The Told and Untold Stories of Berlin: A Walk-Through History

Photo Credit: Talia Silverstein

By Talia Silverstein

Today our adventures in Berlin took us through some of the city’s most famous historical sites. Our tour guide, Kathinka Minthe, walked us through many parts of the city, teaching us about the history, social discourse, and controversy that each place held. We started at the Reichstag Building, home to the German Parliament and finished at Museum Island where we saw Angela Merkel’s home. We visited the Brandenburg Gate, walked through Tiergarten, and explored The Memorial for the Murdered Jews. We walked along Hannah Arendt Straße to get to the site of Hitler’s old bunker, now a parking lot, and later saw Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus, a section of the old Berlin wall. Around the corner was the Topographie of Terror and Checkpoint Charlie,  the site of a historic standoff. We wrapped up at the site of the infamous book burning, across the street from the Käthe Kollwitz Museum. The focus of our tour was to examine the ways in which these historical landmarks allowed us to discuss some of the “hidden” women of Berlin’s intricate history.

One of the topics discussed was remembering history without memorializing all of it. When you visit Germany, the first thing many American visitors think about are the sites where World War II, Nazis, and Hitler stood not so long ago. This horrific history is something every German citizen acknowledges and learns about, but many of the actual sites that had been part of the war are now new or renovated. The historical relevance of the war is not lost on people today. As Michael Stewart writes in Remembering without Commemoration: The Mnemonics and Politics of Holocaust Memories among European Roma, “I came to feel that for many people, the memory of the entire war was condensed into a few images that were normally kept deep in the shadows of the cave, illuminated occasionally and incandescently before being enveloped gain in the penumbra of the past.” While this is a history that Berlin wants to make sure to remember, when it comes to memorializing an atrocity it is hard to find “positive” ways to do this. It seems to me that the people of Berlin are in a constant struggle between remembering and acknowledging atrocities without glorifying those who committed them. We cannot forget the actions of Hitler and the Nazis, but at the same time, Berlin must be able to grow and develop. The people of Berlin have made the conscious decision to memorialize some and destroy others. The sites most often destroyed were those with ties to the Nazi party to deter neo-Nazis from using the places as a pilgrimage sites.

Photo Credit: Talia Silverstein

A surreal moment during our tour was when we visited Checkpoint Charlie. None of the historical or original buildings are there at all. What remains are tourist-oriented museums designed to attract. The streets are full of stereotypical USSR and fake communist propaganda for sale. It was a space flooded with tourists hoping to see a piece of history. In the middle of the street a fake USSR checkpoint hut stands for people to take pictures with, of course only if they are willing to pay a fee. The line to take pictures by the hut stretched over a block and almost every tourist held in hand some piece of fake propaganda or were adorned in Cold War uniform replicas. It seemed like a cheesy a commodification not only of a difficult history, but also of the German/Soviet. Watching people capitalize on the hardships of millions left a pit in my stomach.

Further, the little proof we saw of accomplished women was hard to find and are usually newer and smaller. For example, during our tour on Tuesday, Carolyn Gammon showed us that the women’s wing in Humboldt University was only a tiny hallway. To build on this today, we learned about Käthe Kollwitz, a German artist. Her art depicts poverty, hunger, and working-class struggles. She was the first woman elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts, and had a small museum in her honor. We would’ve visited but, like a lot of Berlin, it was unfortunately closed for renovations. Another famous Berliner, Hannah Arendt, a political theorist and philosopher, has a street named after her. The last woman we saw at the Topographie of Terror was Stella Kubler, a Jewish convert to Christianity turned catcher, who went underground rounding up hidden Jews for the Gestapo. She was an open anti-Semite and was eventually charged with war crimes.

Photo Credit: Liza Bering

Reflecting on the absence of women’s history, they truly are hidden. With a critical eye, you can begin to uncover the stories of these powerful and notable women. As Sidonia Blättler and Irene M. Marti write in “Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom, “Internal contradictions, incompleteness, and obstinacy characterize the work of Rosa Luxemburg as well as that of Hannah Arendt […] Due to their respective Jewish and Jewish-Polish origins, their gender (which they hardly ever mentioned and when they did, only in private) and the prevailing historical-political situation, both women were strangers in a world whose imposing list of identifications they flatly refused.” As a Jewish woman who has grown up in a predominantly Jewish community, I can’t help but to recognize the importance of remembering this history.  As Stewart writes, “Rather than focus on the means of ‘forgetting’, ‘obliterating’, and ‘downplaying’ the past’ I focus on the ways in which, despite Gypsy ‘presentist’ rhetoric, the past is ‘remembered’ among Gypsy populations.” Until now, I have never understood the struggle for those who it so closely surrounds to be able to escape this history in order to be recognized as more than it.


