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All Programs

All events are free unless otherwise noted.


117 events found.

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Monday, April 23, 2012
1:15 p.m.Shakespeare - From Stratford-on-Avon to The New York Public Library
Robert Armitage : William Shakespeare - From Stratford-on-Avon to The New York Public Library Discover the world of William Shakespeare at the NYPL on his celebrated birthday. Ponder textual problems in the quartos and folios. Explore illustrated editions of the plays and poems. Experience Shakespearean research through 21st century databases. After the lecture, twenty members of the audience (drawn by lot) are invited to view the Shakespearean holdings, including the First Folio, in the Lib…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
1:15 p.m.Fathers and Sons in Hamlet
Shakespeare’s preoccupation with the father-son nexus in Hamlet is reflected in early modern English society more largely, where a plethora of texts on the family appeared during the 16th and 17th centuries. This talk will focus on two kinds of these didactic texts: the middle-class family treatise, written by ministers seeking to define the newly Protestant family; and the humanist princely treatise, authored variously by kings and court intellectuals, which articulated one important vision of…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Friday, April 27, 2012
1:15 p.m.The Parable of the Good Samaritan and The Taming of the Shrew
Literary criticism has traditionally found little of religious or biblical import in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, a play in which the abusive treatment of Katherine—and, by extension, all independent-minded women—has puzzled, troubled, or outraged audiences over the centuries. Indeed, George Bernard Shaw declared that “no man with any decency of feeling can sit it out in the company of women without being extremely ashamed of its lord-of-creation moral.” This lecture calls for a reass…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Friday, May 4, 2012
1:15 p.m.Enacting Innocence: Barack Obama's Speech on Race in the Context of American Exceptionalism
Barack Obama's election has been understood as the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement, tangible proof that the African American community's pursuit of full equality in America has reached a high-water mark. The key to Obama's election, however, was not the calls for reform that characterized the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement, but a ceaseless invocation of American exceptionalism that supported - indeed reinvigorated - the premise of American innocence. This is most evident at the…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
1:15 p.m.Cogito Interruptus: Descartes and Princess Elisabeth on Life, Love and Growing Old
Rene DescartesWhat do thinkers think about when they’re not “thinking”? Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes shared an intense correspondence in which they discussed Descartes’ revolutionary Cogito -- “I think therefore I am” -- but also the pleasures and pains of daily life in some intimate detail. Inspired by their letters, we have set out to rethink, with them, the usual story of “Cogito sum” in terms of “Cogito Interruptus.” Focusing on the debate between the young princess a…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste AuditoriumAdults
Friday, May 18, 2012
1:15 p.m.Antisemitism, Italian Style: The Italian Royal Academy, 1938-1943
Paul Arpaia, a writer in residence in the Library’s Wertheim Study and Associate Professor of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Fellow at the American Academy of Rome (FAAR08), examines reactions among members of the Italian Royal Academy to private and state-sponsored anti-Semitism through the fall of Mussolini. The promulgation of the Racial Laws in 1938 marked a first attempt at state-sponsored anti-Semitism in unified Italy. Studies on Fascism have emphasized fundamenta…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
1:15 p.m.Unruly Princess: Margit of Hungary, a Medieval Saint and her Disappointed Suitor
Marcelle Thiébaux will talk about the life of the medieval girl who--as an infant--is credited with turning away the savage Tartar hordes of Batu Khan. Dr. Thiébaux's historical novel, Unruly Princess, is based on actual persons and events. January 2012 marked the 770th anniversary of Margit's birth. Dr. Thiébaux is the author of books on medieval literature, among them The Stag of Love: The Chase in Medieval Literature; The Writings of Medieval Women; and Dhuoda: Handbook for her War…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
1:15 p.m.A Greener Big Apple: How Citizens And Government Are Creating a More Sustainable Gotham
Donovan Finn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sustainability Studies and Environmental Planning at Stony Brook University, will examine efforts to make NYC a more environmentally sustainable, equitable and livable city. Since the release of its PlaNYC sustainability framework in 2007, New York City’s policy agenda has been largely shaped by the plan’s ambitious environmental goals, while community activists have likewise initiated a host of parallel initiatives across the 5 boroughs. This talk…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
1:15 p.m.Watchmakers, Hippies, and the World Economic Summit: Three Magic Mountains and the Birth of Today's World in Switzerland
Damion Searls, writer and translator, will explore the surprising cultural, artistic, and scientific renaissance in early-twentieth-century Switzerland. From Albert Einstein and Carl Jung to Rilke, Lenin, modern dance, and personality testing, Switzerland a century ago was a hotbed of innovative ideas that still shape our world today. This talk and extensive slideshow will focus on three of the “magic mountains” where these peaceful revolutions took place: La-Chaux-de-Fonds in the Jura, birthpl…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
1:15 p.m.The Individual after Stalin : Writers, Diaries, and the Reform of Soviet Socialism.  
Anatoly Pinsky, a writer in residence in the Library's Wertheim Study and adjunct assistant professor at the City College of New York, will present an overview of his book project, The Individual after Stalin: Writers, Diaires, and the Reform of Soviet Socialism. Pinsky's study examines an ideal of individuality formulated by reformist writers in the Khrushchev-era USSR, and casts its popular embrace as the primary imperative of so-called de-Stalinization. The project centers on the writers' u…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
1:15 p.m.Immigrant Artists and Their Studios in New York City, 1930s-1940s
Francesca Canadé Sautman is a Professor in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College of the City University of New York. She has published books and articles mostly in medieval and early modern studies, and has also written on Italian American culture. She will speak about the cultural life of immigrant artists’ studios in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s. This talk evokes the vibrant world of immigrant and first-generation American artists from the 1920s to the 1930s and 1940s…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
1:15 p.m.Eliza Lynch and the Gold of Paraguay
In 1854, an Irish courtesan named Eliza Lynch hooked up in Paris with Francisco Solano Lopez, the monumentally rich and massively egomaniacal son of Carlos Antonio Lopez, the dictator of Paraguay. Over the next 16 years, she bore him seven children and, some say, goaded him into the bloodiest war in South American history. She may have, in the process, stolen the gold and jewels known as the treasure of the country. The answer to what really happened to the fortune is nowhere to be found, but…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, September 13, 2012
1:15 p.m.George Romney Republican: The Rise and Fall of Mitt's Political Mentor
From his 1962 election as Michigan governor until he withdrew two weeks before the 1968 New Hampshire primary, George Romney was a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. But the successful auto executive who got into politics preaching nonpartisan citizen participation was overwhelmed by his inconsistencies and antagonized Republican colleagues--both conservative and liberal. Going beyond his "brainwashing" gaffe, author John R. Bohrer, a writer in residence in the Library…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, September 27, 2012
1:15 p.m.One Minister, Two Sleazebags and the Ku Klux Klan in North Dakota in the 1920s
In 1915, a feckless and perverse romantic with a yen for the bottle on a hilltop outside of Atlanta, Georgia resuscitated the original and notorious Ku Klux Klan. With a small cohort of anti-Semites, Colonel Simmons tried to recruit new members throughout the South, but with few resources, he had only limited success and in 1920 the KKK was close to collapse. Then he met two public relations people in Atlanta. In short order they built an infrastructure and shaped a marketing strategy that wou…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, October 4, 2012
1:15 p.m.Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas: Celebrating Banned Book Week and the Freedom to Read Freely
Author Mike Edison, a self-described “free speech zealot” & who has worked for some of the world’s most notorious magazines, will celebrate, with Gary Lucas, the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week with a spirited presentation - part lecture & part performance, guaranteed to be as informational & inspirational as it is entertaining. Edison, a writer in residence in the Library’s Allen Room, will discuss America’s sordid history of banned books, censorship, the First Am…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, October 11, 2012
1:15 p.m.Is Lunch for Wimps? the History of the Midday Meal
In conjunction with the Exhibition Lunch Hour: NYC - now through February 17 at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue The meal most often eaten in public, lunch has a long history of establishing social status and cementing alliances. A traditional Mongolian proverb advises: “Keep breakfast for yourself, share lunch with your friend and give dinner to your enemy.” From the Ploughman’s lunch in the field to the Power Lunch at the Four Seasons, where, with whom, and up…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, October 18, 2012
1:15 p.m.The Road to New Orleans starts in 1752: Seven Years' War Roots in the War of 1812
Imperial disputes over territory, Native Americans fighting to retain their land, British redcoats and American backwoodsmen, Americans celebrating belonging to “a great empire.” These terms can all describe the War of 1812 as well as the Seven Years’ War (commonly called “the French and Indian War”), which raged from 1752 to 1765. Christian Ayne Crouch brings these two episodes together in order to trace commonalities between the conflicts over time and to suggest how the first war created b…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, October 25, 2012
