Professor plans events around Berlin Wall anniversary

By Daisy Talbert

Lauren Hanson, visiting assistant professor of German at New College.
Lauren Hanson, visiting assistant professor of German at New College.

November marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lauren Hansen, visiting assistant professor of German at New College, is using this important moment in history to encourage students to participate in an exploration of German culture.

“I am planning a class for the fall [semester] entitled, The Berlin Wall and German Literature,” says Hansen. “In addition to that course, I am planning a program of events surrounding a replica of a piece of the Berlin Wall.”

The two monthlong events begin in September with the construction of a replicated portion of the Berlin Wall. Students will have the opportunity to spray paint the structure, as well as attend film screenings, participate in open mic nights, and witness reenactments of historic speeches. Hansen hopes to create a dialogue about both historic and contemporary border control.

“I’m hoping to disrupt, in a positive way, the flow of [campus] traffic … but also get people talking. [I want to] make people aware of this important part of German history, and [hope students] use it to relate to current themes of division, whether its social barriers, division on campus, or the U.S.-Mexico border, at large.”

Hansen is looking for students who are interested in film, theater, poetry, sculpture and art to help with the project.

“There are a lot of different ways students can get involved. First and foremost, I need help with constructing this eight-foot tall, 16-foot-long behemoth. I also need ideas!”

Berlin Wall events include a reenactment of President John F. Kennedy’s June 26, 1963, speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner;” Barriers: A Poetry Slam, poster presentations, and a knock-down event. The German Club is planning additional events.

For more information, please reach out to Professor Hansen. Upcoming events will be posted on the NCF Instagram.

— Daisy Talbert is an intern at the Office of Communications and Marketing.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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