2nd degree (Master)
Cont. German Studies:politics, Soc.&Cult
Prof. Gisela Dachs
Coordinator Office Hours:
17.00-18.00 Wednesday, online or via phone by prior agreement
Prof Gisela Dachs
Throughout their long history, the relations between French and Germans have been mostly marked by embittered wars and enmity. It was only after 1945 that a process of reconciliation started to take place. The founding fathers of this process shaped not only what would then develop into a strong alliance at the heart of Western Europe, but also the core of the future European Union. Albeit not without difficulties, the Franco-German friendship has become to symbolize a successful way to overcome history through peaceful bilateral cooperation. Such transnational interactions include a wide range of activities including state-financed youth exchanges, municipal partnerships, and a host of bi-national institutes and associations. Rather than directly affecting domestic political affairs, this kind of Europeanization connects French and Germans in various ways, transforming their partnership into the driving force of the European integration.
The study excursion will explore the historical traces as reminders of the former enmity between France and Germany as well as current transnational practices of cooperation. It provides the participants with a wide range of encounters and experiences showing how, on the one side, collective memory as well as political, cultural and linguistic differences can be continuous challenges to the bilateral relations, but also how processes of reconciliation were able to shape a lasting alliance, on the other side.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• explore the history of Europe beginning with the reign of Charlemagne
• communicate knowledge about Franco-German reconciliation processes
• individually work on particular research topics and present this research to the group
• discuss divergent views in France and Germany related to history, culture and politics
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Setting out in Berlin, where French Armed Forces had been stationed after the Second World War until their withdrawal in 1994, we will then travel to the area of the Rhine and the German-French border, before continuing our way via Verdun – symbol of war and reconciliation - to Paris. The excursion will include encounters/discussions with experts and observers as well as visits of bilateral institutions. Student participants will be asked to prepare presentations guiding throughout the tour.
For preparation, the basic course “The Media in Germany” (Fall Semester) is recommended. Parallel to the study excursion students are required to attend the course “The Core of Europe :History and Challenges of the Franco-German Friendship (Spring semester).
History and diverging memories: visit of the Berlin Victory Column, the Quadriga, the French Statues of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse (Christian Emperor or founding father of Europe), the archives of the German Foreign Ministry
Geographical approaches: visit of the area of the French-German border (Alsace-Lorraine, Saarland), the Rhine, the Maginot line
Cultural approaches: following the traces of Heinrich Heine and other transnational artists.
Places of War and Reconciliation – visit of the ouvrage Hackenberg (Ligne Maginot), the Cemetery and Museum in Verdun, the traces of the Nazi occupation in Paris (library of liberty), the traces of the French Allies in Berlin (from 1945-1994), the Cathedral in Reims, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the memorial of the rafle du vel d'hive. etc
Practices of cooperation – visit of bilateral institutions (tbc) such as the Franco-German Brigade in Metz, the franco-german student program at the University Metz, the Franco-German Youth Office in Paris,
Present challenges: encounters with politicians, observers and pundits.
The study trip has been originally planned from the 10th to 17th of May, starting in Berlin and ending in Paris. However, in light of the current situation at the beginning of the semester, we may have to postpone our study trip to a later date, probably in September.
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 30 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 70 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %