The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research has been organizing theme-centered semesters on socially relevant topics on a regular basis ever since 2015. After ‘Thinking against Borders’’ (2015), ‘Public Anthropology’ (2016) and ‘Decolonizing the City – Decolonization Knowledge’ (2017), the semester topic for 2018 was ‘Global Cotton’
The idea is to give students a chance to concentrate on specific topics in greater depth while acquiring first-hand experience of research and vocational fields (e.g. film, sight-seeing tours, exhibition material, events management). The theme-centered semesters are planned and organized collaboratively by BA and MA students, graduates, doctoral students and lecturers, and are geared to people of all backgrounds.Transdisciplinary and transnational perspectives on contemporary challenges are being developed through active partnerships within the university including international guests. Cooperation with institutions and organizations in the City of Bremen (e.g. museums, local authorities, lobby groups, NGOs, cultural associations, activist organizations) is helping to reinforce the flow of knowledge between academia and general public in line with the underlying ethos of Public Anthropology; while at the same time pointing the way to varied future vocational options for course graduates. The theme-centered semesters not only help to foster students’ subject-specific skills but to create greater awareness of the place of academia and research in society and the need for greater transfers and collaborative projects.