EduVEnture Cologne unites 13 transnational teaching projects from three faculties of the University of Cologne, which align by and large with standards set by the EU ERASMUS+Virtual Exchange. Virtual Exchange is a special form of Virtual Mobililty, distinguished by an emphasis on peer-to-peer interaction and intercultural exchange.
In particular, the courses share the following characteristics:
digital based teaching scenarios, offered within a normal study program, that is allowing full accreditation in the curriculum
co-taught by a Cologne based lecturer and by one or more lecturers from international partner-universities
collaborative courses with peer-to-peer interaction (lecturers and students alike)
interculturally informed didactic approaches
innovative scientific contents
These courses were made possible thanks to funding of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through the IVAC-Program (International Virtual Academic Cooperation). EduVEnture Cologne is a joint project of all lecturers involved and of the International Office.
EduVEnture Cologne wants to raise awareness for the advantages and merits of the concept of Virtual Exchange, both for students and lecturers. It intends to promote the format of Virtual Exchange courses as a standard of transnational teaching with the aim to encourage faculties and institutes to add VE-courses as a regular option to their teaching offers. In the long run, VE-courses should become a regular element of all curricula.
The Cologne EduVEstival is a virtual exhibition on transnational learning and teaching. Learn more about exciting international projects and meet the people involved!
Prof. Dr. Kirsten Schlüter gives a brief overview of the 14th annual Winter Meeting on Health, Environment, and Education which was held digitally for the first time and showcased the results of the Science Communication Workshops. The conference addressed various themes such as climate change and the Covid 19 pandemic and engaged students from three different continents and several study programs.
Project Description: The project “Black Classicism” aims at raising students’ awareness of “race-craft” not only diachronically, but also synchronically, with respect to their own contemporary world. Students of Classical Studies are trained to keep in mind the gap that exists between the ancient culture and their own, and are constantly being cautioned against applying contemporary notions to the Greek and Latin texts they are reading. In this respect, our seminar, which in a first step explores the construction of race and Africanness in antiquity, can build on an existing tradition in our field. While students may not be aware that skin color is not a defining feature for the construction of “race” or “social status” in antiquity, they will not be too surprised to learn that antiquity often creates and manages its world along different lines than we do today. But, more importantly, they may also not be aware that texts that are in themselves completely uncontested may mean hugely different things to two different contemporary societies – e.g. that the texts of the African church father are read as theological treatises in Europe and the US, but that they are highly political in modern day Tunisia and Algeria, or that the Odyssey may be a part of World literature for white readers, while in African American communities it is being used for voicing their particular historical experience (see Charles R. Johnson’s novel “Middle Passage”). The seminar brings together our long-standing interest in the representation of Africa in Classical texts and their relevance for local identity in modern Africa and in African-American culture. We share a common scholarly background and an interest in the poets Apollonius Rhodius and Callimachus who were based in North Africa), and we are both members of the EOS network (= Africana Receptions of Ancient Greece and Rome, see https://www.eosafricana.org/). We have both been invited to present on the “Africana” panel hosted by EOS on the Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in 2018 in San Diego. On the other hand, we bring distinctive specializations to our topic that will help students to see the question of “Africa”, “African” and “race-craft” in a nuanced way. Prof. Jackie Murray is a specialist in Greek literature and in the reception of Classics in African American and Caribbean culture. Prof. Anja Bettenworth is a Latinist with a special interest in the Reception of Classics in North-Africa and in French speaking Sub-Saharan Africa. Together with Claudia Gronemann (French Literature, Mannheim) she is the PI of the DFG-project “Darstellungen des Augustinus im Maghreb als historische und postkoloniale Wissensproduktion”. We have published extensively in our fields of expertise and have been planning for a long time to join forces in teaching.
Project Description: From France to Belgium and from Britain to the Netherlands, Black Lives Matter movements have sprung up across the globe, even though the hashtag developed in the United States in 2013. Addressing systematic and everyday racism, the carceral state, economic migration, and the afterlives of slavery and colonialism (and the contested ways these are remembered and commemorated), these movements have sought to incite concrete changes that attend to white supremacy, ethnonationalism, and right-wing populism across the globe. Given the recent protests against police violence and the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color in Britain and the United States, it is important to trace the historical precedents of these movements and their members’ politics in the United States as well as in Europe. Black diasporic individuals and communities have incessantly pushed for recognition, rights, and liberation. In doing so, they made claims and expanded definitions of American and European identity, citizenship, belonging, and activism. This class will trace how Black lives mattered in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries in Europe, the US and beyond.
