Events

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

    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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    And So On: Reading and Conversation with Kiese Laymon

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

    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 Visions

    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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    White Whales, White Males, Whitehead with Lisa Jarnot

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

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

    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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    Education Justice: Why Prison Classrooms Matter

    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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    The Architecture of Democracy

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    In the week before the U.S. general election, Harvard and MIT will share a public discussion on the role of architecture in a representative democracy. Colleagues and students from across both institutions will join in dialogue on the profession’s role in supporting democratic society, now and in the future.

    Panelists participating in this event will be announced in the coming weeks.

    Learn more about and RSVP...

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    American Cultural Landscapes: Black Roots and Treasures

    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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    New Blocs, New Maps, New Power

    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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    The Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Racism in the North

    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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    Loeb Lecture: Edgar Pieterse

    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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    Amazing Virtual Archaeology Fair at Harvard

    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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    On Account of Sex (1920)

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    The passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 did not "give" women the vote. Rather, it established a negative: that the right to vote could not be abridged on account of sex alone. This session brings together diverse participants who will each illuminate one facet of women’s political history at this key transitional moment. Together, participants will emphasize the radical achievement of the amendment, exploring the full implications of what it meant to remove sex as a barrier to voting, which resulted in the largest-ever one-time expansion of the electorate and mobilized a...

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    50th Anniversary of Urban Design Lecture: Alex Krieger, “The American City Prior and (Possibly) Following the Pandemic”

    Location: 

    Online Event, Graduate School of Design

     

    American instincts oscillate between the allure of the city and that of life free of city stress; between the temptations of the metropolis, and bucolic retreat from those very centers of civic life. Such oscillation, occurring across American history, have on the one hand enabled the building of Manhattan, the ‘Capital of Capitalism’ (and culture, too) and the invention of the ‘garden suburb’ where family grace was to dwell, prior to metastasizing into sprawl.

    ...

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    Observatory Night: What Stars Are Made Of

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    Join the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian for a virtual Public Observatory Night with guest lecturer Donavan Moore, author of "What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin."

    It was not easy being a woman of ambition in early twentieth-century England, much less one who wished to be a scientist. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin overcame prodigious obstacles to become a woman of many firsts: the first to receive a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College, the first promoted to full professor at Harvard, the first to head a department there. And, in what...

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    Film Screening: Dovlatov

    Location: 

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

    Dovlatov follows a few days in the life of famed Soviet writer, Sergei Dovlatov, on the eve of his friend's, future Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, emigration in 1971. Sergei is determined to stay and lead a normal life with his wife Elena and daughter Katya, however, his manuscripts are regularly rejected by the official media as his point of view is deemed undesirable.

    Dovlatov premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, where it was awarded a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for costume and production design. Directed by...

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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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    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.

    Learn more about Gallery Talk: Walk Like an Egyptian.

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