Port Bou is an opera by Elliott Sharp about the final moments of philosopher Walter Benjamin’s life. It features bass/baritone Nicholas Isherwood, accordionist William Schimmel, pianist Jenny Lin, and pre-recorded electro-acoustic backgrounds by Sharp. Video projections by Janene Higgins provide the set and staging, as well as subtext and commentary. From his studies of Benjamin's texts and letters, Sharp has created a dramatic interpretation of Benjamin's internal reality on his last day.
The American Academy congratulates four alumni for having been selected as 2015 fellows by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Thomas Christensen, Rivka Galchen, Alex Ross, and Sean Shepherd are among 175 artists, scholars, and scientists selected from 3,100 applicants for the prestigious honor. »
The American Academy in Berlin is pleased to announce that the 2015 Henry A. Kissinger Prize will be awarded to both Giorgio Napolitano, former President of Italy (2006–2015), and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former Federal Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany (1974–1992). »
On the evening of March 12, 2015, the American Academy’s Holtzbrinck Fellow William Uricchio held his lecture, "The Cultural Work of Algorithms." He was introduced by Margreth Lünenborg, a professor of journalism studies at the Freie Universität Berlin -- an apt choice, given the effect algorithms have had on her field in recent years. »
On the evening of March 3, 2015, Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow Christopher D. Johnson was warmly introduced by colleague and art historian Andreas Beyer, a member of the international research group Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology. Johnson, an accomplished scholar of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, investigates the rhetorical terms that inform the creation and interpretation of images and texts in early modern Spain and its New World colonies as member of Beyer's team. »
This semester’s Mary Ellen von der Heyden reading took place on the evening of March 2 in front of a packed house at the English Theatre Berlin. American Academy fellow Tom Drury, award-winning author of the novels The End of Vandalism (1994), The Black Brook (1998), Hunts in Dreams (2001), and Pacific (2013), introduced the audience to a compelling tale of small-town eccentrics transpiring in the great American Midwest. »