Events

    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 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 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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    2021 Mar 08

    "Every Pecan Tree": Trees, Meaning, and Memory in Enslaved People’s Lives

    7:00pm

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    This is the third lecture in the Arnold Arboretum's 2021 Director's Lecture Series. Tiya Miles takes up the pecan tree as inspiration for exploring the meaning of trees in the lives of enslaved African Americans. Using a family heirloom, slave narratives, oral histories, and missionary records, her talk underscores the importance of trees in the Black experience of captivity and resistance, ultimately revealing the centrality of the natural world to Black, and indeed human, survival.

    ...

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    2021 Mar 06

    A History of Path-Making at the Arnold Arboretum

    2:00pm

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    At the time of its founding in 1872, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is sighted was a patchwork of farmland and forest. As the Arboretum was planted, pathways were developed to lead people through the picturesque landscape. As the landscape developed, economies shifted, wars took place, and directors changed. Each of these factors subtly influenced shifts in the park’s path system. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Zoom with Jared Rubinstein as he reveals the layers of change in this beloved landscape.

    ...

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    2021 Mar 05

    The Stories We Tell and the Objects We Keep: Asian American Women and the Archives

    1:00pm to 3:30pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    The stories of Asian American women extend far beyond the geographic borders of the United States. Inspired by tales and objects from family history, their narratives often reflect the transnational nature of Asian American women’s lives. Despite the importance of these narratives to expanding and complicating our understanding of war, migration, inequity, and difference, the accounts and perspectives of Asian American women have often been overlooked in formal records, and the tangible objects providing critical evidence of their histories have been ignored. This program will bring...

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    2021 Feb 24

    Latinx Modernism and the Spirit of Latinoamericanismo

    12:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    John Alba Cutler, associate professor of English and Latinx studies at Northwestern University, is working on a new book examining the prodigious literary archive of early-20th-century Spanish-language newspapers in the United States. Newspapers in Latinx communities from New York to San Diego published tens of thousands of poems, short stories, chronicles, and serialized novels. These works show how Latinx communities grappled with the collision of Latin American and US modernities long before the advent of what we think of as “modern” Latinx literature.

    ...

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    2021 Feb 18

    Kate Thomas, “Lesbian Arcadia: Desire and Design in the Fin-de-Siècle Garden”

    7:30pm to 9:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    At the end of the nineteenth century, British and American lesbian artists settled around Florence, Italy, renovating neglected Renaissance estates. Contemporary accounts describe the hillside region as colonized by a “cult of women.” These women restored, refashioned and theorized gardens as places of queerly mythic erotic encounter.

    In this lecture Professor Thomas will explore how design features such as nymphaeums, water parterres, secret gardens, grottos and boscos provided both refuge and open-air expression for lesbian subjectivity. Remembering that the first documented...

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    2021 Feb 11

    And So On: Reading and Conversation with Kiese Laymon

    4:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Writer Kiese Laymon will explore whether the actual histories of American colleges and universities should be ripe sites for Black American horror and comedic narratives. Laymon will create a live novella and a live essay during this talk, while questioning the ethics of making art “for” an audience longing for both titillation and innocence from the horrific histories of Black Americans in and around American institutions of higher learning.

    ...

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    2020 Dec 04

    Art Study Center Seminar at Home: Chinese Gold from the Winthrop Collection

    11:00am to 12:00pm

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Since we are unable to welcome you into the museums at this time, we are bringing our experts to you in a new online series, Art Study Center Seminars at Home.

    When Grenville Lindall Winthrop left his extensive collection to the Fogg Art Museum in 1943, it contained three gold plaques dating to China’s Warring States period (475–221 BCE). Never displayed to the public, the plaques remained a mystery until recent excavations and archival records shed new light on their origins. In this seminar, curator Sarah Laursen investigates the decoration and function of the gold...

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    2020 Dec 03

    2020 Visions

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Too often, the story of women’s suffrage unfolds in a vacuum, seemingly unconnected from the general contours of American history. This panel discussion looks back from the present, asking experts working in a variety of disciplines and organizations to briefly unfold, TED-talk style, a single “big idea” that captures the significance of the 19th Amendment for voting rights, citizenship, and democracy today.

    This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

    ...

