Jennifer Allen will become the new Berthold Leibinger Fellow (spring 2019)
Jennifer Allen is a professor of history at Yale University. She received her BA in political and social thought from the University of Virginia, and PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley. In her Academy project, a transnational study of postwar efforts in both East and West Germany to “save the world,” Allen explores two connected themes. First, she examines the range of possible global catastrophes that captivated East and West German imaginations during and after the Cold War. Second, she follows the efforts of governments, research networks, and NGOs in both the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic to hedge against these disasters. Both states initiated massive projects to archive the raw materials necessary to pull Germany back from the brink of annihilation, should it be required. In the West, cultural preservationists stockpiled what would eventually total nearly one trillion microfilmed images of key artifacts of German cultural heritage. The East, by contrast, assembled an extensive repository of genetic data representative of Central Europe’s biodiversity. Allen’s research traces the gradual cross-pollination of these two very different projects and demonstrates how their evolution has shaped contemporary Germany’s answer to a particularly modern question: how would humanity be salvaged after global destruction?
Nancy Foner: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2017
On December 11th, 2017, Nancy Foner, distinguished Professor of Sociology and Berthold Leibinger Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, gave a talk as part of the Head-to-Head series at the DAZ in Stuttgart. Here, she gave insight into her project, “Immigration and the Transformation of America,” in which she examines how massive post-1965 immigration has been reshaping the United States. Bringing together diverse strands of social-science literature, the book explores how immigration has influenced a wide range of institutions as well as cultural and social patterns. Although the book focuses on the contemporary period, it is infused with a deep historical sensibility for how past immigration helps explain changes in the US today. With her comparative, transatlantic view, Foner also considers recent dramatic transformations in Western Europe in response to immigration.
Rebecca Boehling: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2016
Rebecca Boehling is Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Maryland, where she was the founding director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities. She has published on gender as well as on politics and the return of German self-government after World War II. She began a comparative history of denazification in the Western zones of postwar Germany, at one point advising Iraqi exiles on how the model of denazification might or might not be appropriate for their plans for transitional justice in a post-Baathist Iraq. She interrupted this project to write (with Uta Larkey) Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family’s Untold Story (Cambridge, 2011), based on some 600 German-Jewish family letters written primarily between 1933 and 1955.
Spyros Papapetros: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2016
Spyros Papapetros is an art and architectural historian and theorist at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, where he co-directs the Program in Media and Modernity. In his research, Mr. Papapetros combines various disciplines such as art history, architectural history, and cultural history by researching to talk about the meaning of ornaments as art symbols.
Beatriz Colomina: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2014
Beatriz Colomina is a renowned architectural historian and theorist with wide-ranging publications on questions of architecture, media, and authorship She is Founding Director of Princeton’s Graduate Program in Media and Modernity, which promotes the interdisciplinary study culture, media, and technology. In her Academy project, “Couplings: The Secret Life of Modern Architecture,” Colomina explores the increasingly urgent questions of architectural collaboration. Architecture today engages ever deeper with shared software platforms that allow large numbers of people in different locations and disciplines to work together in a networked world. By bringing to light the hidden collaborative production in the dynamics and influence of key architectural partnerships, including the contributions by women, Colomina plans to encourage more nuanced forms of practice and discourse, as well as liberate creative potential. At stake is a new model of authorship and credits that responds to the messiness of architectural practice, the collaborations between senior and junior members of a design team, between generalists and specialists, and among craftsmen, manufacturers and architects.
Tara Zahra: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2013
Tara Zahra works as Associate Professor at the Department of History at the University of Chicago. In her work at the American Academy in Berlin, she focuses on how emigration from Eastern Europe shaped ideals of freedom, new forms of social protection, and escalating border controls in the East and West. Her works brings a new perspective to the history of European migration, suggesting that East European concerns about emigration, as much as Western xenophobia and restriction, propelled the fortification of borders in the twentieth century.
Hans Vaget: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2012
Hans R. Vaget is Helen & Laura Shedd Professor Emeritus of German Studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. During his fellowship, Vaget will explore the life and works of Thomas Mann during the fourteen years (1938-1952) he spent as exile in the United States. Based on all available evidence, this book will be the first in-depth study of Mann‘s American years. lt will shed new light on his relationship to President Roosevelt, on bis efforts to convince isolationist America of the necessity of going to war, on bis rivalry with other German exiles (notably Brecht), and on his growing disillusionment with Germany even after the war.
M. Norton Wise: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2012
Norton Wise is a Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-director of the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics. His scholarly areas of expertise are the history of physics and the relationship between science and industrialization from the eighteenth century to the present.
James Wood: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2010
James Wood, a noted literary critic, is currently on the staff of the New Yorker and has held the post of Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University since 2003. Wood’s reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and the London Review of Books, where he is a member of the editorial board.
Judith Wechsler: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2010
The aim of Judith Wechsler‘s fellowship was to research the intellectual and social settings in which her father, Nahum Norbert Glatzer, was raised, and to study the factors that influenced his approach to the transmission of German-Jewish learning in the United States during his later life. During her residency at the American Academy in Berlin, Professor Wechsler worked on the script for a documentary film about her father. Upon the completion of her residency at the American Academy, Professor Wechsler had completed the basic scenario for her film.
Leora Auslander: Berthold Leibinger Fellow fall 2008
Leora Auslander, professor of European social history and Jewish studies at the University of Chicago and an expert on material culture and gender in Europe, has been a consistent advocate for a culture-focused approach to writing history. The central question that systematically drives her research agenda is explaining how and why everyday things become catalysts for conflict, means of expressing identities and constructing selves, vehicles for dissenting opinions, and sites of unexpected state intervention. Her project, "Strangers at Home: Parisians and Berlin Jews, 1914-2000", at the American Academy is driven by the question of what it means to be at home. When and how do strangers become neighbors or neighbors strangers? What enables people to feel at home in a given place?
Gregg Horowitz: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2008
Geoffrey Wolff: Berthold Leibinger Fellow spring 2007