Fields and Fragments of German Media Studies - from collective distraction to cultural techniques

Fields and Fragments of German Media Studies - from collective distraction to cultural techniques

Course dates:
18 July, 2020 to 15 August, 2020
1,100 €
Multidisciplinary, Social Sciences
Application deadline:
Saturday, 20 June, 2020
Freie Universität Berlin International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS)
Berlin, Germany

Course Description

The notions of ‘media’, ‘medium’, ‘mediation’, ‘medialization’ or ‘mediatization’ have occupied authors in the humanities for decades and have led to the emergence of new university programs as much as they initiated debates about the boundaries of already existing disciplines. Whereas some celebrated the plurality of models and concepts in the new program of media studies, others called for more distinction or mapped the different positions within the field. For example, differences were found between German media theory and Anglo-American medium theory, and some authors would even refer of a ‘Berlin brand of media theory’.

In this course, we will collectively scrutinize this labelling and widen the frame by discussing different historical and contemporary examples of research about media and communication in Berlin and Germany. We will focus on the period from the 1920s onwards and increasingly move towards the present. As we go along, we will build bridges between historical positions and contemporary ones, providing a sense for continuities and discontinuities in media theoretical positions and formats of media critique. Through the collective experience and critical discussion of texts, films and field trips, students will gain a wide understanding of the problems and objects of media-theoretical inquiry and of its historical and geographical context.

The overarching questions this course seeks to answer are: "What are common themes and issues in media theory and media critique?", "How did they develop in or refer to the particular context of Berlin?"

Altogether, this course has four intents: It serves as an introduction to problems in media studies for newcomers; it particularly focuses on media studies in Germany and Berlin for those already more familiar with questions in the field; it enquires about Berlin as both production site and object of media research; and it seeks to attenuate the labelling of a Berlin brand of media studies.


FUBiS offers the following accommodation options:

  • Single room in shared apartments at the student dorms
  • Youth hostel JuLi
  • Homestay with Berlin host family
  • The Student Hotel

For more details on the different accommodation options, please click here.


The easiest way to register for FUBiS is by using the online registration form. You can find detailed information on how to register here.

Registration deadline is June 20, 2020.

ECTS accreditation


Contact information


Phone: +49 30 838 73 472