What comes to be known and seen as a global iconic event? Focusing on news coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on contemporary retellings of the event, Julia Sonnevend discusses how storytellers build up certain events so that people remember them for a long time. The East German border opening that we know as the "fall of the Berlin Wall" was in fact unintentional, confusing, and prompted in part by misleading media coverage of bureaucratic missteps. But its global message is not about luck or accident or happenstance in history. Incarnated as a global iconic event, the fall of the Berlin Wall has come to communicate the momentary power that ordinary people can have. The event's story, branded as a simple phrase, a short narrative and a recognizable visual scene, provides people from China to Israel to the United States with a powerful social myth. This myth shapes our debates about separation walls and fences, borders, and refugees, and the possibilities of human freedom to this day.
Details of the book event on the website of Literati Bookstore (including address):
Professor Sonnevend will be joined in conversation by Dr. William Uricchio from MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program.
To learn more about Professor Sonnevend, her book, and research read her interview with U-M's Global Media Studies Initiave at: