Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Winter Landscape in Moonlight, 1919.
After analyzing two Expressionist poems in our Intro to German Lit seminar, one student mentioned that the Frist Center in Nashville was hosting a special exhibition of German Expressionist art. In the past, the German Klub here at Tennessee Tech had helped finance tickets to the Nashville Opera, so I suggested the Klub would certainly support a trip to a museum, especially when it could be so closely tied to a course. It was not long before the club President sent around an email and a doodle poll to gauge interest. Students in various German courses replied, and in the end six were able to make the trip to Nashville--even one 1010 student came along.
I enjoyed Kirchner's winterscape most of all and felt that it resonated most with our course (we had analyzed Trakl's "Im Winter" in class). My students found other, unexpected but nevertheless insightful connections to the works on display. One Intro to German Lit student connected a still life with burnt candles and rotten fruit to the themes of Gryphius' "Es ist alles eitel". Whatever the connections made, I was glad that my students enjoyed this co-curricular excursion.