Photo Credit: Liza Bering

Talia Silverstein is a rising sophomore from Port Washington, NY. She is planning on majoring in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies and double minoring in Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies at Colorado College. She is passionate about her photography, drawing, and poetry. During her time at CC, she hopes to have more opportunities like this class that allow her to travel, explore, and participate in hands on learning. While in Berlin, she plans on getting lost as much as possible unless it makes her late to class.

Marketing Narratives and Misplacing Others: Queer Berlin Tour

By Amelia Eskenazi

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The gray skies and chilled temperature greeted us this morning as we hustled out of our apartment at 8:15 trying to decide whether or not we wanted to ride the bus this morning. Quickly becoming Google Maps pros, we decided to walk, weaving through the streets of West Berlin to the Reichstag, where we were supposed to meet the rest of our group and our tour guide, Ryan, who leads the Queer Berlin Walking Tour.

Ryan began our tour by explaining how it had changed since the FemGeniuses took the tour last year: “It used to be the history of gay men in Berlin tour, but we changed it because it’s a queer history tour.” Pleasantly surprised, we began the tour near Hotel Adlon where Ryan told us a story about prolific artist Francis Bacon and his stay at the infamous hotel. According to Ryan, one morning when the room service was delivered and Bacon was in bed with his male partner at the time, the person delivering the food “didn’t blink an eye.” This is apparently when Francis Bacon knew that Berlin was the city for him. But as a white gay man, any city that markets to queer culture markets to him. While Berlin is oftentimes described as the “queer capital of Europe,” we must ask ourselves, whose queerness is valued and whose is diminished within this so-called progressive culture?

As we walked towards the U-Bahn station to catch a train to the “notoriously gay” neighborhood of Schöneberg, we learned about some of the legislation behind LGBT criminalization in Germany. Ryan explained to us that when the separate states of Germany were unified in 1871, Section 175 of the German penal code was written, criminalizing sodomy across the country. When the Nazis were in power, they utilized Section 175 as a means of persecuting homosexual individuals. On our walk, we passed a memorial for homosexual individuals who were persecuted along these lines during the Holocaust. The memorial, designed by Ingar Dragset and Michael Elmgreen consists of a concrete cube with a five-minute video of a gay or lesbian couple kissing projected on the inside. When the memorial was first created, the only videos used showcased gay men. According to Ryan, after some public outcry by individuals living in Berlin, videos of lesbians were added and the videos are now rotated every six months. Due to the pervasiveness of gay male culture in Berlin, this addition later on is not uncommon. Unfortunately, due to construction, we were not able to view the videos.

IMG_1921Schöneberg, the first neighborhood we went to, has been notorious for being lesbian and gay friendly since the 20s and 30s. About ten years ago, however, the owner of a Dolce Freddo, a local ice cream shop, threw out two gay men after one of the men kissed the other’s cheek while ordering ice cream. The next day when the owner walked from the subway stop to his ice cream shop, he saw hundreds of lesbian and gay couples kissing—the result of a kissing protest that had been staged in response to his requests for the couple to not publicly display affection in his shop. According to Ryan, the Mayor of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Ekkehard Band (who was openly gay), stated that these “types of action were no longer welcome in Berlin.” Spectacles of queer affection, like this one, have been used as a means of sexual assimilation throughout Berlin for the last few decades. According to Jin Haritaworn in “Queer Injuries: The Racial Politics of ‘Homophobic Hate Crime’ in Germany,” the use of kiss-ins are used as a means of exemplifying  progressivism. “Today’s kissers occupy space very differently. Rather than sick perverts outside the law, they are state-sponsored envoys” (76). She continues to claim that “the vulnerable, respectable body of the gay kisser brings home the need for a military and police apparatus to protect the safety of the vulnerable and to defend ‘our’ hard-won values of freedom and diversity” (83). But Berlin’s use of gay and lesbian history as a means of marketing modernism does not stop at commemorating public displays of affection in parks and support from political figures.

