Team

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Dr. Susanne Scharnowski (E-Mail: susanne.scharnowski@fu-berlin.de) is the coordinator and teaches every semester. Her courses have dealt with the topic of „Heimat“ in German literature and film, films of the GDR, the German culture of remembrance, literature, art and culture of the fin-de-siècle, Berlin in film and literature, and, more recently, food and the environment.   

She studied German and English Literature at Freie Universität Berlin and obtained her doctorate with a thesis on Clemens Brentano. Before she returned to Freie Universität on her present position, she held positions as DAAD lecturer in England (Gonville and Caius College / University of Cambridge, 1990-1993), Taiwan (National Taiwan University, 1999-2000) and Australia (University of Melbourne, 2000-2003); she was also visiting lecturer in Poland (at the University of Wroclaw, 2006, and Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej, Lublin, 2008) as well as the Netherlands (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 2013). Her current research interest focuses on „Heimat“, nature and the countryside in film and literature and on the cultural history of food. More information (in German): http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/we04/institut/mitarbeiter/scharnowski/

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Rebecca David is the secretary and assists with bureaucratic matters. You will find her contact details and office hours here.

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Tutors are more advanced students who are here to help exchange students in various ways: they can help you with general questions about living and studying in Berlin; they are also here to help you with queries about registration, transcripts and other administrative things.

They are joinable – also during vacation – at: berlin.studis.helfen@gmail.com.

Fausto Capponi is a Master's student in Comparative Literature as well as in the Master of Education.

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Dr. Sabine Bierwirth has taught courses in previous semesters on Literature and Culture in the GDR, Berlin in crime-fiction, and Female Figures in Berlin History and Present.

She studied German literature, French language and literature, and educational science at the Heinrich-Heine University at Düsseldorf and wrote her doctoral thesis on Heinrich Heine. She worked as an editor at the Heine-Institute (Düsseldorf) and has many years of experience in teaching German as a foreign language. She has taught at several American universities (Georgetown University, University of Maryland, American University, 2006-2009) and at the University Paris Sud in France, 2015-2016; from 2010 to 2014 she taught in the program for exchange students and in the masters course “Deutsch als Fremdsprache: Kulturvermittlung” at Freie Universität Berlin. She has published on Heinrich Heine and on 18th century literature; her current area of research is the literature of the Restoration period. 

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Dr. Muriel Ernestus gives courses on film and theatre. In past semesters she has given courses on film in the Weimar Republic, National Socialism and film, film in the GDR, and Berlin theatre.

She studied modern German literature, comparative literature and Roman languages at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, University of Bourgogne (Dijon), and Freie Universität Berlin. She obtained her doctorate on political contemporary theatre. From 2003 to 2008 she worked as a research fellow at the Department of German language and at Freie Universität Berlin. She has been teaching in the study program for exchange students since 2010. Publications: Von politischem Theater und flexiblen Arbeitswelten. Überlegungen zu Theatertexten von Widmer, Richter und Pollesch. Berlin: sine causa, 2012. Office hours and contact details: http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/we04/institut/mitarbeiter/ernestus/index.html

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Dr. Matthias Harder gives courses on Berlin literature, architecture and cultural history.

He studied German literature, philosophy and law at the Freie Universität Berlin and obtained his doctorate in 1997. After his studies, he worked as a journalist and curator at the Art Academy in Berlin. After a number of short stays abroad, he taught at the Jagiellonen University (Krakow/Poland) from 1997 to 2003. He has been teaching at the Freie Universität Berlin since 2003; his main areas of interest are German literature and cultural history in the context of German as a foreign language, the history of architecture (in particular from the 19th century until today), and the cultural and political history of Berlin. 

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Berit Hummel gives courses on the image of the city film and on urban visual culture.

She studied psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, photography at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig, and did an MA (Art in Context) at the Berlin University of the Arts. From 2012 to 2016 she was a DFG Fellow in the post graduate program “The world in the city” at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technical University Berlin with a project on the production of space in the city in New York underground cinema in the 60s. During this time she also taught at the Institute for Architecture at the Technical University Berlin. Her research focuses on representations of the urban in the media and in the arts, spaces of reception, as well as the post-war Avant-garde.   

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Dr. Georg Jansen gives courses on Berlin as a place of literature and art.

He studied literature, music and linguistics at the universities of Bonn, Lisbon and the Freie Universität Berlin, obtained his doctorate in 2004 at the Freie Universität Berlin. DAAD lecturer in Braga, Lisbon and Beijing, research fellow in the department of inter-cultural German Studies at Göttingen University; since 2011, lecturer in the program for exchange students. His publications include: Prinzip und Prozess Auslöschung. Intertextuelle Destruktion und Konstitution des Romans bei Thomas Bernhard. Königshausen&Neumann, Würzburg 2005; “Kafka in Peking. Eine literarische Erschließung der chinesischen Mauer.” In: Schönes neues China – Das Argument-Buch, Band 296/2012, pp. 239-248.

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 Dr. Ulrich Krellner gives courses on the divided Berlin, Jewish culture in Berlin, and the German reunification.

