Tuesday, January 24

Presentation of the Spring 2017 Fellows

The Berlin Prize 

INVITATION ONLY The Spring 2017 Class of Berlin Prize Fellows: Molly Antopol
Writer; Jones Lecturer of Creative Writing, Stanford University Kate Brown
Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University Paul Guyer
Jonathan Nelson Professor of Humanities and Philosophy, Brown University »

Wednesday, January 25

True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy

Foreign Policy Forum 

At a time when Russia is alleged to have manipulated the recent US Presidential elections, Kati Marton returns to the American Academy to present her latest book, an astonishing tale of past intervention by Moscow in the highest reaches of the US government. True Believer (Simon & Schuster, 2016) reveals the life of Noel Field, an Ivy League-educated State Department employee, who was deeply rooted in the culture and history of the United States yet spied for Joseph Stalin. »

Thursday, January 26

mining the unsound

Inga Maren Otto Lecture 

New York-based sound and visual artist Thessia Machado offers an exploration of the emergence of sound in her artistic practice. She will also discuss her research into the musical possibilities of humble sonic sources and discarded technologies—turntables, photocells, circuit boards, speakers, and LCD screens. Following her talk, Machado will give a short performance involving an instrument she recently built: an analog synthesizer-circuit controlled by the image supplied from a cathode-ray-tube (CRT) baby monitor (pictured). »

Tuesday, January 31

Christian Existentialism and a Jewish Life: The Worlds of Erich Auerbach

John P. Birkelund Lecture 

The German-Jewish literary scholar and critic Erich Auerbach (1892–1957) fled Nazi Germany in 1935, settling first in Turkey, then in the United States. Professor of Comparative Literature Jane O. Newman explores his readings of writers from St. Augustine through Montaigne to Virginia Woolf, setting his interpretations in conversation with the thought of his contemporaries, particularly phenomenologists and existentialists in Germany and France—both Protestant and Catholic. »

Tuesday, February 07

Marketing Radical Nationalism in Post-Socialist Hungary

Axel Springer Lecture 

Bumper stickers in the shape of pre-1920 Hungary. Heritage tourism to Transylvania. Clothing with ninth-century runic letters. Rock bands singing of a glorious past. In this lecture, sociologist Virág Molnár explores the intersection of consumer markets and right-wing nationalism in contemporary Hungary. She argues that the increasing right-wing radicalization of Hungarian politics and the growth of “uncivil” publics have been fueled by an expanding industry that effectively commodifies these sentiments and packages them for consumption. »