November 9, 2012, marks the 23rd anniversary of the Berlin Wall's demise. In this multi-media, interactive presentation, Chaichian will take the audience for a brief historical journey and will reconstruct the events that led to the wall's construction in 1961 and its eventual demise in 1989, as well as the new developments that have shaped Berlin's new urban landscape in the post-wall era.
In addition to undertaking extensive archival research regarding the rise and fall of the infamous Berlin Wall, Chaichian also made a 10-day excursion to Berlin during which he visited museums and sites of the wall's remains including the infamous "Checkpoint Charlie," East Side Gallery, the Wall Museum and archives on Bernauer Straße; and trekked 40 kilometers of the wall's path between West Berlin and the former East German Republic by bike. This presentation is based on a chapter in his forthcoming book, Empires and Walls: Global Migration and Colonial Control (Brill Publishers, 2013), which examines walls that have been built in various historical periods to subjugate and control the colonized populations.
Chaichian joined Mount Mercy in 1994. He is the recipient of the 2008-2010 Dr. Thomas R. Feld Endowed Chair II for Teaching Excellence. He holds a master's degree in architecture, a master's degree in urban planning, and a Ph,D, in sociology. He has served twice as president of the Iowa Sociological Association. He has published numerous articles on contemporary Iran, immigration issues, urban political economy, and race relations, and has conducted workshops and given talks about the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His first book, White Racism on the Western Urban Frontier: Dynamics of Race and Class in Dubuque, Iowa 1800-2000 was published in March 2006 (Africa World Press). His second book, Town and Country in the Middle East: Iran and Egypt in the Transition to Globalization, was published by Lexington Books in 2008.
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