Events

    Recovering the Histories of Seven Enslaved Americans

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    For seven seasons, award-winning Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has uncovered the ancestral stories of celebrity guests on his hit-television series, Finding Your Roots. In this program, Gates will be joined by Dr. Gregg Hecimovich to discuss the process of unearthing the histories of formerly enslaved people. The focus will be on  Alfred, Delia, Drana, Fassena, Jack, Jim, and Renty, seven Black men and women who were photographed against their will in Columbia, South Carolina in 1850. These controversial photographs are the subject of a new book, To Make Their Own...

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    Rebecca Choi, “White Man’s Got a God Complex”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    In 1976, Chicago developer Charles Shaw bought nearly one million cubic feet of air above the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art for 17 million dollars, relieving the Museum of their debt problems. Bought under New York City’s Transfer of Development Rights, Shaw used his rights to air space in the construction of a 56-floor apartment tower on 53rd Street. Mayor Beame hailed the “self-help project” a success, claiming that the transaction showed “how government and the private sector can cooperate in achieving the common goal of improving lives in the city.”

    Transfer...

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    Art Talk Live: Liberty, Equality, Sorority? A Woman Printmaker in the French Revolution

    Location: 

    Online via Zoom

    The French Revolution saw an explosion of printed media and printmakers—including women, who used their artistic production to participate in the politics they were legally excluded from because of their gender. 

    In this talk, curatorial intern and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Lund will unfold the layers of this large color print, from the radical Jacobin revolutionary who made it and the martyred war hero it depicts to the woman artist who, by blood, by marriage, and by trade, was equally entangled in the print’s politics even as she was excluded from its image.

    ...

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    Native Americans and the National Consciousness: Virtual Reading and Conversation with Joy Harjo

    Location: 

    Harvard University Native American Program & the Harvard Art Museums—Online

    The Harvard University Native American Program and the Harvard Art Museums present a reading and conversation with Joy Harjo, the 23rd poet laureate of the United States.

    Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer, who is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). The author of nine books of poetry, several plays and children’s books, and a memoir (Crazy Brave), she has received many honors, including the Ruth Lilly Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American...

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    Small Town Urbanism in the 21st Century

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    This program brings together three unique perspectives on the idea of “Small Town Urbanism”: Andrew Freear, Director of Rural Studio at Auburn University; Faranak Miraftab, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Todd Okolichany, Director of Planning and Urban Design for the City of Asheville, North Carolina. 

    Climate change, the pandemic, telecommuting, and accelerating land costs in large cities have fueled a slow but noticeable relocation of people and services to ex-urban locales. The retreat from large cities...

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    Harvard Dance Center Spring '21 Artist Talk

    Location: 

    Harvard Dance Center—Online

    Choreographers and dancers are problem-solvers. They move through crises rather than around them. Join us this spring for community gatherings with Harvard Dance Center’s exceptional teaching artists in a series of artist-led dialogues that explore how artistry, identity, and advocacy take shape in turbulent times. 

    Learn more about and register for this Art Talk.

    Race, Representation, and Agassiz’s Brazilian Fantasy

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    How do we confront the history and legacy of Louis Agassiz’s extensive archive of images of African and Indigenous Brazilians made in Manaus, Brazil in 1865 and housed at Harvard’s Peabody Museum?

    Four distinguished panelists reflect on the historical moment when these pictures were taken, discuss racist displays of Indigenous people in Brazil and elsewhere, and, by bringing to light respect for different epistemologies, explore ways to contend with them today. Panelists will be writer and historian Christoph Irmscher (contributor to the recent Peabody Museum Press book about...

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    Food in Art

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums—Online

    Join the Harvard Art Museums on Zoom for a bite-size look at the role of food in art, presented in partnership with the Food Literacy Project at Harvard University Dining Services.

    From vegetable-based dyes to dairy fixatives, food and art share a long and interesting history. In this talk, curatorial and conservation fellows Ruby Awburn, Lauren Hanson, Leonie Mueller, and Julie Wertz will take us on a culinary tour of the Harvard Art Museums and discuss the varied roles that food has played in art.

    ...

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    MUTINY: poems

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online

    Phillip B. Williams is the author of the poetry collection “Thief in the Interior.” His artistic interests manifest through lyrical and narrative investigations of the aesthetic possibilities and historical implications of the grotesque and through (re)creation of Afro-diasporic mythologies within contemporary timeframes.

    Join Williams as he discusses researching, writing, and revising poems (title: “Mutiny”) and prose (title: “Threshold”) during his Radcliffe fellowship year. Within both genres, he hopes to research and explore Black folklore, African-diasporic mythologies...

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    Black Is Queen: The Divine Feminine in Kush

    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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    Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, "The Miasmist: George E. Waring, Jr. and Landscapes of Public Health"

    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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    Aesthetics of Memory, Narratives of Repair, and Why Remorse Matters

    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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    International Womxn’s Week Keynote Address: Ananya Roy, "Undoing Property: Feminist Struggle in the Time of Abolition"

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Renewed uprising against the death-making apparatus of police and prison demands that we attend to the relationship between property and personhood, specifically to how the theft of land is facilitated by the theft of life. This talk, given on the occasion of International Women’s Day and during the week that marks the first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s killing, focuses on the propertization of the gendered subject in the making of whiteness. The time of abolition, Roy argues, requires the undoing of gender-property logics. What does this entail within the university? Speaking as "...

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

    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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    A History of Path-Making at the Arnold Arboretum

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

    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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    Daniel Urban Kiley Lecture: Julie Bargmann, “Modesty”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Toxic Beauty. Troubled Allure. Fallow Fairness. Not Vacant, Open. Not Abandoned, Changing.

    D.I.R.T. cultivates a perverse attraction and an unapologetic approach to wrecked landscapes.

    Not Restorative, Regenerative.

    The work holds back. It doesn’t make everything perfectly okay. The work listens. It hears them above trying to make sense, below the ground producing heritage. The work hurts. It flips preconceptions of stuck minds. The work is messy. It’s all about finding. The work emerges.

    It doesn’t descend. The work leaves. It lets you in....

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    Ilze and Heinrich Wolff, “Homage and Refusal”

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Wolff is a design studio concerned with developing an architectural practice of consequence through the mediums of design, advocacy, research and documentation. The Wolff team is led by Ilze & Heinrich Wolff who work collaboratively with a group of highly skilled, committed and engaged architects, creative practitioners and administrators.

    Learn more about and RSVP for Ilze and...

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    Latinx Modernism and the Spirit of Latinoamericanismo

    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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