IMG_1924While in Schöneberg, we visited the former home of acclaimed author Christopher Isherwood. Similar to Francis Bacon, Isherwood was not originally from Germany; he came to Berlin after hearing about the openness of the gay and lesbian community in the 20s and 30s. While in Berlin, Isherwood developed a relationship with a man named Otto Dix. He stayed in Berlin for a few years, writing short stories and developing relationships within the gay community of Schöneberg and Kreutzberg. Two of his most famous books, Goodbye to Berlin and Christopher and His Kind, are focused on his experiences in Berlin. According to Ryan, Isherwood left Berlin in 1933, the night after the Nazi book burning. Though Isherwood’s relationships and literary accomplishments were quite significant for Berlin’s lesbian and gay community, Ryan did not mention any people of color who have also impacted marginalized communities within Berlin, especially LGBTQ communities.

Part of the reason why the FemGeniuses study in Berlin is because for many years, Audre Lorde came to Berlin each summer, teaching, working, and writing with women of color, especially Black German women. Her presence in Berlin was so impactful that a group of Afro-German women, including May (Opitz) Ayim and Katharina Oguntoye co-edited a book entitled Farbe Bekennen: Afro-Deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Gechichte in 1986 with Dagmar Schultz as a means of documenting their experiences and diasporic herstories individually and collectively. This book was the first published edited collection of autobiographical writing by Black German women. Despite this accomplishment, neither Lorde’s impact nor her times in Berlin were mentioned on our tour. As Lorde writes in the foreword of Farbe bekennen, “Racism cuts a wide and corrosive swath across each of our lives. The overt climate that racism takes can alter according to society and our national situations…[A]s members of an international community of people of color, how do we strengthen and support each other in our battles against the rising international ride of racism?” (x). Although queer and trans people of color throughout Berlin and all over Germany have been working to create a cohesive and well-known community, the lack of recognition on a tour from a well-advertised company becomes a lack of acknowledgement.

IMG_1923In a place that has been so influential for LGBTQIA+ history in general, we must analyze the way in which these subjectivities have been evicted out of mainstream history. Due to the focus of this class being the intersections of identity within Berlin, it is important to know the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer individuals. Nevertheless, the way in which this history is framed and who frames it is important to critique. Along these lines, in “Knowledge of (Un-) Belonging: Epistemic Change as a Defining Mode for Black Women’s Activism in Germany,” Dr. Maisha Eggers writes, “Narration is considered central to changing perceptions of normalcy. Since narration creates and conserves normalcy, dismantling legitimized and historicized dominant knowledges requires counter-narration” (7). Regarding Berlin, these counter-narrations are widely written, spoken, and known. The issue now is shifting the whitewashed epicentral focus to one that includes voices that are oftentimes forgotten in dominant discourses.

IMG_1910Nevertheless, the traps of marketed neoliberal queerness within Berlin are hard to avoid and easy to get excited about. However, at the end of the day, they are not an accurate depiction of the various intersections of queerness within Berlin. Without acknowledging these intersections, the dominant narrations appear to be the sole narrations. Over the last few days, I have begun to question my role in perpetuating the normalcy of prevailing discourses. As a white queer individual, I’ll end with this question: How am I contributing to the hegemonic discourses already in place?


EskenaziAmelia Eskenazi is a rising sophomore at Colorado College from Indianapolis, Indiana with a major in Feminist and Gender Studies. In their free time, Amelia is a fan of film photography, making zines, and listening to punky girl bands. While in Berlin, they look forward to eating vegan pastries, exploring flea markets, and documenting all of the street art.

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The New Berlin Walking Tour

By Melissa L. Barnes

From the Reichstag building made out of chocolate to Hitler’s bunker to the site of the World War II book burning—for 3 hours today, we toured one of the busiest areas of Berlin and learned about the history of Germany.

Hotel Adlon

Hotel Adlon [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

We began at the Hotel Adlon, where Michael Jackson infamously dangled his youngest son, Blanket, over a balcony. Across the street from the hotel, we saw the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, and we explored the potential meanings of the wordless art memorializing the heinous attempted extinction during World War II—memorials remembering others who lost their lives are spaced out around the same area. The memorial consisted of blocks of varying size, reminding me of coffins, with spaces wide enough for us to walk between each wedge of concrete. Peter Eisenman, the architect who designed the memorial, refused to answer questions about the meaning of his memorial other than the fact that his inspiration was drawn from Jewish cemeteries.

Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe

Kaimara in the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

Ximena offered her interpretation that walking through the memorial signified the unpredictability Jewish people faced during the Holocaust. When walking through the memorial, I could see other students I know and then I would quickly lose them behind the pieces of concrete; I can only imagine being separated from family members and loved ones, seeing them for a moment, and probably never seeing them again and never knowing exactly what happened.

Hitler's Bunker

Blaise (left) and I (right) Standing Four Meters above Hitler’s Bunker

We then walked to the site of Hitler’s bunker, which is now covered with earth and a “car park” or parking lot. We were standing 4 meters above his bunker and saw the playground that is now at its former exit. Next to Hitler’s underground bunker is the site of the former Nazi headquarters, which was demolished by the Soviets. When the tour guide told us that we were currently standing on top of Hitler’s bunker, I actually felt a little sick to my stomach.

The Slide Placed at the Former Exit of Hitler’s Bunker

The Slide Placed at the Former Exit of Hitler’s Bunker

I did not expect to be so close to history and deeply sad, disturbing tragedy. I was expecting to witness the consequences of World War II, but not necessarily the actual location of Hitler’s final act of violence. As a psychologist-in-training, I am intrigued with the psychology of war, but my research has focused more on the victims of war not the personal aspects of the perpetrators of war. Suddenly being thrust into the setting of Hitler’s direct decision process caught me aback.

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

The Berlin Wall is much, much shorter than I thought it would be and the tour guide correctly said, “Most of you were probably expecting something like the Great Wall of China.” However, our tour guide taught us about “The Death Strip” and the differences in life experiences between those who lived in East Berlin and those in West Berlin. For example, those in East Berlin likely never actually saw the concrete wall because of the underground mines, sand-hidden spikes, and “shoot-to-kill” policies strategically placed well before the wall.

On our way to the ending point of the tour, we briefly stopped to look at chocolate-made buildings, but were not allowed inside the store for some reason. I tried taking a picture of the chocolate-made Reichstag building; however, the store’s windows were too glossy to take pictures.

Heinrich Heine Quote in the State Opera Square

Heinrich Heine Quote in the State Opera Square

After this, we walked to the square in which Joseph Goebbels endorsed and led the burning of books written by authors not approved by the National Socialist administration. Within the square there is a plaque that features a quote from Heinrich Heine in German claiming, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” However, Heine was talking about the Spanish Inquisition not the Final Solution. When we were talking about this quote, I thought about the letter Audre Lorde and Gloria I. Joseph wrote to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Lorde and Joseph discuss the implications for community silence that perpetuate the ignorance leading to particular historical events and boost the likelihood that these events, such as violence, war, and discrimination, will re-occur. Just as Heine observed the process of burning people during the Spanish Inquisition, the burning of books by Goebbel led to the subsequent burning of unaccepted people by the National Socialist administration.

Heidi Giving us the "Key Talk”

Heidi Giving us the “Key Talk” [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

Our official tour ended with Heidi giving an impassioned speech about our use of the apartment keys. We are currently staying in two separate apartments, and the FemGeniuses I am living with only took one out of three sets of keys when we left for the tour—I brought the key, yay me! Heidi subsequently lectured us on the importance of bringing all of our keys, since we just about locked ourselves out of our apartment because I almost gave Heidi my key so that she could retrieve her laptop bag after the tour.

Our Tour Guide Rob McC and I

Our Tour Guide Rob McC and I [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

Our unofficial tour ending consisted of our tour guide, Rob McC, showing us the way to our first bar/biergärten experience with many of us enjoying our first drink in Germany! Thank you, Rob McC!

 

 

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Me and Kadesha

Me and Kadesha [Photo Credit: Blaise Yafcak]

This fall, Melissa will be starting her final year as a student at Colorado College, double-majoring in Feminist & Gender Studies and Psychology. This fall, she is planning to apply to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology.

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The FemGeniuses Are in Berlin

Students

Well, FemGeniuses family, we made it!