1:15 p.m.The Science of the Founding Fathers
The Founding Fathers’ degrees of faith differed widely one from another. What they shared more universally was a deep belief in Enlightenment “natural philosophy” and the scientific method. For them the establishment of the United States of America was “an experiment,” in the full scientific sense of that phrase. This aspect of American history is largely unknown to the public. While we have heard of Benjamin Franklin’s electricity experiments, we have no idea who and what made the experiments…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, November 1, 2012
1:15 p.m.Canceled
A writer in residence in the Library's Allen Room, Mark Lilla is an essayist and historian of ideas at Columbia University in New York City. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the New York Times, he is best known for his books The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics and The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West. After holding professorships at New York University and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, November 15, 2012
1:15 p.m.A Salad Story: In the Beginning, long ago, there was Lettuce - Judith Weinraub
In conjunction with Lunch Hour: NYC - exhibit at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, until February 17, 2013 When given the opportunity to choose a subject for a series of global food histories, Judith Weinraub looked for something that hadn't already been written about extensively, such as chocolate or spices or salt. She chose Salads, not fully understanding how complicated the subjec was. Soon enough, she realized the difficulty of defining just what a salad is and has been throughout histor…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, November 29, 2012
1:15 p.m.Charles Dickens: Speaking in Pictures
In conjunction with the exhibit Charles Dickens: The Key to Character, September 14 through January 27. The stories of Charles Dickens (1812–1870) appeal to the child inside every reader because his characters are easily visualized by the mind’s eye. Influenced by the fairy tales Dickens read in his youth, his villains tend to be exaggeratedly wicked, while heroes and heroines wear almost saintly auras. Dickens distorts descriptions of characters’ features and dress, speech and gestures, to su…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults,
Book Lovers
Thursday, December 6, 2012
1:15 p.m.James Lenox and the Origins of The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library, which opened in 1911, had two predecessors—the Lenox on upper Fifth Avenue where the Frick Collection now stands and the Astor housed in the landmark building occupied by the Public Theater. The two libraries differed from one another and from what was to follow. The Astor was essentially a non-lending library and reading room for the citizens of New York, while the Lenox was a treasure house of rare books and works of art. Avowedly a gift to the citizens of New Yor…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults,
Book Lovers
Thursday, December 13, 2012
1:15 p.m.Building to Impress: New York Skyscrapers and the People who Commissioned Them - Seth Gopin
The development of the skyscraper is an American story. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centures, these great edifices have defined both New York City and American architecture. Less often discussed are the patrons and architects of these great buildings. This lecture explores the story of the fascinating people who were the forces behind nine iconic New York buildings - Flatiron, Metropolitan Life, Woolworth, Chrysler, Empire State, Seagram's, AT&T, Conde Nast, and Hearst buildin…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, December 20, 2012
1:15 p.m.Why Our Society Likes Vampires: their Moral Struggle – and Ours
Starting as a meditation on mortality after the illness and death of her late husband, Margot Adler, correspondent at NPR and author, began to obsessively read vampire novels. She has now read more than 230 vampire novels - from teen to adult, from detective, to romance, from gothic to modern. Although it started as a look at issues of mortality, none of that explained the seven billion dollars Hollywood spent on vampire movies in the last two years. "Every society creates the vampire it needs,…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults,
Book Lovers,
Teens/Young Adults (13-18 years)
Thursday, January 10, 2013
1:15 p.m.Why Hitler Lost
Why did the Axis lose the Second World War? Examining the Second World War on every front, Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, the Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once they could criticize him with impunity? That war lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion and claimed the lives of over 50 million people. Why di…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, January 24, 2013
