Main Content

Semester Classes

Foto: Miriam Prüßner

Regular Semester Classes

The International Undergraduate Study Program (IUSP) takes courses from the university's regular course catalogue. Usually, classes take place two hours per week.
Important: Each class, whether held in English or German, is being supported by tutorials (obligatory!) in English with four hours per week, especially for IUSP students. In the tutorials, students are working up the contents of the lecture, not only of the first eight weeks the IUSP participants are staying, but also the contents of the second half of the German semester. In addition, the tutors work more deeply on the topic with the students and deepen their knowledge.

The IUSP students give presentations and write essays on the topics according to the respective class and tutorial. Generally, marks are given for oral work (presentations, performance in class etc.) and written work (reports, bibliographies, homework, essays etc.).

Class Choice: We are adding classes as they come in from the professors, and will start publishing classes from December on for the Spring semester, and from July on for the Fall semester.* As soon as the list will be complete, we will notify all students, and ask for their class choice in an email. We will ask for their final decision after their arrival in Marburg. Only students with the language level B1.1 and above can enroll for classes held in German.

Note on Class Attendance
Please bear in mind that attendance is required in order to receive credit for IUSP classes. Failure to attend classes can result in grade cuts and/or a grade not being issued to you if you do not attend classes regularly. IUSP students do not have the option of simply sitting for the exam at the end of the semester without having attended classes. Health issues and other serious reasons for missing lectures are, of course, another matter. Please keep your teacher and/or the IUSP staff informed if you are unable to attend lectures.

*Please note:
Generally speaking, class descriptions are posted online later than what many colleges and universities outside of Germany are accustomed to. The reason for this lies in the differing academic calendars. The classes for the spring semester in Marburg are published in January; classes for the fall semester in Marburg are published in July. We recommend looking at classes from the previous academic year to get a feel for what classes will be offered in the corresponding semester of the current academic year. In most subject areas, similar courses are offered on a rotating basis one time each academic year. We do not offer the same classes every year/semester. Introductory-level courses, however, are generally repeated. Browsing through past catalogues can be helpful in giving you an idea of what courses may be offered and what courses may be counted towards your degree.
The descriptions in the class list are taken from our university course catalogue. 

Class List Fall 2022 

Subject Area: American Studies 

  • Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle: A Dramatic History of America (Literary and Cultural History of North America (held in English)

    lecture, Tuesday 10am-12pm, online, asynchronous


    Like any other form of fiction, drama is intimately connected to culture. As a reflection on and criticism of a nation’s history and society, drama can be considered a manifestation of the concerns and changes within a country and its various kinds of communities. It reveals how communities have been imagined (Anderson) as oppositional (self vs. other), how traditions have been invented (Hobsbawm), preserved, and changed, how identities have developed (ethnic, gender, sexual, class, etc.), and how techniques of dramatic representation (in writing, on stage, and in film) have been initiated, changed, and developed over the years. This class offers an overview of the development of U.S.-American drama and theater (as its material manifestation) in its respective cultural contexts. The class attempts to show how mainstream and marginalized groups in the United States and, to some extent Canada, have negotiated over the years their respective location, power, and participation in as well as contribution to the nation.


    Required Readings:

    Clements, Marie. The Unnatural and Accidental Women (2000)

    Hwang, Henry David. M. Butterfly (1988)

    Wasserstein, Wendy. An American Daughter (1998)

    Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

    Wilson, August. The Piano Lesson (1987)

  • Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle: U.S.-American Young Adult Fiction (held in English)

    seminar, Tuesday 2pm - 4pm, hybrid


    What does it mean to grow up in the United States? It means different things to different people depending on ethnicity, gender, glass, sexuality, religion, and many other categories. For everyone, growing up seems to be a given, but experiences connected to this phase in life can differ significantly. In this seminar, we will discuss selected coming-of-age or young adult novels, both canonical and recent. In addition to some questions of terminology (coming of age, young adult fiction, identity, Critical Race Theory), this seminar will put particular emphasis on examples engaging with ethnicity (African American, Native American, Whiteness and Blackness), gender (femininity, masculinity, transgender, queer), and sexuality (LGBTQAI+), and these categories’ intersectionality. The seminar will raise questions such as why we should read these novels? (So what?) How can we make use of them to deal with heterogeneity, discrimination, racism, and sexism in everyday life? Even though the examples are taken from a U.S. context, we will transfer our insights to groups from different backgrounds not directly addressed but represented in class. We will clarify terminology, do close readings, contextualize our readings, and transfer our knowledge to everyday life. We will proceed chronologically with our reading and spend two sessions on each novel, and, therefore, start with Louisa May Alcott in the second week of the semester.


    Required Readings (any edition):


    Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women (1868)

    Salinger, J. D. Catcher in the Rye (1951)

    Sherman, Alexie. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007)

    Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath (2016)

    Dimaline, Cherie. The Marrow Thieves (2017)

    Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give (2017)

  • Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle: Iconic Imagery and the Myths That Made America (held in English)

    seminar, Tuesday 4pm - 6pm, hybrid


    Identification is one of the key ingredients in both iconicity and myths. While the icon is a visual phenomenon, myths are narratives that attempt to explain “the world,” but both offer people the potential to identify with what is represented. Icons and myths are, therefore, intimately connected and significantly contribute to the creation and understanding of the imagined community (Anderson) of a nation. This seminar investigates how this process works and what kind of U.S.-American nation it creates. Representations of Pocahontas are certainly among the most iconic U.S.-American images and lead us through history all the way to recent Indigenous protest (e.g., the toppling of Columbus statues, the renaming of Thanksgiving as the national day of mourning, etc.) and show us how icons and myths are culturally specific, culture-contingent, and contestable, and, thus, change over time. We will cover the Puritans, Pocahontas and Columbus, the so-called Founding Fathers, the phenomena of immigration and the so-called melting pot, more recent presidential and pop cultural icons, and others, always tracing their development from past to present. In addition to selected visual representations discussed in class, Heike Paul’s The Myths That Made America will guide us through selected U.S.-American icons and myths and offer us insights into their significance for an understanding of the United States – past and present.


    Required Reading:

    Paul, Heike. The Myth That Made America: An Introduction to American Studies. Bielefeld: transcript, 2014 (print or e-book).

  • Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle: Independent Project: American Studies (held in English)

    independent project with tutorial

    Content: tba

Subject Area: Business Administration and Economics

  • Prof. Dr. Torsten Wulf: Strategic Problem Solving and Communication (held in English)

    lecture, Thursday 8am-10am or 10am-12pm


    Course Pre-requisites
    For advanced bachelor students

    Learning objectives
    The objective of the course “Problem Solving and Communication” is to teach the students in
    their problem-solving skills and present them tools for a better communication. The course
    develops practical skills necessary for leading a company successfully in a global business

    Course description
    The course focuses on novel, complex problems that occur quite frequently in every-day
    management situations. A methodology for approaching and solving such problems is
    presented, i.e. participants will learn how to systematically define, structure, analyse, and solve
    novel, complex problems. A central premise of this course is, however, that any solution is only
    valuable if it is also communicated effectively – in other words: problem-solving and the
    communication of solutions have to go hand-in-hand. Therefore, participants of this course will
    also learn how to structure and design convincing presentations.

    Required Textbooks and Materials
    Minto, B.: The Pyramid Principle, London, 2001.
    Zelazny, G.: Say it with charts, 3rd ed., New York 1996.

    Academic Plan
    1. Identifying problems
    2. Structuring problems
    3. Analyzing problems
    4. Communicating solutions
    5. Managing in the problem-solving process

    Grading Policy
    The grading of this course is based on a team presentation. Here, you are challenged with an
    actual management situation. Being a member of a project team, you have to prepare and
    communicate a solution to a management task. The specific task as well as the team
    distribution will be laid out towards the end of the course.

  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Nietert: Entscheidung, Finanzierung und Investition (held in German)

    lecture, Monday 4pm - 6pm


    Research Questions
    - How should I make decisions?
    - How can I separate good real investments and good funding opportunities from bad ones?
    - What is risk? How can I measure and manage it?

    1 Introduction
    1.1 Basics
    1.2 Basics of decision theory
    1.3 Types of investments and financing
    2 Investment evaluation under certainty
    2.1 Determination of cash flows under certainty
    2.2 A first approach to investment evaluation under certainty: problem and fundamentals
    2.3 Classical investment evaluation under certainty
    2.4 Modern investment evaluation under certainty
    3 Financing evaluation under certainty
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Financing that is directly related to investment
    3.3 Financing that is not related to investment
    4 Risk
    4.1 Getting to know risk
    4.2 Determination of cash flows under risk
    4.3 Management of risk
  • Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Financial Accounting - An International Perspective (held in English)

    lecture, tba


    Basic knowledge of financial accounting and/or corporate financing is helpful, but not required. Participants should, however, be interested in the economic analysis on firm and/or country level.

    Course description:
    In recent years countries around the world have either adopted the capital marketoriented International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or adjusted their national financial  accounting standards accordingly. With the IFRS being deeply linked to a corporate governance system typical for the US or Great Britain, companies are supposed to be primarily financed by equity and/or debt offered on well-developed capital markets. Employed managers (and not the equity holders themselves) manage companies and (strategic) decisions of firms are typically made with a strict reference to market parameters. In such systems, ownership structures are characterized by high rates of free float and labor markets are rather deregulated following a “hire and fire”- philosophy. Hence, the question arises if a strictly capital market-based standardsetting is suitable for other countries in the light of national corporate governance systems which differ from the US-system due to unique path dependencies, cultures as well as socio-economic traditions. If these unique characteristics prevail or can only slowly be adjusted, national regulatory policies and changes of the institutional framework are deemed ineffective. Thus, the introduction of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or capital market-based reforms of national accounting standards as well as reforms of the corporate law might not be suitable for all countries. Such a situation would result in a regulatory paradox of “legal form over economic substance”. 

    The seminar aims at exploring some of the sketched differences by an empirical analysis of selected topics from the field of “comparative corporate governance/financial accounting”. Based on samples of the 100 biggest corporations from countries around the world, given annual reports as the main “database” and prepared checklists for the analysis participants are supposed to analyze the financing patterns and the capital market environment empirically to derive and discuss implications for the standardsetting process with regard to financial accounting as well as corporate governance in general. Topics include – among others – a wide variety of issues such as ownership and control, corporate financing and additional capital market-based parameters (e.g. corporate ratings), manager remuneration schemes, the effectiveness of soft laws (e.g. codes of ethics) as well as the relevance of corporate social responsibility. Thus, the main question is: Are capital market-based financial accounting standards suitable for economies around the world given country-specific differences in corporate governance systems?

    Participants can either work individually or in groups of up to three students. The results of the individual or joint work have to be presented at different stages of the project
    and a short final essay has to be handed in. Assistance will be given on a regular basis.

    Alexander, David et al. [2019]: International Financial Reporting and Analysis, 8th Edition, Cengage Learning: Andover.
    Calkoen, Willem J.L. (Ed.) [2019]: The Corporate Governance Review, 9th Edition, Law Business Research: London.
    Goergen, Marc [2017]: International Corporate Governance, 2nd Edition, Pearson: Harlow.
    Larcker, David/Tayan, Brian [2021]: Corporate Governance Matters, 3rd Edition, Pearson: Upper Saddle River.
    Mallin, Christine A. (Ed.) [2011]: Handbook on International Corporate Governance - Country Analyses, 2nd Edition, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham/Northampton.
    Penman, Stephen H. [2013]: Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill: New York.
    Weygandt, Jerry J./Kimmel, Paul D./Kieso, Donald E. [2015]: Financial Accounting – IFRS Edition, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken.

  • Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Sustainability - Cases & Methods (held in English)

    lecture, tba



    Participants should be interested in the relationship between corporate governance and sustainability activities / reporting. Basic knowledge of empirical research methods is helpful, but not required.

    Course description:

    Companies today are expected not only to maximize their value and provide relevant financial information about the ongoing business but are also presumed to engage in environmental and social activities as an integral part of their management process. Such activities are typically made transparent towards stakeholders through “corporate social responsibility” (CSR)-reporting using guidelines introduced by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Such additional reporting has not only gotten increasing attention in shareholder-oriented ‘exit’ systems of corporate governance but in particular in bank-based insider systems prevalent in continental Europe and Asia.

    The relationship between corporate governance-frameworks and CSR is complex and ambiguous. CSR is associated with potential benefits for the company, that, however, are long-term and uncertain. Thus, whether the costs associated with CSR outweigh its benefits crucially depends on the time horizon as well as on the effects of certain governance mechanisms (= firm characteristics) on the success of firms. In this course, we start with a thorough introduction into the fundamentals of corporate governance (as an economic interpretation of corporate law focusing on organizational and strategic features as well as financial aspects) and go on with reviewing existing empirical evidence regarding the relevance of firm-specific corporate governance attributes for the decision-making about CSR activities and reporting. Participants further apply the gained conceptual knowledge by working on case studies comparing the practice of CSR-reporting in large listed companies from different countries. Finally, the empirical base allows for a detailed discussion of insights as well as implications.


    Fifka, M.S. [2013]: Corporate Responsibility Reporting and its Determinants in Comparative Perspective – a Review of the Empirical Literature and a Meta-analysis, in: Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 22, pp.1-35.

    Jain, T. / Jamali, D. [2016]: Looking Inside the Black Box: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Corporate Social Responsibility, in: Corporate Governance: An International Review, Vol. 24(3), pp.253-273.

    KPMG [2017]: The road ahead. The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017,

    Rao, K. / Tilt, C. [2016]: Board Composition and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Diversity, Gender, Strategy and Decision Making, in: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 138, pp.327-347.

  • Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Schulte-Runne: Introduction to Institutional Economics (held in English)    

    lecture, Wednesday 12pm - 2pm


    Institutions define “the rules of the game”. We will look at four kinds of problems that may require
    particular rules: cooperation problems, coordination problems, imperfect information and concentration
    of market power, and we will see how these problems give rise to transaction costs. The presence of
    transaction costs in turn gives rise to the relevance of governance structures, e.g. whether transactions
    are better executed within a firm or on a market. We will have a closer look at the possible governance
    structures in the light of the problems mentioned above. Besides the governance structures that private
    parties can choose, another option to deal with the above problems is state intervention, which may
    come along with its own specific problems, on which institutional economics offers a perspective as well.
    In this course, you will be exposed to the following questions: What are institutions? How do they come
    about? How are they embedded? How do they change? How do economic outcomes depend on the
    institutional framework? What kind of institutions are suitable to tackle cooperation problems,
    coordination problems, and problems originating from an asymmetric distribution of information or a
    concentration of market power? What are transaction costs, what are their origins, and how to minimize
    them? What are potential problems when the state intervenes?

    Learning goals
    Your course work is supposed to enable you to give answers to the above questions, and to:
    • explain the role of institutions as solutions for social dilemmas, coordination problems and to govern
    • assess the relevance of transaction costs for different kinds of transactions and the suitability of different
       mechanisms to reduce transaction costs in the presence of imperfect information,
    • point at institutional differences as possible explanations for differences in behavior and performance,
    • apply concepts and arguments from institutional economics to simple problems, and to
    • evaluate alternative institutional solutions.

    Key concepts
    Institutions, (bounded) rationality, social dilemma, trust, coordination problem, equilibrium multiplicity,
    transaction costs, property rights, public goods, the tragedy of the commons, externalities, asymmetric
    information, moral hazard, adverse selection, reputation, signaling, (incomplete) contracts, hold-up
    problem, asset specificity, commitment problem

    Ideally, you have completed the course “Introduction to Economics” before this course. In particular, we
    take it for granted that you are familiar with concepts such as utility functions, optimization, or Pareto
    efficiency, and we assume that you are comfortable with taking derivatives, taking expectations of simple
    lotteries, and simple algebra.
    You will find most of the material covered in one (or both) of these text books:
    • Groenewegen, Spinthoven & van den Berg (2010): Institutional Economics—An Introduction. Palgrave
    • Voigt (2019): Institutional Economics—An Introduction. Cambridge University Press

Subject Area: English Studies 

  • Prof. Dr. Sonja Fielitz: Love, Sex and Money in Early Modern Plays (held in English)           

    seminar, Tuesday 4pm - 6pm


    The later 16th and earlier 17th centuries belong to the most vibrant and outstanding periods of British and European literature, and this in the fields of epic, drama, and poetry. In a rapidly changing world that witnessed (among other things) changing moral values as well as upcoming capitalism, dramatists such as Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and others addressed the topical issues of contemporary life in a variety of plays. In class, we will discuss William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure of the end of the 16th century, Ben Jonson’s Volpone (c 1606) and John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity she is a Whore (1633). These four plays must be read before the seminar starts; there will be an introductory test about their content in the first session.

  • Prof. Dr. Sonja Fielitz: Rewritings of Classical British Texts (17th to 20th centuries)       

    seminar, Thursday 10am - 12pm


    The works of famous British authors have not only fascinated readers and theatregoers for centuries but have also inspired authors for creative rewritings. In class, we will will first focus on Shakespeare’s drama Hamlet (c. 1606) and John Updike’s novel Gertrude and Claudius (2000) which shifts the focus of Hamlet on to the doomed prince’s parents and uncle and thus casts new light on marriage, (in)fidelity and family life. In a second part, we will address Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre (1847) which saw its ingenious rewriting in Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), a novel by the Dominican-British author Jean Rhys. Focussing on the background to Mr. Rochester's marriage from the point-of-view of his wife Antoinette Coway, a Creole heiress, Rhys rewrote Bronte’s classic from a postcolonial and feminist point of view.

    These four works must be read before the seminar starts; there will be an introductory test about their content in the first session. Please note that this seminar requires extensive knowledge of literary and cultural contexts and is thus not suitable for beginners, that is, students in their 1st to 3rd semesters.

  • Dr. Evelyn Koch: Author, Playwright, Translator, Spy - Aphra Behn and Restoration Literature   

    seminar, Thursday 2pm - 4pm

    Content: tba 

Subject Area: German Studies 

  • Prof. Dr. Volker Mergenthaler: »Des Hexameters Maas« – »Römische Elegien« in Schillers Horen (held in German)

    seminar, Wednesday 6pm - 8pm

    Content: 1795 erscheinen zwanzig »Römische Elegien« in Schillers neu gegründeter Zeitschrift Die Horen. Wer sie geschrieben hat? Erst am Ende des Jahres und Jahrgangs entdecken Die Horen Goethe als Verfasser des Zyklus. Das Seminar sucht ausgewählte Elegien mit den Händen, Augen und Ohren derjenigen zu rezipieren, die 1795 im sechsten Heft der Horen – ein Originaldruck liegt vor, ebenso ein Digitalisat – darauf gestoßen sind. Die »Elegien« sind darin nicht nur anonym abgedruckt, sondern in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft anderer poetologisch aufschlußreicher Beiträge. Im Verbund mit diesen geben sie ethisch-ästhetische Konturen dessen zu erkennen, was später die Bezeichnung Weimarer Klassizismus erhält. Vorgesehen ist, die Gedichte akribischen Lektüren zu unterziehen und sie in den kulturpolitischen und kunsttheoretischen Koordinaten der 1790er Jahre zu vermessen.
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Mergenthaler: Deutschsprachige Undergrund-Literatur und ihre Medien (1970er und 80er Jahre) (held in German)

    seminar, Thursday 8am-10am

    Eintausendzweihundertfünfundneunzig Seiten umfaßt die 2006 erschienene zweite, aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage der Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart, allein 55 Seiten das »Register der Personen, Werke und Periodica«. Hunderte Namen von Autorinnen und Autoren sind gelistet – nicht aber diejenigen von Jürgen Ploog und Jörg Fauser, den vielleicht prominentesten Autoren der deutschsprachigen, als widerständig, vulgär, minderwertig klassifizierten Underground-Literatur. Noch nicht einmal von der Existenz dieser Literatur scheint die monumentale Literaturgeschichte Notiz genommen zu haben. Wer in den Untergrund geht, möchte unsichtbar sein und sollte die Institutionen des etablierten Literaturbetriebs, der Mid- und High-Culture daher meiden: ihre Agenturen, Verlage, Veranstaltungen. Es gilt nach alternativen Formen literarischer Kommunikation Ausschau zu halten. Die Underground-Literatur konstituiert sich und handelt ihre Grenzen aus in Publikationen alternativer Verlage, in medialen Formaten und Distributionsformen, die das ›Unter-dem-Radar-Bleiben‹ in einer auf buchförmige Literatur geeichten Kultur gewährleisten. Das Seminar wird sich für diese Strategien interessieren, wichtige Texte (Cola-Hinterland, Aqualunge, Die Harry Gelb Story) lesen, wichtige Zeitschriften (Ulcus Molle Info, Gasolin, Boa Vista) in Augenschein nehmen und zu klären versuchen, woher und wie die Underground-Literatur Anregungen bezogen hat (US-Beat-Literatur u.a.) und wovon und wie sie sich abzugrenzen versucht hat (Gruppe 47 u.a.).

  • Prof. Dr. Doren Wohlleben: Rhetorik / Literatur / Vermittlung (held in German)

    lecture, Wednesday 12pm - 2pm


    Die Vorlesung hat ein doppeltes Anliegen: Sie möchte zum einen in die Geschichte und Theorie der Rhetorik einführen, wobei ein Schwerpunkt auf den europäischen Grundlagentexten der Antike (Aristoteles, Cicero, Quintilian et al.) sowie deren Rezeption bis ins 20. Jhd. liegen wird (zur Anschaffung empfohlen wird die „Rhetorik“ von Aristoteles). Zum anderen wird sie auf der Basis vielfältigen Text-, Ton- und Bildmaterials den Versuch wagen, klassische Rhetorikmodelle auf neue Medienformate anzuwenden, also eine rhetorische Praxis der Literaturvermittlung zu skizzieren. Gastredner*innen aus dem Literaturbetrieb sowie aus Nachbardisziplinen sollen dem interdisziplinären Anspruch einer solchen auch audiovisuellen Rhetorik gerecht werden.

  • Prof. Dr. Hania Siebenpfeiffer: Literarische Utopien/Dystopien der Gegenwart (held in German)

    seminar, Tuesday 10am-12pm

    Content: tba

Subject Area: History 

  • Prof. Dr. Christian Kleinschmidt: Einführung in die Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensgeschichte (held in German)

    lecture, Wednesday 10am-12pm


    Unternehmen sind zentrale Akteure der wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung und haben zudem einen hohen Alltagsbezug. Das betrifft etwa Fragen des Konsums unseres alltäglichen Bedarfs oder auch die Funktion von Unternehmen als potentielle Arbeitgeber, die für Studierende der Geschichtswissenschaften (nicht nur der Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte) mit ihren spezifischen Recherchekenntnissen und kommunikativen Kompetenzen ein zunehmend interessantes Arbeitsfeld darstellen. Das betrifft aber auch die Behandlung von Unternehmen und Unternehmensgeschichte im Geschichts- und POWI-Unterricht, die bislang eher unterbelichtet ist.
    Die Rolle von Unternehmen wird in der Geschichtsschreibung kontrovers diskutiert. Sie gelten einerseits als Träger von Innovationen, Wirtschaftswachstum und gesellschaftlichem Wohlstand, andererseits als Mitverantwortliche für Krisen, Kriegstreiber und globale Ausbeutungsmechanismen.
    In historischen Darstellungen wie auch im Geschichtsunterricht ist die Bedeutung von Unternehmen jedoch nach wie vor stark unterbelichtet. Die Vorlesung möchte einen Einblick geben in zentrale Fragen der Unternehmensgeschichte und diese im Kontext der wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts betrachten. Das betrifft u.a. Aspekte der Gründung und der Unternehmensorganisation, des Unternehmertums, die Rolle der Arbeiterschaft und der Belegschaften, Absatzstrategien, Werbung und Marketing, technische Entwicklungen und Fragen der internationalen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen sowie der Globalisierung, die jeweils exemplarisch für unterschiedliche Phasen im Untersuchungszeitraum behandelt werden. Thematisiert wird auch die Rolle von Unternehmen in Kriegs- und Krisenzeiten (z.B. Erster und Zweiter Weltkrieg/NS). Darüber hinaus werden methodische und theoretische Aspekte der Unternehmensgeschichtsschreibung behandelt.


    Ahrens, Ralf: Unternehmensgeschichte, in Dokupedia-Zeitgeschichte 2019 (; Ahrens, Ralf/Sattler, Friederike: Unternehmensgeschichte, in: clio-online 2018 (; Berghoff, Hartmut: Moderne Unternehmensgeschichte, Paderborn 2004; Hesse, Jan-Otmar: Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Frankfurt, New York 2013; Jones, Geoffrey, Zeitlin, Jonathan (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Business History, New York 2007; Köster, Roman: Einführung in die Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Leiden, Boston, Paderborn 2020; Plumpe ,Werner: Unternehmensgeschichte im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Berlin, Boston 2018; Pierenkemper, Toni: Unternehmensgeschichte. Eine Einführung in ihre Methoden und Ergebnisse, Stuttgart 2000.

