At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel stand two incredible, indomitable women: Rose Zimmer, nicknamed the "Red Queen of Sunnyside," an unreconstructed Communist who berates her neighbors, family, and political comrades with the absolutism of her beliefs, and her precocious daughter, Miriam, who is equally passionate in her political activism. Though Miriam flees her mother's influence to embrace the dawning post-WWII counterculture of Greenwich Village, both women, along with the men over whom they strewn their wiles and ideologies, comprise the flawed and idealistic characters who struggle to inhabit the utopian dream in an America where radicalism was viewed with bemusement, hostility, or plain indifference. As the decades pass—from the seedling communism of the 1930s to the paranoia of 1950s McCarthyism, from the Civil Rights movement to the communes of the 1970s, from the romanticization of the Sandinistas and right up to the Occupy movement—Dissident Gardens brings readers through the leftist politics and its characters' personal dramas via Lethem's characteristically vivid and hilarious storytelling and a wideranging expanse of cultural references—ultimately constituting a story of love in the time of dissidence.
Location: Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Friedrichstraße 90, 10117 Berlin
In cooperation with Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus
Ghost Dance in Berlin – Cosmopolitan Reflections of an American Author of German-Speaking Jewish Heritage
Peter Wortsman is an acclaimed author, travel writer, and translator of German literature to English. His most recent work, Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray, is a memoir/travel reflection and a finalist for the Eric Hofer Independent Book Award. His book paints a portrait of his unlikely love affair with Berlin, bringing together his observations, experience, and imagination to tell the story of a ghost-ridden, ceaselessly evolving Berlin. His works have appeared in newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Die Welt, and Die Zeit. He is a former fellow of the Fulbright and Thomas J. Watson Foundations, and in 2010 he was the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, where he wrote the majority of Ghost Dance in Berlin.
Location: BASE Camp, Mittelstraße 51-53, 10117 Berlin
Please register by March 17.
In cooperation with Atlantik Brücke e.V.
How did ancient Egyptian political elites craft narratives of the individual in context and text, materialize the relationship of politics and society, and deploy myth and memory in sacred/political landscapes? This Head-to-Head discussion explores the narrative construction of the multi layered phenomenon of Egyptian identity from a comparative perspective and addresses a key transition in the late third millennium BCE when the written lives of individuals such as the official Weni the Elder, the god Osiris, and the "local hero" Idy played a key role in verbal and spatial rhetorics of response to political crises of authority.
Location: Literaturhaus Stuttgart, Breitscheidstraße 4, 70174 Stuttgart
PLEASE REGISTER WITH LITERATURHAUS STUTTGART
Tickets (€ 9): email@example.com or 01805-70 07 33
In cooperation with the Literaturhaus Stuttgart
Generously supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Daimler AG, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH
The presentation by Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes, Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution, will illuminate the direction of US policy in this geostrategic region, and assess the risks and prospects of the Administration’s approach.With the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan this year, the US is ending more than a decade of intensive military engagement in the greater Middle East, and is also aiming to approach energy independence. How will these factors affect American efforts in the Middle East? How should the US and Europe understand an Arab world that is undergoing historic, tumultuous change? President Obama has invested in three ambitious diplomatic initiatives on Arab-Israeli peace, Iran’s nuclear program, and Syria’s civil war. What are their prospects for success, and where will American policy go should any of them fail?
Speaker: Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes, Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
Comment: Dina Fakoussa, Head of Program, EU-Middle East Forum, German Council on Foreign Relations
The discussion will be held in English and a light lunch will be served before the reception. We kindly ask you to R.S.V.P. before Monday, March 17, 2014 to Ms. Yulia Loeva (fax: 030 / 25 42 31 91, firstname.lastname@example.org).
In cooperation with German Council on Foreign Relations
A portrait concert of composer Matthew Goodheart (Inga Maren Otto Fellow in Music Composition) whose diverse musical creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations, all unified by the analytic techniques and performative methodologies he has developed to bring forth the unique and subtle acoustic properties of individual musical instruments. Goodheart’s approach results in a “generative foundation” for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena. This concert will feature the following pieces, performed by Matthew Goodheart (composition / piano / performance) and George Cremaschi (double bass):
for computer controlled metal percussion, bowed cymbals (2011) GP
for piano and autonomous viola (2013) GP
for solo contrabass (2008/2009) GP
For Piano and Metal Percussion
for piano, computer controlled metal percussion, bowed cymbals (2012) GP
An event of Berliner Festspiele / MaerzMusik and The American Academy in Berlin, with the support of Inga Maren Otto.
Location: Berghain, Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin
In cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / MaerzMusik and generously supported by Berghain.
Photographer Dominque Nabokov returns to the Academy to work on her project “Berlin Living Rooms,” the third in her trilogy of interiors books. She has already completed Paris Living Rooms (Assouline, 2002) and New York Living Rooms (Overlook, 1998), which utilize the remaining available stock of the discounted Polaroid Colorgraph type 691 film, her work has revealed the extraordinarily varied living rooms of celebrated New Yorkers and Parisians.
This event will be livestreamed.
