Preliminary Course "Culture and Society in Historical and Political Context"

The differences between a 19th-century and a 21st-century novel cannot be understood without background knowledge of the societies in which these novels were written. The development of a language is linked to the culture in which it evolves. A 16th-century work of art or an ancient sculpture must be considered in their respective socio-cultural contexts, and even philosophical concepts have a historical and social context that readers must be aware of to categorize them correctly.

Course description

The preliminary course “Culture and Society in Historical and Political Context” offers a concise, systematic introduction to this important background knowledge. What are the social and cultural structures that characterize certain eras and regions? What were the notions that people in each of these eras and regions had with respect to how they should live together? Which problems and conflicts did and do arise from this? You will get an overview of key historical developments and transformations up to the present day and will be introduced to ways of classifying them with the help of terminology and concepts from sociology and political science. As a result, you will be able to understand and interpret the contents of your own field of study in their social and historical context.

The course consists of a total of 32 hours of instruction. It is offered as a five-day block course before the start of the semester. The maximum course size is 30 participants. 

  • English (Teaching Degree)
  • English Studies (BA)
  • Celtic Studies (BA)
  • Archaeologies (BA)
  • Asian and Oriental Languages (BA)
  • Asian Studies (BA)
  • Chinese (BA)
  • Indian Studies (BA)
  • Japanese (BA)
  • Korean (BA)
  • Southeast Asian Studies (BA)
  • Tibetan Studies (BA)
  • Comparative Religious Studies (BA)
  • Anthropology of the Americas (BA)
  • German (Teaching Degree/Bachelor)
  • German Language and Literature (BA)
  • German Language and Literature, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (BA)
  • Comparative Literature (BA)
  • Scandinavian Studies (BA)
  • History (BA)
  • History (Teaching Degree)
  • Greek (Teaching Degree)
  • Ancient Greek Literature and its Tradition (BA)
  • Ancient Greek and Latin Literature and its Tradition (BA)
  • Latin (Teaching Degree)
  • Ancient Latin Literature and its Tradition (BA)
  • Art History (BA)
  • Communication in the Globalized Media Society (BA)
  • Media Studies (BA)
  • Musicology/Sound Studies (BA)
  • Philosophy (BA)
  • Philosophy (Teaching Degree)
  • Psychology (BSc)
  • German-French Studies (BA)
  • German-Italian Studies (BA)
  • French (Teaching Degree)
  • French Studies (BA)
  • Hispanic Studies (BA)
  • Italian Studies (BA)
  • Italian (Teaching Degree)
  • Latin American and Ancient American Studies (BA)
  • Romance Studies (BA)
  • Spanish (Teaching Degree)
  • Politics and Society (BA)
  • Social Sciences (Teaching Degree)



Course 1, Oct 5-9
Course 2, Oct 12-16
Course 3, Oct 19-23

  • Timetable: 
    Mon.-Fri.: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm + 03:00 pm - 04:00 pm (synchronous video meetings) + asynchronous video meetings
  • Total 32 hours of instruction
  • Format: digital



Maria Wiegel




Registration is open Sept 2-23, 2020

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