The annual Bethany College Scholarship Symposium returns to an in-person format on the morning of April 7. Today, we will feature some students who will present research or projects. For a complete schedule, click here.

BETHANY, W.Va. – Dorcas Raber, a senior from Kidron, Ohio, combined her German studies with an interest in visual arts to examine German art and history through the decades.

Dorcas RaberThe Interdisciplinary German Studies major will present “The Art of Never Looking Away: German Art and History from the 1930s to the Present” at 10 a.m. in Steinman Hall 105.

Her project focuses on how Nazi Germany, the GDR, and the Federal Republic of Germany used art to control public expression, how this control affected the population, stunted creativity, and how art was used in resistance to this control.

“I came up with the idea after taking part in the German Culture through Film class at Bethany College,” Raber said. “I also have a focus in visual arts with my major, so that increased my interest in the topic.”

She uses the movie “Never Look Away” to bring the subject matter to life. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the dramatic film tells the story of a young artist, modeled after the most successful post-war German artist Gerhard Richter, and other prominent figures in the German art scene.

Dr. Harald Menz, professor of world languages and cultures, co-Chair of the Department of Humanities and co-director of interdisciplinary studies, advised the project.

Through her project, she found how strongly the control of art and public expression affects people. After World War II, she said it was difficult for artists to figure out how to express themselves because art was repressed for so long and because the artists had to find ways to digest the control and trauma they had lived.

She also found it interesting that a movie like “Never Look Away” can be used to give learners factual information and how storytelling can be motivational.

“I was surprised by how close to reality many of the small or unbelievable details of the movie were,” Raber said. “Although the movie made everything much neater and, in a sense, romanticized the way things work out, there is a great deal of correlation to what really happened.”

Raber is also among a group of students displaying ceramic works in the Wailes Theatre Lobby.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.