Friday, November 21, 2014 | Humanities

Whistling up a Storm: Toward a History of Emergency

What is an emergency if everything becomes urgent?

“Would you all please take out your mobile phones, your cell phones, your handys and turn them on. Please, let them ring or buzz or whistle or hoot, but not to vibrate. God forbid there is an emergency while I am talking and you do not hear the call. No, I am serious! For the history of the nature, notion, and experience of emergency is bound to acts of calling.” ...

Thursday, November 20, 2014 | Architecture

X-Ray Architecture

The building as body

On the evening of November 18, the lecture room of the Hans Arnhold Center was packed with young architects and design connoisseurs who eagerly anticipated the start of Berthold Leibinger Fellow Beatriz Colomina’s lecture, "X-Ray Architecture." The lecture's striking and unusual first claim? “Modern architecture of the early twentieth century,” Colomina said,...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 | Social Sciences

The Challenge of Recent History: Political and Economic Crisis in Post-1968 Mexico

Researching how the Mexican middle class became consumer-citizens

On the evening of November 13, Louise Walker, Associate Professor of History at Northeastern University, delivered this semester's Siemens lecture, which addressed how the Mexican middle class experienced increased inflation and navigated an emerging consumer credit economy. The entire process was driven and constructed, Walker argued, through state initiative, specifically interpellated...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | Special Event

Gary Smith Receives Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse

Highest civilian honor in Germany awarded to the executive director of the American Academy in Berlin

On behalf of Federal President Joachim Gauck, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit awarded the Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland to Dr. Gary Smith, executive director of the American Academy in Berlin. The award recognizes Dr. Smith for the “indefatigable efforts and great skill” with which he “established the intellectual...

Thursday, November 06, 2014 | Social Sciences

The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race

The big meanings of little acids

On the evening of November 4, Bosch Fellow in Public Policy Myles Jackson described how he has used the CCR5 gene as a heuristic tool to probe the relationship among biomedical science, technology, and society, in general -- and between molecular biology and intellectual property law, in particular. During the 1980s and...

Friday, October 31, 2014 | Humanities

Kunstkammern, Practical Knowledge, and the Birth of the Modern Nation State

Samuel Quiccheberg and the origins of display

Kunstkammern, says fall 2014 Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow Mark Meadow, were more than mere showcases for the wealth and influence of the princes. In fact, as they were originally concieved, they were neither the exclusive domain of the prince, nor did they primarily exist as a means of exhibiting prosperity. At his October 28 lecture, Meadow explained the genesis of the Kunstkammer,...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | Humanities

Melvin J. Lasky’s War Diary: Und alles war still: Deutsches Tagebuch 1945

An evening to remember him

The living room of the Academy was alive on the evening of Monday, October 27, with many friends and family members of the late Melvin J. Lasky, the American public intellectual and editor, who died in June 2004, at the age of 84. They joined Academy guests for a book presentation of Und alles war still: Deutsches Tagebuch 1945, written by the young Lasky, when he was military...

Friday, October 24, 2014 | Foreign Policy

China and the West: Challenges and Opportunities

Divining the complex future of Sino-European relations

The October 23 Foreign Policy Forum at the American Academy in Berlin, "China and the West: Challenges and Opportunities," moderated by Eberhard Sandschneider, of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, dealt with the topical theme of China’s waxing role in international politics. George Washington University's David Shambaugh, a professor of...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | Humanities

Toward a Quantitative History of Data

How the concept of data emerged in the West

On the evening of October 14, Axel Springer fellow Daniel Rosenberg presented his book-in-progress Toward A Quantitative History of Data. In it he traces the emergence and development of the concept of data in the West from the 1600s until today. In his introductory remarks, Dean of Fellows Wolf Schäfer...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Arts and Culture

Camilo José Vergara: Tracking Time

The street photographer who always returned

Camilo José Vergara, the Chilean-born American documentary photographer and writer, began his career snapping pictures of playing children, street vendors, abandoned cars, and religious meetings. On October 13, Vergara, who was a fellow at the American Academy in spring 2010, returned to the Academy to speak about...