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Five-Week-Long NEH Summer Seminar
for School Teachers in Berlin, Germany

June 22-July 25, 2014

Migration and German Culture
Berlin's Cultural Diversity Across Two Centuries

Both Professor Peterson and Professor Shandley have spent considerable time in Berlin, and we have both witnessed the radical changes in the city. We have seen the city before and after the Wall, and we have also watched the transformation as the government moved from sleepy Bonn to its old and new capital. Most important, we have seen how Berlin has become self-consciously multi-ethnic with all the problems and possibilities that arise in a cosmopolitan environment.

brent peterson
Brent Peterson, who is Professor of German and Chair of the German Department at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, started out as a specialist in nineteenthcentury questions of ethnic identity, particularly, the way in which he could use narratives produced by and for German-Americans to map the way this minority adjusted its identity to the cultural reality of the United States. He then shifted his focus to nineteenth-century Germany, where he asked similar questions about what it meant to be German as the region gradually coalesced into a nation state. Frequent stays in Berlin and student interest in more contemporary topics led him to ask similar questions about today’s Germany, and he soon realized that there was no more interesting or important topic, at least for him, than the question posed by the presence of so many migrants in a society that still regarded itself as homogeneous.
Robert Schandley
Robert Shandley is Professor of German and Film Studies and Head of the Department of International Studies program at Texas A&M University. He has written books on immediate postwar German film, Hollywood films in Europe in the 1950s, and, most recently, American television military comedy during the Vietnam War. His work centers mostly on how film and television are used to negotiate cultural, historical, and political debates. He has been an active observer of how television and film are employed in current German questions of ethnic inclusion and exclusion.

Lawrence University
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National Endowment for the Humanities