Despite earning tenure and promotion to Associate Professor this spring, this year had its rough spots—some worse than others, especially the death of one of my closest aunts. Because of that, a few people—some who I thought were close to me and others who I knew weren’t—recommended that I cancel this course. In some strange way, I’m glad they did, because it reminded me of two very important things:
- A lot of people who compliment me on this course have no idea what it is, what it does, and/or what it means—not just to me but to my students and my friends and comrades in Berlin.
- This course means a lot to me and my students and my friends and comrades in Berlin.
My faith in the course was rewarded by a great group of students. They were thoughtful, kind, patient, interested, curious, and outright hilarious. I had so much fun with them, and I miss them already even though it’s only been one week since the course concluded. I could fill this page with memories:
- Charles declaring, “Those two left at the same time.”
- Me and Charles, singing, “If you liked it, you shoulda put a ring on it.”
- Laila’s hilarious faces and hand gestures—I wish I could type the sound she made to complement her monster face and hands.
- Dana’s and my “cheese fight.”
- Our first long-distance trip in the course.
- Izzy’s visit.
- The constant references to John’s future run for Senate.
- Sarah’s broad-shouldered dinner jacket.
- The search for mom jeans and the finding of a pair “in pristine condition.”
- Dereka’s new nose ring.
And as always, we had such a great time with and learned so much from everyone in Berlin who gave their time and energy to the course. Best of all, I think everyone knew just how much we appreciated them, because these students made every effort to ensure that from start to finish. If you haven’t yet, please check out the student podcasts (index below) and share them with anyone you know who may be interested in what we study here.
“Jewish History & Culture Walking Tour and the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand” by Noah Shuster
“ReachOut Berlin” by Madi Doerre
“Examining German Colonialism” by John B. Capers, Jr.
“Joliba Interkulturelles Netzwerk” by Laila Marshall
“Romanja Power and Cultural Preservation at the RomaniPhen Feminist Archive” by Anna Wermuth
“Talking Feminisms on Reboot.FM” by Sarah Leve
“1968 and The Berlin Wall” by Abby Williams
“Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh” by Charles Meyer
“The Queer Berlin Walking Tour and Visit to the Schwules* Museum” by Dereka Thomas
“LesMigraS” by Diana Muñoz
“Street Art & Graffiti Walking Tour and the Urban Nation Museum” by Zoë Frolik
To read and/or listen to the finales and view the indices and slideshows for the fall 2017 FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here; for the summer 2017 FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here; for the 2016 FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here; for the 2015 FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here; and for the inaugural 2014 FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here.