June 18, 2019

Historian Linda Gordon recently visited the American Academy in Berlin, as a Marcus Bierich Distinguished Visitor, "The Second Coming of the KKK." In it, Gordon goes beyond the more well-known terrorism of the KKK in the South, to show how the Klan was in northern states like Oregon and Massachusetts in the first half of the twentieth century. There are two ways in which the laws of the world are applied.

In this episode of "Beyond the Lecture," Gordon suggests that some of the anti-immigrant sentiment in contemporary political discourse has its roots in the Klan of the 1920s.

Host: R. Jay Magill 
Producer: Tony Andrews 
Photo: Annette Hornischer 
Music: "After the End," "Final Step," "Desert Fox Underscore," and "Eye of Forgiveness" by Rafael Krux; "Midnight in the Green House" by Kevin MacLeod; "Distilled" by Nctrnm; "Staunch and True" by United States Marine Band.

May 15, 2019

Writer Anne Finger is in Berlin to research history of disability in the city. In this episode, she goes on a trip to old, abandoned Nazi psychiatric facility with producer Tony Andrews. Along the way, they meet up with Andreas Hechler, whose great grandmother was just like it. In the process, they are confronting the politics of memory today.

Host: R. Jay Magill 
Producer: Tony Andrews 
Photo: Annette Hornischer 
Music: "Meekness" and "Mercy" by Kai Engel; "Jolenta Clears The Table" by Doctor Turtle.

April 15, 2019

Composer and pianist Wang Lu was born in the Xi'an, China, the country's ancient capital. Brought up in a musical family with strong Chinese opera and folk music traditions, her compositions are inspired by both forms and fused with urban environmental sounds. Ensemble Modern, The Minnesota Orchestra, The American Composers Orchestra and Holland Symfonia, to name just a few. As a spring 2019 Fellow at the Academy, Wang is working on new pieces, and she'll be working on Urban Inventory in the city as well. Producer Tony Andrews sat down with Wang to discuss her work.

April 02, 2019

Literary historian Martin Puchner's journey with languages started in early and unexpectedly: a series of seemingly unconnected events. Puchner was forced to confront the good and the bad in his own family's history and how he would choose to inherit the rebel legacy.

Host: R. Jay Magill, 
Producer: Tony Andrews, 
Photo: Annette Hornischer, 
Music: "Mischief" and "Curious" by Ryan Rainer; "I Leaned My Back Against Oak" by Axletree; "Jolenta Clears The Table" by Doctor Turtle.

March 26, 2019

Sir David Chipperfield is a world-renowned architect who has designed and refurbished some of the most iconic buildings in the world, including Berlin's Neues Museum. On March 21, 2019, Sir Chipperfield delivered a lecture entitled "Identity and Sustainability Foundation RIA in Galicia." In the lecture, he discusses his work at Fundación RIA, to NGOs that enable architects to serve society through Comprehensive engagement in urban planning. Jason Danziger, of the firm thinkbuild, sat down with Sir Chipperfield to discuss how to do it.

January 15, 2019

New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen was at the American Academy in late November to talk about her most recent book, The Future Is History. In this podcast, she discusses Russia, cynicism, doublethink, and the imaginative powers of democracy with fall 2018 Academy fellow Joshua Yaffa, the Moscow correspondent for the New Yorker.

October 23, 2018

Political philosopher Michael Sandel was at the American Academy in spring 2018 to deliver a lecture entitled “Populism, Trump, and the Future of Democracy.” We sat down with him to gauge his thoughts on where democracy was headed, what he thought was missing from public discourse, and what he believes gave rise to populist nationalism.

August 28, 2018

Linda Greenhouse reported on the Supreme Court for the New York Times for the past thirty years. Currently a journalist in residence at the Yale Law School, and president of the American Philosophical Society, Greenhouse was at the Academy in May 2018 to deliver the Lloyd Cutler Lecture, entitled “Can the Supreme Court Save the United States.” We sat down with her to ask a few questions about cases facing the Supreme Court, journalist interactions with justices, and the challenges of the Court during the Trump administration.

May 22, 2018

Tricia Rose is a professor of Africana Studies and director of the Center of the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Brown University, and a frequent commentator in American media and on college campuses about the state of race in America.

A few hours before her April 24, 2018 Marcus Bierich lecture at the American Academy, we sat down with Rose to ask her what is going on with race in America now, about the harmfulness of "colorblindness" among well-meaning whites, and how social media is both helping and hindering our understanding of how race works.

April 25, 2018

Adam Tooze is professor of history and director of the European Institute at Columbia University. A specialist in twentieth-century German economic history, he was at the Academy on March 13, 2018, to deliver this semester’s Marcus Bierich Lecture, “The 2008 Global Crisis: Approaches to a Future History.” This is also the subject of his forthcoming book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (Viking, August 2018).

April 04, 2018

Keith David Watenpaugh is Professor and Director of Human Rights Studies at the University of California, Davis. Since 2013, he has directed a multi-disciplinary international research program to assist refugee university students and scholars fleeing the war in Syria. He’s leading an effort to expand refugee access to higher education through something called the Article 26 Backpack project, supported by the Ford Foundation, which helps refugee students digitally store their academic credentials.

On February 27, 2018, Watenpaugh was at the American Academy as a Richard von Weizsaecker Distinguished Visitor, to deliver a talk about the marriage of his academic work, as a renowned historian of the Middle East, and as a person who cares deeply about the plight of people fleeing war. He sat down with American Academy president Michael Steinberg to discuss his work

March 14. 2018

David Miliband, a former British foreign minister, has been the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee since 2013. He's the author of a new book about the global migration crisis, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time (Simon & Schuster/TED Books). We sat down with him to discuss the challenges facing the 65 million worldwide refugees, the challenges facing the nations that are taking them in, and the state of the international liberal order.

March 8, 2018

We sat down with Chollet, the German Marshall Fund executive vice president and senior advisor to security and defense policy, to discuss the most salient issues facing US security, the state of the transatlantic relationship, and one of his mentors and former bosses, Academy founder Richard Holbrooke.

January 9, 2018

Nicholas Eberstadt on North Korea

Is it realistic to expect a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s nuclear threat? Political scientist Nicholas Eberstadt assesses the situation.

December 18, 2017

Charles Taylor on Democratic Degeneration

Philosopher Charles Taylor identifies three degenerative tendencies that routinely plague modern democracies. He concludes that we’re experiencing all three of them right now. How can we reverse the decline?


November 16, 2017

Nicholas Eberstadt on Men without Work

Political scientist Nicholas Eberstadt addresses an overlooked crisis in his latest book: the radical rise in unemployment for American men over the past half-century.

October 16, 2017

Roger Cohen on Trump and the Postwar Order

What remains of the postwar order under President Trump? New York Times columnist Roger Cohen analyses the current political situation in the US and Europe and affirms the need to stand up for liberal values and decency.

July 27 2017

Kerry James Marshall and Trenton Doyle Hancock

In this rare encounter between two outstanding American artists, Trenton Doyle Hancock meets one of his artistic inspirations, Kerry James Marshall, for an extended discussion about painting, collage, and comics.

Beyond the Lecture is a podcast series by the American Academy in Berlin, an organization committed to sustaining and enhancing the long-term intellectual, cultural, and political ties between the United States and Germany.