Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Led by Castle of our Skins’ Director of Education Taylor Lena McTootle, “Making a Mythos” focuses on the creative power of storytelling. Young participants will experience firsthand how fictional tales can reflect our cultural values and create them.
Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Building), 125 Arborway, Boston
Dr. Liseli A. Fitzpatrick, a Trinidadian-scholar in the field of African Diasporic cosmologies and sacred ontologies, will lead an engaging lecture and discussion exploring African mythologies and folkloric cultures.
Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Visitor Center), 125 Arborway, Boston
Visit the Arnold Arboretum's newly reopened Hunnewell Visitor Center and immerse yourself in this truly unique exhibition. The book, Stoneroot Epistle, was born out of Joyce Swagerty (Harvard class of '78) and Daina Swagerty's desire to understand the connection between themselves, the natural world, and the universal journey inspired by the African diaspora. The project by this mother and daughter was a spiritual adventure.
The talk will highlight amateur botanist Ella Hurd and the process she used to make her cyanotypes. It will also explore the importance of camera-less photography to scientific research and documentation in the 19th century.
Ladee Hubbard is a writer whose most recent novel is “The Rib King” (Amistad, 2021). In this lecture, she will discuss her current project, a novel that examines the implications of the ways in which Black people in the United States have historically been represented as an internal threat to both public health and safety, placing the 1980s War on Drugs in dialogue with the larger history of African Americans being used in drug trials and medical experiments.
Ancient Egypt conjures images of pharaonic temples, tombs, and pyramids, and perhaps, even the familiar illustrations from children’s books and magazines showing kilted workers on the Nile toiling away on their kings’ great monuments. But what is the relationship between these images—along with the deep history they evoke and the processes of discovery that made them visible—and the history of modern Egypt?
In this talk, Wendy Doyon will discuss the relationship between state, archaeology, and labor in Mehmed (or Muhammad) Ali’s Egypt—an autonomous khedival, or viceregal,...
Join curator Horace D. Ballard for fresh perspective on two of the museums’ iconic portraits of George Washington through the meaning of gesture and the materialities of fashion. Inspired by Ballard’s recent research on Washington and his rewriting of the portraits’ gallery labels, the talk will explore the important role artists played in shaping the nation’s sense of self after the partisan politics of the Revolutionary War.
Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a small insect that produces a brilliant red pigment. Found in textiles, paintings, cosmetics, and many other objects that span the globe, cochineal is an integral part of world history. Cochineal pigment was used by Mesoamerican peoples long before the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. After being introduced to Europe, it quickly became a precious commodity and control over its global trade was a source of conflict and competition for over three centuries. In this lecture, Gabriela Soto Laveaga will trace the fascinating history of cochineal...
Mélanie Lamotte is an assistant professor of French at Tulane University. After completing her first book, under contract with Harvard University Press, she is undertaking a research project that examines the material life of the enslaved across the early modern French empire, thereby reconstructing the cultural, social, economic, and political experiences of slave communities. Join her to learn more about her work.
Cochineal, a tiny insect found on certain species of Oaxacan cacti, was harvested for millennia by Indigenous peoples to dye fabrics a vibrant red color. But following the European invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century, it became a widely coveted, globally traded commodity that transformed textiles and art, and made Mexico a center for technological innovation. Cochineal: How Mexico Made the World See Red explores how this Indigenous technology changed the world, becoming an international symbol of power, while simultaneously disenfranchising its discoverers.
Inclusions, an art installation created by Kiana Rawji '23, Cecilia Zhou '23, and Luke Reeve MDE '23, affirms that just as Harvard has shaped its students, so too have the students shaped Harvard; the student bricks will serve as records of formative contact between entities, expressions of individual identity, presence, and power in public space. During the month of April 2022, the bricks will be used to create a cohesive installation in Harvard Yard near Thayer Hall.
Join Kiana and Cecilia, with special guest commentator Professor Tracy K. Smith and moderator...
The Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) and the Harvard Art Museums present a lecture by author David Treuer.
David Treuer, an Ojibwe Indian, will offer a fresh and in-depth perspective on the current state of affairs for Native and Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Drawing from his experience growing up on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and as an accomplished academic, Treuer’s work includes both nonfiction and fiction.
Drawing from experience accumulated over 40 years of academic and professional trajectory on the question of landscape, as a university professor, director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and ‘militant’ for landscape, Joan Nogué will reflect on the theory and practice of landscape today and into the future.
Professor Nogué defends an integral conception of landscape that considers both the tangible and intangible elements. Such conception highlights the geohistorical singularity of landscape –every landscape belongs to a specific space and time– while acknowledging...
Join Ben Sibson, a graduate student at Harvard in human evolutionary biology, for a conversation about how art can enhance our understanding of the evolution of human health. Looking at works of art installed in the University Study Gallery this semester for the undergraduate course Human Evolution and Human Health, Sibson will show how the objects provide useful information about the physical activities performed by people across time and space, as well as the foods they ate, the clothes they wore, and the spaces where they lived.
Manifest: Thirteen Colonies is a photographic project and journey through the repositories of African American material culture found in libraries, museums, and archives of the original thirteen English colonies. Conceived by photographer Wendel White, this project is a personal, selective reliquary of the remarkable evidence of Black agency and racial oppression stored in public and private collections.
In this program, White will discuss his approach to finding, selecting, and photographing artifacts—from rare singular objects, to more quotidian materials—and highlight their...
Join us for the second of two one-hour webinars exploring the legacy of Eileen Southern, author of “The Music of Black Americans: A History” and founder and editor of “The Black Perspective in Music.” In 1976, Eileen Southern (1920–2002) became the first African American woman tenured in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). She was central in developing the Department of Afro-American Studies (now African and African American Studies), serving as an early chair, and was on the faculty of the Department of Music, where she taught courses on Black music and Renaissance musical...
Human evolutionary scholars have long assumed that the earliest stone tools were made by members of the genus Homo, approximately 2.4–2.3 million years ago, and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. In the last decade, fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has revealed evidence of much earlier technological behavior.
Sonia Harmand will discuss the discovery of stone tools in a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site in Kenya known as Lomekwi 3. She will show how this discovery is reshaping our...
Join Egyptologist Jen Thum for an engaging look at the results of new research on the tomb relief of Ptahshepses Impy, an Egyptian official. Thum will explore the implications of this research, including possible changes to the display of the relief to indicate missing portions.
One of ancient Egypt's high points of cultural, intellectual, and social life was the period referred to as the Middle Kingdom (2030–1650 BCE). The ancient city of Thebes (modern Luxor) was the Egyptian capital during the early stage of this period and the site of multiple funerary temples and tombs. In this lecture, Egyptologist Antonio Morales will discuss an international and multidisciplinary project that is conducting archaeological, historical, and cultural research, as well as conservation work, in Deir el-Bahari and Asasif—two funerary areas at Thebes—to better understand the...