The Politics of Gender: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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Course Information
Gender Studies
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 

*IMPORTANT: This course is an International Affairs & Security Studies content course. Students on the Metropolitan Studies program CANNOT take more than TWO International Affairs & Security Studies content courses! 

This course examines key concepts, theories, and developments of the ‘politics of gender’ as played out in the history of Berlin from the 19th to the 21st centuries. We will explore how gender and sexuality influence various facets of life and therefore are important analytical categories in many academic disciplines. Every session will focus on a different subject area or medium, such as science, sociability, travel or film, and how it intersects with the field of gender studies. The course is structured along a historic axis, and looks at the politics of gender as it presented itself in Berlin’s history during successive periods – Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, WW II, the post-WW II period with West Germany and the GDR, unified Germany/contemporary Berlin.

Comparing Berlin to St. Petersburg and Istanbul will give further insights into the way place and time shape the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality and vice versa. A central question is: what do the respective gender politics of a society tell us about its self-image and values? We will ask, how gender roles are made and how they can be undermined. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach and students explore historical developments and theoretical concepts by using the city of Berlin as a classroom.