The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lecture on American Civilization and Government
This biannual lecture series at The New York Public Library, established by the Estate of the historian Eric F. Goldman in honor of his wife, aims to encourage provocative comment and analysis concerning contemporary issues of deep, long-term significance for American democracy.
We are no longer accepting reservations for these events. There will be a stand-by line on the night of each program for guests without a reservation. There is no guarantee seats will become available.
Part One: Mystery
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7-8 pm
Beginning with the story of an Invisible Lady who visited New York City in 1804, Jill Lepore considers the strange history of the relationship between the unseen and the unknown. In this first of two illustrated lectures that range from the mysteries of the medieval church to the privacy settings on Facebook, Lepore argues that what was once mysterious became secret and, finally, private.
Part Two: Privacy
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 7-8 pm
In her second illustrated lecture, Lepore considers a paradox of contemporary culture in which the only thing more cherished than privacy is publicity. Tracing the origins of privacy to the early modern practice of keeping common-place books, Lepore chronicles the history of hermits, recluses, and invisible men, from H.G. Wells to Ralph Ellison to people who post on Instagram.