Historian Nathaniel Levtow will explore the politically charged phenomenon of text destruction in the ancient world, from the beginnings of writing to the formation of the Bible. He will present archaeological and literary evidence of the variety of ways in which war memorials, law codes, magic spells, loan documents, international treaties, inscribed statues, and other text-artifacts were strategically burned, smashed, cut, buried, submerged, eaten, abducted, erased, and rewritten in West Asian and Mediterranean antiquity.
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. »
The Fifty-Seventh Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 8, 2015, at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. Among the winners was violinist Hilary Hahn, who received the award in the Best Chamber Music category, for her In 27 Pieces album of encores, recorded with pianist Cory Smythe. The album features 26 works (and one audition-winning work) commissioned by Hahn from contemporary composers -- among them the piece "Storm of the Eye," by Elliot Sharp, the spring 2015 Inga Maren Otto Music Composition Fellow at the American Academy. »