Events

    2021 Apr 29

    Performance and Ritual in Ancient Egyptian Funerary Practice

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East—Online

    One of the best documented Egyptian rituals—occurring in both cultic and funerary contexts—is known as the Opening of the Mouth ritual. Performing this ritual was believed to animate statues and temples, while also restoring the senses of the deceased, thus ensuring that they could eat, drink, and breathe in the afterlife. Textual and iconographic references to the ritual are found in different time periods, from the Old Kingdom through the Roman Period.

    In this lecture, Mariam Ayad uses the Opening of the Mouth ritual as a case study to illustrate the power of imagery and the...

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    2021 Apr 23

    Gutman Library Book Talk: The Education Trap: Schools and the Remaking of Inequality in Boston

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Education—Online

    For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.

    Learn more about and...

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    2021 Apr 21

    The Dawn of Olmec Civilization

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    The hearth of Olmec civilization is located in the tropical lowlands of Mexico’s southern Gulf Coast region, in the majestic archaeological site of San Lorenzo. The inhabitants of this first Olmec capital developed a distinctive geo-political territory and managed complex trade systems. The Olmec also created spectacular earthen architecture and magnificent stone sculpture—including the famous Colossal Heads—that reflect their stratified social organization and centralized political system backed by religion and directed by hereditary rulers.

    Building on the pioneering work of...

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    2021 Apr 20

    Racial Inequity and Housing Instability in Boston: Past, Present, and Future

    4:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Millions of Americans have long struggled to pay for housing, with communities of color additionally burdened by housing discrimination and historical race-based policies, such as legalized segregation, redlining, and mortgage discrimination. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, the federal government instituted a moratorium on evictions that is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021. Despite this, the continuing public health emergency has exacerbated the national housing affordability crisis for people of color, who are more likely to have lost...

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    2021 Apr 16

    Resetting the Table: A Virtual Talk and Tour with the Curators

    2:00pm to 3:00pm

    Location: 

    Food Literacy Project—Online

    The "Resetting the Table: Food and Our Changing Tastes" exhibition at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology explores food choices and eating habits in the United States, including the sometimes hidden but always important ways in which our tables are shaped by cultural, historical, political, and technological influences.

    Join us on this special virtual talk and tour at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology with Joyce Chapli, guest curator and Harvard University James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History; Janis Sacco, Director...

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    2021 Apr 09

    Gender Rights in the Time of Pandemic

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    This session will consider what it means to organize for gender rights in global contexts in the 21st century during a pandemic. The speakers will feature diverse geographic and disciplinary perspectives, addressing key issues related to gendered power and difference in Africa, South Asia, and among minoritized people in the United States, including the gendered nature of care labor, rights-based activism in the face of rising global authoritarianisms, and the transnational reach of global protest.

    ...

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    2021 Apr 08

    Stories of Women from Jaina Island Maya Figurines

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    Maya female ceramic figurines from the island of Jaina in Campeche, Mexico, produced in the Late Classic Period (600–900 CE) are admired for their lifelike, poignant, and sometimes amusing characteristics. Long assumed to be elite women or moon goddesses, these figurines reveal a complexity of Maya social life, especially for women, that is rarely seen in other painted ceramics or monumental sculpture. They also offer insights into the culture of Jaina Island, including disturbing enslavement practices.

    Mary Miller will discuss various interpretations of Jaina figurines—...

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    2021 Apr 07

    Recovering the Histories of Seven Enslaved Americans

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    For seven seasons, award-winning Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has uncovered the ancestral stories of celebrity guests on his hit-television series, Finding Your Roots. In this program, Gates will be joined by Dr. Gregg Hecimovich to discuss the process of unearthing the histories of formerly enslaved people. The focus will be on  Alfred, Delia, Drana, Fassena, Jack, Jim, and Renty, seven Black men and women who were photographed against their will in Columbia, South Carolina in 1850. These controversial photographs are the subject of a new book, To Make Their Own...

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    2021 Apr 07

    Sports As A Classroom: Lessons in Leadership, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact from Women in Sports

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Business School—Online

    Join us for a virtual panel discussion with some of Harvard’s sports leaders as they share lessons about the importance of diversity, the impact of inclusion, and their journey to successful leaders.

    Panelists:

    • Tari Cash, Founder & CEO at City Swing Golf, Harvard Business School, MBA 2005
    • Allison Feaster, Vice President Player Development & Organizational Growth, Boston Celtics, Harvard University, BA 1998
    • Traci Green, The Sheila Kelly Palandjian Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Tennis
    • Ngozi...
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    2021 Apr 06

    Art Talk Live: Liberty, Equality, Sorority? A Woman Printmaker in the French Revolution

    12:30pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Online via Zoom

    The French Revolution saw an explosion of printed media and printmakers—including women, who used their artistic production to participate in the politics they were legally excluded from because of their gender. 

    In this talk, curatorial intern and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Lund will unfold the layers of this large color print, from the radical Jacobin revolutionary who made it and the martyred war hero it depicts to the woman artist who, by blood, by marriage, and by trade, was equally entangled in the print’s politics even as she was excluded from its image.

    ...

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    2021 Apr 01

    Race, Representation, and Agassiz’s Brazilian Fantasy

    4:00pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    How do we confront the history and legacy of Louis Agassiz’s extensive archive of images of African and Indigenous Brazilians made in Manaus, Brazil in 1865 and housed at Harvard’s Peabody Museum?

    Four distinguished panelists reflect on the historical moment when these pictures were taken, discuss racist displays of Indigenous people in Brazil and elsewhere, and, by bringing to light respect for different epistemologies, explore ways to contend with them today. Panelists will be writer and historian Christoph Irmscher (contributor to the recent Peabody Museum Press book about...

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    2021 Mar 30

    U.S. Policy Towards Latin America Under Biden

    12:00pm to 1:20pm

    Location: 

    David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard—Online

    How will U.S. policy toward Latin America change under the Biden Administration? Will we see a return to Obama era policies, or something new? What are the new administration’s principal priorities and challenges in Latin America? What should they be? Four experts on U.S.-Latin American relations discuss changes and continuities in the post-Trump era.

    Learn more about and register for U.S. Policy...

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    2021 Mar 29

    Marc Angélil and Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, "Migrant Marseille: Architectures of Social Segregation and Urban Inclusivity"

    12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    On November 5, 2018, a pair of dilapidated buildings in central Marseille collapsed, taking the lives of eight people, many of them from immigrant origin. This toll of urban decay reflects both the diversity of the district and the hardship of living in Marseille, a city marked for centuries by migration, poverty, and social inequality. Divided along ethnic and class lines, with wealthy conservatives dominating the south and an energetic but pauperized community of immigrant origins in the north, Marseille highlights the tensions stemming from discriminatory governance, lack of housing-...

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    2021 Mar 25

    Black Is Queen: The Divine Feminine in Kush

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East—Online

    The prominence of powerful goddesses and queens in the Nubian Kingdom of Kush (now Northern Sudan) highlights the unusually high status of women in this ancient African society and serves as a fitting focus for the study of female power in the ancient world. Using temple inscriptions found in Egypt and Nubia, the rich funerary goods found in royal burials, and temple and tomb imagery, Solange Ashby will discuss how ancient Africans of the Nile Valley understood female power and presence. Songs from Beyoncé’s recent production "Black Is King" will be woven into this presentation on...

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    2021 Mar 25

    Ana María León and Torsten Lange, "Bodies of Work: Activism, Gender, Architecture"

    12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    In this conversation, architectural historians Ana María León and Torsten Lange consider the labor of organizing around issues of gender in architecture. Based on three precedents, they will reflect on their work and practice and highlight how the present has allowed scholars and practitioners to revise architectural historiography. Building on intersectional feminist theory, the discussion considers architecture and urban space as well as architectural discourse as forums where white heteronormative systems of planning can become subverted by empowered labor and living practices....

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    2021 Mar 17

    "The Polynesian Problem": Western Studies of Pacific Islander Origins

    6:00pm to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    "What is a Polynesian?" This is a question with a long and troubling history embedded in settler colonialism. From Europeans’ earliest encounters with the Pacific, White Europeans expressed a fascination and partial identification with the racial origins of Polynesians. Polynesians seemed to represent "natural man" in the purest state. In nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social-scientific studies, Polynesian origins became the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. Physical anthropologists such as Louis R. Sullivan declared Polynesians to be conditionally Caucasian....

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    2021 Mar 15

    Black and White Thinking: A Conversation with Cord Whitaker

    5:00pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard University Committee on Medieval Studies—Online

    Author Cord Whitaker discusses his new book "Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race-Thinking" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019) with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

    ...

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    2021 Mar 11

    Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, "The Miasmist: George E. Waring, Jr. and Landscapes of Public Health"

    7:30pm to 9:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    In 1867, nineteenth-century sanitary engineer George E. Waring, Jr. (1833–1898) published an influential manual entitled “Draining for Profit, Draining for Health,” reflecting the obsessions of his gilded age—wealth, health, and miasma. Even as the germ theory emerged, Waring supported the anti-contagionist miasma theory, positing that disease spread through the air as a poisonous vapor, emerging from damp soil. He applied his knowledge of farm drainage to an urban theory of public health, with a drainage plan for Central Park; a sewerage system for Memphis; a transformation of New York...

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    2021 Mar 11

    Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem (Film Screening and Panel Discussion)

    3:30pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Law School—Online

    Join the Harvard Law School Library for a live screening and panel discussion of “Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem,” a new documentary about the racial history and modern discrimination of the American misdemeanor system. The film, produced by Brave New Films and directed by Robert Greenwald, was inspired by HLS Professor Alexandra Natapoff’s book, “Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal.”

    ...

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    2021 Mar 10

    Aesthetics of Memory, Narratives of Repair, and Why Remorse Matters

    12:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a professor and South African National Research Foundation Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma at Stellenbosch University, focuses her research on trauma in the aftermath of gross human rights violations and on remorse and forgiveness that emerge in victim-perpetrator dialogues. At Radcliffe, Gobodo-Madikizela returns to the archive of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to think through the horrific violence in contemporary South Africa. Is this violence a reflection of “ghosts” from the past, the death of hope in the present, or a...

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