Being Watched: Surveillance and Selfhood in the Digital Age

How have surveillance technologies transformed culture and identity in post-9/11 worlds? As Jonathan Finn has stated, through digitalisation as well as CCTV, surveillance has become a “way of seeing, a way of being” (2012). This course will examine the impact of surveillance on society by looking at the multifaceted ways technologies and societies interact.


Course periodJuly 25, 2022 - Aug. 19, 2022 Session II
Category Social Sciences, Politics & History
Course levelsBachelor
LanguageEnglish
Class size

max. 15 participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-University.

Application deadline May 15, 2022, or when participant quota is reached This course is fully booked.
Course fee730.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)
Description

This course will examine the impact of surveillance technology on society by looking at the multifaceted ways technologies and societies interact. We will explore how surveillance is represented in contemporary art, literature, film and popular culture. The omnipresence of surveillance jeopardizes the hard-fought enlightened right to privacy, individuality and freedom. The course will map out important themes revolving around surveillance and its repercussions (e.g. visibility, identity, privacy and control as essential elements of today's culture of surveillance). The course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of surveillance and covers the latest research in the following major areas: 1. Relationship between surveillance, power and social control; 2. The concept of privacy; 3. Surveillance in the arts and popular culture.

Syllabus

Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 contact hours (one contact hour equals 45 minutes; 11 contact hours per week).
  • The lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.

 

Schedule (Track B)

Monday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Thursday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.30 pm – 4.15 pm

 

Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students of all subjects with an academic background and a strong interest in the various aspects of Culture, Literature, Film and Visual Arts, as well as Surveillance Studies.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

Dr. Betiel Wasihun

Dr. Betiel Wasihun is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, working on the project "Knowing the Secret Police: Secrecy and Knowledge in East German Society." Previously, she was an IPODI Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the History of Philosophy, Literature, Science and Technology at the TU Berlin, where she is still a visiting scholar and lecturer. She is currently researching the topic of surveillance in contemporary literature. Before coming to Berlin, she was at Lincoln College and a member of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at Oxford University. She completed her Master degree in 2005 and received her PhD in 2009 (German Studies) from the University of Heidelberg. From 2006 to 2008, she was a Research and Teaching Fellow in the German Department at Yale University.

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin
Germany

huwisu@hu-berlin.de

This course can be combined with: