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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

In the summer semester of 2020, I will be teaching a course titled

Surviving – Experiencing – Writing: Diaries from National Socialist Concentration Camps

[Überleben – Erleben – Schreiben: Tagebücher aus nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslagern]

These diaries provide a unique insight into the prisoners’ experiences in the camps as well as in the way they tried to cope with them through the medium of diary writing.

Building on research by Renata Laqueur, Alexandra Garbarini, Amos Goldberg, and especially Dominique Schröder – whose book on the topic has been announced for publication in June of this year – the primary goal of this course will be to give the students the opportunity to work directly with the sources.

In the current circumstances, this course will be the first one I will teach fully online, using a number of different tools. I’ve also started a collection of websites on the course topic available online.

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After a long process, I have received the Baden-Württemberg Certificat for Didactics in Higher Education, awarded by the Center for Educational Development at Freiburg University.

My courses included a variety of topics, such as

  • dealing with a multicultural student body
  • student activating teaching methods
  • digital forms of learning assessment
  • techniques of conflict resolution

I am very grateful to the Center for Educational Development for their help and the opportunity to improve my teaching.

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Summer break is coming to an end and soon the winter term will start again. As usual, I will be offering an intensive ‘Seminar’ course as well as a smaller ‘Übung’ or reading course.

The Fourth Estate: Press and Politics in Germany and France (1789-1914)

Whereas the constitutive role of the press in any well-functioning democracy stands beyond doubt today, at the same time its power in modern ‘mediocracies’ is often the target of criticism. The origins of this tension lie in the 19th century – when the press developed an unprecedented importance to political processes. In this seminar, these developments are traced from a comparative viewpoint, focusing on the French and German cases.

The Power of Language: Introduction to Historical Semantics

Since the emergence of the so-called ‘linguistic turn’ in the 1970s a variety of new theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of historiography have stressed the role of language not only as an indicator, but also as a factor in historical processes. This reading course offers an introduction to the different theoretical research models developped in this context as well as to their empirical results.

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Since my time in London at the German Historical Institute is slowly coming to an end, I’m starting to prepare for my teaching in the summer term in Freiburg. This time, I am offering two courses on different aspects of political history.

Politics from Below: Forms of Participation Beyond the Institutions (France and Britain, 1780-1914)

This seminar course deals with groups that remained excluded from the ‘authoritative’ political institutions (like women, workers, political fringe groups). It asks what strategies were available to them to participate in the political process nonetheless. The course also tries to determine the amount of success these different strategies could have, taking into account both the reactions of the wider public and establishment ‘countermeasures’.

Against Mob Rule and Government by Gabble: Left- and Right-Wing Criticism of Democracy in France and Germany (1870-1933)

In this reading course, we will look into the various traditions of French and German criticism of democracy before its collapse in the twentieth century. Considering the spectrum of anti-democratic positions at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century from a double comparative perspective will allow us to better evaluate the nature and context of what is often reductively interpreted as a specifically German tradition of right-wing ‘forerunners to Hitler’.

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In the coming summer semester, I will be teaching two courses at Freiburg University.

 

One seminar course, titled:

Political Arenas: Parliamentary Cultures in the Long 19th Century in Comparison
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

 

And a reading course:

A Small European Country: Introduction to Dutch History (1581-1914)
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

Dutch History

 

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On December 2nd, I will present a lecture within the framework of a series titled “New Research in History”.

In this series, which is directed specifically at highschool teachers and students aspiring to become teachers, fifteen historians from Freiburg University present the current ‘state of the art’ in their respective fields of expertise. They ask which current developments in the academic historical discipline are such that they deserve incorporation into the history curricula at the highschool level. How has our understanding of history changed and how may this be reflected in history teaching?

My lecture will be concerned with the origins of modernity in the so-called ‘Sattelzeit’ era. Its title is:

Anfang der Moderne. Die ‚Sattelzeit‘ (ca. 1750-1850) in atlantischer Perspektive

(The Onset of Modernity. The ‘Sattelzeit’ (ca. 1750-1850) in Atlantic Perspective)

For more information, click here.
For the series’ program, click here.

 

Addition (February 10, 2014)

The powerpoint file of this presentation has been made available through the website and may be found here.

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This winter semester, I will be teaching one bachelors seminar and an exercise course. As usual, I have assembled a ‘pearltree’ for each of these courses with links to websites on their specific themes.

Bürgertum and Bourgeoisie: A Comparison between the German Empire and the French Third Republic
(Pearltree – websites on this topic)

and

Linguistic Violence and the Theater of Politics: a History of Political Rhetoric (1848-1945)
(Pearltree – websites on this topic)

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Last May, I finished the first section (Modul “Lehren und Lernen I”) of the program of advanced vocational training at the Freiburg center for academic teaching.

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Besides two two-day workshops on teaching skills (“Fit für die Lehre”), the program included four individual consultation sessions (Praxisberatung), a reciprocal visitation (Lehrhospitation) with a colleague (recorded on video) as well as a written didactic reflection. This is the first of three stages that (may) ultimately lead to the Baden-Württemberg certificate for academic teaching.

 

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Starting in Freiburg in the summer semester of 2011, I will be teaching two courses.

The Intellectual: Genesis of a Modern Social Type
The Dreyfus Affair is often viewed as the birth of the modern intellectual.  In fact, however, the origins of this important ‘persona’ are much older and reach into the Enlightenment period. Taking a series of case studies from France, England and the German lands as a starting point, this BA-Seminar from a comparative perspective traces the emergence and development of this figure during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Besides questions of social structure, finance, forms of communication and use of media, its focus will be on the problematic relation of the intellectual (and his locus naturalis, the public realm) with the political.

Zeitgeist: History and Impact of a Controversial Concept
The concept of ‘zeitgeist’ or ‘spirit of the age’ has all but disappeared from our vocabulary. If used at all it is usually employed in an ironic mode. Yet at one time, this was remarkably different. For a long time, zeitgeist was the central concept within Western discourses of historical reflexion. It expressed the reflexion upon the present as a changing form of life and thus built the center of a historical consciousness that emerged at the onset of the modern era. This reading course (Übung) will trace the history of this modern concept from its beginnings in the seventeenth up to his heyday in the first half of the nineteenth century. On the basis of source material (pamphlets, journal articles, poetry, theatre) from the German, French and English language areas several questions will be posed, i. e.: what meanings did the concept convey and how did these change over time? In what contexts and to what purposes was it used? How was it instrumentalized for political aims? Against which social background did it arise and how did it influence this in turn? Thus, on the basis of this example, general question are put forward about the history of concepts and its method.

More information about these courses may be found here.

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