Events

    Human Sacrifice and Power in the Kerma Kingdom

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Semitic Museum for a public lecture with Elizabeth Minor, Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Wellesley College. 

    The Kerma Kingdom was an ancient Nubian civilization located in present-day Sudan. Its capital, the city of Kerma, had monumental architecture and religious art depicting deities in the form of lions, scorpions, and hybrid figures such as winged giraffes and hippopotamus goddesses. During the Classic Kerma Period (1700–1550 BCE), funerary monuments of Kerman kings could be up to one hundred meters long and included hundreds of...

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    Book Talk: Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front

    Location: 

    CGIS South Building, Room S020 (Belfer Case Study Room), 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge

    Please join the Davis Center for a talk with author Serhii Plokhii about his new book, Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen Behind Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance, which tells the story of the U.S. Air Force establishing bases in Soviet Ukraine in order to "shuttle bomb" the Germans from the Eastern Front. In conversation with historian Nina Tumarkin and with Thomas Holzman, whose father, Franklyn Holzman, figures in the book. Franklyn Holzman served on the Eastern Front in World War II, completed graduate work in Soviet economics at...

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    James Sloss Ackerman Memorial Lecture: Guido Beltramini

    Location: 

    Gund Hall, 485 Broadway Lecture Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    This lecture, in memorium of James Sloss Ackerman, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Art Emeritus, is sponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

    James Sloss Ackerman was born in 1919 in San Francisco. At Yale University his professor, Henri Focillon, wrote to him “Remain faithful to our studies for which you are so well suited.” Ackerman's graduate work focusing on Renaissance architecture was guided by Richard Krautheimer and Erwin Panofsky at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. His...

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    Great Russian Jews: Solomon Mikhoels (1890–1948)

    Location: 

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

    This panel discussion with two leading Jewish cultural historians examines the remarkable contributions and tragic death of the great actor, theater director, playwright, visionary of Yiddish culture, and Jewish activist Solomon (Shloyme) Mikhoels (1890–1948).

    Born Shloyme Vovsi in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia), the genius actor Mikhoels became the chief director of the State Jewish Theater in Moscow. During World War II, he served as chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Mikhoels’ assassination by Stalin’s secret police, although officially billed as an accident,...

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    Anthropology, Colonialism, and the Exploration of Indigenous Australia

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    In 1938–1939, Harvard University funded an expedition to Australia aimed at understanding how colonization had affected Indigenous peoples and their physiology, and at informing government policy as it shifted from segregation to assimilation. Led by anthropologists Norman B. Tindale and Joseph Birdsell, the expedition gathered more than 6,000 individual records from Indigenous people on missions and settlements—records that have since inspired community-based research projects and land claims.

    Lecturer Philip Jones will set the expedition within the context of anthropological...

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    Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Biomedical Analysis of Mummies and Canopic Jars

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Egyptian mummies and the remains found in ancient canopic jars can now be studied in great detail using noninvasive medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and computerized tomography, and chemical analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.

    Drawing from interdisciplinary research conducted in the Valley of the Kings and Egyptian museum collections, Frank Rühli will discuss the value of using state-of-the-art technologies for understanding the life conditions, pathologies, death, and mummification procedures of ancient Egyptians. He will also address ethical...

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    Judy Chicago Research Portal Launch

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

    This event is to celebrate the launch of a collaborative project, the Judy Chicago Research Portal, and to discuss the role of portals in providing access to feminist art archives.

    The Judy Chicago Portal will be presented, challenges in the technology of portal development will be discussed, and Christina Schlesinger and Judy Chicago will discuss the importance of preserving feminist art archives.

    ...

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    Writing Black Lives

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Imani Perry, and Robert Reid-Pharr will join in conversation to discuss how their work as biographers speaks to key contemporary discussions about black politics, community, identity, and life.

    Perry will consider her recent book, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (Beacon Press, 2018), while Reid-Pharr and Brown-Nagin will share perspectives from their own research, writing, and forthcoming books on, respectively, James Baldwin and Constance Baker Motley.

    ...

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    Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Author and botanist Judith Sumner will speak of the many plants that were incorporated into wartime safety materials, diet and rations, and even bombers.

    ...

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    Lecture: Breaking the Noses on Egyptian Statues

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Why are the noses broken on Egyptian statues? Why were other sculpted body parts, including eyes, mouths, arms, and feet, purposely shattered in antiquity? Focusing on the ancient world of the pharaohs and on the Late Antique world that emerged following Egyptian conversion to Christianity, Edward Bleiberg (Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art at Brooklyn Museum) will examine the patterns of damage inflicted on Egyptian images for personal, political, religious, and criminal reasons. He will also highlight how close inspection of statue damage can...

