The series “55 Voices for Democracy” is inspired by the 55 BBC radio addresses Thomas Mann delivered from his home in California to thousands of listeners in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the occupied Netherlands and Czechoslovakia between October 1940 and November 1945. In his monthly addresses, Mann spoke out strongly against fascism, becoming the most significant German defender of democracy in exile. Building on that legacy, the series brings together internationally-esteemed intellectuals, scientists, and artists to present ideas for the renewal of democracy in our own troubled times. Participants include political scientists Francis Fukuyama and Jan-Werner Müller, philosopher Seyla Benhabib, writers Orhan Pamuk and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, sociologist Ananya Roy, the German studies scholar Jan Philipp Reemtsma, historians Martha S. Jones and Timothy Snyder, and many more.

The series is presented by the Thomas Mann House in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk, the Los Angeles Review of Books and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Talks

Heike Paul

Heike Paul is chair of American Studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Her research in cultural studies focuses especially on forms and functions of the sentimental (Global Sentimentality Project) and on dimensions of tacit knowledge. Her co-authored book "The Comeback of Populism: Transatlantic Perspectives" was published in 2019.

Heike Paul is a Thomas Mann House Fellow in 2020, member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and director of the Bavarian American Academy, in which she is deeply committed to transatlantic networking. In 2018, she was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.

– Read the article by the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Jan Philipp Reemtsma

Jan Philipp Reemtsma is Professor for New German Literature at the University of Hamburg and an internationally renowned author of works such as Gewalt als Lebensform (2016), Vertrauen und Gewalt (2008, translated as Trust and Violence, 2012) or Gebt der Erinnerung Namen (2007, with Saul Friedländer).

The traveling exhibitions on the crimes of the Wehrmacht that he organized with the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, have had a lasting impact on the process of accounting for the past in Germany.

– Read the article by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
– Read the article by the Süddeutschen Zeitung (German).
– Read or listen to the episode "55 Voices: Roy, Reemtsma" on Deutschlandfunk (German).

Ananya Roy

Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin.

Professor Roy’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality and seeks to build power for marginalized communities. She is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff Award for her 2010 book, Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development.

– Read the article by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
– Read the article by Süddeutschen Zeitung (German).
– Read or listen to the episode "55 Voices: Roy, Reemtsma" on Deutschlandfunk (German).

Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

His recent books are Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015); On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017); and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018).

Snyder's work has appeared in forty languages and has received a number of prizes, including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee award, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought.

– Read or listen to the episode "55 Voices: Fukuyama, Snyder" on Deutschlandfunk (German).

Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Fukuyama was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director for the State Department’s policy planning staff. He is the author of books like „Identity. The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment“, „The End of History and the Last Man“, and „America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy“.

– Read the article by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
– Read the article by Süddeutschen Zeitung (German).
– Read or listen to the episode "55 Voices: Fukuyama, Snyder" on Deutschlandfunk (German).


Media partners for the series are Deutschlandfunk, Los Angeles Review of Books and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

 


Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.