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All Programs

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

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94 events found.

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TimeEventLocationAudience
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
Innocence
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
Thursday, May 9, 2013
1:15 p.m.Power and Betrayal : Sir William Johnson's Mohawk Dynasty and the Legacy of the American Revolution
With the exception of Benjamin Franklin, Sir William Johnson (1715-1774) likely enjoyed wider renown than any man living in British North America. An Irishman who settled in New York's Mohawk Valley during the late 1730s, at the age of twenty-three, the ruthless and charismatic Johnson went on to become one of the continent's largest landowners, a hero of the Seven Years' War, and, most famously, Britain's premier diplomat to the Indians. But he was perhaps best known, both there and abroad, f…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, May 16, 2013
1:15 p.m.The Theatre of Naturalsim : Disappearing Acts
The impact of naturalism, a literary approach invented by Zola and especially significant in the field of the novel through his American “disciples” Crane, Norris, and Dreiser, is well acknowledged and recognized. Not so well recognized, but equally important, is naturalistic theatre: this was a style that also originated with Zola, but its progeny was more international and its significance more radical and insurrectionary than in the less “spectacular” genre of fiction. The Theatre of Natura…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, May 23, 2013
1:15 p.m.Modern Utopianism: the 18th-Century Background
The 18th century is often known as the Age of Reason, for it initiates the era when men began to imagine that society's institutions could be rationally reformed and citizens enlightened through proper education. This movement is characterized by the names of such philosophes as Voltaire and Diderot. The 18th century, however, also witnessed a reaction against such rationalism and, indeed, against the progress of knowledge and of civilization. A leading figure of this reaction was Rousseau. W…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, June 6, 2013
1:15 p.m.Teaching Civil Rights Movements through Time
Shortly after graduating from Oberlin College in 1847, abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Lucy Stone remarked, “I expect to plead not for the slave only, but for suffering humanity everywhere. Especially do I mean to labor for the elevation of my sex.” Three years later she was on a national stage at a conference on women’s rights that included noted abolitionists. Stone understood the necessity of a fight that brings rights to all peoples. There were those who felt she and some of the oth…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, June 13, 2013
1:15 p.m.Brazil's Marquise de Sade : On Translating Hilda Hilst's "Cartas de um Sedutor"
At her death in 2004, Brazilian author Hilda Hilst, born in 1930 (in Jaú, São Paulo State), had received many of her country's most important literary prizes and published more than two dozen books. Yet she remains almost completely unknown in the English-speaking world, and, especially in the last third of her life, increasingly operated outside the mainstream of Brazilian literary culture. Prodigious as a poet, dramatist and prose writer, Hilst gained notoriety for what Brazilian critics label…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
1:15 p.m.Lorca, Jews, and African-Americans : From Romance to Racism or Simple Misunderstanding?
In conjunction with the Exhibition Back Tomorrow : A Poet in New York/Federico Garcia Lorca April 5 - July 21, 2013 - Wachenheim Gallery Lorca's A Poet in New York is filled with difficult and at times laudatory, at times offensive references to New York's Black and Jewish communities. Many scholars have shied away from these references, believing that they tarnish Lorca's reputation as a freedom-fighter; others have attempted to interpret them in a favorable and even romantic light. This tal…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
1:15 p.m.Canceled
Federico Garcia Lorca Occupies Wall Street : "A Poet in New York" and Global Crisis
In conjunction with the Exhibition Back Tomorrow : A Poet in New York/Federico Garcia Lorca April 5 - July 21, 2013 - Wachenheim Gallery In the year he spent in New York, Federico Garcia Lorca witnessed the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and its aftermath. His book Poet in New York, which dramatically captures that crisis in various ways, was not published until 1940, shortly after the end of the Spanish Civil War and four years after the poet's assassination at its outbreak. This lecture concentr…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger ForumAdults
Thursday, July 11, 2013
1:15 p.m.Dream Traces in Streets Revisited
In conjunction with the Exhibition Back Tomorrow : A Poet in New York/Federico Garcia Lorca April 5 - July 21, 2013 - Wachenheim Gallery For years J. K. Fowler has had an affinity for Lorca, his personal struggles and in particular, his poetry written while living in New York City. A project that emerged out of this was a fascination with retracing Lorca's steps as much as possible throughout the city, bringing to light reinterpretations of (and updates to) the locations and impressions featur…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, July 18, 2013
1:15 p.m.The Virgins of Islamic Paradise : a Global History
Allusions to pure female companions—called hur in Arabic and referred to as houris or "virgins" in English—are so commonplace that they represent pervasive assumptions about Islam. The intense focus on houris may be a twenty-first century trend; however, the fascination with these celestial beings began long before September 11th. This presentation provides an account of how an ambiguous figure found within Islamic theological writings gained a distinctive place in English, French, and American…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, July 25, 2013
1:15 p.m.Orientalism vs. Inclusive Practice in Exhibition : Islam and Muslim Peoples in Western Museums, 2011 - present
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Muslim peoples and the religion of Islam have become politicized and demonized in many Western media representations[1]. Specifically, Islam and Muslim peoples have been represented as closely associated (if not inextricable) with religious extremism/global terrorism (which is also known as Islamophobia) in many Western mass media representations[2]. Contemporaneously, there has been an increase in religion- based cultural exhibition[3], particularly repres…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Friday, September 20, 2013
1:15 p.m.Constructing a House and a History in Newport’s Gilded Age : Catharine Lorillard Wolfe’s “Vinland”
In the early 1880s, tobacco heiress and New York art collector, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828-1887), the first female benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hired the Boston architects Peabody & Stearns to create a Newport summer “cottage.” She had a distinct vision in mind. The finished stone façade that she and her architects conceived resembled no other residence in Newport. It would be named Vinland to commemorate local legends of Viking explorations in this region, a subject wh…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, September 26, 2013
1:15 p.m.St. Nicholas Magazine : a Portable Art Museum
In November 1873, American publisher Scribner and Company published the first issue of a new illustrated monthly magazine for children, St. Nicholas Magazine : Scribner’s Illustrated Magazine for Girls and Boys. Contributing to its success was the editorial vision of its first and most influential editor, Mary Mapes Dodge, who was to create a new kind of magazine for children, one in which illustration and art education were important foci. The greatest expression of St. Nicholas’ art education…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Friday, September 27, 2013
1:15 p.m.Treasures and Curiosities from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle
The Royal Library, because of its great range of fascinating objects associated with British history and the Royal family, is often shown by the Queen to her guests at Windsor Castle. As the Library is closed to the public, this lecture replicates a tour of the Library similar to that experienced by the Queen's guests, thus constituting a rare opportunity to see its rooms and treasures. These treasures include beautiful and rare books (the Mainz Psalter, 1457) and manuscripts (the Sobieski…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
Thursday, October 17, 2013
1:15 p.m.Race and Sexual Politics in the AIDS Crisis : Chicago, 1981-1996
Timothy Stewart-Winter, a writer in residence at the library's Allen Room and an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University, Newark, will present a lecture on the racial and sexual politics of the urban response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, drawn from his forthcoming study of Chicago and the rise of urban gay politics since the 1950s. While the federal government’s response to AIDS was negligent, this lecture focuses on the less-well known story of how the epidemic intersected with…
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research DivisionAdults
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