360°: Space and Identity: Psychological, Artistic and Spatial Approaches to Hamburg, Philadelphia and Beyond

This 360° brings together three different disciplinary perspectives to explore the notion of individual and group identity across time and space in urban environments. We will probe issues of the self and society in relation to the built environment, social upheaval and migration. The unifying element of the 360 is a field trip to Hamburg, a millenary port city that has occupied a key role in global trade and migration networks from the 13th-century until today and that has served as a major migration hub for Eastern Europeans traveling to the United States. 

 

Space and Identity Courses:

Growth and Structure of Cities 315: Spaces of Identity: Architecture and Urban Planning in Hamburg

Carola Hein, (Growth and Structure of Cities) taught this course, which established the basic framework for the spatial analysis of Hamburg. It examined the city’s urban form as locus of the multiple global social and physical networks that have shaped local identity and that reflect histories as long as a millennium and that are the product of related sets of political, economic, social, cultural, and religious forces.

Psychology 257: Identity Under Pressure

Taught by Marc Schulz (Psychology), this course explored psychological understandings of identity formation and change, particularly in times of upheaval and migration. Examples of identity formation were drawn from psychological studies, the family histories of class participants, oral history projects, and the experiences of Jews in Hamburg, Germany before and during World War II.

 

Russian 243: The Art of Exile

Taught by Tim Harte (Russian), this course explored a diverse range of films (Akin, Fassbinder), paintings (Chagall, Rothko), and fictional prose works (Nabokov, Sebald) that probe the experience of exile and emigration. The course focused primarily on Russian émigré culture, 20th-century Jews, American immigrants, and the Turkish community in Hamburg, Germany.