Introduction to Ancient Greek History with Donald Kagan, Yale Courses

Course information:

Roman Architecture with Diana E. E. Kleiner, Yale Courses

Course information:

The Early Middle Ages, 284–1000 with Paul Freedman, Yale Courses

Course information:

Introduction to the Old Testament With Christine Hayes, Yale Courses

Course information:

New Testament History and Literature with Dale B. Martin, Yale Courses

Course information:

Mona Lisa has become the synonym for “great”, “magnificent”, “sublime” art. Mona Lisa’s smile lives a life on its own. Everybody has heard of this painting, nowadays everybody knows how it looks like (for more on that topic check Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction). Why?

It is in fact a good painting, from a technical point of view. But is there truly something great about it? It seems that, yes, there is something fascinating and peculiar in the smugness of Mona’s face expression. But is it enough? Or does its “greatness” lie in the fact that so many people want to see greatness in it? Or did its popular fame make it “great”? And if it’s not in fact special, from an art historical point of view, then is it just a proof of the masses’ praise of mediocrity?


PS: Raphael’s Sistine Madonna is and was not in the Louvre but in the Zwinger in Dresden.

Da ich jetzt in Verbindung mit meiner BA-Arbeit viel über osmanische Architektur auf dem Balkan bzw. in Bulgarien lese, stoße ich immer wieder auf bulgarische Foscher und/oder Architekten, die Ihre Hochschulbildung in Deutschland oder sogar in München vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg erhalten haben. Und ich frage mich: Hat sich jemand schon über diese Menschen interessiert? Wer waren sie? Was war deren Beitrag zur bulgarischen Architektur am Anfang des 20. Jh einerseits und zur architektur- und kunsthistorischen Forschung in Bulgarien andererseits? Kurz gesagt: Was waren die deutsch-bulgarischen Beziehungen in Bezug auf Architektur und Wissenschaft zu der Zeit?

Vielleicht kann dazu ein Online-Projekt zur Wissenschaftsgeschite entstehen, wenn es es nicht schon gibt? Ich freue mich auf Anregungen!

В момента чета доста литература за османска архитектура на Балканите и конкретно в България (във връзка с бакалавърската ми работа) и често се натъквам на български учени, архитекти или историци, които са получили образованито си в Германия или дори в Мюнхен. Затова започвам да се питам, дали някой е писал за тези хора, кои са, от къде са дошли, какъв е техния принос и какви са връзките между между предвоенна Германия и от една страна следосвобожденската българска архитектура, и от друга – развитието на историята на архитектурата в България?

Може би вече има онлайн-проект в тази връзка? Или може да се зароди. Ще се радвам на мниения и идей!

The series about Suleiman the Magnificent on Extra History just started a few days ago, this time with a slightly different story telling approach but just as appealing, telling the story of his reign in an accurate (or at least so it seems) and entertaining way, inspiring further interest. That’s the way history needs to be told and that’s what I missed in school. A lot 😀

Für die Leute, die das nicht kennen, Extra Credits macht seit einiger Zeit kurze Geschichte-Videos, die toll zum anschauen sind. Ich hatte schon über die Serie über Justinian mal geschrieben.


Michaela Melián, Electic Ladyland, Lenbachhaus München 2016

Zur Ausstellung im Lenbachhaus | Zum HörspielZu den Artikeln auf BR2 | Kuratorenführungen | REFLEKTOR M | taz

Ich war schon zweimal da. Überall Musik – die Töne sanft ineinander reinfließend – schwebende Stuhl-Skulpturen, wo man sich hineinsetzetzen kann und darin geborgen sein Körper vergessen kann. Wandhohe schwarz-weiß Skizzen von “Elecrischen” Frauen. Hörspiel. Hängende Glühbirnen. Wires. Stahl. Mechanik. Azimov. I robot. Fritz Lang. Man kann unendlich weiteraussoziieren. Hier nur persönliche freie Assoziationen zur Ausstellung und zum Hörspiel. Viele davon so offensichtlich, dass sie langweilig wären. Alles aus Film und Sci Fi… Von einer Sci-Fi Entusiastin.






