UNCG’s series of events included a film screening, two guest lectures, and student competitions. The events facilitated a variety of discussions investigating the historical significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification and its continued meaning today in a globalized world. We reached more than 350 participants. Well-planned advertising of all events raised awareness of Germany, the 25th anniversary of German unity, and German Weeks. The strategic distribution of promotional materials, e.g. postcards and posters distributed widely on campus; press releases/articles in online weekly campus publications, tweets on university websites, emails to the North Carolina chapter of the American Association for Teachers of German (NCAATG) listserv; spots run on local NPR stations; and invitations sent to members of the German-American business community in Greensboro and the larger Piedmont Triad region reached audiences well beyond faculty and students at UNCG.

Dr. Kreitinger screened Andreas Dresen’s recent film Als wir träumten and facilitated a discussion for the entire campus and the Greensboro community in order to understand how German unification shaped the political, social, and cultural developments in Europe and the world. By answering trivia questions that addressed the socio-historical context of the film, students could win T-shirts provided by the German Information Center. The film was well received by the attendees and raised several questions concerning German unification and the current situation in a unified Europe. Participants were particularly interested in relating past events to the current migrant crises in Europe and other parts of the world.

UNCG students and German Program faculty at the screening of Als wir träumten on October 21, 2015.

On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, Dr. Anke Pinkert, Associate Professor of German, Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign presented a talk entitled “Radical Hope: Post-1989 Memory in the City of Angels.” Her presentation connected her personal experiences of growing up in East Germany in the shadow of the wall with the time during and after unification. She explored how literary texts by one of the eminent German authors in the 20th century, Christa Wolf worked through these experiences.

Guest speaker Dr. Anke Pinkert with UNCG faculty and students.

On Monday, November 9, 2015, Dr. Friederike Eigler, Professor of German, Georgetown University presented a talk entitled “Literature and Forced Migration at the End of WWII: From National to Transnational Representations.” Professor Eigler’s lecture discussed recent developments in scholarship as well as changing literary approaches to the forced migration of ethnic Germans. Special emphasis will be placed on recent novels including Ulrike Draesner’s Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt , 2014 and Sabrina Janesch’s Katzenberge, 2010.  These novels move away from a strictly national approach by also addressing Polish post/memories of forced migration and by engaging with aspects of contemporary Europe. The audience, including undergraduate and graduate students from the Departments of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and History and the International and Global Studies Program, responded with great interest to the presentation, especially since the topics of flight and expulsion are extremely timely in today’s world.

Guest speaker Dr. Friederike Eigler with UNCG faculty and students.

On Wednesday, November 4, UNCG German students further engaged with the topic of unity by delivering speeches and presenting posters. These projects served as a preparation for the filming of a short video. These activities also functioned as our “Campus Competitions”; hence, prizes were awarded to five outstanding participants.

Participants of the Campus Competitions 2015.