The American Academy in Berlin is now accepting applications from emerging as well as established scholars, writers, and professionals who wish to engage in independent study in Berlin in the academic year 2017/2018. The deadline for applications is September 30, 2016, at 12 noon EST. Begin the application here.
In this lecture, Nobel-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz offers insights and arguments from his latest book, The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe (Norton, 2016; German release as Europa spart sich kaputt, published by Siedler in September 2016). In 2010, the 2008 global financial crisis had morphed into the “Eurocrisis.” Since then, some countries have remained in an economic depression, while the governing powers of the Eurozone have careened from emergency to emergency, most notably in Greece. Although the euro was hailed by its architects as a lever that would bring Europe together and promote prosperity, it has actually, Stiglitz argues, done the opposite: promoted divergence rather than convergence. Europe’s economic stagnation and drab outlook are a result of the fundamental challenges facing a diverse group of countries that share a common currency, where economic unification has outpaced political integration. Stiglitz outlines three possible ways forward: fundamental reforms to the structure of the Eurozone and the policies imposed on member countries; a well-managed end to the single-currency experiment; or a bold, new system dubbed the “flexible euro.”
In cooperation with
In this lecture, Mary Ann Doane examines the concept of scale and its increasing centrality to analysis of the work of the image in contemporary culture. Scale is a concept that crosses disciplines; it is a crucial construct in geography, art history, cartography, and music, among other practices and disciplines. Space and its representation have been central to the cinema, too, but the investigation of its ramifications in relation to spectatorship require further examination—of both intra-cinematic scale and, more broadly, the extra-cinematic scale of the national and the global, and its function in commodity capitalism.
The origins of the Mandæans as a distinct religious community and their early history remain shrouded in myth and legend. The primary source for the early history of the Mandæans is the Scroll of Inner Harran, a collection of legends that detail their settlement in a territory identified as “Inner Harran” (Haran Gauaita), sometime during the first century CE. In this lecture, Charles Häberl examines the potential geographical locations of “Inner Harran” and evaluates them in light of existing sources on the oral and written geographies of the region.
In May of 2012, Janine di Giovanni, the Middle East editor of Newsweek, travelled to Syria, beginning what would become of a long relationship with the country. She began reporting from both sides of the Syrian conflict, witnessing its descent into one of the most brutal internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught up in the fighting, di Giovanni became consumed by Syria. In her new book, The Morning They Came for Us, she relays the personal stories of rebel fighters thrown in jail at the least provocation; of children and families forced to watch loved ones taken and killed by regime forces with dubious justifications; and the stories of the elite, holding pool parties in Damascus hotels, trying to deny the human consequences of the nearby shelling. The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war – and an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, unimaginable horrors.
In cooperation with S. Fischer Verlage
The Greening of Cold War Germany: Environmentalism and Social Movements across the Wall and Beyond, 1968–1989
In this lecture, Timothy Scott Brown will examine the rise of environmental social movements in the two halves of divided Germany, from the upheaval of 1968 through the fall of the Berlin Wall and its aftermath. Situating the development of Green politics in East and West Germany in transnational and global context, the talk will chart the rise of a new politics drawing on scientific and spiritual perspectives, following out of, and transforming, the political impulse of 1968.
Daniel Joseph Martinez, Artist; and Donald Bren Professor of Art, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine
Image: Daniel Joseph Martinez, I Can't Imagine Ever Wanting To Be White, 1993 (Whitney Biennial pins)
The world of academia, whether medieval or modern, has long provided humorists with an image of ridicule: stodgy professors instilling recondite knowledge to perplexed students. In his Academy lecture, Alex Novikoff breathes new life into the world of scholastic discourse and argues that the world of university debates is a good deal more live and entertaining than has been assumed. Focusing on the medieval practice of disputatio (debate), he looks both inside and beyond the ivory tower and argues that what at first glance might seem like useless hairsplitting is, in fact, part and parcel of a much broader culture of argumentation, one that both depends on and in turn influences a public and participatory sphere of knowledge exchange. Employing the methodologies of performance studies and intellectual history, Novikoff offers a new perspective on the world of medieval scholasticism and urges us to think creatively and inter-disciplinarily about the social life of ideas -- both medieval and modern.
A Rage for Order is the first work of literary journalism to track the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. In this recent book, New York Times Magazine contributing writer Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits, including that of a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the Qaddafi-regime torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a dungeon-operating, poetry-writing chieftain; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy. A Rage for Order combines dramatic storytelling with an original analysis of Arab world today, capturing its psychic tensions and civil unrest.
Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds