Berlin Prize 2020/21

The American Academy in Berlin Announced Fellows

The American Academy in Berlin has awarded Berlin Prizes—semester-long residential fellowships—to twenty-two scholars, writers, and artists for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

The American Academy in Berlin Announced Fellows

Chosen by an independent selection committee, the 2020-21 class of fellows will explore a wide array of topics:

A first-hand journalistic account of the global refugee crisis, a monograph on the late Berlin-based filmmaker Harun Farocki, a study of African American “return literature,” a new translation of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg, historical investigations of urban life in late nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro, the African diaspora in modern Europe, the Roman Empire’s ethnic pluralism, the pilfering of German cultural property during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as two novels—one set in dystopic Los Angeles and one in 1980s Philadelphia—and artist projects on race and sociopolitical power in recent American history.

The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to US-based scholars, writers, composers, and artists who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields, from the humanities and social sciences to journalism, fiction, visual arts, and music composition. Fellows receive a monthly stipend, partial board, and comfortable accommodations for a semester at the American Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center, located in Berlin’s Wannsee district.

The Berlin Prize provides recipients with the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to engage in academic and artistic projects they might otherwise not pursue. Fellows work throughout the semester with Berlin peers and institutions in the American Academy’s well-established network, forging meaningful connections that lead to lasting transatlantic relationships. During their stay, fellows engage audiences through public lectures, readings, and performances, which form the core of the American Academy in Berlin’s public program.


The Fall 2020 Berlin Prize Fellows

Matthieu Aikins – Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine

Laila Amine – Assistant Professor of Global Black Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lois BannerProfessor Emerita of History, University of Southern California

Combining biography with history and feminist theory, Lois W. Banner will continue her work on the history of beauty by examining the meanings of feminism, fashion, gender, and ethnicity in the life and times of the international film star Greta Garbo.

Susan Bernofsky – Associate Professor of Writing, Columbia University

Alice Goff – Assistant Professor of German History and the College, The University of Chicago

James N. Green – Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History, Brown University

Ralph Lemon – Dancer, Choreographer, and Visual Artist; Artistic Director, Cross Performance

Ayana Mathis – Writer

Saira Mohamed – Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Mosi Secret – Writer; Investigative and Literary Journalist


The Spring 2021 Berlin Prize Fellows

Hakim Abderrezak – Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Minnesota

Nora M. Alter – Professor of Film and Media Arts, Temple University

Allison Blakely – Professor Emeritus of European and Comparative History, Boston University

Tony Cokes – Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Lawrence Douglas – James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, Amherst College

Alexandra Kleeman – Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, The New School

Erik Linstrum – Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia

Nandini Pandey – Associate Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Naghmeh Sohrabi – Charles (Corky) Goodman Professor of Middle East History; Director for Research, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University

Robert F. Reid-Pharr – Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Bertrall Ross – Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Anna Webber – Composer, Flutist, and Saxophonist




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