Akademie-Forum: Michael Naumann

German Cultural Policy and German History: A Conversation

  • Lectures & Seminars


Prof. Dr. Michael Naumann


Dr. Kristina Meyer


As a journalist, publisher, editor-in-chief, first German Federal Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, or university rector — for half a century, Michael Naumann has been observing, commenting on, and influencing public discourse on culture, politics, and cultural policy. His biography reflects German contemporary history; coming to terms with that history has been a special focus of his activities. On the occasion of his retirement from the Barenboim-Said Akademie, Michael Naumann looks back on German cultural policy and its relationship to German history. The event is moderated by the contemporary historian Dr. Kristina Meyer.

In German

Michael Naumann

Michael Naumann, born in Germany in 1941, studied philosophy, history, and political science in Munich and Oxford. From 1969 on, he was a correspondent and reporter for various German papers and magazines. Between 1985 and 1995, he was publisher and CEO of the German publishing company Rowohlt. From 1995 on he was the head of the New York–based publisher Henry Holt. In 1998 he was appointed Commissioner for Cultural Affairs of the federal government of Germany. Between 2001 and 2010, he was chief editor, then publisher-editor of the German weekly DIE ZEIT. Between 2012 and 2022, he was the founding rector of the Barenboim-Said Academy. He also taught literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Kristina Meyer

Dr. Kristina Meyer, born in 1978, is a historian at the Willy Brandt Foundation in Berlin. For many years, she was the managing director of the Jena Center for 20th Century History at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. She wrote her doctoral thesis on “The SPD and the Nazi Past, 1945 – 1990” (Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2015). Since 2019, she has been the co-spokesperson of the History Forum of the SPD Party Executive.