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    2020 Dec 02

    White Whales, White Males, Whitehead with Lisa Jarnot

    5:00pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Online Event

    This lecture, which is part of the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry, explores the doctrine of discovery that haunts American poetry. Lisa Jarnot engages in an autobiographical interrogation of what it means to be a woman in a male-centered experimental tradition, and what it means to have white privilege and write poetry. Several questions arise: What do we keep and what do we reject as we acknowledge the systemic racism and American exceptionalism that pervade even the most benign of bohemian writing communities? Is there something transcendent and healing in the poet’s...

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    2020 Dec 02

    “Imperfectly Known”: Nicholas Said and the Routes of African American Narrative

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Online Event

    In this lecture, author Ira Dworkin will talk about his book in-progress “’Imperfectly Known’: Nicholas Said and the Routes of African American Narrative,” which examines the ways that the intellectual and political culture of Borno, in northeast Nigeria, shaped Black literary culture in the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. Focusing on the writings of Said, who came to the United States after his manumission in Europe and who soon thereafter fought in the Civil War, Dworkin’s book broadly considers the relationship of African and Islamic intellectual networks to Black...

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    2020 Oct 29

    Open House Lecture: Nikil Saval, “A Rage in Harlem”

    7:30pm to 9:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    This talk will consider the moment when June Jordan and Buckminster Fuller attempted to reimagine Harlem in the wake of the 1964 riots, considered against a larger context of experiments in social housing, environmental planning, urban rebellion, and Afro-futurism.

    Learn more about and RSVP for Open House Lecture: Nikil Saval, "A Rage in Harlem."

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    2020 Oct 29

    Education Justice: Why Prison Classrooms Matter

    4:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    “What college does, it helps us learn about the nation,” said Rodney Spivey-Jones, a 2017 Bard College graduate currently incarcerated at Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York, in the docuseries College behind Bars. “It helps us become civic beings. It helps us understand that we have an interest in our community, that our community is a part of us and we are a part of it.”

    The Bard Prison Initiative and programs at other institutions of higher learning across the country have brought together teachers and learners in incarcerated spaces for years. This panel will gather...

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    2020 Oct 27

    American Cultural Landscapes: Black Roots and Treasures

    7:30pm to 9:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Everett L. Fly believes that African American legacies are embedded in the physical and cultural substance of many of America’s built and vernacular places. Formal education in architecture introduced him to the positive potential of planning and design in respecting and expressing the cultures of people wherever they live, work and play. He believes that American planning and design should be more deliberate in reflecting and respecting a broader cultural diversity, including Black and Indigenous people.

    Fly will discuss research, discovery, interpretation and applications of...

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    2020 Oct 22

    New Blocs, New Maps, New Power

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    By the early 1980s, a new political landscape was taking shape that would fundamentally influence American society and politics in the decades to come. That year, the long-standing effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment—championed by suffragist Alice Paul and introduced to Congress in 1923—ran aground, owing in significant measure to the activism of women who pioneered a new brand of conservatism.

    This panel will draw together strands and stories that are often kept separate: the ideas and growing influence of conservative women, the political activism of gay communities...

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    2020 Oct 08

    The Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Racism in the North

    4:00pm

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Although Massachusetts formally abolished slavery in 1783, the visible and invisible presence of slavery continued in the Commonwealth and throughout New England well into the 19th century. Harvard professor Louis Agassiz’s theory about human origins is but one example of the continued presence and institutionalization of racism in the North.

    Taking as a starting point the new book To Make Their Own Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes, this panel of experts will examine the role and impact of slavery in the North and discuss the influence...

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    2020 Oct 08

    Loeb Lecture: Edgar Pieterse

    12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    African cities are confronted by large youthful labour markets with limited prospects of formal industrial employment, on the one hand, and rapid physical expansion without the resources to address the massive infrastructural requirements to support people and economies, on the other. These daunting challenges are compounded by the impacts of the climate crisis and other forms of acute environmental risk. This confluence calls for situated innovations to reimagine and redesign investments in sustainable infrastructures that are simultaneously low-carbon, labour-intensive and geared...

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    2020 Oct 03

    Amazing Virtual Archaeology Fair at Harvard

    1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Location: 

    Online—Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East

    Celebrate the glamour, labor, humor, and discoveries of archaeology at Harvard. Join student archaeologists as they share their experience with an Irish castle, a shaft tomb in western Mexico, monuments on the Giza plateau in Egypt and drones used to study El-Kurru in ancient Nubia, among other locations. Place a friendly wager on an atlatl (spear throwing) demonstration, observe chew marks on bones from the Zooarchaeology Lab and experience a virtual-reality view of the Great Sphinx.

    ...

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