Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 07:30 pm | Foreign Policy
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The Illusion of America First

The world stands at a hinge moment in history, says William Drozdiak, a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at The Brookings Institution. In this lecture, Drozdiak will discuss the weakening of the Pax Americana that has managed global security and world trade for seven decades, the recent rise of populist nationalism in Europe, and new threats to the European Union's coherence. But the focus of this talk is the United States, where President Donald Trump has vowed to place American interests above all else. Nearly a century ago, the America First movement imposed harsh curbs on immigration, fostered the spread of global protectionism, and stood aside while fascism destroyed Europe. Will Trump’s reincarnation of America First lead the world down a similarly disastrous path? This lecture is drawn from Drozdiak's forthcoming book, Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West, which will be published in the United States and Europe on September 11th.

William Drozdiak is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at The Brookings Institution  and Senior Advisor for Europe with McLarty Associates. He served for ten years as president of the American Council on Germany (ACG), and was the founding executive director of the Transatlantic Center in Brussels, Belgium, created in 2001 by the German Marshall Fund. Drozdiak also worked for two decades as senior editor and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, and has written extensively about international relations for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Magazine, Newsweek, and the Financial Times.

Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds

Please note that this event will be broadcast over the American Academy's Facebook page.

Thursday, March 09, 2017, 07:30 pm | Arts and Culture
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Mind of the MOUND and the Moundverse

The MOUND is central to the mythos created by artist Trenton Doyle Hancock. The characters he invents are all linked to "Moundkind" in some way. But what is a MOUND? In this talk, Hancock explains that “Mound” is the name he gives to a species of magical mutated beings that reside in the forest. Most Mounds have black and white fur bands encircling their bodies, with pink sores interrupting the fur. The alternate universe they inhabit is aptly called the "Moundverse." The Moundverse acts as a structured processing space where ideas are tested and symbols are re-wired for new purposes. The outcome of these various tests takes the form of paintings, sculptures, prints, toys, performances, animations, and most recently, graphic novels. The Moundverse takes in all sensory stimuli, but is also a self-generative machine. The Moundverse propels itself by asking questions of itself and the nature of reality. This inquisition provides an endless supply of imagery that Hancock uses in his ever-unfolding narrative.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will take place at the art gallery Aurel Scheibler (Schöneberger Ufer 71;10785  Berlin).


Thursday, March 16, 2017, 07:30 pm | Arts and Culture
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Max Lorenz: Glorious Tenor in a Dark Age

In this lecture, Hamburg-born, New York-based critic Manuela V. Hoelterhoff tells the story of the German heldentenor Max Lorenz, who first triumphed in Bayreuth in the fateful year of 1933, when Richard Wagner's little town also welcomed Germany’s new chancellor and chief opera buff: Adolf Hitler. Until 1940, Hoelterhoff recounts, Hitler loved going to Bayreuth to watch Wagner’s proxies set the stage on fire in Gotterdammerung, the fourth and last music drama of his Ring cycle. Hitler adored Lorenz, the festival's radiant Siegfried, and enjoyed socializing with the tenor and his wife -- even though Lorenz was homosexual and his wife was Jewish. Nothing was more important to Hitler than a great Wagner performance, and for a while Lorenz thrived while others perished. 

Manuela V. Hoelterhoff, a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, is a writer and editor based in New York. She has been an arts and books editor of the Wall Street Journal and, most recently, executive editor for culture at Bloomberg News. "Modern Painters," her libretto about the Victorian tastemaker and early preservationist John Ruskin, was set to music by David Lang for the Santa Fe Opera. Her book Cinderella & Company: Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1998. "Hitler's Summer Seasons," her current project, spotlights the German dictator's operatic and architectural obsessions. Born in Hamburg, Hoelterhoff was included in the Carnegie Corporation's 2014 list of notable immigrants. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 07:30 pm | Arts and Culture
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The After Party: A Novel in Progress

More often than not, writer Molly Antopol’s work is driven by questions rather than themes: What happens when the causes to which a person has dedicated their life lose relevance in the course of world events? What happens to a person when they’re so intent on trying to change the world they lose sight of the people closest to them? What’s the relationship between activism and narcissism? Antopol, a Jones Lecturer of Creative Writing at Stanford University, will discuss and read from her recent novel, The UnAmericans, and talk about the research she's undertaking in her new novel, The After Party.

Thursday, March 30, 2017, 08:00 pm | Arts and Culture
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Of Politics and Poetics: Repressed Art during the Cold War

From two very different perspectives, authors Molly Antopol and Jáchym Topol will discuss how political circumstances, specifically the ideological confrontations of the Cold War, have shaped art and been reflected their own work. Read more at the Literaturhaus Stuttgart website (in German).

Molly Antopol, Writer; and Jones Lecturer of Creative Writing, Stanford University

Jáchym Topol, Author, Poet, and Journalist

In cooperation with the Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Generously supported by Dr. Dirk Ippen, the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH