What brought me to West 86th Street in September 2019 was my interest in Heidegger’s concept of history and historical science, an interest I would share with Peter Miller, Dean of Bard Graduate Center. Peter and I used the time of my three-month-fellowship to bring a joint research project into being, working intensively on the unpublished protocols of a seminar Heidegger held in 1926 on Johann Gustav Droysen’s classical manual Outline of Historiology. Over the weeks three brave grad students joined us in our endeavor. As I quickly understood, New York is a good place to read and discuss Heidegger.

Coming to BGC as an historian with not all that much experience in the study of material culture I came to understand how fruitful it can be to track ideas through objects–“Learning From Things” –as it says above the picture of a jug on a BGC branded coffee mug (which I still regret not having nicked). More important than things are people, of course. I was overwhelmed by the wide intellectual scope and the openness of the faculty and the other fellows as demonstrated in the many thought-provoking talks, workshops, seminars, and, not least, receptions which I had the pleasure to attend during the semester. The readiness to engage in other people’s issues and questions makes BGC a truly interdisciplinary institution, a place where everyone can find an access with his or her own approaches. On top of that, the staff is tremendously friendly and helpful, adding up to a unique academic community. And all that takes place in two beautiful town houses just a few steps away from Central Park, easy to reach on foot by the happy fellow accommodated at Bard Hall. I’ve always much enjoyed walking along Columbus Avenue, no matter in which direction.

To sum it up: the only thing I didn’t like about my being at the BGC was my time. It went by far too fast.

Jan Eike Dunkhase, Bard Graduate Center Research Fellow, September–November 2019.