"Language and Thinking does not just take place in the classroom. We use Berlin as a classroom."
— Dr. James Harker, Director of the Language and Thinking Program
Fall 2023 Dates
Orientation: August 11–14, 2023
Language & Thinking Program: August 15–30, 2023
Fall Course Advising and German Placement: September 1, 2023
Fall 2022 Theme: “New Worlds/New Words”
The theme of the Language and Thinking Program draws its inspiration from an essay on teaching by bell hooks. In the Program, we will think about the words we speak and the places we inhabit, and how the two shape one another. We will think about what it means to be part of an international community, on campus and beyond, by exploring some of the cornerstones of social life: politics, art, and culture. We’ll hear dozens of the languages spoken on campus, and we’ll see “new worlds” open up—on campus, in Berlin, and around the world in the stories and backgrounds of fellow classmates, and in the texts, films, and artworks we will engage with throughout the program.
Over the summer, you have two reading assignments to prepare for L&T. The first assignment is Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. As the text is out of copyright, you’ll be able to find inexpensive copies for purchase, or you can find the full text available online. The second assignment is Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. You can read any English translation that you can find, including ones you find online.
Other readings will come from an anthology that will be available in digital and print form. The anthology is very large, and students are asked to read only specific selections from the anthology for class each day. Below is a link to the Table of Contents of the L&T anthology, as well as a link to the 2022 L&T program.
Instructors and Sessions
During the program students meet in small groups led by an instructor. Every group is different and incorporates specific readings from the anthology as well as other activities and excursions, but they all have the goal of introducing new ways of writing, thinking, and creating. One session might focus on creating a dialogue between two readings. In another session the goal might be to turn a philosophical essay into a play. Alternatively, a session might offer strategies for peer reviewing a short essay that another student wrote the previous night.
Every session will include writing—a lot of writing! The program culminates in a final long essay, which is the first piece of work that forms part of the student’s academic record at Bard College Berlin. The program prepares students to write a college essay that is not only academic and rigorous but also creative and personally significant.
L&T sessions will begin on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 and conclude Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Every weekday (Monday-Friday), sessions begin at 9:15 am and conclude at lunchtime. Additional excursions and special events will take place in the afternoons. In addition, each weekend will feature optional activities.
Completion of the program is a prerequisite for matriculation into the AY, Begin in Berlin, and BA programs.
Events and Excursions
The three weeks of the program will be filled with guest lectures and excursions to museums, historic sites, and neighborhoods of Berlin.