Courses 2015

Course Description Time Instructor
 Experience the World (Undergraduate Level)
New: The African Union The course will provide an introduction into the beginnings of Panafricanism and explains why and how the African Union came into being. As a very young international institution the AU is still in a process of institutional and political changes. The course will explain the present structure of the AU, its institutions and their particular role in the organization.
Following the introduction into the institutional set up of the AU, the course will offer an insight into the important role of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the process of cooperation and integration in Africa. It will also take a look at the European integration process in comparison with the present African visions and realities of integration on the continent. Then, the focus will move on to the principle field of action of the AU at present: Peace and Security in Africa. It will explain the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), its present state and its perspectives.The African Governance Architecture and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) will also be looked at more closely.
A major objective of the course is to help strengthen your ability to make a qualified judgement of Africa’s present and future role in the context of our globalized world. Therefore, the course will wind up by examining Africa’s and the AU’s role in the global context. It will offer an overview about strategic partnerships of the AU, its role in the United Nations and will also make an assessment of the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Africa. 
22.-30.01.2015 Former ambassador Dr. Claas Knopp
New: Radical Perspectives in LiteratureHow do you understand the Law? What is your relationship to it? Many of you undoubtedly “obey the law”, but why? Is the law also how we understand morality? What if by obeying the law you find yourself being immoral? In this course, we will approach the Law with a healthy dose of suspicion and question its authority/legitimacy. When much of the population hears the term “anarchy”, they think of chaos (an attempt of Marx to malign anarchist thought) or people dressed in black breaking windows. In fact, the popular image of the “A” inside a circle (or rather an “O”: Ⓐ) is from a quote from Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: “Anarchy is the mother of Order”. Anarchy and Anarchisms (there are a variety of them) believe, simply put, that a centralized state government is not necessary for the control of a people. Many anarchists believe the State, oppressive hierarchies, or any centralized form of governance is a consolidation of power that uses that power to sustain itself on the backs of those that do not possess power—i.e., oppression. In this vein, the course will seek to identify the variety of powers, oppressions, hierarchies, and general forms of restrictive power that are utilized to control, manipulate, interpolate, and cajole individuals into a desired behavior. For our literary analysis, we will be utilizing a form of anarchism referred to “Postanarchism”. This does not mean, “the thing that comes after anarchy”, but rather the merging of poststructuralist thought with anarchist thought. After investigating some aspects of anarchism, we will venture into postanarchism, and then use our new knowledge to analyze possible anarchist trends within literature, as well as, identify the function and legitimacy of the Law.Preliminary Syllabus 12.-20.01.2015 Dr. Christian Beck (University of Central Florida); Giselda Beaudin (Rollins College)
Intercultural Competence – in cooperation with InterCultur gGmbHIntercultural competence (IC) is the ability to effectively communicate and deal with others in intercultural settings. The widely shared understanding of IC divides the concept into three main categories: knowledge, skills, and attitudes, all of which will be examined in this course. To achieve this, the course consists of two pillars: 1) A mainly theoretical part will assess culture’s impact on the human mind and 2) a more practically oriented part will look at the foundations and applications of intercultural trainings. In order to bridge the gap between theory and practice, the course will be offered in collaboration with practitioners with long-term training experience from InterCultur gGmbH. As part of an additional workshop participants can earn a certificate Intercultural Trainer.Find more information here! 12.-23.01.2015 Prof. Dr. Ullrich Kühnen (Jacobs University Bremen); Annette Gisevius, Frauke Peter, Hannes Wacker (InterCultur gGmbH)
Human Trafficking This course will examine the definition of human trafficking and study a number of legal instruments (Conventions and laws) to come to a full understanding of how human trafficking is defined. A discussion turns to what we actually know about human trafficking –how we measure the problem, why it is so difficult to determine just how many persons are being trafficked and whether a person is a trafficked victim. The course explores the different perspectives from which we can examine trafficking – as a criminal justice and organized crime problem, but also from the perspective of supply and demand, human rights, immigration, poverty and gender inequality.Preliminary Course Syllabus
12.-20.01.2015 Prof. Dr. Alexis Aronowitz (University College Utrecht)
Art, Literature and Society: Hegel’s Aesthetics and its Followers (Marx, Lukacs, Adorno)The course offers an introduction to the interdependence of art, literature, and society. The frame of reference will be Hegel’s Aesthetics and its tradition.
