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Dr. Susanne Scharnowski (E-Mail: 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):

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

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:

Rabea Erradi is a Master's student in Modern German Literature.

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

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. 

Dr. Lars Breuer gives courses on the collective memory of National Socialism in Berlin.

He studied cultural sciences, political sciences and sociology at Lüneburg, Roskilde and Berlin, and obtained his doctorate in 2013. From 2004 to 2012 he occupied several positions at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in Essen, from 2012 to 2015 he was a research fellow at the department of sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin. He has been teaching in the program for exchange students since 2015. For more information:

Dr. Mary Dellenbaugh gives courses on the history of Berlin architecture and town planning.

She came to Germany in 2007 with a DAAD grant to study landscape architecture. After completing her masters, she went on to obtain her doctorate in geography at the Humboldt University in 2013. In 2016, after having worked in academia and in EU project management, she became self-employed as an urban researcher and consultant. She focuses on creative economy, real-estate management, and urban marketing. Additionally to teaching at the Freie Universität Berlin, she also gives courses at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (University of Applied Sciences), and is part of several political and academic research projects. Her most important publications include: Dellenbaugh et al. (2015): Urban Commons: Moving beyond State and Market.Basel: Birkhäuser. Dellenbaugh, Mary (2013): Landscape changes in East Berlin after 1989 – a comprehensive grounded theory analysis through three case studies. Dissertation (available online).

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:

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. 

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.   

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.

 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. 

Manuel Lutz gives courses on historical and contemporary Berlin as a place and object of urban conflict.

He studied in Dortmund, Rostov am Don and Toronto and graduated in 2008 at the Technical University of Dortmund in interdisciplinary studies of spatial planning. In 2009 he started his doctorate in political science with a special focus on political geography at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technical University Berlin. His dissertation examines the informal settlements of homeless people in the USA and the local and state regulation of the homeless in the context of the restructuring of the welfare state. He has been teaching at the Freie Universität Berlin since the summer semester 2015 with a focus on theory and practice of urban movement, transformation of the local state, and urban development, using Berlin as an example. His latest publications include: "Uncommon Claims to the Commons: Homeless Tent Cities in the US" in Dellenbaugh et al (2015); "The Roots and Implications of America's Homeless Tent Cities"  in CITY (2015) Vol. 19/5 (with Chris Herring).

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.

Peter Bitterle gives enunciation classes. 

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.

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“.