Honors in Berlin

Mobility and Negotiations of Identity


A Term: June 27 - July 28, 2011
Summer 2011 | Honors Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies | 13 credits
(+2 credit preparatory Spring seminar) = 15 credits of Honors Core and VLPA, I&S
Variation of credits may be available per preapproval with your department
* All students are welcome to apply, priority to College/Interisciplinary Honors students, Departmental Honors also encouraged to apply *
Information sessions for Berlin will be held on:
Thursday, January 20, 11:00, MGH 211B (Honors Suite, Seminar Room)
Deadline: March 28th 2011

View the Berlin 2009 group blog»

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Continuing with the theme of borders and border crossing (Honors in Berlin 2008, 2009), the Summer 2011 program looks at immigrant communities and the boundaries of racial, linguistic, and psychological "borders" within the nation-state.

Germany has been a country of immigration since the early 1950s when the labor market called for more workers to advance the economic boom. Migrating workers stayed and formed communities that live on in the second or third Generation in Germany, which has created a complex relationship between Berlin and EU countries and countries outside of the EU.

Like the U.S., U.K., in the summer of 2010, a heated discussion about migration policies and failed so-called integration efforts erupted over the publication of a politician's book that called for restrictive immigration policies and the reduction of welfare benefits. Thilo Sarrzin's Germany Does Away With Itself specifically targeted immigrants from Islamic countries, stating their unwillingness to integrate into German society. His negative campaign included an argument based on biology and genetic factors that preclude certain groups from integrating (troubling for its formal similarity to the discourse of Nazi eugenics). Despite the rejection of the book's racist premise, the book opened up a far-reaching debate about immigration, racism, historical anti-semitism and contemporary Islamophobia in Germany with President Christain Wulff leading the charge against Sarrzin's anti-immigrant rhetoric.

A similar shift toward immigration policy is being seen throughout Europe. This program will explore immigration policy in Germany and across the EU integrating social science and humanities research and methods. What are the demographic shifts in immigration over the past 20 years, and specifically since the opening of Germany's borders after the formation of the EU? How have post-EU German national identities shifted and reformed as reflection and reaction to immigration patterns, particularly those from the non-West? Which cultural practices, expressions, spaces have become "battlegrounds" for assertions of both German identities and immigrant counter-identities? Why have gender and sexual practices become so central to the politics and regulation of immigration? Finally what might we learn for situating and understanding the U.S. immigration debate, especially in regards to immigrants of color and current anti-Middle-eastern Islamophobia, by studying the social and cultural politics of immigration in today's Berlin?

In addition to studying the recent trends in immigration policy, students will also explore social and cultural aspects of migrant life in Berlin with a hands-on approach to community life. One of our partners in this exploration will be Türkiyemspor, a German football club that is recognized as being among the most successful clubs within Germany's immigrant communities. The club is actively involved in several community-oriented programs. We will also work with academics and community partners who work with the Roma in Italy and the Roma and Sinti populations in Germany.

Through the lenses of art and literature as employed by writers, filmmakers, performers and visual artists, the 2011 Berlin Program will continue exploring the themes of migration and immigration and how borders both define and divide us.


Students will work with learning partners from the University of Washington Undergraduate Honors Program, Humboldt University-Berlin, Bilgi University-Istanbul, community scholars from Naples, and community art and theatre groups. Through these partnerships, students will incorporate the disciplines of arts, humanities and social sciences, which will culminate in both a written web based portfolio and a final project. University of Washington program directors, Humboldt faculty and guest speakers from universities in Istanbul and Naples will lead lectures and excursions.

Check out the following resources to find out more:

Students will receive 15 credits total (2 credits at UW during spring quarter and 13 in Berlin). Credits will fulfill Honors Core requirements. Other credits may be applicable depending on individual research projects. (Alternative credit may be available to non-Honors students; this must be arranged in advance with your departmental advisers)

Spring Quarter - 2 credit seminar


The first stage of this study abroad program involves a mandatory 2-credit Honors seminar (dates to be determined) during spring quarter 2011. This preparatory seminar will provide students with an interdisciplinary introduction to German culture, crash-course in the German language, history and politics, arts, and urban development as well as grounding in the specific disciplinary theoretical components of the program. Experts from various departments and the community will engage with students on topics relevant to the Berlin program. Students will also be introduced to humanities research methods, and cultural and immigrant studies as related to border studies and, more specifically, cultural borderlands. Students will decide on project themes and develop proposals that will orientate them during their time in Berlin.

