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Winter Semester 20/21

Please choose your courses so you will get the minimum of 10 ECTS/module. Elective courses have to be registered via email to the program coordinator until the second week of the semester.

Schedule changes cannot be excluded until the beginning of the semester.

 

Course Offering for Module 1 (10 ECTS)

The following classes are mandatory:

Lecturer: PD Dr. Jan Patrick Heiss

Time and Place: , Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

Additional Information: Mandatory class. No registration is required for this lecture.

Lecturer: JProf. Dr. Stéphanie Homola

Time and Place: Wednesday, 12:00 – 14:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 2,5 ECTS

Synopsis: This lecture in comparative anthropology focuses on the influence of cultural factors in decision-making with a focus on Asia but also in a wider perspective. The first part of the course will expose the differences between anthropological and behavioral sciences’ approaches in assessing cultural factors in decision-making. We will then address how religious worldviews and notions of fate and agency shape individual decision-making in various cultural settings. Lastly, the lecture will focus on concrete cases of social institutions build to deal with uncertainty in collective decision-making (through the example of earthquake prediction in China and Japan) as well as on cultural and social tools available for individual and collective decision-making such as divination rituals and drawing lots rituals.

 

Additional Information: Mandatory class. No registration is required for this lecture.

Lecturer: JProf. Dr. Stéphanie Homola, Dr. Martina Gottwald-Belinic, Sven Grundmann, Anna Schneider

Time and Place: Thursday, 10:00-12:00 later changing to Thursday, 14:00-16:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 2,5 ECTS

Synopsis: This course will focus on the topic of data within the context of interdisciplinary research. Students will work closely with specialists in multiple academic disciplines, who will address qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection and analysis. In particular, students will be encouraged to engage with questions related to ‘meaning’. How, for example, is data treated differently across the Social Sciences? and how do different disciplines assess data in order to create meaning? “Interdisciplinary Methodologies” is intended to familiarize students with a variety of approaches to research in the humanities, including branches of Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Additional Information: Mandatory class. No registration is required for this lecture.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dominik Müller

Time and Place: , Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 0 ECTS

Synopsis:


Course Offering for Module 3 (10 ECTS)

The following classes are mandatory:

Coordinator: JProf. Stephanie Homola and Sven Grundmann M.A.
Time and Place: Individual Appointments

ECTS: 2,5 ECTS

Synopsis for Lecture Series: The Workshop Series goes beyond the classes taught in the framework of the Master’s program “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures” and provides the students with insights from practitioners and selected scholars. Some of the sessions will have the character of workshops, where students can develop and train new sets of skills. Other sessions will introduce the students to new fields of applied research and the frontier of scientific development. In the upcoming winter semester, we offer a diverse program which covers an introduction into behavioral economics, a workshop in Design Thinking and a seminar on artificial intelligence and decision-making in games. At the begin of the semester the topics of the Lecture Series and the times and venues are published online on the SDAC website and offline on posters in our facilities.

Additional Information: Schedule can be found here. Mandatory class. No registration is required for ( SDAC Students) to recieve ECTS points.

Synopsis for IKGF Project Work: The SDAC program maintains a strong partnership with the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication” (IKGF) at FAU. Every semester, IKGF Visiting Fellows (http://www.ikgf.uni-erlangen.de/people.shtml) present their ongoing research during the regular IKGF Lecture Series (Tuesdays, 6-8 pm, schedule to be confirmed). Students are strongly encouraged to attend these lectures to get insight into the academic world and get into contact with international scholars. To foster exchanges with Visiting Fellows, students will work on an essay (3-5 pages) based either on the topic of one of the IKGF Lecture Series, or on a topic of expertise of one of the IKGF Visiting Fellows. Prof. Homola will introduce students to IKGF Fellows and help them choose a relevant topic.

Additional Information: Mandatory class. No registration is required for this lecture. Please discuss the details with your individual Mentor.

For information about IKGF activities and members, check the IKGF website.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dominik Müller

Time and Place: Wednesday, 16:00 – 18:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 2,5 ECTS

Synopsis:

Additional Information: Mandatory class. No registration is required for this lecture.

