TU Berlin

Center for Metropolitan StudiesMigrant Deathscapes in Berlin

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PJ Migrant Deathscapes in Berlin

SE Migrant Deathscapes in Berlin

Barış Ülker

Modul 7: Methodik und Projektarbeit

Mi 10-12 Uhr • ONLINE • Beginn: 21.04.2020

Cemeteries are one of the oldest urban spaces. They have been considered as crucial reference points to explore the concept of settlement and idea of returning to a particular place. They demonstrate how cities grow and change in different periods of time. They also illustrate how spatial restructuring policies and plans affect the meaning and infrastructures of certain neighborhoods. Cemeteries provide a unique opportunity to think about life and death. These burial grounds contain sacredness, a long-lasting tradition of rituals, memories, reflections of the society about the world after death, cultural signs and symbols, a sense of belonging, and techniques of identity making. In different parts of the urban space, they are also used as gardens, public parks and heritage sites.
This course aims to understand the conditions and functions of cemeteries related to the question of dying and death in migratory contexts. Keeping in mind the intersections of migration scholarship and studies of dying and death, which have been developing since early 2000s, the course focuses on cemeteries in Berlin. To explore the intercultural negotiations related to urban space, two aspects will be particularly substantial within the framework of this course: first, different needs, interests and practices of migrants and established minority groups, and second, management of cemeteries and policies related to death.
This project seminar will be composed of theoretical and methodological discussions on secondary literature, individual and group excursions to cemeteries, and group work. The students, divided into small groups, will be working on the meanings, misunderstandings and conflicts about these shared spaces and creating short films (approximately 10 minutes) to reflect on their findings.


  • Bryant, Clifton D. ed. (2003). Handbook of Death and Dying. London: Sage Publications.
  • Cann, Candi K. ed. (2018). The Routledge AHndbook of Death and the Afterlife. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Hunter, Alistair and Ammann, Eva Soom (2016). “End-of-life Care and Rituals in Contexts of Postmigration Diversity in Europe: An Introduction,” Journal of Intercultural Studies, 37:2, 95-102.



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