Past Events

Whitman Among the Bohemians: Book and Website Launch, and Tour of Pfaff's Cellar

Date: October 16, 2014

For several years just before and just after his 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass appeared, Walt Whitman regularly frequented Pfaff’s beer cellar in downtown Manhattan. The basement bar was the gathering place of America's first bohemians, and was described in the local press as "the trysting-place of the most careless, witty, and jovial spirits of New York,—journalists, artists, and poets." Come hear about the bohemians of antebellum New York who supported, slept with, parodied, and drank with Walt Whitman at a pivotal moment in the poet's life and career.

Joanna Levin (Chapman University) will discuss the new essay collection Whitman Among the Bohemians, co-edited by Edward Whitley.

Edward Whitley (Lehigh University) will demonstrate the recent updates to "The Vault at Pfaff's: An Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York".

Karen Karbiener (NYU) will lead a walking tour to and inside the site of Pfaff's Cellar.

Moderated by Thomas Augst (NYU), Associate Professor of English

Event Location:
The Humanities Initiative at NYU
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Les Registres de la Comédie-Française à l’épreuve de la pratique

Date: October 15, 2014

The digitization of the Comédie-Française’s administrative records for the period between 1680-1793 offers a wealth of new data for expanded areas of scholarly investigation and analysis of productions and theater audiences. At the same time, new understandings of 17th and 18th century theater practice pose new questions and possibilities for contemporary presentations of the classical repertoire.

This initiative will be the first opportunity to study the administrative records of la Comédie-Française from 1680 to 1793, using a database built by a French and US team, and to perform some of the re-discovered plays of this period.

(Sessions in French and English)

Event Location:
The Humanities Initiative at NYU
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Writing Outside the Box

Date: April 1, 2014

FINAL-4-1-14-Writing-Outside-the-Box-PosterUniversity presses continue to be a key venue for scholars to publish their work, but trade houses are often surprisingly welcoming of books by academics. What circumstances lead authors to turn to publishing for a general readership, and how do editors at such publishing houses think about their relationship with scholarly authors? What books are most successful when this route is pursued, and how do editors and academic authors discover each other? In two panels, a group of distinguished authors and editors discuss aspects of the process, both personal and professional, and provide their own considerations on the relationship of the university and the publishing industry today. This event is co-sponsored with the New York Institute for the Humanities and will be moderated by the Institute’s Director, Eric Banks and Jane Tylus, Professor of Italian Studies and Faculty Director of the Humanities Initiative.

AUTHORS:

Joan Breton Connelly
Classics, NYU

Greg Grandin
History, NYU

Jo Labanyi
Spanish & Portuguese, NYU

EDITORS:

Erika Goldman
Bellevue Literary Press

Alex Star
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Robert Weil
Liveright / W.W. Norton

Event Location:
The Humanities Initiative at NYU
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Writing Presidential Histories: Timothy Naftali and Evan Thomas

Date: March 11, 2014

3-11-14-Writing-Presidential-Histories-Poster-WebFrom the early years of the republic to the 21st century--from Parson Weems to Doris Kearns Goodwin--presidential historians and biographers have created lasting impressions of the individuals who have held the nation's highest office, their scholarship informing and influencing generations of readers. Some books about presidents prove so central to our interpretation of American history they become history in their own right. But shaping the world's understanding of such powerful and influential figures comes with special responsibility, as political winds and sympathies shift over time, records are declassified, and new information from historical witnesses comes to light. Presidential historians Timothy Naftali and Evan Thomas will explore the dynamics of how declassification and privacy issues make revisionism inevitable. Eric Banks, Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, will moderate the discussion. Co-sponsored with the New York Institute for the Humanities and the NYU Division of Libraries.

Timothy Naftali is Director of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, and co-director of NYU's Center for the United States and the Cold War, and of the Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center. From 2007 to 2011, he was the first director of the newly federalized Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and prior to that was founding director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. Naftali is the author or co-author of “One Hell of a Gamble”: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964; Blind Spot: The Secret History of American CounterterrorismKhrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary; and George H. W. Bush. He is currently completing a presidential biography of John F. Kennedy.

Evan Thomas
 is an American journalist and the author of eight books, including Robert F. KennedyIke’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the WorldThe Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIASea of Thunder (about the war in the Pacific), and a biography of American Revolutionary John Paul Jones, the latter two New York Times bestsellers. A former Washington Bureau Chief and Editor at Large for Newsweek, he has written more than one hundred cover stories, and has won two National Magazine Awards. He has been a regular weekly panelist since 1992 on the syndicated public affairs talk show “Inside Washington,” and has appeared on numerous television shows as a commentator, including PBS’s “Charlie Rose” and “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” Since 2007 Thomas is a Ferris Visiting Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.

Event Location:
The Humanities Initiative at NYU
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Writers Writing: Maaza Mengiste and Gilbert King

Date: March 4, 2014

FINAL-3-4-14-Writers-Writing-Maaza-and-Gilbert-WebMaaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, and Gilbert King, author of Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America discuss their writing processes and how they use history in their work.  The authors will also read and discuss selections from their writing.

Maaza Mengiste is a Fulbright Scholar and the award-winning author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. The novel was named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly and other publications. Her fiction and nonfiction writing can be found in the Guardian, the New York Times, BBC Radio 4,Granta, and Lettre International, among other places. Her second novel, The Shadow King, is forthcoming.

Gilbert King is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.  In its citation, the Pulitzer Committee described the book as "a richly detailed chronicle of racial injustice," and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called it "must-read, cannot-put-down history."  Devil in the Grove was also named runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize and the Edgar Award.

Event Location:
The Humanities Initiative at NYU
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States