Students are required to choose one of the offered classes. Since some of the classes are offered through cooperations with other departments additional registration via studon/meinCampus might be required. Please check ahead of time.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Philipp Balsiger

Time and Place: Monday, 16:00-18:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: While globalization mainly is a standardizing program, the comparison issue in cross-cultural aspects has become more and more important. But to compare cultural values or attitudes, we have to assume that defined values representing the particular culture exist and that attitudes are based on reasonable conceptions. The Lecture will focus on different cultural key values from distinct cultural perspectives as well as key problems related to comparing. Besides, suggestions to solve the comparing problem will be discussed too.

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester. [If you’re seriously interested in participating in this seminar, please send an E-mail to Prof. Balsiger (philipp.balsiger@fau.de) so we can keep in contact by E-mail. This will guarantee that you will get all the corresponding documents.]

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dominik Müller

Time and Place: , Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heiner Bielefeldt

Time and Place: , Bismarckstraße 1, 91054 Erlangen

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: Human rights are rights held by all human beings equally. They claim universal validity across national, regional and cultural boundaries. Without the aspiration of universalism, the very concept of human rights would cease to make much sense. In retrospect, however, it seems obvious that the historical human rights declarations, starting from the Virginia Bill of Rights (1776), have always displayed aspects of particularism. While headlines, such as “rights of man” or “droits de l’homme” betray an androcentric bias, experiences of people from lower social strata, persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and others may have had merely limited, if any, impact on the formulation of human rights declarations. Moreover, the very idea of human rights has attracted objections that it one-sidedly reflects a European worldview or a Western way of life, which allegedly fail to meet the demands of people from other parts of the world. Do we have to conclude that the aspiration of universal human rights is but an empty illusion? Before tackling that central question, we have to define the claims of human rights and their inherent limitations. Subsequently, we will deal with the “textbook version” of the genesis of human rights in comparison to more critical, innovative readings of their historical development. We will analyse the relationship between individual rights and communitarian solidarity and explore the specific “secularity” of human rights claims as opposed to notions of divine rights. Another subject of investigation will be the interrelatedness of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. A question that has found increasing attention is how freedom of religion or belief can be reconciled with claims of gender-equality or the emancipation of sexual minorities. The lecture will furthermore explore possible tensions between human rights and democracy. If there is any time left towards the end, we might also deal with controversial ideas of an evolutionary self-transcendence of humanity towards a “post-humanist” stadium and possible dangers arising from such futuristic visions. The lecture series belongs to the mandatory module “human rights” within the Masters programme “Political Science”. It is also part of the “Human Rights Master” syllabus. Students will have access to background material through “StudOn”.

Additional Information: Elective course. Additional registration via studon is required. More information can be found on Univis.

Lecturer: Dr. Martina Gottwald-Belinic

Time and Place: Wednesday, 10:00-12:00 pm, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: Recent changes in economic environment imposed by the new industrial revolution and challenges and economic difficulties confronted by the limitation of globalisation development path pioneered by Euro/American societies since the origins of capitalist is changing view on the world order. Most of the economic scholars and observes turn their focus to transition development in East Asia, especially on remarkably successful development of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and so called “Chinese Model” of economic transition.
This course will give a systematic and insightful view of China’s transformation road on becoming an important player for the global economy. This includes the challenges in labour transformation and readiness of Chinese economy, firms and society in general for economic absorption of new technology trends and catch up with the changes the world economy is facing up to date. The aim of the course is to provide the students the framework for understanding of China’s economy, structural and institutional changes in China and readiness for the new challenges ahead in sustaining past accomplishments and moving towards the modern Chinese economy. Special focus will be given onto soft power and cultural integration into the world economy as well as economic, diplomatic and investment activities of China recent increased expansion abroad.

