As part of the American Academy's public program, each week we offer public lectures, concerts, screenings, or readings by Academy fellows, distinguished visitors, and special guests. Most evening lectures take place at the Hans Arnhold Center, but the Academy also partners with a handful of institutions in Berlin for special events, including Radialsytem V, JFK Institut, Kino Babylon, Hertie School of Governance, European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), and Allianz Forum.
If you would like to attend an event, please register online, or send an email to email@example.com. Seating is limited, so please register well in advance of the lecture or event you would like to attend. We look forward to welcoming you at the Hans Arnhold Center.
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. This evidence reveals the deep connections between religion, politics, images, and rewriting at the dawn of literacy, and illuminates why the public, physical violation of texts remains a preferred mode of attack against representations of political power and cultural identity throughout the world today.