Author Archives: tobiasboes

Beyond 1945

In my last post, I promised that I would give you a brief overview about the remaining episodes of Heimat, which cover almost 40 years, from the end of the Second World War to 1982.  As you can imagine, the structure of these episodes is looser than that of some of the ones we watched recently, and they are also longer.  All in all, they most closely resemble the very first episode we watched, which covered the Weimar years.

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Heimat Family Tree

Now that we’ve wrapped up our screenings of Heimat, I thought you might find it helpful to see the Simon family tree, which can help us remember how all the various characters were related.  The image below comes from the book Heimat – Eine deutsche Chronik that Reitz published in 1985, shortly after the first run of his series on German television.

As you can see, there’s a final row of great-grandchildren that appear only in the last three episodes, which we will not watch for our class (I’ll post some capsule summaries of these episodes later in the week).


We’ll watch the eighth and final (for purposes of our course) episode of Heimat tonight from 7:30 to 9:15 in De Bartolo 117.  There will be homemade cake! Your final papers are due prior to the screening.  Just send them … Continue reading

Marco Polo Project So Far – Part 2

During yesterday’s meeting with your team leaders and programmers, several people asked me whether I could share a template for what I considered to be a perfectly formatted placemark.  There’s unfortunately no easy way for me to upload a KMZ file to either this website or to Google Docs, but I’ll e-mail all of you a copy of the “Road to Cathay” file, which contains many excellent examples.

Meanwhile, here are some screen shots that should help you out.  The first shows the “Kashmir” placemark, which I think does a great job with textual sources.  Note that the person who wrote this paid equal attention to Marco Polo and the contemporary situation in Kashmir and incorporated these two parts into a fluid piece of prose, rather than just juxtaposing quotations.  The bibliography is professionally formatted and doesn’t require me to click through to another page.
The second screen shot shows the source code that was used to create this placemark.
The only problem with “Kashmir” is that it does not contain an image.  The last screenshot, of the “Wakhan” placemark, shows how to properly work with pictures.  The file has been resized to an appropriate dimension, and it has been attributed to the original creator who placed it in the public domain via Flickr.

Marco Polo Project So Far

As promised, here are some thumbnails of the Marco Polo project as it looks so far:

Since we last talked about this in class, I’ve had a chance to review a few more of your place marks.  I’m very happy with the work, but please keep in mind the copyright requirements that come with the assignment, specifically as they concern images.  The idea is that you go out and find image files that have a creative commons license; you cannot simply take a copyrighted image from, say the AP or the Washington Post and use it for this assignment, even if you attribute it.  Admittedly, such usage would almost certainly be covered by “fair use” clauses, but that’s not what the assignment stated – you need to find images that are in the public domain!


We’ll meet for another Heimat screening tonight at 7:30 pm in 117 De Bartolo.  Our two episodes, “Up and Away and Back” and “Home Front” will carry us into the 1940’s and thus also into the Second World War. Note … Continue reading

Peer Review Groups for Final Paper

Here are your peer review groups for the final paper:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

Group 4:

Group 5:

Be sure to email your paper to your two teammates and to me in MS-Word compatible format (.doc, .docx, .rtf) no later than Tuesday, November 23, at 5 pm!


Tonight’s screening of Heimat will once again begin at 7:30 pm in 117 De Bartolo.  In episodes 3 and 4, “The Best Christmas Ever” and “The Imperial Highway,” we will be exploring everyday life under the Nazi regime during the … Continue reading


Attention: In order to make the Heimat screenings accessible to as many people as possible, I’ve moved our time slot up by half an hour.  So from now on, the episodes will be shown in 117 De Bartolo from 7:30 … Continue reading

A Sense of Belonging

I greatly enjoyed our initial discussion of Edgar Reitz’s Heimat series on Tuesday, and have been thinking about it a lot since.  When I prepared to lead class that day, I anticipated that we would have to work through some largely formal objections – the slow pacing of the series, the many amateur actors, etc.  But clearly I underestimated you, because you rightly identified these characteristics as important elements of Reitz’s style.  And while we may not have found a coherent answer for why he would use such a deliberately amateurish style, we’ve already made significant inroads into our analysis of the series, inroads that we will build on next week. Continue reading