Events

    Daniela Bleichmar, “The history of cochineal and the changing value of Mexican indigenous environmental knowledge, ca. 1500–1800”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Before the development of synthetic dyes in the second half of the 1800s, natural dyes were some of the most prized and sought-after commodities in the global economy. This talk uses historical images and texts to excavate changing approaches to indigenous environmental knowledge in colonial Mexico and early modern Europe through the study of cochineal.

    This insect, native to the Americas, produced the world's best quality and most valuable red dye from the 1520s until the rise of the modern chemical dye industry. Long used by indigenous people in the Americas, under Spanish...

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    COVID-19, Science, and the Media: Lessons Learned Reporting on the Pandemic

    Location: 

    Harvard Law School—Online

    In January 2020, reports began to circulate internationally of a pneumonia-like illness spreading in China. Little was known about the novel pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, at that time.

    As scientists and public health experts worked to understand the virus, reporters worked to communicate to the public the state of the knowledge — an ever-shifting ground.

    From the transmission debate, to the origins investigation, to changes in mask guidance, to vaccine safety...

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    The Climate of Grief

    Location: 

    Harvard Divinity School—Online

    This conversation is part of the series "Weather Reports: The Climate of Now." The featured speaker is poet Victoria Chang.

    Victoria Chang writes in her New York Times Notable Book of 2020, Obit, “I always knew that grief was something I could smell. But I didn’t know that it’s not actually a noun but a verb. That it moves.” After the deaths of her parents, she refused to write elegies; instead, Chang wrote poetic obituaries of the beautiful, broken world that surrounds her (many see them...

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    Rachel Dorothy Tanur Memorial Lecture: Andrea Roberts, “The Community Core: Making and Keeping Place Heritage in Texas’s Freedom Colonies”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    In Texas’ freedom colonies — African American settlements founded 1866-1930 — descendants of community founders engage in heritage conservation by keeping folklife, sacred rituals, and other cultural expressions that sustain communities’ Black sense of place. However, rural, vernacular African American placekeeping strategies are rarely framed in planning and architectural history as transgressive or expressions of Black liberation.

    Presenting an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Never Sell the Land, Dr. Roberts shares case studies in which descendants of Deep East...

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    Decoding AI: The Science, Policies, Applications, and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating many facets of our lives, raising both hope and concern about possibilities for our future. AI is transforming domains as disparate as science, medicine, commerce, government, law, the military, and the arts, and in doing so, it is forcing us to grapple with practical, political, and philosophical questions about humans and the nature of human interaction. The Harvard Radcliffe Institute Science Symposium, featuring speakers from disparate disciplines and industries, will examine AI, its impact, and its ethics by exploring current and...

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    Jane Bennett, “Out for a Walk in the Middle Voice”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    It begins with two strolls: one by the 19th-century naturalist Henry Thoreau, who finds himself inscribed by vegetal forms and powers; and one by Paul Klee's graphic line as it enlists the energies of a human hand to become a doodle. These two walks expose the radical entanglement of human and nonhuman activities, and they call for a lexicon able to acknowledge such a trans-specied kind of agency.

    How to bespeak such joint efforts in ways that give the nonhuman its due? What grammar, syntax, and verbal forms best acknowledge the contributions of human, animal, vegetal, mineral...

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    The Healing Power of Friendships and Relationships

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Education—Online

    The pandemic has caused many of us to recognize the power of relationships—for ourselves, and for our children. Have your children's friendships changed—or suffered? Are your students finding it hard to re-ignite their stalled connections? How can schools help to foster friendship—and prioritize strong relationships and a sense of belonging for every student? And what are the lessons we can take with us into our own adult lives?

    Join us as we explore the sustaining power of friendships and relationships. Let's identify the ways in which relationships give us strength, help us...

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    The Art of Making Day of the Dead Altars

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    Live interpretation in English and Spanish

    Interpretación en vivo en inglés y español

    Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican tradition that seeks to commemorate and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away. The creation of an altar is a key component of this celebration, which is both bittersweet and joyful. In this program, Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and altarista Ofelia Esparza will share her philosophy and approach to making altars and to keeping Día de los Muertos alive in the U.S. She will be joined by her daughter,...

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    “We know and walk together”: Contemporary Indigenous Art in Brazil

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    This event will be held in Portuguese with simultaneous English translation.

    One of the most exciting developments in Brazilian art and art history today is the emergence of Indigenous self-representation. The growing presence of Indigenous artists and art curators in exhibitions and museums in the country challenges traditional narratives and modes of display as it generates new spaces for the silenced voices of the over three-hundred Indigenous ethnic groups that inhabit the territories of Brazil. In 2017, the Rio de Janeiro Museum (MAR) organized the exhibition...

