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German Spy Museum offers students insight to literary controls

English students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) were given an insight in to language control systems and identities during the epic #DMUglobal visit to Berlin.

Students from a variety of English language, literature and creative writing disciplines visited the German Spy Museum in Berlin to find out more about the way that language plays a part in surveillance and control.

Bladimie Germain, a postgraduate student on the English Language Teaching MA, said: “The museum is really interesting, I really like the espionage parts because, for me, it shows how powerful communication is and the massive effects of different forms of communication.”

“Exhibits here relate to a module I study on language and identities, I love that you can manipulate the English language and I think this shows that.”

Students learnt about when people first started spying on each other and the history and development of surveillance structures. There was also a discussion about how coded and secret languages work to avoid surveillance, and how easy it is to actually crack codes.

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Payge Temple, a second year English Literature student, said: “This is my first time in Berlin and it’s been good because we’ve just jumped straight in.

“We have studied Second World War poetry this year and I think you’re able to relate that to being here – I think it will really help in my modernity module next year as well.”

The students also visited the Bebelplatz, which was the site of infamous book burning ceremonies in the 1930s by university students.

Lydia Bell, a second-year English Literature and Creative Writing student, said: “We went to Bebelplatz earlier where, before Nazi occupation in the 1930s, university students burnt books by certain authors.

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“This trip is about learning about literary control and a lot of those writers who have been controlled were writing during the war.”

On Tuesday Health and Life Science students were also taking part in academic-led visits to enhance their learning.

Pamela Mhandu, a third year Biomedical Science student, said: “The museums are lovely, I have really enjoyed them!

"We’ve just seen the first washing machine created and it was amazing! As scientists things keep on changing and it does show how much changes over time. It shows that, as scientists, we can make the difference.”

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Biomedical Science student, Tres Armamento, added: “Visiting these museums gives us much more insight in to the modules we do, it does give you additional information.

"It’s my first time in Berlin and I love it here, it’s really good and the people are very friendly. There are such picturesque scenes here as well.”

More than 800 DMU students and staff are in Berlin this week with #DMUglobal, taking part in academic trips and opportunities to support their studies.

Posted on: Wednesday 14 June 2017

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