German 8205.01 S18

The Digital Flânuer: Mapping Twentieth-Century Berlin

This seminar explores the cultural history of Berlin in the twentieth century using theories and tools of the digital humanities. We examine the culture and geopolitics of twentieth-century Berlin from auditory and spatial perspectives, taking Walter Benjamin’s notion of the flâneur as our guide. The flâneur has long been a favorite emblem of urban modernity but it is also ripe for critique, as the freedom to wander a European cityscape at will has never been equally available to all. We engage classic texts about the city and current scholarship to understand multiple ways of being and moving in that city at different moments in the twentieth century. We also work with questions and tools of the digital humanities based on the premise of Todd Presner’s HyperCities, "a collaborative research and educational platform for traveling back in time to explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment." As flâneurs in the world of digital humanities, students peruse multiple digital tools, examining what they represent and exclude. They produce projects in time travel, curating tours of Berlin built on historical maps since 1900 featuring still and moving images, audio, historical documents, and prose. As an exercise in digital public humanities, student projects will be featured on a public website.


Clifford Anderson, Associate University Librarian of Research and Learning; Professor of Religious Studies

213 Law Library – office hours by appointment

Joy H. Calico, Professor of Musicology

1195 Blair -- office hours Mon 1-2, Tue 11-12, and by appointment


T/R 1:10-2:25 in 330 Furman

Grade distribution**

Required Texts** (available at the university bookstore)

Other materials available on YouTube, Brightspace, JSTOR, and as library e-books

Required materials

Special thanks to Professor Todd Presner, Faculty Chair of the Digital Humanities Program at UCLA, and Albert Kochaphum, GIS Assistant at the Institute for Digital Research and Education at UCLA, for all their help!