This course explores the Berlin Wall as a site of history and imagination within the context of postwar politics, culture, and everyday life. We will discuss the events leading to the construction of the physical border, life with the Wall, the fall of the Wall and the persistence of mental “walls” between East and West Germans after unification. Specific areas of focus will be the ideological division of Germany; life in the GDR (youth culture, the planned economy, the Stasi); and Germany today. The course readings will be supplemented by historical documents, feature films, video and audio eye witness accounts, music and other media. By the end of the semester you should have a more detailed understanding of postwar events (chronology, cause and effect); ideology; historiography (how historical events were represented and interpreted in the FRG and GDR); aspects of everyday life in the GDR and unified Germany. Primary readings and discussion will be in German.
Satisfies Core Area IV (World Languages and Culture) and the Franklin College Literature requirement.