Art historian Linda Henderson's lecture samples a new history of modern art that restores the ether and the fourth dimension to their prominent places in the work of artists ranging from French Cubists and Italian Futurists to abstract painting pioneers Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian. When Time magazine declared Albert Einstein “Man of the Century” in 2000, it was symptomatic of the widespread identification of “science” in the 20th century with Einstein and e = mc2. Yet, until 1919, laypersons knew virtually nothing of Relativity Theory and were focused instead on concepts such the “ether of space” and a possible suprasensory fourth dimension of space—both of which would be dismissed by Einstein. Despite Relativity Theory’s redefinition of the fourth dimension as time, the spatial fourth dimension has made inroads into histories of early 20th-century art. By contrast, the “ether of space” is almost universally absent from this scholarship. Yet the ether, like the spatial fourth dimension, was central to the general public’s conception of space and matter in this period. Understood as the necessary space-filling medium for the transmission of wave vibrations, it was also widely discussed as a potential source of matter itself. Rather than disappearing with the publication of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, the ether remained a significant element of the cultures of modern art through the 1910s.
About Linda Henderson:
Linda Henderson has taught European and American art at the University of Texas at Austin since 1978, focusing on the relation of modern art to fields such as geometry, science and technology, and mystical and occult philosophies. In addition to numerous articles, she is the author of The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton, 1983; revised ed., MIT, 2013) and Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works (Princeton, 1998). She also co-edited From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature (Stanford, 2002), an anthology on the cultural impact of scientific developments such as thermodynamics, ether/ electromagnetism, cybernetics, and virtual reality. In spring 2010 and 2011 Henderson was a Senior Fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, where she is now a member of the Advisory Board. During spring 2014 Henderson is also a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.
Thomas P. Campbell is the director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a position he has held since 2009. He will deliver a lecture followed by a reception.
Campbell began in The Met’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, where he remained for fourteen years, rising through the curatorial ranks as an assistant curator (1995-97), associate curator (1997-2003), and curator (2003 to December 2008). During this time, he conceived and organized the major exhibitions “Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence” (2002) and “Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor” (New York, 2007; Palacio Real, Madrid, spring 2008), both of which incorporated drawings, paintings, prints, and tapestries to widespread acclaim. The 2002 exhibition was named “Exhibition of the Year” by Apollo Magazine, and its catalogue won the 2003 Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award of the College Art Association for distinguished exhibition catalogue in the history of art.
Campbell attended Oxford Universit and completed his graduate work at the Courtauld Institute in London, after which he went to work for the tapestry dealers David and Simon Franses. In 1994 he joined The Metropolitan Museum of Art, becoming the first supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, which houses the museum’s encyclopedic collection of 36,000 textiles and stands as one of the preeminent centers of textile studies in the world.
Award-winning journalist Andrew Nagorski will present his latest book Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power (Simon & Schuster, 2012) offering a fresh perspective on this heavily dissected era by tapping a rich vein of personal testimonies. Much has been written about Americans in France and Great Britain during the interwar period, and even a fair amount about Americans in the Soviet Union. Due to a variety of reasons however, the Americans who lived, worked or traveled in Germany at the time Hitler was coming to power and then forged the Third Reich, never attracted a similar level of attention—until now. Andrew Nagorski’s widely acclaimed Hitlerland chronicles the experiences and first-hand impressions of these Americans—journalists, diplomats, military officers, scholars and others.
About Andrew Nagorski:
An award-winning journalist who spent more than three decades as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek, Andrew Nagorski served as the magazine’s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is currently working on a book about Nazi persecutors that will span the entire period from the end of World War II to the present day. Besides Hitlerland, Nagorski has published five books including The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow That Changed the Course of World War II (Simon & Schuster, 2007). Nagorski received his B.A. in history from Amherst College in 1969.
In her lecture, Janet Richards will explore how did ancient Egyptian political elites craft narratives of the individual and identity in context and text, materialize the relationship of the individual to politics and society, and deploy the operation of social memory in sacred and political landscapes? Using as a point of departure the site of Abydos and the third millennium BCE officials Weni, his father Luu, the local saint Idy, and the god Osiris himself, Egyptologist Janet Richards takes a cross-cultural consideration of life writing genre, considering the role these genres play in verbal and spatial rhetorics of response to political crises of authority. She will embed this biographically-based approach to ancient political behavior within a broader framework of political theory and the social anthropology of politics.
About Janet Richards:
Janet Richards is Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Curator for Dynastic Egypt at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, 1992) and Northwestern University (BA, 1981), she specializes in ancient northeast African archaeology and history, with emphasis on conceptual landscapes, ideologies of power, responses to political crisis, the purposes of biography, and social transformations over time as materialized in mortuary and votive contexts. She has curated several exhibitions at the Kelsey Museum, including the new wing installation of the permanent galleries of dynastic Egyptian artifacts. Her publications (all with Cambridge University Press) include the co-edited volume Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States (2000), Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: Mortuary Landscapes of the Middle Kingdom (2005), and the forthcoming monograph she will complete at the Academy, Writing Ancient Lives: Weni the Elder and Ancient Egyptian Responses to Political Crisis.