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 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.


Next Event

Tuesday, February 09, 2016, 07:30 pm | Humanities
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Security, a Roman Metaphor

Security and secure borders preoccupy current public debates. But do we know what security means? Securitas first occurs in Cicero meaning "tranquility," in a strictly psychological sense. A century later the "security of the Roman Empire" had become a political slogan. Recognition of the concept’s origins in the collapse of the Roman Republic helps to clarify its potential for ideological manipulation. Ancient philosophy makes the blessed life, humanity’s highest aspiration, dependent on peace of mind. And when tranquility becomes a political imperative, it justifies Imperial governance and encourages depoliticization. Originally less a concept than a cluster of tropes, the evolution of “security” can be traced through a series of figurations, including the imagined embodiment of group safety in a charismatic leader. In her lecture, Michèle Lowrie, Professor of Classics and the College, University of Chicago, will shed light on how security discourses have always sympathized with the maintenance of hierarchies, the centralization of power, and trade-offs in citizen rights.

Watch Professor Lowrie introduce her project here.