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Art, Museums & Cultural Memory (with excursion to Berlin)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Arts and Culture: Museum Studies / Art History, research master Arts and Culture, research master Arts, Literature and Media. Students of the MA Arts and Culture: Museum Studies take priority.

Students of the MA Archeologie: Heritage and Museum Studies who are interested and who are not enrolled in the Master Arts and Culture should contact the Coordinator of Studies in order to enroll, only possible if there are places left.


The role of museums in the construction of cultural memory, and thus in the (re)building of identities, has been widely acknowledged in museum and cultural studies. Although museums long presented a scripted, authorative narrative of the past, they no longer form the exclusive space for memorialisation. In this excursion course, we will study (art) museums and monuments in Berlin, in order to analyse processes and dynamics of cultural memory and identity formation. The unique historical circumstances of Berlin (World War II; Division and Unification) allow us to closely consider the traces these events have left in the cultural and artistic fabric of the city.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Be able to critically review concepts important in museum studies, memory studies and cultural studies regarding museums, memorials and heritage sites.

  • Be demonstrable skilled in formulating a research question within the framework of this course, and putting together a relevant bibliography.

  • Be able to independently research a museological or art historical topic; to critically review the relevant scholarly literature and primary sources; to present research results both in a presentation (15 mins) and a written report (c. 5000 words).

  • Research Master students that take this course will write a paper that reflects the demands of the Research Master. That is, they will have to formulate more complex and original research questions than the MA students, include a critical positioning towards the state of the art of its subject, and produce a longer paper (6000 words excluding annotations and bibliography instead of 5000 words).


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursion

Assessment method


  • Presentation (25%)

  • Research Paper of 5000 words (excl. references) (75%); 6000 words (excl references) for ResMA-students


The final grade is the average of the two grades (25% and 75%) A student passes the class if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.


The re-sit can consist of one or two parts: there is a re-sit for the paper (75%) and/or an alternative assignment (25%).

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The Syllabus and Reading List for this course will be made available through Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


The excursion to Berlin is optional for this course. It will take place in the first or second week of June 2023, and last for three days (excl. travel time). Students have to arrange for transport and accommodation themselves. There are no (travel) funds available.