Events

    The Khufu Boat

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    In 1954, Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh discovered a 144-foot ship buried next to the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Khufu boat—one of the oldest-known planked vessels from antiquity—was interred in honor of Khufu, the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid. Bob Brier will discuss what is known about the design, propulsion, and function of this 4,600-year- old ship, based on recent tank tests conducted on a model. He will also highlight plans to build a full-scale replica of the vessel and to place it on the Nile.

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    The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Ancient Maya civilization suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged, intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions that affected Maya societies.

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    The New Geopolitical Order

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    The new geopolitical environment taking shape in many parts of the world tends toward increasing authoritarianism and nationalistic competition. In this lecture, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, an international human rights advocate and the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, will argue that the world’s people deserve better. Despite the demagoguery and isolationism that some leaders are pursuing, he believes it is possible to pursue thoughtful diplomacy and a system of connectivity, coalitions, and partnerships to reform institutions and change polices.

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    History Reconsidered: Poetry Reading and Discussion

    Location: 

    Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    Join the Radcliffe Institute for a poetry reading and discussion with Clint Smith.

    Clint Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and an Emerson Fellow at New America. He has received fellowships from the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation, while his writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published in 2016. It won the 2017...

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    Film: Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project with Director in Person

    Location: 

    Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Matt Wolf’s engaging documentary tells two stories: one, the life story of a remarkably prescient and stubbornly individualistic radical librarian who refused to fit neatly into the role of wife or mother, and a second that traces the emergence and arguably disastrous effects of the twenty-four-hour American news cycle that she secretly recorded in her Philadelphia home from 1979-2012.

    Cost: $12 special event tickets.

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    Ancient Egyptian Culture and Its Continuity in Modern Egypt

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

    Egypt’s recorded history spans six thousand years and is therefore one of the longest and best known in the world. Today, Egyptians practice several religious, artistic, and social traditions that can be traced to ancient Egypt, demonstrating the power and longevity of cultural memory. Drawing on research in archaeology, Egyptian art, writing, and culture, Fayza Haikal will examine Egyptian society’s cultural expressions from antiquity to the present, focusing on language, spirituality, superstitions, funerary traditions, and folklore.

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    Opening Celebration: Painting Edo

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Art Museums to celebrate the opening of Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, on view from February 14–July 26, 2020.

    Be among the first to see over 120 works included in the Harvard Art Museums' latest show, which celebrates the rich visual culture of Japan's early modern era. The galleries are open late, and admission is free for...

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    Lev Rubinstein: Readings, Conversations about Russia Today

    Location: 

    Davis Center, Knafel Building, Room K262, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge

    Moscow writer Lev Rubinstein will read from his work and engage in a wide-ranging conversation in a special Davis Center seminar.

    Rubinstein exemplifies a striking aesthetic response to life in repressive times, one that emphasizes the artist’s freedom of expression and the power of humor in the face of lies. He has won multiple prizes at home and abroad and has a readiness to push at the boundaries of literary norms. Author of more than a dozen books in Russian, Rubinstein has been more active as an essayist since the start of the 2000s. He has also emerged as a public figure...

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    Lecture: no noise disturbed the quiet of the morning

    Location: 

    Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    As a Radcliffe fellow, Anthony Romero (RI '20) is working on a multimedia research and visual art project that includes a collection of related but discrete works which attempt to articulate how indigenous populations, under European colonial rule in Australia, South Asia, and the United States, were controlled through the criminalization and legislating of native sound and music practices. Taken together, these histories reveal how carceral and criminalizing strategies sowed the seeds for the ongoing over-policing of black and brown communities.

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    Gallery Talk: Walk Like an Egyptian

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Fellow Jen Thum explores the basics of ancient Egyptian representation, including why their bodies seem to "walk like an Egyptian."

    Free with museum admission. Gallery talks are limited to 15 people and tickets are required. Ten minutes before each talk, tickets will become available at the admissions desk.

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    The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

    Chanan Tigay is an award-winning journalist and nonfiction writer who has covered the Middle East, 9/11, and the United Nations for such outlets as AFP, the Atlantic, GQ, and the New Yorker. In this lecture, Tigay will talk about his first book, The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible, which tells the story of the oldest Bible in the world, how its outing as a fraud led to a scandalous death, and why archaeologists now believe it was real—if only they could find it. In addition to the story of this controversial Bible, Tigay will speak about his own hunt for the...

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    Human Sacrifice and Power in the Kerma Kingdom

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Semitic Museum for a public lecture with Elizabeth Minor, Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Wellesley College. 

