The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

February 29 Graduate Center-Humboldt University Summer Seminar

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2016 Graduate Center-Humboldt University Summer Seminar, Berlin, Germany Sunday, June 5 through Saturday, June 18, 2016

Applications are solicited for ten Graduate Center students to participate in the twelfth annual two-week urban studies seminar at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. The seminar focuses on comparing persistent urban inequalities in two contexts: the developed German welfare state in Berlin and the neoliberal U.S.A. in New York City. We will explore such domains of inequality as differential access to economic resources (employment, economic sectors, the new precariousness), social capital (social networks and institutional connections or lack of them), cultural capital (education, cultural participation and expression), and political influence (representation, public policies, public benefits). This is a remarkable opportunity to learn about one of Europe’s most interesting cities and develop your comparative urban research skills. We will ask:
a. How do processes of inclusion/exclusion work themselves out in urban space/place, and explore various forms of division, separation, and inequality visible in Berlin.
b. How did the forms of division/separation/inequality visible in Berlin get there and how are they evolving?
c. What are the methodological strengths and pitfalls of doing comparative research across the two cities?

Hosted by Professor Henrik Lebuhn, Interim Chair of Urban and Regional Sociology at Humboldt’s faculty of social sciences and in cooperation with Professor John Mollenkopf of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center, the seminar features a) lectures from outstanding social scientists from Berlin universities, b) forming working groups with HU students to design collaborative comparative research projects, and c) visiting key Berlin sites where we can observe different processes of inequality. HU students, including former GC exchange students, will orient you to Berlin and assist your research. While your group work will be important, you will also have time and support for developing your personal research interests.

Background reading for the program will include material on comparative research methods, theories of durable inequalities, patterns of social exclusion and political mobilization in Berlin and New York, the transformation of Berlin in the wake of unification, urban policy in Germany, and the situation of immigrant groups in Germany.

Cost: Participants pay their own transatlantic transportation costs and local meals as well as a health insurance policy required by CUNY. The exchange program covers the costs of instruction, housing, and local excursions. Housing will be arranged in a local hotel with shared rooms, breakfast, and internet.

TO APPLY: Send an email by Monday, February 29, 2016 to Professor John Mollenkopf at and program coordinator Melanie Lorek,
Successful applicants will be notified promptly. Your application should include:
• Your name, home address, telephone number, and email address
• Your doctoral program and level
• A paragraph or two on research interests
• A paragraph or two on why you would like to participate in the Berlin program.