1:30 p.m.From Hardtack to Sugar Wafers: How the Civil War Created the Industry for Dainty Biscuits
Cracker bakeries, sugar refineries, candy makers – New York had them all in 1861 when the Civil War began. Once the huge build up of troops began, it meant that many more supplies would be needed to feed them. New York’s robust cracker industry was already making thousands of pounds of hardbreads (the actual name of hardtack) for the city’s shipping industry, but with the start of the war, it meant they would have to ramp up production. With the U. S. government buying up every piece of hardb…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1:15 p.m.Rice: the Immigrant Grain
How and why did rice, primarily long grain white rice, arrive in the British colonies and become big business? Rice origins are Asian and West African, and it is through the movement of Asian and West African populations, whether voluntary or compulsory, that rice eventually became an established staple in US agriculture. US rice consumption continues to increase as immigrants arrive from different rice cultures. From hoppin’john to rice cakes to food truck pilaf to sushi, rice is everywhere…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, February 7, 2013
1:15 p.m.Digital Occupation: Hi-Tech Borders in Palestine-Israel
What is the digital? What is underground? Does cyberspace have a frontier? By focusing on technology and media infrastructures and highlighting the digital's political geography, this talk argues that globalization and hi-tech have not eradicated the importance of territoriality. The process of 'digital occupation' in Palestine-Israel demonstrates what is true globally: the digital is deeply territorial, new kinds of borders are emerging, and media development and infrastructure continue to…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, February 14, 2013
1:15 p.m.Diplomacy, Divorces, and Dressing Up, or, "Love, Loss and What They Wore"
It can be said that Henry VIII was as hard on wives as other husbands are hard on clothing. However, both were terribly important to his world. As demonstrated by his 1991 exhibition "Henry VIII: A European Court in England", scholar and pundit David Starkey conclusively argued that the magnificence of Henry's courtly spectacle, the gathering of scholars and artists, and the collecting of rich objects by this king, brought England to the world arena. "Magnificence" in dress was essential to t…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, February 21, 2013
1:15 p.m.Plagues and Poxes: Epidemic Disease in Medieval and Early Modern London
Epidemic disease has long been fundamental to the profile of the European Middle Ages - from the spread of leprosy in the twelfth century to the catastrophic pandemics of the fourteenth. However, the writers and artists of the time are surprisingly reticent on the subject of disease. Geoffrey Chaucer and his contemporaries have little to say about the plague. Even when it provides occasion and context for their work they eschew details of bodily disintegration. By the time of James I's corona…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, March 7, 2013
1:15 p.m.The Web That Wasn't: Forgotten Forebears of the Internet
If the history of technology teaches us anything, it is that the best technology does not always win. Today, the World Wide Web has become the dominant platform for transmitting knowledge across the globe. But in the years leading up to Tim Berners-Lee's world-changing invention, several pioneering information scientists were exploring a wide range of other concepts that resembled - and in some ways surpassed - the Web as we know it today. What lessons can we learn from these alternative tech…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, March 14, 2013
1:15 p.m.Mary Cassatt, Women's Suffrage, and Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
Mary Cassatt, who is best known for her enduring images of mother and children, is never thought of as a Bloomer girl or a free-love advocate. Yet in her 1893 mural Modern Woman she illustrated the most progressive and radical program of women's emancipation yet advanced. This program was first articulated in the 1848, "Declaration of Sentiments," drawn up by women participants at the first convention of women's rights in Seneca Falls, New York. The organizer was Elizabeth Cady Stanton whose…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, March 21, 2013
1:15 p.m.A Conversation Among Critics : Reflections and Readings from "Estimating Emerson : An Anthology of Criticism from Carlyle to Cavell"
