This course offers an introduction to German Cultural Studies today. A core course for the major, it asks how German culture has been defined and contested and how (and why) we study it. We will focus on important subjects of interdisciplinary critical reflection (regarding the nature of the mobile communication society and modern celebrity culture, the ethics of food, and the relationship of humans to the non-human world) and make productive use of key concepts in discussing pertinent examples of modern German literature and film. As the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 is fast approaching, this course will also have a special Berlin segment. We will reflect on the urban culture of the divided city and more generally on the politics and poetics of walls and borders. Students will learn through readings, class discussion and team work and compete for several Berlin prizes. Readings and discussions are in English and German.