Black Lives Matter and their Historical Legacies: Perspectives from Europe and the United States (Summer 2021)
International Partner: Seán Vrieland, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Project Description: During the first three-weeks, students from Copenhagen and Cologne will learn about the history of the book in Denmark and will become familiar with Danish-language manuscripts and text genres from the period 1250-1500. Studentswill develop skills in paleography and language in order to read Danish texts directly from manuscript images as well as skills in codicology in order to conduct independent analyses of manuscripts. The following weeks will build on this knowledge and deepen the work with the manuscripts. In addition, the students work on a larger task on the side, which is presented as a presentation in the last session. The course combines independent online learning, asynchronous group discussion and weekly instruction via Zoom. The course is well integrated into the network project j o l n e s - Joint Learning in Northern European Studies. The students who take part in this course will acquire digitalcompetences that they can also use in their later professional life. With the planned opening for Bachelor's students, Graduate Programmes and other such programmes, the format will be accessible to further audiences, while at the same time further strengthening the intercultural experience and aiming to reduce barriers for all participants. Within the network, a firm community of practice has been established, but is constantly being expanded.
Democratizing the Public Sphere: Alternate Imaginations of Nation and Society
Description: In the perspective of a global cultural history, it is common sense that the multiplicity of modernities calls for particular attention: Instead of applying allegedly universal concepts, recent approaches rather foster sensitivity for special contexts, varying temporalities and developments. The awareness for a multiplicity and diversity of cultural and social developments is at the centre ofcontemporary discussions. Training students in this perspective through practical exercises, and joint working groups is at the core of this project. It is combined with the task of learning how to work with archival objects and documents, learning to read them not only in their semantic dimension but also with respect to their materiality and to the practices inscribed in them.In this light, theatre and performance appear as privileged socio-cultural places where collective issues are acted out, represented and potential solutions discussed, projected and rejected. The democratization of the public sphere, the discourse of projecting a ‘new’ or revised image of the nation is a challenge all three countries (Chile, Germany, and India) had to meet in the 20th century. Though each of the contexts is special in its own right, similarities and references can be observed and will be of importance to the project.Following up on previous projects in this longstanding cooperation, the project consists of two seminars (winter 20/21 and summer 21). In the first half of the project, the seminar will look at historical documents and archival material that documents the respective processes of democratizing the public sphere and envisioning alternative models of nation and society. Under different political and social conditions, Germany as well as India and Chile underwent an accelerated period of politization and modernization in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Indian society was struggling for independence, political autonomy and the concept of a free society. The process of nation-building concerned all aspects of public and cultural life. Chile was celebrating the Centennial of its Independence from the Spanish Crown, and though facing modernization it was also suffering an economic crisis to the opening of the Panama Chanel and the discovery of synthetic saltpeter. Germany, in contrast, was undergoing the process of nation-building but also a phase of social reform in order to overcome the restrictions of the Wilhelmine era. Theatre and performance play in important role in the three countries. Students and faculty shall reconstruct the conditions and forms of single troupes, reading their organizational form as well as their aesthetics as proof of their political contribution. The second half of the seminar, scheduled for the summer term 2021, will take a closer look at contemporary performances. Departing from the historical analyses of the first part, the sequel-seminar will focus on the performance and dramaturgical analysis vis-à-vis contemporary performances from all three countries. Through the intercultural dialogue, students shall learn to find a language for unknown aesthetic phenomena as well as to discuss processes of collective memory.
A new consortium of six universities (Cologne, Ghana, Jawaharlal Nehru, Northwestern, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Tel Aviv) have partnered to create [six!]. We are co-hosting a workshop for graduate students in theatre November 2020 through May 2021. Students will have the opportunity to build a global community of theatre scholars and a foundation for further study and collaborations. This 12-session workshop will focus on international festivals: their goals, what kinds of cultural work they do, and what goes into creating them.
DiZuGeo (Digital Collaboration in the Student Exchange within the context of the Geography Teacher Program)
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Institute of Geography Education
In the DiZuGeo (Digitale Zusammenarbeit beim Studierendenaustausch im Kontext der GeographielehrerInnenbildung) project, an already established intercultural exchange seminar with the Fontys University of Applyed Science at the Institute for Geography Education at the University of Cologne, which takes place regularly in winter, is to be further developed in terms of blended mobility and also offered for the first time in summer in terms of virtual exchange with the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Within the framework of the exchange seminar, prospective geography teachers independently develop lessons on a common topic (e.g. Europe, migration). Within the framework of DiZuGeo, virtual collaboration seminars with preparation and follow-up for physical or virtual mobility are planned.
