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April 2001, Week 4


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Jens Westerfeld <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 26 Apr 2001 16:02:39 +0200
text/plain (68 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 Show".

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 Europe.

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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