He studied German literature, history and philosophy at the Technical University of Braunschweig, University of Vienna and at the Humboldt University Berlin, and wrote his doctorate on the author Uwe Johnson at the Freie Universität Berlin. He subsequently researched and taught at the Swedish universities of Lund (2002-2003) and Stockholm (2005-2009) and at the University of Limerick (2009). His most important publications and main research themes are on literature in the time of Goethe, German literature after 1945 and aesthetic questions in art theory. 

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Dr. Hildegard Piegeler gives courses on Berlin as a multi-cultural and multi-religious city.

She studied German literature, philosophy and religious studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and obtained her doctorate in 2008. From 2002 to 2005 she was a research fellow at the department of in German Language and Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin. She has been teaching in the program for exchange students since 2011. Her most important publications include: Gelebte Religionen. Untersuchungen zur sozialen Gestaltungskraft religiöser Vorstellungen und Praktiken in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Würzburg: Könighausen & Neumann, 2004; Von den „hautes Sciences“ zur Esoterik. Phil. Diss. 2008 (Microfiche); Tarot. Bilderwelten der Esoterik. München: Fink, 2010.

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Anja Gaentzsch (M.P.A.; e-mail: anja.gaentzsch@fu-berlin.de) and teaches a course on the Social Market Economy in Germany and the EU.

About her: Anja Gaentzsch is a doctoral candidate at the Freie Universität Berlin in the PhD program “Public Economics and Inequality”. Her research is concerned with the links between social protection systems, inequality and poverty in low and middle-income countries. Prior to her PhD, Anja worked for several years in the field of international development cooperation. As an advisor for GIZ GmbH, she held positions in public finance and administration reform projects inter alia in Tbilisi, Georgia (2011-2014) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2005-2006). She obtained a Master’s degree in Public and Economic Policy in the UK (LSE, 2006-2008). More information: http://www.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/en/forschung/promotionskolleg/Mitglieder/Kollegiaten/Anja_Gaentzsch/index.html

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Anna Lena Kocks, M.A.,studied History and English Literature and Cultural Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and is currently working on a doctoral thesis about Italian and British Fascism at Freie Universität Berlin. She is a part-time consultant for corporate history in a management consultancy.

Publications: Lässigkeit als Lebensart. La Sprezzatura nel Libro del Cortegiano di Baldassare Castiglione (Bristol, 2013); “Organizing Leisure: Extension of Propaganda into New Realms by the Italian and British Fascist Movements”, in: A. Bauerkämper and G. Rossoliński-Liebe (eds.), Fascism without Borders: Transnational Connections and Cooperation between Movements and Regimes in Europe from 1918 to 1945 (New York, 2017), 94-118.

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Dr. Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe teaches courses on the Holocaust, Fascism, and European and transnational history.

He studied cultural history and Eastern European history at the Viadrina European University (Frankfurt/Oder). He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Alberta and the Universität Hamburg, and defended it in 2012 in Hamburg. Since then he has worked as research assistant at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin. He specializes in the history of the Holocaust, World War II, transnational fascism, antisemitism and nationalism, and ethnic conflicts and genocides. For more information and publications, see http://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/en/e/fmi/institut/arbeitsbereiche/ab_bauerkaemper/Mitarbeiter/Grzegorz_Rossolinski-Liebe.html

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Dr. Simon Berghofer teaches a course on the German media system and journalism in Germany.

He studied modern German literature, communication studies and political science at Freie Universität Berlin and Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is a research and teaching associate at the Department of Media and Communication Studies at Freie Universität where he completed  his doctorate on global media and communication policy in 2016. Simon teaches courses on media policy and has been teaching at Freie Universität Berlin,  in the FU-BEST program, at the Goethe Institute and at the University for Applied Sciences St. Pölten (Austria). His research area covers media policy and regulation as well as journalism and press studies. For further details, please see Website.

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Dr. Thomas Flemming is currently working on a history of Berlin local politics from 1850 to present day on behalf of the Historische Kommission zu Berlin.

He read History, German and Philosophy at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Freie Universität Berlin and has worked as a free-lance historian and publisher for several years. Moreover, he was involved in Teacher Training Programmes and numerous history exhibitions, amongst others, on the First World War in 2004 (DHM). His research interests comprise German history post-1945, the Cold War, the First World War, DDR and Berlin history, and Middle Class development related topics.

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Dr. Gautam Chakrabarti teaches courses in the field of Comparative Literature.

He is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Global Theatre History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer in "Berlin and German Studies" at the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), where he was also a Dahlem Research School HONORS Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-15) after finishing, at the FUB, his PhD at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature (2011-14), within the ERC-Project „DramaNet“.

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Marc Schwietring, M.A. teaches a course on populism, nationalism and right-wing extremism.

He studied political science, sociology, social psychology and psychology in Hanover and Berlin and wrote an MA thesis on the subject of ‘coming to terms with the past’ and right-wing extremism in Germany.

Since 2009, he has worked as research assistant at various universities and in third party founded projects on the topics of prevention of right-wing extremism and intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Most recently, he was research associate at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Presently he has a doctorate scholarship from the Hans Böckler Foundation for his PhD thesis on tthe NSU (National Socialist Underground) trial at Munich Higher Regional Court.

His research focuses on right-wing extremism and antisemitism, Germany’s political culture, political psychology and social psychology.

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