This course introduces students to environmental, urban, and cultural history. Students gain exposure to the span and depth of the fields. The readings offer a global and comparative perspective. Furthermore, students gain an appreciation for various historiographical approaches to studying environments and cities. We will explore the historical experience of actors in the past from an intersectional perspective and take into account race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc. as categories of analysis. During the first three weeks, students from Philadelphia and Cologne will meet in the classroom to discuss readings and to get to know one another. We will develop theoretical and methodological tools to study cities from a historical perspective and develop an agenda for the class. In the following weeks, the Cologne students will continue to meet online and engage with the American peers on a more informal basis. Outside of the classroom, we will get together for a number of activities like the Temple University Urban History Workshop and the international conference “Urban Planning in the Americas in the 20th Century”. Our goal is to study US urban history in transnational perspective and to establish a dialogue between graduate in American History at Temple University and the University of Cologne, which will provide the basis for further forms of cooperation.
European Latin Linguistic Assessment (EULALIA)
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Classics
International Partner: Prof. Dr. Lucia Pasetti, University of Bologna, Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies
Project Description: EULALIA (European Latin Linguistic Assessment), co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, is a three-years project (2019-2022) aimed at developing a comprehensive framework for the international certification of linguistic competences in Latin, following the model set by CEFR for modern languages. In Europe more than 3 million students in secondary schools study Latin; at university level, Latin figures in many curricula, but the linguistic competence required of students can vary substantially across programmes (also within the same country). There is therefore a strong need for homogeneity and transparency in the recognition of skills and qualifications, in order to facilitate internationalisation and Europe-wide student mobility in the framework of programmes such as ERASMUS. The teaching of Latin faces further challenges due to ongoing changes in contemporary society, and has to renew its methods by adopting open and innovative practices supported by multimedia digital technologies. There is evidence that this will favour the inclusion of categories such as students with special needs (visually impaired, individuals with learning disabilities) and students who, due to recent immigration, are not native speakers of the language of education in their new home countries.
International Blended Learning Seminar: Public History in European Perspective
Description: The MA seminar with participants from Lucerne, Paris, Cologne, Berlin, Nijmegen and Warsaw focuses on the analysis of practices and narratives of memory with regard to Europe’s colonial past. The construction, public usage, contestationand transformation of memory regarding European imperialism, colonialism and decolonization by different agents in the public sphere, especially museums, monuments, art, the media and political agents will be approachedsystematically. Against the background of postcolonial theories and theories on memory, the seminar aims atdeconstructing blind spots in past and present constructions of European and national memories, on their mechanisms of exclusion that foster(ed) and perpetuat(ed) images of the ‘other’, of racism, discrimination and violence. Comparative perspectives on different national contexts and their entanglements are specifically analysed. In a digital classroom and live seminars with the professors, students will collaborate with their international colleagues and exchange ideas, reflect about texts and analyse primary sources in various formats (e.g. short collaboratively elaborated papers, forums, online live presentations etc.). Towards the end of the semester, two live events with the House of European History (Brussels) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Brussels) will be organised, followed, if the situation permits, by a voluntary on-site workshop in Brussels in April or May 2021.
Project Description: In "Multilingualism in the New and Old World" students of linguistics from UoC and NYU will explore and compare multilingualism in their cities in two classes - "Language & Society" and "Cross-Cultural Sociolinguistics" - under the guidance of Profes. Adli and Guy, who are prominent members of their respective institutions' Sociolinguistic Labs. The students will explore linguistic fieldwork with digital tools in mixed teams and plan as well as conduct interviews with persons with migrational background in both locations. The focus in New York City will be on hispanic communities, while the focus in Cologne will be on migrant communities with turkish and kurdish roots. Insights into differences in the development and perception of multilingualism in those two cities open the gate for discussions of divergent views of migration and related language politics that in turn lead to discussions of perspectives for multilingualism. All data generated in the project will be stored sustainably in SAMD (Student Archive for Multilingual Data).
