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Welcoming the Spring 2015 Fellows

The American Academy welcomed its thirty-fourth class of fellows at the Hans Arnhold Center on the evening of January 19. Attended by professionals from academia, journalism, the arts, business, and politics, as well as a number of the Academy's trustees, supporters, and friends, the Fellows Presentation began with an introduction by trustee Josef Joffe, of Die Zeit, who welcomed the Academy’s incoming president, Gerhard Casper, a former president of Stanford University. He in turn welcomed keynote speaker Lorraine Daston, director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, who introduced Berlin to the fellows.

The Winter 2015 Program

From the Internet of Things to the art of simplicity, from the work of algorithms to the work of Wikipedia, and from "Moon Medicin" to the Driftless Area, the winter 2015 program at the American Academy in Berlin offers an enticing range of presentations on current and historical topics from our resident fellows and distinguished visitors. Please join us for public programs at the Hans Arnhold Center. Visit our website to view all upcoming events and to register online. Click here to download the PDF of the program, which lists events from January to the end of March.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, Feb. 03 7:30pm

The Internet of Things: Solutionism at Its Worst, or Humanity's Ultimate Savior?

The ability to turn passive and analog objects into smart and interconnected ones has been widely hailed as a revolutionary development. Not only could it help us run cities, markets, and our own households more efficiently, but it can also help solve problems like congestion and climate change -- or this is what the utopian vision tells us. The dystopian vision suggests that, thanks in part to ubiquitous sensors and overconnectivity, we are careening towards a privacy disaster, that the "Internet of Things" would belong to the same few monopolies that already dominate the online world, and that the amount of control over individual behavior would only increase. Evgeny Morozov's talk will try to articulate a middle ground between the two positions, showing how to put the Internet of Things to a more humane and citizen-focused use.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LECTURE IS FULL. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

You may tune in here for the livestream.

Wednesday, Feb. 11 4:30pm

The Art of Simple Food - A Culinary Conspiracy

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE! FEBRUARY 11!

Author, cook, and “food revolutionary” Alice Waters opened her restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. It has since become a gathering place for artists of all disciplines, especially filmmakers such as Wim Wenders, Jean-Luc Godard, and Werner Herzog. Her philosophy includes the use of fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients prepared according to simple recipes. Instrumental in establishing the Berlinale's Kulinarisches Kino, Waters will discuss her book The Art of Simple Food, published by Prestel in 2014, with Massimo Bottura, chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, Italy. By continuously pushing the boundaries of Italy's food culture Bottura has established himself as a key figure in the culinary avant-garde. He is the author of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, published by Phaidon Press in 2014.

After the discussion, Alice Waters and Massimo Bottura will sign copies of their books. Refreshments will be prepared by Michael Hoffmann and Ulrike Piecha according to recipes from Alice Waters’s cookbook.

Location: Gropius Mirror Restaurant, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin

Registration: email to kulinarisches.kino@berlinale.de

In cooperation with the Culinary Cinema of Berlin International Film Festival

Thursday, Feb. 12 7:30pm

Pacific Babelsberg

register online

Babelsberg, a district slightly southwest of Berlin, is known to film historians as the home of one of the most influential film studios in the world, UFA (now Studio Babelsberg). The studio's output of feature films during the years of the Weimar Republic profoundly shaped American cinema, which was and remains centered in and around Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast of the United States. In an illustrated talk based on his 2011 film exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which travelled to the Berlinale in 2012, former MoMA film curator Laurence Kardish will discuss the contributions German filmmakers and production techniques made to Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Click here for the livestream.

Tuesday, Feb. 24 7:30pm

Moon Medicin

register online

Through conceptual works that fuse diverse cultural sensibilities and symbols, Guna S. Mundheim Fellow Sanford Biggers explores the similarities underlying ostensibly disparate cultural expressions. Incorporating icons and rites ranging from mandalas and slave quilts to hip hop and YouTube music culture, Biggers's works connect African spiritualism, Buddhist rituals, and African-American urban culture. At the same time, Biggers investigates history, race relations, and the socio-political environment. His works suggest that we transcend divisive social realities through the interconnectedness inherent in our shared affinity for the symbolic and the spiritual.

Click here for the livestream.

Monday, Mar. 02 8:00pm

Driftless Area

Tom Drury's novel The Driftless Area will be released by Klett-Cotta Verlag as Das Stille Land on January 31, 2015.

Location: English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstraße 40, 10965 Berlin

Moderation: Felicitas von Lovenberg (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Lesung aus der deutschen Übersetzung: Helmut Mooshammer (Deutsches Theater)

PLEASE SIGN UP VIA THE ENGLISH THEATRE: Tickets (€5): tickets@etberlin.de

In cooperation with Klett-Cotta Verlag, the US Embassy Berlin, and the English Theatre Berlin

The Academy in the News

Read about designated Academy president Gerhard Casper's recent visit to Berlin in Der Tagesspiegel; Berliner Morgenpost; Die Welt; Berliner Zeitung; and Potsdamer Neuster Nachrichten.