I arrived in Berlin on Saturday, May 24, and all of the FemGeniuses (pictured L to R: Nicole, Stefani, Kadesha, Melissa, Casey, Ximena, Blaise, Kaimara, and Beril) arrived yesterday—Sunday, May 25. Kaimara arrived around 8 am, and we were lucky that their apartment was available so that she didn’t have to roam around all day waiting for check-in. She did want to walk around a bit and get some air—which makes sense after her 8-9 hour flight from Chicago—so we walked to get some breakfast.

We ate at the Nalu diner, a place I found online a few weeks ago. I wanted to try it because I’m a sucker for eggs, bacon, French toast and thangs for breakfast, and that’s what they have on the menu. I ordered the aforementioned with some orange juice—delicious!—and Kaimara ordered pretty much the same thing except she ordered regular toast—she says it was delicious! Fun fact. The diner is named for a breakfast place one of the owners visited in Honolulu, where he spent time growing up in the 80s, called “Eggs and Things.” But “Nalu,” which actually means “surf,” is just an easy name to say in German, English, and Hawaiian.

By the time we went back to their apartment, Blaise had almost arrived. Once her driver parked, she almost killed some bikers by opening her door right in the bike lane. We only laughed because no one got hurt. She didn’t see the bikers because she claims she was so happy to see me. I was happy to see her, too.

After we got settled, we went to get Blaise’s currency exchanged—her hard-headed self didn’t heed my advice to do that in the TXL airport in Berlin. I was going to get mine changed at the airport in Newark, but the man was trying to hustle me and I wasn’t having it. To be honest, though, I didn’t even heed my own advice. I forgot to change my currency at TXL, and had to go to the city to get mine changed, too, after I arrived the day before. Haha.

BBQ Duck from BBQ Kitchen

BBQ Duck from BBQ Kitchen

During the non-exchange of the currency process, we ate some lunch at the BBQ Kitchen. I had BBQ duck—delicious!—Kaimara had pommes frites (French fries), and Blaise had some potatoes and thangs. I also had this great apple juice spritzer that was so light and refreshing! Let me also point out something I learned about Berlin when Tony—my husband—and I visited last November. They do NOT play about wasting condiments. You get one serving, and if you want more, you pay extra. No handfuls of ketchup at McDonald’s. Pretty smart, actually. Meanwhile, it was good getting out and about, even though we didn’t get the currency, because I was able to show them some things about getting around in the city.

After this, Blaise and I took her bags to her apartment. We walked for almost 30 minutes, which was silly because we could have taken a tram. That was my fault. Haha. Still, we were able to do some bonding, and I could point out some things about the area and give her some more tips about local travel. She’s super smart and has been picking up on all that really quickly. We had to stop by the main office to get the keys, which made us about 15-20 minutes late meeting Stefani and Kadesha, who were on the same flight from Denver to Berlin. Of course, they had to fuss me out. They’re so resourceful, though. When Blaise and I arrived at the main office, Nathan—the manager (who’s been SO helpful to me since I started planning this trip months ago)—told me, “Your students found some of our other residents and gave us a call! I told them you’d be there in about 10 minutes!” How’d they manage to do that without using their own phones? They buzzed almost every apartment in the building until they found someone to help them! Gotta love my FemGeniuses! I should also mention that they fussed me out even more because their (very beautiful) apartment is on the 5th floor, and there’s no elevator/lift! Haha!

Melissa & Ximena hadn't arrived yet. :(

Melissa & Ximena hadn’t arrived yet. 😦

I wasn’t able to stay long enough to greet Casey, because I had to go back to my apartment and get ready for our dinner at Käfer GmbH and tour of the Deutscher Bundestag, where the German Parliament meets for business. Fancy, huh? I’m not even gonna tell you how much dinner cost! But it was so very nice! It’s so prestigious that I had to send along our full names and birthdates so they could check our identification before we went through the security system.

The Salad

The Salad

For starters, we ate an elaborate salad—buffalo mozzarella with farm tomatoes with old balsamic and basil pesto. For dinner, we ate pink-fried beef filet with white asparagus, new crop potatoes, vegetable-vinaigrette, and Hollondaise sauce.

Fried Corn-Fed Chicken Breast on Asparagus Risotto with Braised Red Wine-Shallots, White Mushrooms, and Buerre Blanc

The Chicken

Blaise doesn’t eat red meat, so she ate fried corn-fed chicken breast on asparagus risotto with braised red wine-shallots, white mushrooms, and Buerre blanc.

