Fellows Distinguished Visitors Program Video/Audio Archive Support


Welcoming New Academy President Gerhard Casper

The trustees of the American Academy in Berlin are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Dr. Gerhard Casper as the institution's designated president. A president emeritus of Stanford University and trustee emeritus of the American Academy, Casper, a Hamburg native and Constitutional scholar by training, will combine the duties of executive director and president, titles formerly held by two separate persons, and he will become the first president of the Academy to be in residence full time, beginning on July 1, 2015. He will also be in attendance at the Spring 2015 Fellows Presentation, on January 19.

The Spring 2015 Program

The spring 2015 semester at the American Academy begins on January 19 with the traditional Fellows Presentation and then launches into a semester of fascinating current and historical topics from our resident fellows and distinguished visitors—from the Internet of Things to the Art of Simplicity, from the work of algorithms to the work of Wikipedia, from "Moon Medicine" to the Driftless Area. As always, our public program is open to everyone, but please be sure to register online in advance. We look forward to welcoming you at the Hans Arnhold Center.

The New Berlin Journal

The new issue of the Berlin Journal, with a focus on "Berlin, Fiction, Memory," features stories by Jonathan Lethem, Nicole Krauss, and fall fellow Adam Ross; a newly translated 1920s story by "Mynona," and reflections on Berlin in fiction and memory by critic Richard Kämmerlings and poet Susan Stewart. You'll also find an architectural portfolio of the work of the Berlin-based firm Barkow Leibinger, with an essay by Hal Foster; and articles by fellows Monica Black, Beatriz Colomina, Hillel Schwartz, as well as the Holbrooke Forum's Harold Hongju Koh and Louise Arbour—plus book reviews, fellows' bios, alumni books, and much more. Pick up a copy of the Berlin Journal at the American Academy; download it from our website; or get the Berlin Journal app from iTunes.

"Berlin Journal" on NPR Berlin

Join host R. Jay Magill from the American Academy in Berlin for the next edition of "Berlin Journal"—airing Saturday, January 3, at 7pm, and on Monday, January 5, at 8am, on NPR Berlin, 104.1FM, streaming at nprberlin.de—featuring coverage of the Academy's twentieth-anniversary celebration and interviews with historian Monica Black, about a wildly popular spiritual healer in postwar Germany, and bestselling writer Adam Ross, who talks about the trials and tribulations of storytelling, screenwriting, and the suprising truths of fiction. 

Upcoming Events

Friday, Jan. 16 5:00pm

The Internet Is Not the Answer

The Internet ushered in one of the greatest shifts in society since the Industrial Revolution. In his book The Internet Is Not the Answer, technologist Andrew Keen describes the Internet as a mirror of our culture and investigates how it is reconfiguring our world—often at great cost. The book will be released in German as Das digitale Debakel in January 2015, and to mark the debut Keen will be at Berlin’s ESMT to debate his ideas with experts Norbert Riedel and Sandro Gaycken. Moderated by Christoph von Marschall, of Der Tagesspiegel.

Location: ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin;

Please register with events@esmt.org

Monday, Jan. 19 8:00pm

Presentation of the Spring 2015 Fellows

The American Academy welcomes its thirty-fourth class of fellows to the Hans Arnhold Center on the evening of January 19, 2014. The spring 2015 class will be welcomed by Lorraine Daston, the director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and Gerhard Casper, incoming president of the American Academy in Berlin. (Due to limited seating, this event is invitation only. We apologize for the inconvenience.) 

Thursday, Jan. 29 7:30pm

A General Theory of World Constitutionalism – and the Crisis of the European Union

register online

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. During the twentieth century, the revolutionary tradition is exemplified by India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy; insider-constitutionalism, by various nations in the British Commonwealth; elite bargaining between insider and outsider elites, in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. Different pathways generate different legitimation problems—creating a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.

Tuesday, Feb. 03 7:30pm

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

register online

The ability to turn passive and analogue 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, 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. This talk will try to articulate a middle ground between the two positions, showing how to put the Internet of Things to the more humane and citizen-focused use.