Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Beverly Weber

Second Advisor

Davide Stimilli

Third Advisor

David Gross


This paper examines the discourse surrounding the planning, negotiation, and reception stages of the U.S. Embassy at Pariser Platz in Berlin, which imbued the building with a highly politicized symbolic nature. Much more than simply a building, the architecture of the U.S. Embassy made a "statement," which acquired meaning through the discursive formations of Berlin as a "global city," the guiding doctrine of Berlin as "critically reconstructed," and the United States' security presence in post-Wall Berlin. This discourse focused not only on the present form of the building, but also on the site's historical form and visions of the site's future. Diverging interpretations of the U.S. Embassy along national lines, concerning the balance of security with transparency both in government and in public space, revealed and even helped shape a new relationship between the former guest--a "protective power" during the Cold War--and its host city of Berlin