Strawberry Tartlet with Sour Cream Ice Cream and Woodruff Sauce

The Strawberry Tartlet

And for dessert, we all ate a strawberry tartlet with sour cream ice cream and woodruff sauce. DELICIOUS, I tell you. And didn’t I tell you it was fancy? Just look at these pictures. Hmph—my FemGeniuses are sho ‘nuff spoiled.

Deutscher Bundestag Dome

Deutscher Bundestag Dome

Now, I should tell you that the only reason I could tell you all the names of this stuff is that I only just now deleted the reservation email. It’s so fancy that they have a limited menu, and I had to order everything in advance. Yaasszz, hunty.

Reichstag

Deutscher Bundestag

After we ate and looked around the building—while Blaise took these pictures—we headed back to the apartments and tried to get some rest. But let me say a little bit about these apartments. First of all, they’re extremely beautiful. At first, I was looking for hostels—thinking that’s the typical way college students do study abroad courses. However, my colleague Gail Murphy-Geiss told me that she found apartments for her students studying in France this past spring, and I am really glad she made that suggestion. While I was conducting research, I found the most beautiful apartments that were suitable for accommodating large groups of people—the Old Town Apartments. And after Tony and I visited them this past November? We fell in love! I’m not going to tell you where the students are staying exactly, but if you click that link (above), you can see the beauty for yourself—they look just like the pictures. I swear.

Frauenkreise Berlin

Frauenkreise Berlin

The great thing is that I’m staying nearby in an independently owned apartment that I love. And all of our apartments, near Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, are also close to our classroom space at Frauenkreise. Please check out their website by clicking the link—they are doing some great work, and Gabriele “Gabi” Zekina has been tremendously great to me since we first connected last fall online. We’re all within a 5-minute walk of the nearest grocery stores, and our apartments are equipped with stoves, ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, and cooking utensils so that we all can balance eating out with eating in. Things couldn’t have worked out better in this regard, and I must say that my students will be staying at Old Town each and every time I’m able to teach this course, which will hopefully be every year for the rest of my natural life.

Kaimara

Kaimara

Last, I should say that I couldn’t be happier with this inaugural group of students enrolled in my first study abroad course. I say that because five of them have taken a class with me more than once, so we know each other pretty well. Kaimara took her first Feminist & Gender Studies (FGS) course, Intro to Feminist & Gender Studies (Intro), with me last spring, and she also took Feminist Theory (Theory) with me this past spring. She’s going to minor, which couldn’t make me happier.

Blaise

Blaise

Blaise also took her first FGS course with me, Intro, which was actually her first college course ever. It was also the first time I’d taught a First-Year Experience (FYE) course at Colorado College (CC) during the fall semester in 2011, so our history together has some real significance for us both. She also took my Theory course. She’s also minoring in FGS (majoring in Biology), and she’s going to graduate next spring, so I’ll probably cry. Haha.

Melissa

Melissa

Similar things can be said about Melissa. She also took the same FYE course I taught with Blaise. She was also in the same Theory course. The difference is that Melissa also took me for Black Feminist Theory this spring and has decided to double-major in FGS and Psychology. She’s also graduating next spring, and I’ll probably cry again. Haha.

Kadesha

Kadesha

Kadesha also took me for FYE, Intro, during the fall semester in 2012. She also took my Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) course this past fall. She decided to major in FGS recently, and we’ll be working together on a college-funded research project this summer after our time in Berlin! Clearly, she—like Melissa—is ushering in the next generation of Black feminists in a flame way!

Stefani

Stefani

Stefani also took my FYE course, Intro, this past fall. She then took me again for CWS with Kadesha again last fall. I keep saying that I must be getting better at teaching FYE—a really hard first course for college students—because she’s the first student that took me that soon after the FYE. Most of the students can’t deal with me again for at least a year! Haha! Stefani’s a superstar, though, so I gotta give her credit!

Casey and Nicole

Casey and Nicole

Finally, Casey, Nicole, Beril, and Ximena are taking me for the first time here in Berlin.

Beril and Ximena

Beril and Ximena

I wholeheartedly welcome them into the FemGeniuses crew, and hope they’ll take many more classes with me before they graduate!

As for our time in Berlin, keep reading and following us during our journey! Today, we went on a walking tour, and Melissa is in the process of finishing up her blog about that experience as I write! Stay tuned, and be well!

Heidi

Heidi

Best,

Heidi