Ralph Waldo Emerson is internationally renowned as helping define American identity as we know it. What is less known is the degree to which he has inspired and influenced generations of other internationally celebrated writers and thinkers. As "America's Plato," it is perhaps not surprising that Emerson has drawn a great amount of critical (in both senses of the word) attention; what is surprising, though, is the fact that so much of the attention was given by the likes of Thomas Carlyle, Mat…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, March 28, 2013
1:15 p.m.Ivy Style Unbuttoned : Italian Menswear on Rodeo Drive, 1976-1986
Unlike the subtle sophistication of NYC and London, Rodeo Drive was blatantly extravagant. Turning its back to the traditional collegiate world of Harvard, Yale and Princeton, Beverly Hills successfully manipulated Ivy style with Italian aesthetics to suit the celebrated lifestyle of Rodeo Drive. Hollywood celebrities wanted Ivy styling with a twist provided by Italian designers who prized disinvoltura: translated as self-confidence, easy elegance and nonchalant attitude. Stars with Ivy Leagu…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Monday, April 15, 2013
1:15 p.m.Reflections and Refractions on the Schizophrenic Nomadism of Hamlet - Shakespeare Week I
"The schizophrenic is a person who, for whatever reason, has been touched off by a desiring flow which threatens the social order. There's an immediate intervention to ward off such a menance." - Guattari, Chaosophy What if Hamlet is a play within the mind of one character? Explorations of Lacan's mirror stage, schizophrenia and "madness", and Deleuze and Guattari through Hamlet will unfold during the afternoon's presentation. Arguably central to the canon of Western tragedy, Hamlet offers a…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
1:15 p.m.La Pucelle, or Joan of Arc: a History by William Shakespeare - Shakespeare Week - II -starring Kate Eastman
John Reed, author of A Still Small Voice (Delacorte), Snowball's Chance (Roof), and All The World's A Grave : A New Play By William Shakespeare (Penguin / Plume), takes apart and reconfigures the known works of Shakespeare to bring to life a Maid of Orleans worthy of the Bard. The new history is comprised entirely of lines from Shakespeare. On the eve of war, Joan, in splendorous madness, delivers a play-length soliloquy to her audience of soldiers, ghosts and demons. More about John Reed at…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
1:15 p.m.Young and In Shakespeare - Shakespeare Week III
Through recitation and performance, the teenage finalists of the New York City English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition rediscover Shakespeare's past and present. These high school student--hailing from public, charter, independent and parochial schools across the five Boroughs, as well as Long Island and Westchester County--prove that these 400-year old words and themes still have the power to engage, teach and entertain us all, young and old. For 30 years New York City students…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, April 18, 2013
1:15 p.m. The Mystery of "The Phoenix and Turtle": Discovering Shakespeare's "Lost" Masterpiece - Shakespeare Week IV
In 1601, at the height of his career, Shakespeare wrote a 67-line untitled elegy - now frequently known as "The Phoenix and Turtle"- that has been praised as highly as anything he wrote, while, at the same time, remaining almost entirely neglected by biographers, literary critics, scholars, and the general public. Why then, since the end of the nineteenth century, have some of Shakespeare's closest readers recurrently called it one of his "best" and most "beautiful" poems? This lecture conside…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Friday, April 19, 2013
1:15 p.m. Shakespeare Talks to Us: the Case for Style of Direct Address in Shakespeare's Plays - Shakespeare Week V
Melinda Hall presents the case for direct address in which Shakespeare's characters include the audience in the agreement between Player and Playgoer. The talk will be about the style and context in which the plays were written and heard and how contemporary direction often excludes the audience, missing opportunities inherent in the play. She will have guest actors on hand to demonstrate the advantages of direct address in some of Shakespeare's most famous works. Melinda Hall (SAG-AFTRA, AEA,…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Saturday, April 20, 2013
1:15 p.m.Poetic Afterlife: Contemporary Poets Re-imagine Shakespeare : A Poetry Reading - Shakespeare Week VI
with Heather Dubrow, Roger Sedarat, Tom Sleigh, Lee Upton and BJ Ward Heather Dubrow, John D. Boyd, SJ, Chair in the Poetic Imagination at Fordham University, is the author of a collection of poems entitled Forms and Hollows, two chapbooks, and poetry in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Wearing her other hat as a literary critic, she has published six scholarly books, including two on Shakespeare, and an edition of As You Like It. She is Direct…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
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