News |Thomas Mann House announces 2019 Fellows

Photo: Mike Kelley

The Advisory Council of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V., which includes representatives from culture, science, civil society and business, has selected the 2019 Thomas Mann House Fellows.

Philosopher Armen Avanessian, AI researcher Dr. Damian Borth, geographer Prof. Dr. Ilse Helbrecht, literary scholar Prof. Dr. Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, journalist Andreas Platthaus, sociologist Prof. Dr. Andreas Reckwitz, and social scientist Lisa Riedner will live and work in Los Angeles in the coming year. Prof. Dr. Frido Mann, Thomas Mann’s grandson, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship. Burghart Klaußner, actor and writer, will continue his 2018 Fellowship.

Minister of State for International Cultural Policy Michelle Müntefering said in Berlin: „ In California, Thomas Mann found the freedom to create his magnificent literary works denied to him in his home country. Today, the house has again become a venue for open dialogue. Therefore, I am delighted that in the coming year leading intellectuals and thinkers from different disciplines will move into the Thomas Mann House to discuss current events and relevant societal issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, amongst each other as well as with American partners. We are, after all, facing enormous challenges on both sides of the Atlantic. Cultural hubs, such as the Thomas Mann House, are vitally important in order to overcome these challenges together.“

Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters explained: „Thomas Mann would definitely rejoice in seeing his California residence being revived by well-known scientist, researchers, and intellectuals who represent a democratic, modern, cosmopolitan Germany which he himself embodied during his years in Exile like no other. In times of European-American irritations, the work of the Fellows in the US is of special significance. It is important to me, that the Thomas Mann House becomes a place to create an understanding of common goals and values and a venue for discussions that - in light of the changed circumstances of an imperiled world order -we have to and want to engage in.“

This year’s Advisory Council consisted of Obi Felten (X, Alphabet Inc.), Christian Hänel (Robert Bosch Foundation), Dr. Thomas Kempf (Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation), Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel (Wirtschaftswoche and University of St. Gallen), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Raulff (Literaturarchiv Marbach), Dr. Steven Sokol (American Council on Germany), and Dr. Heinrich Wefing (Die Zeit).

Thomas Mann House Fellowships are intended to strengthen intellectual and cultural exchange between Germany and the USA. They provide intellectuals and individuals dealing with current issues relevant on both sides of the Atlantic with the opportunity to exchange and network with American partners.

The interdisciplinary program is dedicated to Thomas Mann, who during his years in exile in the United States addressed the fundamental cultural and political issues of his time in his literary works, lectures, and essays. Diverse formats and controversial debates are intended to promote dialogue with broad segments of US society and will be continued with American partners in Germany.

In November 2016, the Federal Republic of Germany acquired the house; it was renovated and furnished with the support of the Berthold Leibinger Foundation. President Steinmeier inaugurated the Thomas Mann House in June 2018.

The application deadline for 2020 fellowships is January 31, 2019. Application forms will be made available for download in August.

The residency program is funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, as well as the Berthold Leibinger Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, and the Goethe-Institut.

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