How do we ever absorb concepts that are initially alien or offensive to us? Stephen Greenblatt’s lecture will address how the Roman poet Lucretius’s great opus On the Nature of Things—which contains central ideas utterly repugnant to the Christian culture of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Europe—made it through the period’s tight web of censorship and violent repression. The Renaissance, after all, was not a tolerant age; it was heir to the conviction that dangerous beliefs should not be allowed to circulate. And yet it was also an age of love with beauty, and that love, as Greenblatt reveals, turns out to have played a crucial role in the poem’s intellectual reception.
“Would you all please take out your mobile phones, your cell phones, your handys and turn them on. Please, let them ring or buzz or whistle or hoot, but not to vibrate. God forbid there is an emergency while I am talking and you do not hear the call. No, I am serious! For the history of the nature, notion, and experience of emergency is bound to acts of calling.” »
On the evening of November 18, the lecture room of the Hans Arnhold Center was packed with young architects and design connoisseurs who eagerly anticipated the start of Berthold Leibinger Fellow Beatriz Colomina’s lecture, "X-Ray Architecture." The lecture's striking and unusual first claim? »
On the evening of November 13, Louise Walker, Associate Professor of History at Northeastern University, delivered this semester's Siemens lecture, which addressed how the Mexican middle class experienced increased inflation and navigated an emerging consumer credit economy. The entire process was driven and constructed, Walker argued, through state initiative, specifically interpellated by two organizations: the National Fund for Worker Consumption and the Federal Law for the Protection of the Consumer, created in 1973 and 1976, respectively. »
On behalf of Federal President Joachim Gauck, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit awarded the Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland to Dr. Gary Smith, executive director of the American Academy in Berlin. The award recognizes Dr. »
On the evening of November 4, Bosch Fellow in Public Policy Myles Jackson described how he has used the CCR5 gene as a heuristic tool to probe the relationship among biomedical science, technology, and society, in general -- and between molecular biology and intellectual property law, in particular. During the 1980s and '90s, various branches of the federal government encouraged patenting in general, and genes in particular. »