The city of Berlin is widely recognized to be one of the world’s centers for contemporary art. But this development is relatively recent, as is the category of “global contemporary art.” How did this come to pass, and what importance might it have? In what ways does art claim to be “global” or “contemporary,” and with what consequences? How might we begin to critically evaluate the complex relationships between art, globalization, and contemporary politics? This course will engage such questions through an intensive immersion in the vibrant, cutting-edge environment of the Berlin art world. Students will learn about these issues first-hand by visiting key exhibitions and cultural institutions, and by meeting regularly with curators, critics, and artists. The course will culminate in a visit to the major international exhibition Documenta 14, which occurs once every five years and is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious venues for contemporary art.