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From the road, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Credit: Claire August)

In the center of town, a group of men played oversized chess.

H. told me how, after the war [*1], many countries donated trams to Sarajevo, and this is why the trams came up and down the narrow street in various shapes and colors: they were from Germany, Japan, and Switzerland, to name a few.

From the road at sunset, we look into apartments with rooms so obscure their thick color reminded me of dark red bedsheets. Between the roads, emptied out valleys. It’s possible to forget how flat Berlin is and to forget what hills are like. Hills remind you of the size of a place. Berlin feels like neighborhoods put together like puzzle pieces, while Sarajevo raises its city-edges towards you. It was winter in Sarajevo but it was no longer winter when we got closer to the border with Croatia, where it blushed with warmth and we pulled off the road to eat oysters. They were ice cold. The waiter pointed and said, they come from the water right over there.

(Recorded as H. and I walked through the center of Sarajevo.)

In H.’s house there were 12 jars of honey. We counted.

Trinken wir lieber ein Glas zuviel. I am listening to this song [*2] as we drive, and it reminds me of what it is like to travel. I’ve heard people say that they travel but that they are certainly not tourists. I don’t think this is possible. All recreational travel is plainly indulgent; to avoid the word ‘tourist’ (thereby avoiding all of the word’s negative connotations) is to also avoid this truth of indulgence. Travel like this is to drink a glass from a country that is not ‘yours,’ and to sometimes drink one glass too many. Is all travel a form of excess? I’d like to think not, at least not in every case. Travel can, of course, be an educational experience.

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L&T performances (Credit: Andrea Riba)

Students from all corners of the globe arrived in Pankow this past August to participate in a two-and-a-half week writing intensive called the Language and Thinking program. These academic exercises were at times trying, new, or unusual, but certainly left an impression on students and teachers alike. Over dinner in the cafeteria, we chatted about the nature of the program and student’s reactions. A special thanks to Ido Nahari, Hanna Bargheer, Hans Stauffacher, and (of course) the graduates of this year’s L&T program.

 

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Students in the Summer Language German Intensive Program visit the Hamburger Bahnhof. (Credit: Irina Stelea)

The BCB Summer Language German Intensive Program came to a close earlier this month. From the 10th June to the 10th July, a handful of students from various universities immersed themselves in the German language and took part in cultural events across Berlin. This podcast includes snippets of conversations with some of the participants on their experiences at BCB and in Berlin.

Featured songs, in order of appearance:

“Komm Doch” by Die Caufner Schwestern (1978)

“Sonnenallee” by Rio Reiser (1990)

Essay by Mark Twain, source here.

 

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Prof. Dr. Ewa Atanassow

Prof. Dr. Ewa Atanassow

The blog team continues the series of discussions with members of the Bard College Berlin faculty. Our guest today is Prof. Dr. Ewa Atanassow, who will be teaching a course on “Equality“ in the Spring Semester 2014.

Prof. Dr. Ewa Atanassow has received a PhD from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, an MA in psychology from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests focus on questions of nationhood and democratic citizenship, and more broadly on the intersection of ethics and psychology in the liberal tradition of political thought, with emphasis on Tocqueville. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Journal of Democracy, Kronos, Nations and Nationalism, Perspectives on Political Science, Przeglad Polityczny. She is the co-editor of Tocqueville and the Frontiers of Democracy, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.

Previous faculty podcasts: Michael Weinman

Michael Weinman during a lecture

Michael Weinman during a lecture

The Die Bärliner inaugurates today a series of discussions with members of the faculty. Listen to our professors talking about their areas of interest, current research, teaching at ECLA of Bard and life outside class.

Our first guest, Prof. Dr. Michael Weinman, joined the permanent faculty of ECLA of Bard in September 2012, after originally arriving as a Guest Professor in 2010. Michael received his doctorate in Philosophy in 2005 from The New School for Social Research in New York. He is the author of two books, on pleasure in Aristotle’s ethical thought and the connection between continental philosophy and modernist literature respectively, as well of several articles and books chapters on issues in Greek and political philosophy. His current projects include research on “Pythagorean Harmonics” in the Parthenon and Plato’s Timaeus, conducted jointly with ECLA of Bard faculty member Geoff Lehman, and an investigation of the connection between dialectic and rhetoric in Aristotle’s thought, in cooperation with David McNeill of the University of Essex.