Historian Kate Brown explains that Cold War "plutopias" were successful because they appeared to deliver the promises of the American Dream and Soviet Communism. In reality, they concealed monumental radioactive disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening to this day.
Media theorist Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is working on a monograph and a series of digital projects entitled “Discriminating Data," in which she investigates the persistence and transformation of categories of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the era of network analytics.
Musicologist Mark Pottinger examines the role of the natural sciences in the definition of the supernatural in early Romantic opera in France, Germany, and Italy. More specifically, on the friendship and collaboration between Giacomo Meyerbeer and Alexander von Humboldt.
In his Academy project, “Mendelssohn and Kant: Forms of Freedom,” Paul Guyer examines the two figures’ intellectual exchange over the course of their careers. Immanuel Kant and Moses Mendelssohn met once and exchanged only a handful of letters.
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.
Kate Brown is a professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who is "trying to recover the lost histories of modernist wastelands." She is the author, most recently, of Dispatches from Dystopia: Histories of Places Not Yet Forgotten (Chicago, 2015).
In this talk, Trenton Doyle Hancock, a spring 2017 visual arts fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, explains that “Mound” is the name he gives to a species of magical mutated beings that reside in the forest, and he discusses his work-in-progress, a graphic novel about the "Moundverse."
William Drozdiak discusses 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.
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Adam Johnson is at the Academy in spring 2017 to work on his next novel, in which he returns to themes key to his previous works: displacement, scarcity, resource distribution, sustainability, social organization, and war.
Author Kati Marton was at the Academy on the occasion of her new book, True Believer, about Soviet Communism's ideological infiltration of the US State Department in the 1930s. She sat down with us to talk about parallels to the present and the vital importance of journalism today.