Incoming Freshmen in Early Fall Start studied Revolutions and their Art (Aug-Sept 2021). Students were located across the world in this remote learning course taught by German Studies professor, Ellwood Wiggins. In class, they discussed representations of revolutions from antiquity to today, including the American Revolution (Hamilton: a Broadway musical in which people of color play slave-owning revolutionaries) and the Haitian Revolution (in which people of color free themselves from slavery and establish an independent state). They also explored the art and poetry of recent Hong Kong protesters. They learned about revolutions and revolutionary theory through artworks and texts by German thinkers like Georg Büchner, Heiner Müller, and Hannah Arendt. Throughout the course, they worked in groups to create a public website on a revolution of their choice, for which they analyzed both visual and textual representations.
[Trophy of Civil Rights. Photo credit: @PKRippa]
One group explored the peaceful revolution of 1989 in East Germany. They analyzed artwork from the Berlin Wall ("Trophy of Civil Rights") and a previously untranslated poem from September 1989: "Was für ein Leben" ("What Kind of Life").