  • Prof. Dr. Christian Kleinschmidt: Die 70er Jahre (held in German)

    seminar, Thursday 2pm-4pm


    Die 1970er Jahre gelten nach dem „Aufbruch“ von „1968“ als „Jahrzehnt der Verunsicherung“ (P. Sarasin), als Phase, die das „Ende der Zuversicht“ (K. Jarausch) oder die Zeit „Nach dem Boom“ (A. Doering-Manteuffel; L. Raphael) markiert. Im Hauptseminar sollen diese - vor allem aus dem Bereich der Zeitgeschichtsschreibung stammenden - Zuschreibungen und Periodisierungen aus wirtschafts-, sozial- und kulturhistorischer Perspektive diskutiert und anhand zentraler Themen (Strukturwandel und Wirtschaftskrise, Familie und Geschlechterbeziehungen, Kunst/Musik/Kultur) im nationalen wie internationalen Kontext analysiert werden. Dabei interessiert auch die Frage, wie sinnvoll und aussagekräftig an Dezennien orientierte Periodisierungen in der Wirtschafts-, Sozial-und Kulturgeschichte sind. Aufgrund der Breite des Themenspektrums richten sich die zu behandelnden Themen und Fallbeispiele stark nach den Interessensschwerpunkten der TeilnehmerInnen. Vorgesehen sind auch Kurzexkursionen wie etwa ein Museums- und Archivbesuch.


    Abelshauser, Werner: Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte. Von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart, München 2004; Andresen, K., Bitzegeio, U., Mittag, J. (Hg.): Nach dem Strukturbruch? Kontinuität und Wandel von Arbeitswelten, Bonn 2011; Bösch, Frank: Zeitenwende 1979. Als die Welt von heute begann, München 2019; Doering-Manteuffel, A., Raphael, L.: Nach dem Boom. Perspektiven auf die Zeitgeschichte seit 1970, Göttingen 2008; Faulstich, W. (HG.): Die Kultur der 70er Jahre, München 2004; Jarausch, K.H. (Hg.): Das Ende der Zuversicht? Die siebziger Jahre als Geschichte, Göttingen 2008; Sarasin, Philipp: 1977. Eine kurze Geschichte der Gegenwart, Berlin 2021; Schildt, Axel, Siegfried, Detlef: Deutsche Kulturgeschichte. Die Bundesrepublik von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart, München 2009.

  • Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze: Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1945/49-1990 (held in German)    

    lecture, Friday 10am - 12pm


    Four years after the end of Nazi Germany and the Second World War a democratic (West)German state was established in 1949: the Federal Republic of Germany. The lecture course (held in German) traces the history of the Federal Republic looking at foreign and domestic politics, social and economic developments, cultural aspects and the question how Germans after 1945 were dealing with their Nazi past. The course ends with the re-unification of Germany in 1990.

Subject Area: Linguistics

Subject Area: Media Studies

  • Prof. Dr. Angela Krewani: Social Media and Affect (held in English)

    seminar, Monday 2pm - 4pm


    Over the last years, Social Media have turned into agents of political disinformation and personal unrest. This class seeks to trace the special structures of social media communication and their connection with personal involvement. We will be analyzing communication forms on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, and their grip on the affective parts of media subjects. Please be aware that we will be reading and discussing theoretical texts on social media, digital communication and theories of affect. We will also watch filmic examples of affective behaviour within social media. A syllabus will be provided in the first meeting, for relevant information please go to ILIAS.

Subject Area: Peace and Conflict Studies

Subject Area: Religious Studies

  • Gerrit Lange: Schlangen, Leiber, Unterwelten: Streifzüge durch die Mythologie (held in German)

    seminar, Thursday 12pm-2pm


    In diesem Seminar werden wir mythologische Texte aus verschiedenen Kulturen und Regionen lesen, die einiges gemeinsam haben:

    In einer Welt unter der Welt der Menschen leben schlangenartige Wesen. Mal stehen sie den Menschen, Gott oder den Göttern feindlich gegenüber, mal sind sie selber Gottheiten, die das Wasser oder andere Schätze aus der Unterwelt bringen. Manchmal formen sie mit ihren Körpern diese Welt, manchmal verschlingen, durchbohren oder vergiften sie die Körper von Menschen, die nach dem Tode in ihre Unterwelt gelangen.

