"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 2023 Theme:
"The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"
The theme of the Language and Thinking Program draws from the title of a lecture by Audre Lorde. We will each think about–and write about–what we want to bring into language and action. As we explore the connections among silence and language, and thinking and action, we get to know the diversity of the Bard College Berlin community and the greater city of Berlin. We will hear many of the forty or more languages spoken on campus; we will explore some of the cornerstones of social life: art, politics, and literature; and we will experience what others in the community bring into language and action through texts, films, and artworks.
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.
(You must be logged into your BCB Google account to access the schedule.)
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 15, 2023 and conclude Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Every weekday (Monday-Friday), two ninety-minute sessions will take place in the morning before lunchtime. Additional sessions, excursions, special events, and collaborative projects will take place in the afternoons. In addition, each weekend will feature optional activities organized by Student Life.
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.