LTCS 120 - HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURE
Crossing Borders: Representations in Film and Literature
Instructor: Margrit Frolich
This course explores some of the historical and political circumstances under which individuals at different points in time and place leave (or are forced to leave) their country of origin and cross borders, to start a new existence, and often, to save their lives. The first half of the course is devoted to an inquiry into several distinct periods in German and European history: Paris as the center of exile for critical thinkers from Germany in the 19th century (such as German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine); the United States as the desired land and safe haven for oppressed European minorities in the 1890s (AMERICA, AMERICA, dir. Elia Kazan, USA, 1963); the flight of Jewish refugees from Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1930s and early 1940s (CASABLANCA, dir. Michael Curtiz, USA, 1942; Transit, written by Anna Seghers, 1942; Night in Lisbon, written by Erich-Maria Remarque, 1962); the border between East and West Germany before 1989 as emblematic of the division of Europe in the cold-war era (BARBARA, dir. Christian Petzold, Germany, 2012). Shifting the perspective from Europe to the American continent, the course will also address the historical and political implications of the border between the United States and Mexico through discussion of a film classic depicting immigration from the south: EL NORTE (dir. Gregory Nava, USA/GB 1983).