Summer - 13 credits

holocaust memorial performance

During the month long summer program, students will focus on researching topics, and explore the city as text - city as art - city as borderscape. The summer portion will include classroom instruction, guest lectures, art and literature events, theatre and music performances, city walks, museum tours, and weekend excursions that will inform the final projects.

No art, literary, or performance experience is necessary or required. We are seeking students from various backgrounds.

Students will be housed in shared apartments (2-3 students per apartment) near Humboldt University.

Classes will be held on the Humboldt University campus and, more often, the city itself. Students will have guided instruction M-F, with weekends open for study, exploration, and relaxation.

a night at the opera


Professor Chandan Reddy, Department of English

Chandan Reddy received his doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. His research focuses on the transformations and inventions of literary forms that issue from history of non-western migration to the "west." In particular, Professor Reddy is interested in twentieth century Black and Asian migrations from the Caribbean basin and Asia to the United States. Presuming that migration is not solely a demographic phenomenon, but also a transformation of the political economic, social, and epistemological structures of "western" modernity, he approaches the study of "racialized" migration as an account of the heterogeneity and unevenness of modernity and its core institutions, especially the nation-state. His areas of study include Critical Race Theory, Sexuality and Queer Studies, Globalization Studies, and Asian American Cultural Studies.

Read more about Chandan Reddy »

Dr. Julie Villegas, UW Honors Associate Director
Office: MGH 211

Julie did her graduate studies at UC Santa Barbara and at the University of Washington where she earned a PhD in English. Julie is currently the Associate Director of the University Honors Program. Her research interests include border studies, comparative national and cultural mixed race identity, and public policy relating to immigrants. She has traveled extensively. For the past six years, she has directed and taught programs in Berlin/Istanbul, Rome, and Amsterdam. She is the lead program coordinator for the Study Abroad and Direct Exchanges offered through the Honors Program.

This program will cost approximately $3,800 per student. Course costs include accommodations, in-city transportation (month long metro pass), classroom and library use at Humboldt University, Berlin, field trips and most excursions, admission fees to all state museums and exhibits, and some group meals.

Course fee does not include an IP&E concurrent enrollment fee ($250); airfare ($1,200-$1,400 roundtrip, depending on when and where you buy your ticket); food (about $50 per day), and personal spending money.

Payment Schedule

(under development)

IP&E will automatically charge student accounts for all program payments and fees.

Financial Aid

Students may use their regular financial aid and scholarship funds for study abroad. The exception is any scholarship in the form of a tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cannot be used to pay study abroad program fees. You may want to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall for more information.

There are funding opportunities through the Global Opportunities Program, and the Office of International Programs and Exchanges also maintains a funding opportunities list.

Refund Policy

A $350 deposit is required at the time of acceptance. This $350 deposit is non-refundable. Any student withdrawing from the program within 4 months of the program start date will be responsible for a minimum of 25% of the total program fee. In addition, there may be other unrecoverable fixed program costs. Any student withdrawing from the program within 2 months of the program start date will be responsible for 50% of the total program fee. Any student withdrawing from the program within 1 month of the program start date will be responsible for 75% of the total program fee. Withdrawal after a program begins involves the loss of the entire program fee.

Once accepted to the program in order to formally withdraw, you must do the following, in writing:

  1. Contact the program directors.
  2. Submit a signed IPE Withdrawal Form to the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges.
  3. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.
  4. Your withdrawal date is considered the date (business day) your withdrawal paperwork is received by the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges.

the jewish memorial

To Berlin

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Berlin. You may wish to explore budget fares offered on websites such as Travelocity and Expedia, as well as STA and Council Travel in the University district.

In Berlin

Students and instructors will be making several day-excursions. Students will also have opportunities to travel on their own for two or three day-jaunts.

All participants must have a passport valid for the duration of the program. It may take as long as six weeks (or longer!) to obtain or renew a passport.

Selection to the program is competitive and acceptance into the program will be decided based on application materials, interviews, and student's demonstrated motivation to challenge themselves intellectually across academic disciplines and cultures and to work both individually and in groups.

Deadline: March 28th 2011

For more information, please contact:

A unit within Undergraduate Academic Affairs
211 Mary Gates Hall : Box 352800 : Seattle, WA 98195-2800
206.543.7444 : 206.543.6469 FAX
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