On Deutschland 83, a Cold War TV show that’s anything but a copy of The Americans

Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire just ended their massive 5+ season runs. The Americans is currently on hiatus, and I haven’t begun shows like Outlander. What’s a series junkie and history professional (or buff) to do? I strongly recommend Sundance’s Deutschland 83. This series centers around an East German border guard, Martin, beginning a new assignment as a spy in West Germany. Deutschland 83 takes place at the height of the Cold War and covers themes that fans of The Americans will find familiar, but since this show is about a novice spy and young 20-something, it builds tension and explores the 80s in a completely different way than The Americans does with its focus on career espionage vs. family life.

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Film Review: Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark.

Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark (We are young. We are strong.)
Burhan Qurbani
Release Date: January 22nd, 2015
Run Time: 123 Minutes
Language: German, Vietnamese

Photo : zorrofilm.de

Photo : zorrofilm.de

Riots. Poverty. Shiftless youth. Anti-immigrant hysteria. Impotent authorities. Descent into violence. Rostock-Lichtenhagen, Germany, 1992. This is the world Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark occupies for 123 minutes of continuously-ramped up tension. Director Burhan Qurbani presents an increasingly tense black and white world that eventually explodes into full color and uncontrollable rage.

I figured I’d open my blog with something different than most public history blogs and explore a historical film in my first post. One of the interesting aspects of my exchange at the Free University of Berlin has been how German public history students are much more likely (than their American counterparts) to mention things like journalism, film, theater, and even literature as ways of practicing public history. This is a theme I’d like to continue exploring on this site. Continue reading

Praxis and Theory in Public History Graduate Programs

Exploring the Past

The National Council on Public History published their findings today on a new study about public history students and their experiences in graduate school. The study is part of a new NCPH initiative called “Public History Navigator: How to Choose and Thrive in a Graduate Program” that aims to give prospective public history graduate students more information about the realities of employment in the field and what to expect during their time in graduate school.

Two findings in the study stick out to me:

1. “47% of students held an internship in graduate school.”

2. “Respondents believe that they should have gained greater knowledge of practical skills like grant-writing, budgeting, and technology as opposed to theory.”

There is more than a casual relationship between these two findings. Students are not receiving on-the-job training through internships or classroom projects during their time in graduate school, so many responses indicate…

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