Hegel for the first time used History and System as organizing principle of the philosophical aesthetics by construing the whole field of art and especially of literature under the double aspect of the diachronic “evolution of the specific forms of art” and of the synchronic “system of the particular arts.” Based on Hegel’s connection of the forms of art with the respective “state of the world [Weltzustand]” – from the “heroic age” to the “present prosaic states” – a century later Lukács outlines his Theory of the Novel as one of the outstanding contributions to literary theory in the 20th century. Later he distanced himself from it from the point of view of orthodox Marxism. As an alternative to this Adorno outlined his Aesthetic Theory, made concrete in his essays on music and on literature. Instruction focuses on the theoretical potential of this tradition by discussing theoretical texts from its founding period and its later evolution. The course aims to give students an understanding of the usefulness of philosophical aesthetics and of its applicability to actual problems in Literary and Cultural Studies.Preliminary Course Syllabus
22.-30.01.2015 Prof. Dr. Henrik Birus (Jacobs University Bremen)
New: Religious Communities in the Globalized WorldSince the seventies of the 20th century religious communities are spreading rapidly on a global scale: not hierarchical institutions of church, mosque and synagogue, but voluntary associations. Laymen establish various forms of religious associations in the public realm. External circumstances accelerate that trend. Pressures from globalization compel the classical nation state to turn over public services to the market and to private actors. Religious associations are claiming responsibility for the well-being of the community and become providers for most of these services (education, media, welfare, medical care, legal arbitration and economic development); due to this trend their social capital becomes crucial to contemporary civil society.
In the West religious communities since long have received aid from the nation state when assisting needy people. In the Middle-East the state as administrative apparatus did never monopolize public services; here religious associations were solely responsible. In the diaspora Muslim labour migrants are establishing centres for social services on their own along with their ritual places. Due to technologies of communication and travelling their associations remain part of transnational networks. In regions and times of crisis these religious communities are creating armed wings to protect their territory. This explains new types of religious violence. Today Jewish, Christian and Muslim associations operate independently of the state and sometimes even in competition with it. This development imbues familiar issues as mission or conversion with new meanings: the inclusion in social networks.
Voluntary associations are the matrix for post-traditional types of religiosity. Pentecostalism, Fundamentalism, Esotericism, Apocalypticism, Kabbalah, Islamism do have their roots in religious history, but they derive persuasive power from their ability to define the situation of human beings in the present world and to give them a place in a new kind of community.
22.-30.01.2015 Prof. Dr. Hans Kippenberger (Jacobs University Bremen)
New: Literature and Theory in Global PerspectiveThis course introduces theories of text and textuality on the basis that literature constitutes a multitude of particular discursive practices in a globalized world. The course covers the theories of interpretation, analysis and contextualization in poetry, narrative and drama. It conveys fundamental insights into epistemological paradigms in the history of literary theory, focusing on text and context, the role of author and reader, the problems and limits of mimetic representation, and cultural and intercultural correspondences of literature. Selections from “canonical” texts on literary theory and major positions on text and textuality, i.e. applied literary theory from Antiquity (Plato, Aristotle) through 18th- and 19th-century aesthetics to contemporary literary theory. The global perspective provides a new perspective on literature that demands the application and – simultaneously –
reorientation of literary and cultural theory.
12.-20.01.2015 Dr. Weihua He (Visiting Professor of History at Jacobs University Bremen)
New: Theories of Art and Art History The course offers an introduction to the “reading” of visual art and familiarizes students with the basic technical terms, key analytic concepts, and fundamental theoretical methods of art history.
Instruction focuses on the analysis and interpretation of original art works, including painting, sculpture, design, graphic works, photography, and installations. Analyzing art works, reaching from examples of Medieval altar painting, Renaissance drawings, and Baroque sculpture to abstraction and contemporary art, the course centers around the methods of form and content analysis and addresses the writings of Winckelmann, Riegl, Wölfflin, Warburg, Panofsky, Greenberg, and key proponents of the “New Art History,” including Marxist, feminist and psychoanalytic critical theories. Aim of the course is to give students an understanding of the various forms of representation in their historical settings as well as their broader theoretical significance.Preliminary Syllabus
21.-29.01.2015 Prof. Dr. Isabel Wünsche (Jacobs University Bremen)
New: Mathematical Methods for Logistics and Economy
(for graduate students)The course is an introduction to basic concepts from linear algebra, probability, and optimization, with view on their applications in Logistics and Economy. Since methods and techniques from these fields are extensively used for building quantitative models in all areas of Science, Engineering, and Economy, the course may also be used to refresh or deepen mathematical knowledge on graduate level. Topics covered are vectore and matrix theory, linear systems, least-squares methods, basic probability and random variables, examples of random processes (Markov chains, Poisson process, queuing systems); classification of optimization problems (on examples), linear programs and duality, elements of smooth optimization. Theory and worked examples are presented in daily lectures and seminars, active participation of the students is expected.
12.-30.01.2015 N.N.