Faculty of Law, International Master of Environmental Sciences (IMES) Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department Didactics of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institute of Biology Education
This project begins with classroom teaching of both German and American students in interdisciplinary and intercultural science communication, and continues with practical performances at an international conference. In preparation for the 14th annual Winter Meeting on Health, Environment, and Education, virtual, live, synchronous workshops will be held in September, October, and November 2020 to train International Master of Environmental Sciences students in Cologne, Biology Education Students at the University of Cologne, Master of Environmental Science Students at Duquesne University, and Master of Public Health students at Southern Illinois University in intercultural and interdisciplinary science communication. In the past years, the research presentations by these students would have been on posters or live power point presentations. Given that the theme of the conference includes the environment, it has been a goal of professors and graduate students on both sides of the Atlantic to reduce travel and still participate in the conference. Finally, this year that goal will be realized, due to the acute necessity of the virus pandemic. This year, a Lecturer in Science Communication will provide the technical training necessary to create and present various forms of short videos, using various software as well as the didactics of incorporating theories of intercultural communication across geography as well as interdisciplinary communication of science. Then, in Summer Semester 2021, follow-up self-evaluation synchronous workshops will take place in which the German and American students can first share their structured criticisms of the work of colleagues with colleagues from their own country and new colleagues from the other country, as observed from virtual conference presentations, with particular focus on intercultural awareness and communication across disciplines. From those critical reports, the Lecturer in Science Communication will prepare a digital Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Science Communication Handbook for future use by the Consortium of German and American Universities for future Winter Meetings and other conference participation by students from participating partners. Duquesne University and Southern Illinois University will be the contact points in the US to organize participation of further American universities, as can be seen from the 2019 Winter Meeting program. In addition, further colleagues from other parts of the world, e.g. India, will be invited for contributing to the conference.
Seminar/Course Information: Environmental & Science Communication
Project Description: The Transatlantic Plant Science Teaching Virtual Collaborative project proposes to integrate training and education efforts in plant science between the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) at the University of Cologne (UoC) and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) at Washington State University (WSU), the State’s land-grant university with a renowned plant science program. The university partners’ education and training in plant science will be integrated through the collaborative development of two high-quality joint modules that will be incorporated into the curricula of both universities. The module will be supported by UoC and WSU lecturers, as well as guest speakers, who are experts in the areas of the projects in the modules. The joint modules will serve as a meeting point of lecturers and students from both institutions and facilitate academic cooperation such as internships and joint PhD projects. The online modules will be complemented by regular Summer schools that enable the students a personal exchange with the lecturers and among themselves, to build a vibrant student community. Beneficially, the joint teaching programme will not only focus on Plant Science, but also increase the international competences of all of our students. To this end, the proposed virtual collaborative will also foster the acquisition of knowledge of the perception and practice of plant science in different cultural contexts and the placement of students’ own cultures in global and comparative contexts, of the effect of cultural differences on perceptions and behaviors, and of global issues, processes, trends, and institutions, such as economic and political interdependency among nations; and environmental-cultural interaction The module will provide students with skills to adapt their behavior to interact effectively with those who are different, interpret issues and situations from more than one cultural perspective, and use knowledge, diverse cultural frames of reference, and alternative perspectives to think critically and solve plant science problems. The development of the proposed Teaching Virtual Collaborative, is anticipated to advance not only the strategic cooperation between UoC and WSU in Plant Science education, but also the development process of impactful digital educational modalities that link students across cultural and national boundaries.
Transnational Aspects of Finnish Literature (jolnes 1)
Project Description: Following up on previous cooperation between the University of Cologne and University of Turku, the project will continue exploring Finnish literature in comparative perspective. It will consist of online lectures, live seminars with discussions, elements of flipped classroom, reading and writing assignments as well as students’ presentations. It will address the issue on transnational, transcultural, multilingual and transborder aspects of Finnish literature through various case studies, analyzing the category of the “national“ and its place in the history of Finnish literature. The case studies will cover the period from the Middle Ages till present, looking at individual authors and larger networks, at literary texts and trends in various languages written on the Finnish territory, their reception and processes of canonization as well as at literary institutions in general, at the role of translations both as a part of the literary field in Finland, and translations of literary works originating in Finland into other languages, all that both from the Finnish and larger, European perspective. The objective of the course is to make students acquainted with various aspects of Finland’s literature andculture in past and present, as well as to develop, in this particular context, a deeper analytical and methodological understanding of the category of “national“ literature and its role in the processes of formation of the discipline of literary history.
Project Description: Alongside criminal law, family law is the most culturally-bound area of legal practice, reflecting the anthropological, psychological and social features of the culture’s values, as protected by law. German students will have the opportunity to witness the legal and factual arguments for the custody of children, divorce and protection from abuse proceedings, all with the expert guidance of a US family law professor and practitioner. This will also be a particularly useful exercise in introducing German students to some of the relevant issues that affect poorer, marginalized and historically disadvantaged communities in the United States.