Thursday, May 28, 2015 | Economics

Whither the World Economy?

The promises and perils of monetary policy

It was exactly six years ago, in May 2009, that the US government announced the results of the stress tests that helped restore confidence in the post-crisis US banking system and charted the course toward economic recovery. But we still haven’t arrived. Why not? That was the question that former Bank of England Governor...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | Social Sciences

Slavery, Property, and the US Constitution

Reconsidering the origins of anti-slavery politics

“There was nothing inevitable about the demise of slavery,” believes Sean Wilentz, Siemens Fellow at the American Academy. After all, he notes, it was crucial to the cotton trade in Colonial America and had been an accepted institution for millennia.

Wilentz, who is a professor of American history at...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | Arts and Culture

Towards a Comparison of the 'City Texts' of Vilnius and Tallinn

Two cities in their literary context

What makes a city? For Tomas Venclova, Axel Springer Fellow at the American Academy and a prominent voice of twentieth century literature, “city texts” are a significant part of a metropolis’ identity -- the totality of both verbal and non-verbal creative works related to a particular city.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015 |

Thank You for Being Late

Pausing to Reflect on the Twenty-First Century

“You can dance in a hurricane, but only if you are standing in the eye.” The lyric comes from a song by Brandi Carlile, and it is one that Thomas L. Friedman, in the Stephen M. Kellen Lecture he delivered at the American Academy in Berlin on April 22, cited as a key to understanding his approach to the world...

Monday, April 27, 2015 | Social Sciences

Gender, War, and Memory

Women in the military during and after World War II

The World War II mini-series Unsere Mütter--Unsere Väter, called Generation War in English, created a stir in Germany when it aired in 2013. Focusing on World War II in Germany and Eastern Europe, the series examined the atrocities committed by the German Wehrmacht and its role in the Holocaust.

But for all the extensive media coverage the show received, one aspect went unnoticed: It...

Monday, April 13, 2015 | Humanities

Guggenheim Foundation Fellows Announced

Congratulations to American Academy alumni

The American Academy congratulates four alumni for having been selected as 2015 fellows by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Thomas Christensen, Rivka Galchen, Alex Ross, and Sean Shepherd are among 175 artists, scholars, and scientists selected from 3,100 applicants for the prestigious honor.

Thomas Christensen, who came to Berlin as an American Academy Fellow in fall 2002...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015 | Leadership

Giorgio Napolitano, Hans-Dietrich Genscher to Receive 2015 Henry A. Kissinger Prize

The American Academy in Berlin is pleased to announce that the 2015 Henry A. Kissinger Prize will be awarded to both Giorgio Napolitano, former President of Italy (2006–2015), and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former Federal Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany (1974–1992).

The award is given in recognition of President Napolitano’s outstanding contributions to...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | Technology

The Cultural Work of Algorithms

Interventions in the subject-object relationship

On the evening of March 12, 2015, the American Academy’s Holtzbrinck Fellow William Uricchio held his lecture,  "The Cultural Work of Algorithms." He was introduced by Margreth Lünenborg, a professor of journalism studies at the Freie Universität Berlin -- an apt choice, given the effect...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Humanities

On Encyclopedic "Chaos"

The centuries-old attempt to know it all

On the evening of March 3, 2015, Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow Christopher D. Johnson was warmly introduced by colleague and art historian Andreas Beyer, a member of the international research group Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology. Johnson, an accomplished scholar of the...

Monday, March 09, 2015 | Arts and Culture

The Driftless Area

Midwestern American fiction at the English Theatre

This semester’s Mary Ellen von der Heyden reading took place on the evening of March 2 in front of a packed house at the English Theatre Berlin. American Academy fellow Tom Drury, award-winning author of the novels The End of Vandalism (1994), The Black Brook (1998), Hunts in Dreams (2001),...