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    The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya.

    In this lecture, Billie Turner will examine...

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    Lecture and Book Signing: Assembling the Dinosaur

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments for a free lecture and book signing by Lukas Rieppell, David and Michelle Ebersman Assistant Professor of History at Brown University.

    Dinosaur fossils were first found in England, but a series of late-nineteenth-century discoveries in the American West turned the United States into a world center for vertebrate paleontology. Around the same time, the United States also emerged as an economic powerhouse of global proportions, and large, fierce, and spectacular creatures...

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    The End of the World as We Know It? Russia and Ukraine Confront and Challenge Change

    Location: 

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

    The year 2019 has not turned out as expected for the political elite in Russia and Ukraine. Local elections in Russia have triggered stubborn street protests set amidst falling living standards. In Ukraine, political neophyte and comedian Zelensky has been rapidly consolidating power—though whether he can resolve Ukraine’s numerous political, economic, and geopolitical problems remains to be seen.

    Join the Davis Center as Harvard’s top specialists on Russia and Ukraine discuss contemporary developments in Eurasia and their import for the rest of the world.

    ...

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    Lecture: Bauhaus Bashing: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Stubbins Room 112, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge

    Join the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a lecture delivered by Philip Ursprung, Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. 

    For the 100th birthday of Bauhaus, the German State supports two new museums, several exhibitions, and many celebrations. However, the current celebrations repress the fact that the Bauhaus in the late 20th century was criticized for its formalism and dogmatic design education. And while a...

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    Gallery Talk: Introduction to the Dark Arts—Ancient Egyptian Magic

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Jen Thum, the Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow in the Division of Academic and Public Programs, will give this gallery talk.

    The Harvard Arts Museums galleries are full of stories—this series of drop-in talks gives visitors a chance to hear the best ones! The talks highlight new works on view, take a fresh look at old favorites, investigate artists’ materials and techniques, and reveal the latest discoveries by curators, conservators, fellows, visiting artists, technologists, and other contributors.

    Free with museums admission. Gallery talks are limited to 15...

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    Preserving Zapotec Weaving Practices

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The town of Teotitlán Del Valle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is renowned for its weaving traditions and its importance as a Zapotec cultural center. Porfirio Gutiérrez will examine the rich history of Zapotec weaving from the perspective of its practitioners. He will also discuss his studio’s role in preserving and promoting the use of natural dyes in his community, and abroad, using pigments derived from plants and insects.

    ...

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    The American Land Museum: Places as Cultural Artifacts

    Location: 

    Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    The Center for Land Use Interpretation explores how land in the United States is apportioned, utilized, and perceived. Through exhibitions and public programs, the Center interprets built landscapes—from landfills and urban waterfalls to artificial lakes—as cultural artifacts that help define contemporary American life and culture.

    Matthew Coolidge, Director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, will discuss the Center’s approach to finding meaning in the...

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    The Mexican Revolution of 1910: A Sociohistorical Interpretation

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Mexican Revolution of 1910 began as a multilocal revolt against the 35-year regime of dictator Porfirio Díaz and evolved into a national revolution and civil war lasting nearly a decade. Javier Garciadiego—a leading historian of Mexico’s revolution—will discuss the precursors, armed struggles, political factions, U.S. manipulations, and triumphs of Mexico’s revolution, including the development of a landmark constitution—one of the first in the world to enshrine social rights.

    ...

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    Film Screening: The Barber of Siberia

    Location: 

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

    Join the Davis Center for a film screening for "The Barber of Siberia." This 1998 Russian film follows the story of Jane Callahan (Julia Ormond), a beautiful American woman, writes to her son, a cadet at a famous military academy, about a long kept secret. Twenty years ago she arrived in Russia to assist Douglas McCracken (Richard Harris), an obsessive engineer who needs the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich's patronage to sponsor his invention, a massive machine to harvest the forests. On her travels, she meets two men who would change her life forever: a handsome young...

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    Great Russian Jews: David Oistrakh

    Location: 

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

    This panel examines the remarkable achievements of the great violinist David Oistrakh (1908-1974). Born and raised in Odessa, Oistrakh became one of the 20th century’s preeminent musical virtuosi. He collaborated with leading musicians and composers of his time, among them Aram Khachatourian and Dmitri Shostakovich.

    Panelists will include: Oleh Krysa (Ukrainian-American Violinist; University of Rochester) and Harlow Robinson (Northeastern University).
    Moderated by Maxim D. Shrayer (Boston College; Davis Center).

    ...

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