    The Kerma Kingdom was an ancient Nubian civilization located in present-day Sudan. Its capital, the city of Kerma, had monumental architecture and religious art depicting deities in the form of lions, scorpions, and hybrid figures such as winged giraffes and hippopotamus goddesses. During the Classic Kerma Period (1700–1550 BCE), funerary monuments of Kerman kings could be up to one hundred meters long and included hundreds of...

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    Book Talk: Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front

    Location: 

    CGIS South Building, Room S020 (Belfer Case Study Room), 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge

    Please join the Davis Center for a talk with author Serhii Plokhii about his new book, Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen Behind Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance, which tells the story of the U.S. Air Force establishing bases in Soviet Ukraine in order to "shuttle bomb" the Germans from the Eastern Front. In conversation with historian Nina Tumarkin and with Thomas Holzman, whose father, Franklyn Holzman, figures in the book. Franklyn Holzman served on the Eastern Front in World War II, completed graduate work in Soviet economics at...

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    James Sloss Ackerman Memorial Lecture: Guido Beltramini

    Location: 

    Gund Hall, 485 Broadway Lecture Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    This lecture, in memorium of James Sloss Ackerman, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Art Emeritus, is sponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

    James Sloss Ackerman was born in 1919 in San Francisco. At Yale University his professor, Henri Focillon, wrote to him “Remain faithful to our studies for which you are so well suited.” Ackerman's graduate work focusing on Renaissance architecture was guided by Richard Krautheimer and Erwin Panofsky at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. His...

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    Great Russian Jews: Solomon Mikhoels (1890–1948)

    Location: 

    CGIS South Building, Room S010 (Tsai Auditorium), 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge

    This panel discussion with two leading Jewish cultural historians examines the remarkable contributions and tragic death of the great actor, theater director, playwright, visionary of Yiddish culture, and Jewish activist Solomon (Shloyme) Mikhoels (1890–1948).

    Born Shloyme Vovsi in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia), the genius actor Mikhoels became the chief director of the State Jewish Theater in Moscow. During World War II, he served as chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Mikhoels’ assassination by Stalin’s secret police, although officially billed as an accident,...

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    Anthropology, Colonialism, and the Exploration of Indigenous Australia

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    In 1938–1939, Harvard University funded an expedition to Australia aimed at understanding how colonization had affected Indigenous peoples and their physiology, and at informing government policy as it shifted from segregation to assimilation. Led by anthropologists Norman B. Tindale and Joseph Birdsell, the expedition gathered more than 6,000 individual records from Indigenous people on missions and settlements—records that have since inspired community-based research projects and land claims.

    Lecturer Philip Jones will set the expedition within the context of anthropological...

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    Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Biomedical Analysis of Mummies and Canopic Jars

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Egyptian mummies and the remains found in ancient canopic jars can now be studied in great detail using noninvasive medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and computerized tomography, and chemical analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.

    Drawing from interdisciplinary research conducted in the Valley of the Kings and Egyptian museum collections, Frank Rühli will discuss the value of using state-of-the-art technologies for understanding the life conditions, pathologies, death, and mummification procedures of ancient Egyptians. He will also address ethical...

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    Judy Chicago Research Portal Launch

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    This event is to celebrate the launch of a collaborative project, the Judy Chicago Research Portal, and to discuss the role of portals in providing access to feminist art archives.

    The Judy Chicago Portal will be presented, challenges in the technology of portal development will be discussed, and Christina Schlesinger and Judy Chicago will discuss the importance of preserving feminist art archives.

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    Writing Black Lives

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Imani Perry, and Robert Reid-Pharr will join in conversation to discuss how their work as biographers speaks to key contemporary discussions about black politics, community, identity, and life.

    Perry will consider her recent book, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (Beacon Press, 2018), while Reid-Pharr and Brown-Nagin will share perspectives from their own research, writing, and forthcoming books on, respectively, James Baldwin and Constance Baker Motley.

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    Lecture: Breaking the Noses on Egyptian Statues

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Why are the noses broken on Egyptian statues? Why were other sculpted body parts, including eyes, mouths, arms, and feet, purposely shattered in antiquity? Focusing on the ancient world of the pharaohs and on the Late Antique world that emerged following Egyptian conversion to Christianity, Edward Bleiberg (Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art at Brooklyn Museum) will examine the patterns of damage inflicted on Egyptian images for personal, political, religious, and criminal reasons. He will also highlight how close inspection of statue damage can...

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