Events: Lectures

Lectures

Ours to Lose: Shared Authority and Controversial Histories

Nightingale-Brown House

Oral historians ground their ethics in the principle of “shared authority.” How does this work when the sources are personal but the story is collective? Who has authority over a shared and controversial history?

Lectures

Paul Taylor’s America: Songs of Innocence and Experience

Nightingale-Brown House

For more than 60 years, Paul Taylor has turned his choreographic lens on the United States. He is famous for dances that embody American ideals of democratic equality. But throughout his career, Taylor also has taken stock of the distance between our national mythology and the historical reality, warning of the corrosions of consumerism, the dangers of militarism, and the allure of demagogues. In this illustrated lecture, Taylor’s biographer Suzanne Carbonneau will look at how Taylor’s dances have chronicled both shining ideals and uncomfortable truths about America.

Lectures

The Elements of Epistemic Style: Making Knowledge in Carnegie Libraries and Beyond

Nightingale-Brown House

Drawn from larger research project on late-19th and early-20th century American knowledge cultures, this lecture explores the cultural relevance of the funding program for public libraries started by the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in the late 1880s. Overall, the Carnegie Corporation payed for the construction of almost 1,700 library buildings in the U.S. and about 800 more in other countries. When the grant program was discontinued after World War I, roughly half of all American public libraries had been built with Carnegie endowments.

Lectures

Archive Fever: Visual Advocacy in Boston’s Chinese Community

Nightingale-Brown House

This past autumn residents and visitors to Boston’s Chinatown neighbor encountered two exhibitions in its public spaces that deployed archival imagery, drawn from the collection of the Chinese Historical Society of New England, to confront current local issues.

Lectures

Public History Has Never Been More Urgent, but Is It Still Possible?

Nightingale-Brown House

Museums are by their nature experienced with intermittent attentiveness. I have devoted much of my career to locating historical themes and narratives, and constructing engaging experiences, that could bridge the gaps in a visitor's attention. Now I want to raise some fresh questions: Does this privilege a certain kind of cognitive style, at the cost of others? Do new forms of social and technological media therefore require a rethinking of the public history enterprise?

Lectures

Exponential Creativity in a World of Abundance

Nightingale-Brown House

Computing power, storage and bandwidth are three core digital technologies whose cost is declining and whose capacity is increasing exponentially. The rapid development of "exponential technologies" founded on these building blocks are spurring innovation that is democratizing the production, financing, and distribution of arts and media. In the next few decades, these same technologies will radically reshape the world we live in, transitioning from a scarcity paradigm to one of abundance.

Lectures

Detroit, Inequality, and New Forms of Displacement

Nightingale-Brown House

Since emerging from bankruptcy, Detroit has experienced a variety of changes. The demolition of thousands of deteriorated and abandoned buildings is moving forward, an ambitious urban design scheme has been advanced to repurpose numerous vacant lots and desolate areas, and portions of downtown and midtown have suddenly become desirable real estate. But as these and other shifts take place, it is critical to consider issues of equity, and the question of who benefits.

Lectures

Art, Community and Institutions in Flux: A Museological Approach to Creative Placemaking

Nightingale-Brown House

Join Nico Wheadon—Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement at The Studio Museum in Harlem—as she discusses her Museum’s approach to creative placemaking.

Lectures

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Writing Diversity lecture series

Nightingale-Brown House

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland, is also a historian, poet, filmmaker, archivist, essayist, and WYPR community commentator. Her talk, "Writing as an Act of Courage, An Expression of Reality, and a Blending of the Personal with the Political,” addresses issues she uncovered and experienced in documenting the Freddie Gray episode and the Baltimore Uprising in her home city.

Lectures

"Mapping Violence" Maps Collaboration: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research

Nightingale-Brown House

Lectures

Technology in Performance: Expanding the Live

Nightingale-Brown House
Performers often explore new technologies, from electric lighting to digital video to networked systems to robotics.  Do digital technologies in performance contexts put the expressive power of the live human performer at risk?  How can we use digital technologies to extend, rather than replace, a live performer?  How can these technologies enhance rather than diminish the ephemerality and variability that makes live performance compelling?

Lectures

How do you tell an incomplete story?

Nightingale-Brown House

For five years Sunila Galappatti listened to Commodore Ajith Boyagoda, as he recounted to her his experience as a prisoner of war; the highest ranking officer to be captured and held by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka’s long civil war. This year they published together A Long Watch; a memoir re-told. Sunila Galappatti describes the process of writing this book: her efforts to capture the temperate and understated voice of its protagonist and her considered choice to tell one man’s story, even while exploring other histories that intersected with it.

Lectures

Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated: Film Screening and Discussion

Nightingale-Brown House

Lectures

Inside the Maelstrom of the Culture Wars of the 1990s

Nightingale-Brown House

John Killacky was curator of Performing Arts at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis from 1988-1996. Many of the artists he presented during that time: Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Bill T. Jones, Marlon Riggs, Ron Athey, among others came under attack from conservative members of Congress and religious groups who were opposed to them receiving governmental support from the National Endowment for the Arts. He will share his experiences and perspectives of presenting controversial artists during the Culture Wars.

Lectures

Lunch Talk: Applying a Human Rights Approach to Building a Public Humanities Initiative

Nightingale-Brown House

Over 2.3 million individuals are incarcerated in the United States. That means over 2.3 million families and communities are feeling the direct effects of mass incarceration, while our entire nation is confronted with the injustices of our criminal justice system on a weekly, or even daily basis. As individuals working in the public humanities, what do we owe those directly and indirectly affected by mass incarceration in terms of their humanity and our own?

 An evening of short films focused on the topic of Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement. The program will highlight several short films produced by the spectrum of accomplished and amateur documentarians, and provide a window into the Umbrella Movement’s unparalleled demonstrations. A facilitated discussion of the films led by visiting international scholar Oscar Ho - Professor of Cultural Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong - will follow.

Lectures

Cultural Heritage Matters: Applications of Analytics for Disseminating Cultural Heritage

Nightingale-Brown House

Dr. Glass and Dr. Olinsky will present an overview of how applied analytics techniques may be used to increase public engagement in cultural heritage. Areas discussed will include segmentation, prediction, text and sentiment analysis and visualization.

Lectures

Race and Class, Crime and Punishment in Providence, 1781

Nightingale-Brown House

Talk by Robert P. Emlen, Brown University Curator and Senior Lecturer in American Studies 235 years ago this month Prince Greene, an African American soldier of the First Rhode Island Regiment, shot and killed a white man named Edward Allen who, with a friend, was throwing rocks at the Company barracks and kicked down the door in the middle of the night. At his trial four days later Greene was convicted of manslaughter, was branded on the hand, and returned to duty.

Lectures

Prisoners, Students and Prison History

Nightingale-Brown House

In the fall of 2015, Amy Remensnyder taught a course about the history of prison and captivity both at Brown and to incarcerated men at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute. In this talk, she reflects on this teaching experiment, focusing on the complex role played by the prisoner-students' own experiences of captivity in shaping the perspective of all course participants on the history of this form of suffering.

Lectures

Views of North America: Black Freedom in the White House

Nightingale-Brown House

This talk examines the history surrounding Vues d’Amerique du Nord, a nineteenth century scenic wallpaper, in order to trace the routes through which the US state, in the form of the presidency, appropriated images and ideas about black freedom. It connects state efforts to suppress autonomous black freedom struggles to the various contexts for producing and reproducing for this significant element of material culture.

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