Die Szene mit der “Geburt” von Jane. Einziges Zitat von Jane online:

But I have eyes. And ears. I see everything in all the Hundred Worlds. I watch the sky through a thousand telescopes. I overhear a trillion conversations every day.” She giggled a little. “I’m the best gossip in the universe.“— Speaker for the Dead, Chapter 18


ALEX GARLAND, EX MACHINA, 2005 (unfortunately couldn’t find the ending scene)


Cristina De Middel. The Afronauts. foam Amsterdam

Cristina De Middel. The Afronauts. foam Amsterdam


Maschine, die. Substantiv, feminin. Worttrennung: Ma|schi|ne. Betonung: Maschine  Lautschrift: [maˈʃiːnəfranzösisch machine < lateinisch machina = (Kriegs-, Belagerungs)maschine < griechisch (dorisch) māchanā́ für: mēchanḗ, mechanisch (

Die Maschine als Frau und die Frau als Maschine. Frau und Maschine zugleich. Unabhängig. Stark. Beängstigend. Aber auch für die Frauen? Weil Film zum Beispiel viel zu lange von Männern gemacht wurde, die Angst vor starken unabhängigen Frauen hatten. Liberalisierend.
Was wäre es, wenn sie von Frauen gemacht worden wären?

Being in a Christmas mood today I’ve found four short video lectures (ca. 20 min each) that introduce the four main traditions in Christianity: Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism, and a new emerging tradition, not really spread in Europe, called Pentecostalism. The basics of there four traditions are presented by Dr. Douglas Jacobsen (Messiah College, 2013) in an easily understandable but still professional way. I post the first lecture, about Eastern Orthodoxy, you can find the others on YouTube (the channel is called Global Christianity).

Read More

I’ve been doing an online course about art and gender by the University of Melbourne on Coursera, called Sexing the Canvas, and I’ve been fascinated by an actually pretty famous painting, exhibited at the MoMA: the Dance (1909) by Henri Matisse. The painting was experienced as “unrewarding” by some art critics, maybe because of its lack of sexuality, with which most female nudes are represented in art history.


Henri Matisse, Dance (I), 1909, MoMA, New York

Here are my thoughts about it, which I also shared in the Coursera discussion forums:

I do not think that the paining is unrewarding, just the opposite. I like very much the lack of sexuality. Depicting sexuality is always related to desire, which here is completely missing. For me the nakedness of the women represents freedom: freedom of the convention of the clothes and of society, freedom of emotion, freedom of desire or necessity (from this point of view it also reminds of Henri Rousseau’s The Dream). The women are also free of the conventions of representing women in art: They are not there to please anybody, completely ignorant of the viewer or the male gaze, which in itself is a very rewarding thought 🙂 Their dance is harmonious and peaceful, neither joyful, nor unhappy, just as peaceful as the color palette that Matisse has chosen. The painting somehow reminds me of the use of color and the peacefulness of Mark Rothko’s paintings (e.g. White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950):


Mark Rothko, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950, Private Collection

The colors are full, flat and static and create a contrast to the fluid lines and the movement of the bodies. I also find that the MoMA Dance is very different from the Dance II in the Hermitage, which evokes very different emotions and for me it is the opposite of  Dance I: The composition remains the same* but the change of the color of the bodies from pink to orange-red and the more expressive lines create a sense of dynamism and even a bit of aggression. I don’t know if it is because of the reproduction or the painting itself, but to me it seems that even the sky looks more dynamic, consisting not of one solid color but of changes in the tone. In terms of gender one could probably define the MoMA Dance as the more feminine and the Hermitage Dance as the more masculine painting, if one thinks in the categories “peace”, “harmony” = feminine and “aggressive”, “dynamic” = masculine.


Henri Matisse, Dance (II), 1910, Hermitage, St. Peterburg

*It should be noted that Dance (I) was made as a compositional study of Dance (II). This could explain the simplicity of the earlier painting.