Alumni-Club Nordamerika: „The Fall of the Berlin Wall“ Panel

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Datum und Uhrzeit
26.09.2019, 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr

CUNY Graduate Center


Friends of Freiburg will be hosting a mini conference for the Tag der Deutschen Einheit examining cultural aspects of the life in East Germany, and how they have been transformed since the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The event will take place from 6-8pm on Thursday, September 26, at the CUNY Graduate Center. The seminar will examine the East German art, film, and dissident scene, and consider how elements of all three continue to impact German culture thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The panel will be moderated by Sarah Stephens, an alumna of the University of Freiburg, who also lived and taught in East Germany during her graduate studies.

Panelists will include Dr. John Torpey, Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Dr. Barton Byg, Founding Director of the DEFA Film Library, and Cornelia Thomsen, a New York-based artist born in East Germany. It will be moderated by Friends of Freiburg’s own Sarah Stephens.

You can register for the event by clicking here. Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot soon!

The exact details for the venue are as follows: Room C-197 at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue (east side of Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets)

Barton Byg is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the only archive and study center outside Europe devoted to the cinema of the German Democratic Republic and related subjects. He has directed numerous conferences in German studies and film studies, and in 2001 established the DEFA Film Library’s series of biannual summer film institutes. Byg studied at the University of Freiburg early in his academic career.

Cornelia Thomsen spent the first 20 years of her life in East Germany, where she developed her passion for the arts. After reunification, Thomsen studied at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach/Main. In 2006, she moved to New York and co-founded the Erik Thomsen Gallery. Simultaneously, she published multiple series of artworks, including “Garden,” “Stripes and Structures”, and “Strokes” series. She has focused on researching and working with post-war German history in her “Role Models” series and through talks given at institutions including The University of Chicago, the UN, the Goethe Institut and the University of Pennsylvania.

John Torpey is Presidential Professor of Sociology and History and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is on the editorial board of Theory and Society and edits a series for Temple University Press titled “Politics, History, and Social Change.” Torpey is the author of several books, including Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent: The East German Opposition and its Legacy. During 2016-17, he was president of the Eastern Sociological Society.