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February 2001, Week 2


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Jens Westerfeld <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 12:58:00 +0100
text/plain (67 lines)
The Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany) has the pleasure to offer to you an
International Summer University courses on

“Watching Watching:
Tracking Surveillance in German Media Culture”

The International Summer University will take place from July 21st  through
August 17th 2001.

The language of instruction is English.

Course description:

While the proliferation of surveillance seems like a thoroughly contemporary
phenomenon, closer examination reveals that it has a long and complicated
history dating well back into the 18th-century. Indeed, any substantive
analysis of the complex issues surrounding the threats  to certain
conceptions of privacy posed by the development of new media from CCTV to
cyberspace must first explore in detail the development of these questions
across cultural and media history. This interdisciplinary seminar will focus
on the significant role played by questions of surveillance in 20th-century
German-language culture, from Fritz Lang’s paranoid Dr. Mabuse films of the
Weimar period to Michael Klier’s 1984 classic “Der Riese” [The Giant], a
feature-length film composed entirely of footage from surveillance cameras.
Our investigation of what we will come to recognize as a distinctive
aesthetics of surveillance in German media history –best captured in
Friedrich Dürrentmatt’s 1986 novella “Der Auftrag oder Vom Beobachten des
Beobachters der Beobachter” [The Assignment, or, On the Observing of the
Observer of the Observers]—will take us from film and literature to
questions of architecture and urbanism, from Stasi bureaucratics to the
uniquely German debates about the ethics of the so-called “reality soap”
entitled “Big Brother.” This, in turn will allow us to better understand
what is at stake in the surveillant dynamics which have recently come to
dominate much blockbuster cinema from “Enemy of the State” to “The Truman

This class will be instructed by Thomas Y. Levin who teaches courses in
philosophy, media and intellectual and cultural history and theory at the
German Department at Princeton University.

The tuition for this course is DM 1,200.--. There is an additional one-time
registration fee of DM 150.--. Besides the above mentioned course we offer
17 other fully-credited courses covering topics on Berlin, Germany, and

More information on this course and the International Summer University in
general can be obtained from the Internet at

Contact person:
Mr. Jens Westerfeld M.A.
Freie Universität Berlin
Abt. IV
Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18
14195 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 838 73 445
Fax: +49 30 838 73 444
Email: [log in to unmask]

Please visit the FUBiS web site on the internet:

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