Dear Bard College Berlin community, You are where you are today because approximately twenty-one years ago, three people had one idea. They had studied at top universities in the US or Great Britain, returned to Germany, and met while working at consulting firms. They were impressed with the education they had received abroad and expressed
“Why do you have to make your whole life about being gay? Like, WE GET IT. Not everything in life is about who you want to date. Maybe people would accept it if you didn’t make it your new personality.” That’s the Instagram message I received from a cis gay man after I had confronted
Like many queer children, I felt out of place growing up. Although I was not uncomfortable with femininity, I experimented with masculinity by cutting my hair short and wearing more “masculine” clothes. My family and acquaintances often displayed their discomfort with my gender expression. Even if their comments were not always negative, I remember being
Some of my first memories of giving, or rather receiving, are of my grandfather giving me candy. My grandfather always pulls treasures out of his droopy pants, wide and concealing like a magician’s cloth. Under this cloth hides his shockingly thin body, as well as the timeline of the rather ritualistic candy distribution, always managing to
“So writing, I think, is an interestingly perverse occupation. It is quite sick in the sense of normal human enjoyment of life, because the writer is always removed, the way an actor never is,” states author Edna O’Brien in an interview with The Paris Review. “An actor is with the audience, a writer is not
“Give me some valley deep in America, something that freezes over in winter and smells of rotten flesh in summer, or a prairie by a lake, in Romania, a naïve little fishermen’s village where you don’t speak the language, and all the fish have died and the fishermen have gone to work in the nearest city…”
If I wanted to escape the confusion of my identity, Bard Berlin seems only to cement my bewilderment. It is an English speaking university on the edge of the biggest German city. It is easy to spend days speaking, reading, and writing only in English. Occasionally, I feel guilty about this.
There’s a breath of fresh air coming from Cambridge University to Berlin. Bard College Berlin alumna Maria Khan (BA HAST 2015) is currently working on a unique PhD project on German Literature and Education. She had the idea to break with mainstream discourse and instead research Muslim integration in consultation with Goethe, the most famous