ASU celebrates 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall


September 30, 2014

Students in the School of International Letters and Cultures and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at ASU commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall through a host of lectures, events and student activities.

With funding from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C., and the two ASU schools, several events explore the peaceful protests in the German Democratic Republic that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Furthermore, a roundtable discussion of ASU faculty will engage the historical context of Nov. 9 against the backdrop of other highly charged events associated with the Nov. 9 date, such as the 1938 Nazi pogrom. Fall of the Wall events at ASU Download Full Image

Another roundtable discussion with ASU colleagues will situate the East German protests in the context of reform efforts in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, as well as protest movements in Poland. Finally, artistic and cinematic representations of the wall and its demise will be featured in two formal lectures by guest speakers. As such, the events will offer an interdisciplinary and also international perspective on the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years after its downfall.

In addition to these events, student activities such as a poster competition, video production, as well as the design and building of a wall of boxes, establish a dialogue between students and faculty. This conversation will culminate on Nov. 10 with students and faculty actually tearing down this wall made of boxes on Hayden Lawn. Also on Nov. 10, ASU will present the winning posters at a lecture on East German youth protests in 1989. These events will not only commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall as the foundation for German and European unification, but they will also be a visible sign of student engagement at ASU.

Upcoming Fall of the Wall events:

Roundtable Discussion: “Gorbachev, Poland’s Solidarnosc, and East Germany’s Wende. Reform Movements in Eastern Europe and the Fall of Communism”
2:30-4 p.m, Oct. 3, Coor Hall, room 4403, Tempe campus
Sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures, the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies at ASU. Panelists: Mark von Hagen, Ania Cichopek-Gajraj and Volker Benkert. Moderator: Stephen Batalden

"Mauerspringer. East and West German Art across the Wall"
2:30-4 p.m., Oct. 24, Memorial Union, La Paz Room
Sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Speakers: professor Claudia Mesch, ASU, and professor Sebastian Heiduschke, Oregon State University.

“Tear Down this Wall!” Event on Hayden Lawn
9 a.m.-noon, Nov. 10
Sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

“Youth Opposition, Youth Conformism and Youth Escapism in the late GDR”
4 p.m., Nov. 10, West Hall, room 135, Tempe campus
Catherine Plum, Western New England University, and presentation of the poster competition winners.

The School of International Letters and Cultures and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies are academic units of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.