$9,000. For students in need of financial aid, grants of up to $2,000 are available from the Study/Work International Fund at Dalhousie’s International Centre.

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