Berlin Journal

  • Hosted by R. Jay Magill

The Berlin Journal is a radio show featuring interviews with current Academy Fellows, distinguished visitors, and friends on a broad range of topics interviewed by American and German journalists.

When scheduled, The Berlin Journal, a co-production between The American Academy in Berlin and NPR Berlin, airs on 104,1 FM in our NPR Specials time slot Saturday at 19:00, and Monday at 08:00.

Past guests on The Berlin Journal have included:

  • George Packer of The New Yorker on President Obama's Afghanistan policy
  • Novelists Rivka Galchen, Adam Haslett, and Nathan Englander
  • Artist Amy Sillman on painting, film, and making 'zines
  • Art critic Hal Foster on the "bathetic, brutal, and banal" in modern art
  • Art historian Benjamin Buchloch on the abstraction of Gerhard Richter
  • Prize-winning journalists Anne Hull, Tamar Jacoby, and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  • Historians Joel Harrington, Charles Marsh, Leora Auslander, and Mary Sarotte
  • Composers Daniel Visconti and Andrew Norman
  • Food writer Calvin Trillin takes a food tour of Berlin
  • Author Karen Russell on fiction and belief

The Berlin Journal radio show is hosted by R. Jay Magill Jr. at the American Academy in Berlin and is produced by the NPR Berlin staff at NPR in Washington, DC.

The American Academy in Berlin was established in 1994 to foster greater understanding and dialog between the people of the United States and the people of Germany through its presence in Berlin, a city with which the United States shares unique cultural, political, and historical links.

The Academy, deemed by Der Spiegel  as “the most important place for American intellectual life outside of the United States," offers residential fellowships to both established and promising American scholars, writers, journalists, policymakers, and artists, encouraging them to pursue their work in a manner that fosters participation in the vibrant life of the German capital.

Richard Holbrooke
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In an encore broadcast on this weekend's NPR Special, the Berlin Journal takes a look at the history of the American Academy in Berlin and its founder, Richard Holbrooke.

Annette Hornischer / American Academy in Berlin

This episode of The Berlin Journal features interviews with fellows from the Fall 2013 semester at the American Academy in Berlin.

From the current distress over U.S. spying to Bauhaus icon Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, host R.Jay Magill and special guests take listeners on a tour through some of the Academy's projects this semester.

The Berlin Journal: June 2013

Jun 13, 2013
R.Jay Magill
Gunter Klötzer

First in this month's Berlin Journal, a conversation with Susie Linfield, professor of journalism at New York University and author of The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence.  

Linfield speaks about the power of images and traces the emotional language of political photography from its origins in the Weimar Republic to its modern ubiquity in social media.

R. Jay Magill's new book, Sincerity
Courtesy of R. Jay Magill

Author Tara Bray Smith recently spoke with R. Jay Magill, Jr., host of Berlin Journal and writer and editor at the American Academy, about his new book, Sincerity: How A Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion That We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull). (W.W. Norton & Company, 2012)