On this edition of the American Academy in Berlin's “Beyond the Lecture” series, Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz discussed his most recent book, The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe.
Ioana Uricaru's screenplay Paperclip is based on historical events, especially Operation Paperclip, the US military's program of recruiting German scientists at the end of World War II. This intelligence operation, which made it possible to establish the American space program, is named after the office supplies used to affix a new set of paperwork—and therefore a new identity—onto the scientists' files.
There are more than two hundred surviving manuscripts of Frankish capitularies—royal laws divided into chapters. Though they were produced by kings and courts, they were mostly copied by local authorities who decided to use them for their own purposes. Jennifer Davis's lecture, the title of which is eponymous with her most recent book, Per capitularios nostros: Law and its Uses in the Frankish Kingdoms, examines how these laws were used in different ways over time, revealing changes in Frankish politics, society, and culture.
Tom Franklin's lecture features readings from and a discussion of his New York Times bestselling 2010 novel Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. This book, Franklin says, is "accidentally autobiographical," in that the author had few plans to use aspects and details of his own life. But when he found himself working in Brazil, far from his native Alabama, he began to draw from his own past.
Geographer Michael Watts’ lecture focuses on two home-grown insurgencies in Nigeria: Boko Haram, a radical Islamist movement located in the dry and arid northern Muslim heartlands, and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), arising from the largely Christian oil-fields of the southeastern rainforests. Each insurgency, he argues, arose from common failures of state, civic, customary and religious authority, and from the material, political, and economic insecurities produced by the failure of national secular development.
n A Rage for Order, contributing New York Times Magazine writer Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits of people involved in the Arab Spring,
In "Performing Scholasticism: Ars Disputandi and the Medieval Public Sphere," 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.
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 historical Mandæan region.
In her Academy project, “Per capitularios nostros," Jennifer Davis turns her attention to the invention of the capitularies, a form of royal law created by the Merovingian Franks.
Mary Ann Doane examines the concept of scale and its increasing centrality to analysis of the work of the image in contemporary culture.