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    Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Amelia M. Glaser is an associate professor of literature at UC San Diego and the author of Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine, about leftist Yiddish poets who wrote about the struggles of non-Jewish ethnic minorities in the 1930s. Focusing on performative genres such as music, comedy, film, theater, and highly visible poetic performance, Glaser is working on a new book that will examine how artists have re-envisioned the history and future of Ukraine since the 2014 “Maidan” revolution. Join her to learn more about her book and her...

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    Kenzo Tange Lecture: Christ & Gantenbein and OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, interviewed by Jeannette Kuo

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Join the Harvard Graduate School of Design for an interview by Jeannette Kuo (Assistant Professor in Practice at Harvard GSD and founding partner of KARAMUK KUO) with Swiss architects Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, and OFFICE founders Kersten Geers and David Van Severen.

    ...

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    Margaret McCurry Lectureship in the Design Arts: Jade Kake, “Indigenous Urbanism”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Jade Kake (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea) leads a small team at Matakohe Architecture + Urbanism, a kaupapa Māori design studio based in Whangārei in the Te Tai Tokerau region of Aotearoa New Zealand. The architectural department of the studio is focused on working primarily with Māori community clients on their papakāinga, marae, commercial and community projects, whilst the pūrākau (culture narrative) integration strand focuses on working to facilitate meaningful hapū participation in the design of major civic, commercial and education projects within their rohe. Matakohe are also...

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    The Climate of Compassion for All Beings

    Location: 

    Harvard Divinity School—Online

    This conversation is part of the series "Weather Reports: The Climate of Now." The featured speaker is Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Harvard Divinity School.

    We are not the only species that lives and loves and grieves on this planet. Janet Gyatso will focus on the phenomenology of being not just among humans but with all other sentient beings. How we can cultivate the capacity to have such experiences, in ways...

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    Observatory Night: Cosmic Explosions, from Supernovae to Tidal Disruption Events

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online, Livestream

    The biggest explosions in the universe dwarf any we see on Earth. In space, we regularly witness exploding stars that can shine brighter than the rest of a galaxy as a supernova, or a black hole ripping apart a star that's visible from billions of light years away in what's called a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE). In this talk, astrophysicist Yvette Cendes will discuss how we observe cosmic explosions from Earth and learn about them, from Chinese records thousands of years ago to her modern-day observations as a radio astronomer. This will include Yvette's research on supernovae, such as...

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    Frederick Law Olmsted Lecture: Jamaica Kincaid

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Jamaica Kincaid is a widely acclaimed and fiercely original writer known for her novels, short stories, and essays, including writings on her life as a gardener. She was also staff writer for the New Yorker from 1973 to 1996 and has been a contributor for the Village Voice.

    She is beloved by generations of readers who discovered her fiction, including Annie John and “Girl,” in high school and is admired by critics for her daring and unorthodox body of work. Answering claims that her fiction and essays are characterized by anger, Kincaid says, “The...

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    How Beer Made Kings in Early Egypt

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    The remains of a 5000-year-old brewery found in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos are providing insights into the relationship between large-scale beer production and the development of kingship in Egypt. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Abydos brewery produced beer on a truly industrial scale—something unparalleled in early Egypt. Matthew Adams will share findings from recent excavations at the brewery and will consider it in context as part of a broad pattern of royal activity at the site that served to define the very nature of kingship at the beginning of Egypt’s history...

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    Gutman Library Book Talk – Hope and Joy in Education: Engaging Daisaku Ikeda Across Curriculum and Context

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Education—Online

    Students, parents, and educators are increasingly frustrated, demoralized, burned out, and discontented with education and schooling today. At no time has it been more necessary to revitalize hope in the promise of education or to reestablish joy in teaching and learning. In this timely and inspirational volume, authors from diverse disciplines consider and affirm the many places across curriculum and context where hope and joy are or can be strong and vibrant.

    Grounded in the life-affirming ideals of renowned education philosopher and school founder Daisaku Ikeda, Hope...

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    Did We Evolve to Exercise?

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Exercise is a paradox: everyone knows it is healthy, but most of us struggle to do it. Further, as technology and machines increasingly replace human labor, fewer people are getting enough exercise. In this talk, Daniel Lieberman will explain how an evolutionary and anthropological perspective on exercise can help. How much exercise did we evolve to do? Is exercise really a magic bullet? Why, how, and to what extent does exercise slow aging and promote health? Is there a best way to exercise? And, most importantly, how can we help each other exercise without nagging or coercing?

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    Novel Interfaces to Support Human Intent Formation and Communication to Humans and Computers Alike

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Elena L. Glassman is the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and an assistant professor of computer science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where she specializes in human-computer interaction. Join Glassman as she discusses her work designing, building, and evaluating systems for comprehending and interacting with population-level structure and trends in large code and data corpora.

    ...

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