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

Lecturer: Dr. Dimitri Drettas

Time and Place: Tue. 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

This course aims to present and examine the variety of ways used, in the context of traditional Chinese culture, to obtain an awareness of possible situations, or events that have yet to occur, in order to facilitate decision-making processes in the personal, political and economic spheres. Those methods all have in common the importance given to historical precedents and their overreliance on divination. In this perspective, decisions concerning everyday life (wedding, travels, healthcare) or the administrative and diplomatic fields (policy making, war and peace) are viewed as singular events whose optimal conditions can be predicted. Mantic practices such as sorting the Yijing 易經 (Book of Changes) hexagrams, dream interpretation, or horoscopy, are recorded in all major works of Chinese historiography as efficient ways to assess the best choice of action. Narratives from the Zuo Tradition or Sima Qian’s Records constitute pattern-setting models of causality in the worldview of traditional culture, which still informs contemporary Chinese society.
Students will be encouraged to apply their analytical skills and critical thinking to explaining the seemingly contradictory coexistence of modern science and processes inherited from premodern culture, and to question the role played by current repositories of tradition such as almanacs. To that effect, they will be introduced to the common principles of traditional knowledge (cosmology and time reckoning), and to some of the most common techniques practiced nowadays, mainly hexagram sorting and “eight characters fortune
telling” (bazi suanming 八字算命). They will be required to familiarize themselves with two essential methodological tools: Claude Lévi-Strauss’ notion of bricolage and Li Ling’s taxonomic work on the set of practices known as “recipes and techniques” (fangshu 方術). The impact of traditional foreknowledge on modern decision-making will be studied through the recurrent coverage, in the Chinese media, of the use of traditional prediction in electoral and commercial strategies, branding and spatial planning, leading to an observation on the relation between officialdom (guanchang 官場) and the necessity to orient oneself in the maze of social life.
Students attending this class will gain an understanding of the cultural background of decision-making in China which will allow them to identify, contextualize and evaluate the rhetoric surrounding official decisions in the Chinese media and political discourse. Moreover, students will be able to recognize the implicit application of traditional methods used to gain knowledge of the invisible, be it actualized or not.


Course Offering for Module 5 (10 ECTS)

Please choose two from the following classes:

Lecturer: Dr. Martina Gottwald-Belinic

Time and Place: Monday, 10:00-12:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: Decision Making in Managerial Economics is one of the fastest growing scientific fields and field of practice in Economics. This interdisciplinary field is a combination of concepts derived from microeconomics, social & cognitive psychology, behavioural decision research, consumer research, experimental economics etc. Its focus is on the question “How do people make decisions”. How do they cope with risk and uncertainty? How do they weight the present against the future? How do people perceive money and use it? Do people know what made us happy in the past and what will make us happy in the future? …
Besides theoretical insight in this discipline, students will be presented with practical knowledge on how to manage the choice architecture, generate successful business strategies and to improve their own decision-making. Students will be expected to get familiar with the literature presented in class, to think critically and analytically and to present and defend ideas clearly and rigorously.

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

Lecturer: Sven Grundmann M.A.

Time and Place: Thursday, 12:00-14:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276
ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: In the early 1970s, design theorist Horst Rittel and urban planner Melvin M. Webber published their treaty “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning” in which they discuss why the planning of policies and social, cultural or environmental problem solving cannot succeed. Problems faced by policy-makers are entirely different from problems natural scientists or engineers have to deal with. Many policy problems are wicked problems, which are principally undecidable and for which no scientifically “right” or “wrong” solution exists. Decision-making processes in public policy often follow the course of normative judgments where distinctions between “good” and “bad” dominate the debate. In this course, we discuss approaches of reasoning which could supplement evidence-based decision-making concepts. This form of argumentation enables decision-makers to consider cultural and normative values in their assessment of policy alternatives. Policy advising is more an art and craft rather than a scientifically rigorous technique. Therefore, we will practice ethical reasoning by discussing some specific cases of wicked policy problems.

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

Lecturer: Anna Schneider M.A.

Time and Place: Monday, 12:00-14:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276
ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

 

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Philipp Balsiger

Time and Place: Tuesday, 16:00-18:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276
ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis: Following the end of the Cold War new possibilities of comparing distinct cultures around the world came up. At the same time the possibilities turned to become a need of comparison due to the dramatic development of the global markets. These challenges became the starting point for complete different reflections on cultures. In addition to these contextual constraints postmodern thinking and in its consequence the reappraisal of European colonialism were further notions laying the ground for an intensive discussion on several cultural aspects.
The seminar will mainly focus on three areas that are in discussion for the moment; (a) substantial knowledge of Cultures as e.g. terminological regulations concerning cultural expressions, representations of cultural expressions [rituals, aesthetics, politics], functions of cultures, etc., (b) different models of Cultural Evolution, and (c) such speculations about the further development of cultures (one single, uniform culture? culture of western civilization?)
Literature
‒ Geertz, Clifford (2006) : The Interpretation of Cultures : Selected Essays. New York, Basic Books.
‒ Hatch, E. (1973) : Theories of Man and Culture. New York et al., Columbia University Press.

