Books in the Humanities Now

Broadway to Main Street: How Showtunes Enchanted America

Date: March 26, 2019

The music of Broadway is one of America's most unique and popular calling cards. In Broadway to Main Street: How Show Tunes Enchanted America, author Laurence Maslon tells the story of how the most beloved songs of the American Musical Theater made their way from the Theater District to living rooms across the country. This talk will investigate the immense appeal of the Broadway song book as heard by millions of Americans through original cast albums, pop recordings, radio, and television.

Featuring Laurence Maslon, Arts Professor, Associate Chair, Grad Acting Program, NYU Tisch, in conversation with Amanda Vaill, Biographer, Journalist, and Screenwriter.

Reviews:

"Broadway to Main Street: How Show Tunes Enchanted America (Oxford University Press) is the first book I know to focus exhaustively on the rise of the modern cast album . . . Well-researched and well-written by Laurence Maslon, an Emmy-nominated producer and author-educator, the book tells a fascinating and little-known story about how Broadway theater rose to an influential position in American culture via records, television and Top-40 radio, all fueled by bestselling cast albums . . . The book fills a gap in history about an undervalued subject: the challenges of using limited technology to capture and preserve popular recordings for the masses and later generations." --The Columbus Dispatch

"Maslon's book explains the phenomenon of how show tunes have endured as an integral part of our popular culture. He also addresses the influence of the range of media on show music's popularity - from sheet music, radio and 78-rpm recordings to television, CDs, the Internet and streaming." --The Albuquerque Journal

"Laurence Maslon, who knows as much as about the American Musical Theater as anyone on Planet Showbiz, explores the multi-layered bond between the phenomenon of the original cast album from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and its impact on the music industry. By focusing on the 'business' part of show business, Maslon opens a fascinating new door into the history of what just might be America's Greatest Treasure." -- John Guare, Playwright

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


The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Medicine, and the Great War

Date: February 19, 2019

*This event is at capacity. Registration does not guarantee seating. Seating is first-come, first-serve.*

The injuries suffered by soldiers during WWI were as varied as they were brutal. How could the human body suffer and often absorb such disparate traumas? Why might the same wound lead one soldier to die but allow another to recover?

In The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe, Stefanos Geroulanos (Professor of History, NYU) and Todd Meyers (Associate Professor of Anthropology, NYU Shanghai) uncover a fascinating story of how medical scientists came to conceptualize the body as an integrated yet brittle whole. Responding to the harrowing experience of the Great War, the medical community sought conceptual frameworks to understand bodily shock, brain injury, and the vast differences in patient responses they occasioned. Geroulanos and Meyers carefully trace how this emerging constellation of ideas became essential for thinking about integration, individuality, fragility, and collapse far beyond medicine: in fields as diverse as anthropology, political economy, psychoanalysis, and cybernetics.

Join us for an in-depth discussion with the authors and other featured panelists analyzing the various themes and stories surrounding these ideas. Featuring:

Emily Martin
Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, NYU

Samuel Moyn
Professor of Law and History, Yale University

With an introduction by Dr. Katherine E. Fleming, NYU Provost.

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


A Death of One's Own

Date: February 8, 2019

To be or not to be—who asks this question today, and how? What does it mean to issue, or respond to, an appeal for the right to die? In A Death of One’s Own: Literature, Law, and the Right to Die, Jared Stark takes up these timely questions by testing predominant legal understandings of assisted suicide and euthanasia against literary reflections on modern death from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rigorously interdisciplinary and lucidly argued, Stark’s wide-ranging discussion sheds critical light on the disquieting bioethical and biopolitical dilemmas raised by contemporary forms of medical technology and legal agency.

Join us to explore these themes with the author, Jared Stark (Professor of Comparative Literature, Eckerd College) and Cathy Caruth (Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Cornell University).

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


Publishing the Avant-Garde: International Perspectives on Art and Magazines

Date: February 5, 2019

Bringing together a group of scholars working at the intersection of printed matter and visual culture this panel will ask, how does the periodical help us tell cultural histories across geographies? To frame this conversation, Lori Cole (NYU) and Meghan Forbes (MoMA), along with invited panelists Amin Alsaden (independent curator), Olubukola Gbadegesin (St. Louis University), and Naomi Kuromiya (Columbia University), will introduce a range of magazines produced and distributed in disparate contexts: Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. Through a series of case studies, the panel aims to build a framework for examining magazines as a mode of circulation and exhibition of artwork. Together we will consider what periodicals and other printed ephemera have been left out of cultural histories—both in print and through contemporary collection and exhibition practices—and how new research can address these gaps.

Featuring:

Amin Alsaden
“Publishing Resistance: Agency and Exchanges in Post-WWII Baghdad”

Olubukola Gbadegesin
“The Yoruba Photoplay Series: Photographs, Popular Arts, and Print Culture in Lagos”

Naomi Kuromiya
“Circulating Exhibitions: the Display of Artwork in the Japanese Calligraphy Periodical Bokubi (1951-1960)”

Moderated by Lori Cole (Clinical Associate Professor & Associate Director of XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, NYU) and Meghan Forbes (Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives Fellow for Central and Eastern Europe at The Museum of Modern Art in New York & a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU).

Co-sponsored by XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, and the Institute for Public Knowledge.

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


Elements of a Philosophy of Technology

Date: January 29, 2019

*This event is at capacity. Registration does not guarantee seating. Seating is first-come, first-serve.*

Ernst Kapp’s 1877 Elements of a Philosophy of Technology is nothing less than the emergence of early elements of a cybernetic paradigm. Join us to celebrate a new 2018 edition of this book, translated into English for the first time.

Leif Weatherby (Associate Professor of German, NYU), Jeffrey Kirkwood (Assistant Professor of Art History, Binghamton University) will be joined by Lisa Gitelman (Professor of English and Media, Culture, and Communications, NYU) and John Durham Peters (María Rosa Menocal Professor of English and of Film & Media Studies, Yale University) to discuss this 1877 treatise that coined the phrase “philosophy of technology".

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