Tuesday, May 03, 2016, 07:30 pm | Humanities
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Performing Social Status in Slavery and Freedom: Southern Black Marriage Rituals, 1840 to 1900

Brenda E. Stevenson's lecture explores antebellum slave marriage rites/rights in contrast to some of the ways in which the first generation(s) of freedmen and women interpreted and experienced their emancipation in marital ritual, performance, and celebration during the last decades of the nineteenth century. The South, she notes, as enslaved people had known it during the antebellum era, was profoundly changed after 1865 and the region’s Civil War defeat. The end to the war brought general emancipation for four million people and, with it, their legal right to claim marital relations, control over the intimate aspects of their bodies, and to bear, take care of, socialize and maintain their children. Hundreds of thousands of couples who had been married while enslaved, or wanted to marry after slavery ended, did not hesitate to participate in public nuptials. To do so drew a line between slavery and freedom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 07:30 pm | Economics
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The Future of Work: How the “Uber Economy” and Runaway Capitalism Are Threatening Workers’ Livelihoods

In the US, Steven Hill explains, the sharing economy is accelerating toward a “freelance society,” wherein tens of millions of workers will find themselves with no regular jobs or steady work, lower pay, and a weaker safety net. Hill asks if the sharing economy might work better in a place like Germany, where the welfare state is more developed and a stronger tradition of labor unions and government regulation has fostered more broadly shared prosperity.

A close observer of political institutions and practices in Europe since the 1990s, Hill will propose policy-based solutions and reforms that would encourage American economic policymakers to adapt to this new reality.

Thursday, May 12, 2016, 07:30 pm | Humanities
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A Brief History of Women as Friends

In today’s culture, the bonds of female friendship are taken as a given, but only a few centuries ago the idea of female friendship was completely unacknowledged, even pooh-­poohed. Only men, the reasoning went, had the necessary qualities to develop and sustain such meaningful relationships. Surveying history, literature, philosophy, religion, and pop culture in her book The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship, Stanford University historian Marilyn Yalom illuminates the story of women as friends throughout the ages: in medieval convents, in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literary salons, in nineteenth-century romantic relations, among early twentieth-century working girls, and on today's Internet. The Social Sex demonstrates how women ultimately co-opted the public face of friendship.

Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Michelle Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University.

Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 07:00 pm | Special Event
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Open Space with Brass

David Behrman will present four udpated compositions spanning multiple decades of his work: Runthrough was composed in 1967 for the Sonic Arts Union and featured home-made analog electronic instruments and flashlight-activated photocells. View Finder has roots in the analog synthesizer pieces of the early 1970s; in the current version, acoustic pitches played by performers using strings, winds, or voices are mixed into the electronic sound textures. My Father’s Grocery Store uses a spoken text from an early 1950s New Yorker collection of stories by Behrman’s father, S. N. Behrman. Open Space with Brass was composed in 2011 for the cellist Okkyung Lee, the TILT brass sextet, and 18 channels of electronics.

Location: St. Elisabeth-Kirche, Invalidenstrasse 3, 10115 Berlin

In cooperation with the Audio Communication Group of the Technical University Berlin and the Sound Studies Masters Program of the Berlin University of the Arts. 

Monday, May 23, 2016, 07:30 pm | Foreign Policy
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State-Building, Outside In – What Can External Actors Do to Improve Governance in Weak or Failed States?

The policy of Western industrialized wealthy democracies toward failed and badly governed states has vacillated between transforming these countries into consolidated democracies -- or at least putting them on the road to Denmark -- and doing nothing. The West needs to define a realistic set of objectives says Stephen D. Krasner, Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University. Policies can only be effective if they conform to the incentives of political elites in poorly governed states. "Good-enough" governance, he notes -- though it may be far from the democratic ideals cherished by modern democracies -- is both a realistic and achievable goal in providing security and basic services, some economic growth, jobs, and tolerance.

Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 08:00 pm | Special Event

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu – And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

Joshua Hammer, Author and Journalist.

Moderated by R. Jay Magill, Author; and Editor, the Berlin Journal, American Academy in Berlin.

Tickets (€ 8): tickets@etberlin.de

School groups may register with IRCBerlin@state.gov for free admission.

In cooperation with the U.S. Embassy Berlin and the English Theatre Berlin, International Performing Arts Center.