All Events

Environmental Humanities: Disaster and Environmental Justice

Date: February 10, 2016

We are pleased and excited to announce the first event of the On Being Human Event Series and the Environmental Humanities Event Series. Please join us in welcoming Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction and staff writer for The New Yorker, as she and, NYU Sociology Professor Eric Klinenberg address the pressing themes of disaster and environmental justice. This event is free and open to the public.

Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. She has written dozens of pieces for the magazine, including profiles of Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Her series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award. Also in 2006, she received the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category and was awarded a Lannan Writing Fellowship. In September 2010, Kolbert received the prestigious Heinz Award which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment. She has also been awarded a 2010 National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category for her work in the New Yorker, and the Sierra Club's 2011 David R. Brower Award. She recently won the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field, was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year. The Sixth Extinction also won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014.

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, and Research Director for the federal Rebuild By Design competition. He is the author, with Aziz Ansari, of the international bestseller Modern Romance, and author of the critically acclaimed books Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002). In addition to his scholarly publications, and he has contributed to The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineRolling StoneLe Monde DiplomatiqueThe London Review of Books, and This American Life(NPR).

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be held on the 7th floor of 20 Cooper Square.

Event Location:
NYU Center for the Humanities
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Imagining Illness: Pulitzer Prize Winners on Truth and Fact in Narrative

Date: February 16, 2016

What are the responsibilities of the creative writer when treating real-world questions in the sciences or medicine? Paul Harding, author of TINKERS (2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) and David Oshinsky, author of POLIO: An American Story (2006 Pulitzer Prize for History) discuss the many ways in which the authorial imagination can evoke and engage with the body and illness in fiction and nonfiction.

Paul Harding is the author of two novels about multiple generations of a New England family: the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers and Enon. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, he earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Harding has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.

David Oshinsky, PhD, is the director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU School of Medicine and a professor in the NYU Department of History. His books include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which won the Hardeman Prize for the best book about the U.S. Congress, and Worse Than Slavery, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for distinguished contribution to human rights. Polio: An American Story, won both the Pulitzer Prize in History and the Hoover Presidential Book Award. In 2009, PBS aired a documentary based upon this work, “The Polio Crusade,” and he received the Dean’s Medal from the Bloomberg-Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for his distinguished contributions to the field.

This event is cosponsored by the New York University Division of Medical Humanities and Bellevue Literary Press. Books will be sold at this event.

Event Location:
NYU Center for the Humanities
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


What We Talk About When We Talk About GIFs: Visual Culture and Social Media

Date: February 19, 2016

Playful, banal, uproarious, creepy, infuriating — the contemporary flavours of the Graphics Interchange Format or GIF have to be seen to be believed. Beloved of artists, activists,and netizens of all stripes due to its particular technical and aesthetic properties, the humble GIF has assumed a major role in contemporary culture and the arts. This afternoon symposium will be a chance to unpack the history, popular culture, and social impact of GIFs, and their place in history of the humanities. Plus: cats!

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Welcome and Introductions: 1:00PM to 1:30PM

Panel One: 1:30PM to 2:45PM

Moderated by Anna McCarthy, Tisch

Paddy Johnson, artblogger, publisher of ArtFCity.com, an art world daily read. Paddy also curated a show on GIFs at Providence College.
Jason Eppink, Curator of Digital Media at the Museum of the Moving Image. Jason recently curated a show on reaction GIFs.
Elektra KB, a Columbian artist living in NYC who makes gifs as part of a multimedia practice involving video, performance, textile art, and sound.

Coffee Break - 2:45PM to 3:15PM

Panel Two: 3:15PM to 4:30PM

Moderated by Luke Stark, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication

Sha Hwang, designer and programmer, founder of Gifpop.io
Charlton McIlwain, Steinhardt, author of Race Appeal, When Death Goes Pop, and Death in Black and White.
Lorna Mills, Canadian net artist, curator of Ways of Something (2014), a series of one minute videos by artists responding to John Berger's 1971 Ways of Seeing

Closing Discussion: 4:30PM to 5:00PM

Reception: 5:00PM to 6:00PM

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication.

Event Location:
NYU Center for the Humanities
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States


Theory at Yale: The Strange Case of Deconstruction in America

Date: February 23, 2016

Join us for a special event with Marc Redfield who will discuss his book, Theory at Yale: The Strange Case of Deconstruction in America.

This book examines the affinity between “theory” and “deconstruction” that developed in the American academy in the 1970s by way of the “Yale Critics”: Harold Bloom, Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, and J. Hillis Miller, sometimes joined by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

With this semi-fictional collective, theory became a media event, first in the academy and then in the wider print media, in and through its phantasmatic link with deconstruction and with “Yale.” The important role played by aesthetic humanism in American pedagogical discourse provides a context for understanding theory as an aesthetic scandal, and an examination of the ways in which de Man’s work challenges aesthetic pieties helps us understand why, by the 1980s, he above all had come to personify “theory.”

Combining a broad account of the “Yale Critics” phenomenon with a series of careful reexaminations of the event of theory, Redfield traces the threat posed by language’s unreliability and inhumanity in chapters on lyric, on Hartman’s representation of the Wordsworthian imagination, on Bloom’s early theory of influence in the 1970s together with his later media reinvention as the genius of the Western Canon, and on John Guillory’s influential attempt to interpret de Manian theory as a symptom of literature’s increasing marginality. A final chapter examines Mark Tansey’s paintings Derrida Queries de Man and Constructing the Grand Canyon, paintings that offer subtle, complex reflections on the peculiar event of theory-as-deconstruction in America.

Event Location:
NYU Center for the Humanities
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY
10003
United States