    In jedem Fall spielt Mythologie nicht in einer abstrakten, fernen Welt der Gedanken und Ideen. Ganz im Gegenteil: die menschlichen, tierischen, dämonischen oder göttlichen Wesen, von denen es in diesen Geschichten nur so wimmelt, haben blutende, weinende, schmerzende oder wonnevolle Körper wie wir Menschen auch. Auch die Geschichten selber bleiben selten körperlos, beschränkt auf Text oder Worte - sie werden aufgeführt, rituell inszeniert, theatralisch nachempfunden und gefühlt. Zudem geht es darin oft um die Entstehung der Welt oder der konkreten Landschaft, in der die Menschen leben, die sie sich erzählen: Mythen gehen den Menschen nahe.

  • Anna Matter: Digitale Ethnographie religiöser Lebenswelten (held in German)

    seminar, Tuesday 12pm - 2pm

    Content: tba

Subject Area: Social and Cultural Anthropology

Subject Area: Sociology

  • Prof. Dr. Martin Schröder: Gender and social inequality (held in English)

    seminar, Thursday 12pm - 2pm

    Currently, women have higher educational qualifications than men in almost all developed countries. Nevertheless, they work less often, especially in top positions. Why is that? Which countries make it possible to combine work and family and which policy are they using to do so? What do women say why they are less successful? Can we identify areas where men are disadvantaged?

    This seminar will use empirical studies to explore how material disadvantages can be explained by one’s gender. It with therefore also train students’ competence in quantitative and qualitative methods.

    We will look at introductory literature on empirically identifiable gender inequalities in labor markets using some of the best empirical studies available. Furthermore, we will find out whether discrimination can be traced back to gender or parenthood through studies that use lab and field experiments. In addition, we will find out how welfare states differentiate and discriminate between men and women and how this affects their labor market behavior.

    An important aspect of this seminar is that it is only concerned with what is measurable, such as income, productivity and qualifications. It is well-known that variables such as gender, productivity, etc. can be considered social constructions; However, it is not the goal of the seminar to fundamentally question this, but to make it usable as a basis for statistical calculations. In other words, we will use multivariate regressions to test how gender is a category that can explain social inequality, both at the individual level as well as on the level of entire societies. Statistical knowledge is highly recommended, but can also be acquired through the seminar.

    At the end of this seminar, you will have understood some of the world's most important social science research articles. In doing so, you will learn the methods with which researchers achieve methodologically sound results. You will not only understand empirical research results, but also be able to recognize and criticize weak points.

    The seminar concludes with a term paper. For this term paper, you will work on a self-chosen topic that is related to the seminar topics. You have to process the literature of the seminar for your housework. That is why you can only write a good term paper if you regularly show up to class, read the texts and ask questions.

    It is possible that you will not downright understand all texts that we are going to read. That is ok. If you understood everything right away, you would not need a seminar, after all. So bring your questions to the seminar. By having them answered, you will start to understand scientific studies. As you read each text, try to ask and answer the following questions:
    • Which research question does the text answer? Why is this question relevant?
    • What assumptions did the text make? How are these plausible?
    • How does the text answer the chosen question?
    • What do you learn from the text?

    If it is an empirical work:
    • What data does the text use? Is the underlying method appropriate?
    • How appropriate is the data, in view of the conclusions to which they lead?
    • How could the present work be extended or improved? What are its weaknesses?
    • What remains unclear to you? What did not you understand about the method?

    Write down open questions and bring them to the seminar. I expect constant presence and participation. As we read research literature rather than textbooks, many of the methods used will be unknown to you. It's about getting to know them.

    For questions on how to read the texts, how to give a good presentation, how to write a good term paper and what criteria I use to grade, please see the uploaded documents on the following page:

    All texts to be read can be found in this course folder in ILIAS. The consecutive numbering of texts tells you when we read what. I have left some sessions free, because I would like you to think about what you are interested in at the beginning of the seminar, so that we can read these texts at the end.  

Class Lists from Previous Semesters

Spring 2022

Fall 2021

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

German Conversation Classes

The main goal of our Conversation Classes is to improve students' ability to communicate and interact in German. The classes focus on teaching students conversational techniques and strategies, improving students’ listening abilities, and strengthening students’ grasp of German grammar and vocabulary. The conversation classes will have the same language levels as the intensive German language classes.