domingo, 25 de mayo de 2008

Una bicicleta para sentir el viento. Un curso para revivir la historia.

Mañana, 26 de mayo, podré usar por primera vez mi nueva (ni tan nueva, es bastante viejita) bicicleta. Se cumplirá, así pues, un sueño que tenía desde febrero. Esta bicicleta se la compré ayer a Avery, mi roomate, pues mañana se regresa a Nueva York. Quiero sentir el viento.

Por otro lado, mañana inicio en la Freie Universität un curso de dos semanas que se antoja increíble. Para aquellos de paciencia infinita, les dejo el programa completo. Para aquellos más impacientes comentaré que tendremos la posibilidad de hablar y conversar con parlamentarios alemanes de distintos partidos, con historiadores, con arquitectos, ¡incluso con el principe Alejandro de Sajonia! sobre los diversos procesos históricos que vivió Alemania al término de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Agradecimientos eternos a quien los merece.

Hist. 251.60

Uses of History in International Affairs:

History, Memory and Politics in Berlin

Professor Hope M. Harrison

May 26-June 6, 2008 in Berlin, Germany

Course Description

This class is meant primarily for Elliott School Ph. D. students and is also open to students from the Free University of Berlin. The class will be held entirely in Germany and entirely in English. This course will be an in-depth examination of how Germany deals with difficult aspects of its 20th century past, particularly the Holocaust, World War II, the Berlin Wall, and the division of Germany. We will study the intersection of history, memory and politics in Berlin.

Who decides what to remember? What roles do former victims, politicians, historians, and regular citizens play in the “memory culture” of Germany? What role do political parties play in influencing what history is remembered and what history is ignored? How do perceptions of history affect current German concepts of national identity? We will explore these questions and more together. We will visit a variety of monuments, memorials, museums, and other historical sites and talk to people who have played a key role in making history visible in Berlin.

History is alive in Berlin as in few other cities and there are ongoing debates about what parts of history should be depicted in Berlin and how they should be depicted. You can see shell marks from World War II on some buildings, remnants of infamous Nazi buildings, former East German secret police prisons and other “burdened” historical sites. Most tourists coming to Berlin ask, “where is the Berlin Wall” and wonder why there isn’t more of it left to see. We will find out what city authorities are doing to remedy this and see remnants of the Wall and other legacies of the former East German communist regime and the cold war division of the city. We will look at monuments and museums erected to commemorate and atone for German crimes. We will also explore the more recent (perhaps controversial) focus on Germans as victims instead of just perpetrators.

The concepts and readings for the course are interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of history, politics, international relations, commemoration, memory, urban planning, tourism, architectural conservation and preservation, memorialization, and economics.

Total contact hours in Berlin: Over 40 hours. The formal contact hours each day in Berlin range from 5.5 to 8 hours. In addition to the classroom lectures, each site visit includes briefings and discussions.

Required reading in advance (3-4 books and 15-19 articles and websites ):

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