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A General Theory of World Constitutionalism
A General Theory of...

How do constitutions legitimate their claim to authority? Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor at Yale Law School and the spring 2015 Daimler Fellow, argues in this lecture that it happens in three different ways: the first path is pursued by revolutionary outsiders; the second, by established insiders; the third, by established insiders striking a deal with political elites previously excluded from the system. Different pathways generate different legitimation problems – combining to create a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.

Presentation of the Spring 2015 Fellows
Presentation of the...

The spring 2015 Fellows Presentation, held on the evening of January 19, began with introductions by trustee Josef Joffe, of Die Zeit, who welcomed the Academy’s incoming president, Gerhard Casper. Professor Casper, the former president of Stanford University and longtime dean of the University of Chicago Law School, in turn welcomed the evening’s keynote speaker, Lorraine Daston, the director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Following her warm words of welcome, the spring class of fellows introduced themselves and delivered short descriptions of the projects they will be working on over the coming months while in residence.

X-Ray Architecture
X-Ray Architecture

Modern architecture, launched by an international group of avant-garde architects in the 1920s, notes Beatriz Colomina, has usually been understood in terms of functional efficiency, new technologies of construction, and the machine aesthetic. In contrast, the hypothesis of her research is that the architecture of the early twentieth century was shaped by the dominant medical obsession of its time: tuberculosis. Colomina's project investigates architectural discourse and how it has, from its beginning, associated building with body. The body that it describes is the medical body—a body that is reconstructed by each new theory of health. Avant-garde architects of the early decades of the twentieth century presented their new architecture as a health inducing instrument, a kind of medical equipment for protecting and enhancing the body. Buildings even started to look like X-rays revealing internal secrets.

Whistling Up A Storm
Whistling Up A Storm...

How differently do we now understand and approach emergencies, and what does it mean in 2014 -- philosophically, medically, politically, emotionally -- to “be prepared for” emergencies?  In this lecture, Hillel Schwartz addresses the question of “emergency,” beginning from the traditional understanding of emergency as “an unanticipated juncture that demands immediate, direct, often concerted action so as to stave off drastic threats or to cope with aftermaths of disaster.” He explains how emergencies have come to be associated with fashion, contraception, and daycare as well as oil spills, nuclear “incidents,” climate change, and international terrorism – a remarkable shift in nature and notion since “emergency” was floated into written English in the 1600s.

The Solid Light Works and Other Projects
The Solid-Light Work...

In his lecture, Anthony McCall discusses the evolution of his solid-light works in the 1970s, the appearance of vertical installations, as well as horozontal installations from 2004 onwards. Most recently, he has been developing proposals for large-scale projects outisde the museum.