German 159: A Unified Country? Post-Wall Germany at 30

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

This fall is the 30th anniversary of German unification. On this occasion, this course will revisit German division, unification, and their aftermath. We will pursue three primary questions: 1. What was life in East Germany like? We will focus particularly on everyday life and culture. 2. What actually happened in 1989? The opening of the Berlin Wall was the most spectacular event of that year, but what were some of the events that preceded it and made it possible? What happened right after it? 3. What role does the fall of the wall still play 30 years later? How has it shaped society and culture? We will seek to understand the differences that still persist between East and West and how they play out in the current moment, for instance in response to the recent refugee crisis. Throughout the course, we will seek out different perspectives. Assigned materials include documentaries, first-person accounts, and literary depictions. If you want to watch something about the topic ahead of time, I recommend viewing the comedy Good Bye Lenin (2003). This course is conducted in German.