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester. [If you’re seriously interested in participating in this seminar, please send an E-mail to Prof. Balsiger (philipp.balsiger@fau.de) so we can keep in contact by E-mail. This will guarantee that you will get all the corresponding documents.]

Lecturer: PD DR. Jan Patrick Heiss
Time and Place: , Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276
ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

 

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

 

Module 10 – Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS)

Participation is only possible after choosing a master thesis supervisor.

As this is classified as a writing seminar, you will not receive an official mark; however, in order to submit the master thesis, we require that students attend and encourage full participation.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Robert LaFleur

Time and Place:

Synopsis:

In this short, intensive seminar students will work closely with a professor and writing instructor, who will help them to mold their data and fieldwork experiences into a polished written paper. Students will also have the opportunity to practice oral presentations of their research in preparation for their thesis defence.

Additional Offers

Lecturer: Dr. Dimitri Drettas

Time and Place: Thurs. 02:00 – 04:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276

Synopsis:

This course aims introduces non-Sinophone students to the fundamental features of Modern Standard Mandarin, in the form normalized as Putonghua 普通话 (the official national language of the People’s Republic of China), in order to best prepare them to their Beijing semester by allowing them to apply their basic knowledge as soon as they arrive in China, hence facilitating their acclimation to this new linguistic and cultural environment.

A strong emphasis is put on a phonetic acquisition and oral training, with stress on tonal patterns and prosody. The official romanization system, Hanyu Pinyin 汉语拼音, is introduced shortly before the sinograms, or Chinese characters (Hanzi 汉字), in their official simplified form. Following the didactic principles of Joël Bellassen and Zhang Pengpeng (A Key to Chinese Speech and Writing, Beijing: 1997), oral and written expression will be comprehensively taught together: once word compounds are explained, the characters rendering them are fully presented one by one, from their etymology to their stroke order, their main semantic values and a selection of the words they form with other characters.

A typical session starts with 15 to 20 minutes of exposition by the instructor, using set phrases and introducing new words and grammatical features which the students are required to reproduce by interacting with the instructor and with one another. The rest of the class is then dedicated to explaining the new content in English, hence giving students the opportunity to verify their intuitive and deductive skills, a necessary foundation to the build-up of Sprachgefühl. Audiovisual material such as popular songs and recordings of radio or television shows are used whenever possible, as a way to accustom students to the sonorities and rhythm of the language. Regular interactive exercises include the deciphering of street signs, advertisements, and news headlines.

Fundamental cultural elements pertaining to the history, geography, society, and customs of contemporary China are introduced on the occasion of each new lesson (e.g., teaching the 5 cardinal points will lead into the names and locations of the country’s 23 provinces). Occasionally, other varieties of Chinese, such as Cantonese and Hokkien, are mentioned, as well as Classical Chinese and “traditional” (unsimplified) characters, as they all permeate, to various degrees, the language habits of today’s Chinese Mainland.

By the end of the semester, students will be expected to command at least a third of the 400 most frequent characters defined by Bellassen and Zhang as the “minimal threshold” of essential sinograms. They should be able to look up unfamiliar characters using printed or digital dictionaries, and to write simple texts on paper or electronic devices, using both handwriting and Pinyin input methods. They will know how to introduce themselves, engage in a simple conversation, and formulate elementary requests in standard modern Chinese.

Additional Information: Elective course. Registration via email required. Students from both cohorts are invited to join the course, however, depending on the number of students, the course may be split later on.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Phillip Balsiger

Time and Place: Thursay, 16:00-18:00, Henkestraße 91, House 8, Room 02.276
ECTS: 5 ECTS

Synopsis:

 

Additional Information: Elective course. Final registration is required until the end of the second week of the semester.

 

Besides the specific SDAC courses, FAU offers a variety of courses open to students from the SDAC program. all coures offered in English at the Faculty of Humanties can be found here. Please be aware that these courses are not included in the SDAC modules and therefore the ECTS cannot be used for a SDAC module. If students participate and take the examination the class will be shown on the final transcript.