The fifth week of Fall semester is ‘ECLA Week’, a week that allows students, faculty and administration to take a break from the regular academic routine and participate in community-building activities. The special week was initiated last year and includes events ranging from academic to social to athletic.
ECLA invited Michael Cullen to open the week with a guest lecture entitled, “the Symbolism of the Reichstag.” Cullen had the idea to invite the contemporary artist Christo to Berlin, which eventually lead to the wrapping of the Reichstag building in 1995. Cullen gave a fascinating account of a project that took over two decades to unfold and earned him a Berlin Merit Award in recognition of his initiative.
Other guest lecturers this week included photographer Patrick Hinely and ECLA’s Musicologist Morag Grant. Hinely discussed the art of photography in his lecture “Jazz Photography and the Berlin Jazz Fest.” He described his journey through photography, presenting slides chronologically from his early photos to his most recent work with the Berlin Jazz Fest. Grant gave a lecture on the Scottish song Auld Lang Syne and its impact on the world. She also closed ECLA Week with a Musicology seminar, which introduced students to the works they will hear at the Philharmonic concert on November 15th: Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
The ECLA community had a chance to meet some of its Pankow neighbors this week at an open house in P24. President Laurent Boetsch and Assistant to the President Tomaž Cebašek as well as other members of faculty, administration and the student body chatted with visitors and explained ECLA’s model of ‘liberal learning’ during an informal wine and cheese reception. In the future, ECLA plans to invite its neighbors back to campus for special film screenings and lectures.
Other scheduled events included a community bulb-planting project that promises to bring beauty and color to the campus next Spring; an afternoon dedicated to recreational sports including a 5km run/walk through the parks of Pankow; special film screenings both on and off campus; a “Sharing Poetry” seminar; and an International Dinner when everyone on campus is invited to cook and savor what is certain to be a unique array of dishes.